This post originally appeared on the Ploughshares blog in January 2019. What makes a novel “difficult,” and why does that label matter? When we think of traditionally “difficult” writers—James Joyce or Thomas Pynchon, for example—the answer to the first part
In her recent book Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny, Kate Manne offers a framework for understanding how misogyny operates in contemporary Western societies, and a vocabulary (‘himpathy’, ‘herasure’) for discussing some of its more insidious aspects. Drawing on recent
1) Nightwood by Djuna Barnes Published in 1936, Nightwood is a haze of alcohol, glamour, sex, and love in all its desperate, unconventional, and painful forms. It tells the story of the mesmerising Robin Vote, who leaves a trail of cigarette ends and
Fredric Jameson’s controversial essay ‘Third World Literature in the Era of Multinational Capitalism’ (1) sets out his theory of what he calls ‘third-world literature,’ positioning it as a form of national allegory. Since its publication in 1986, this essay has
First published in 1975, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s Kafka: Toward a Theory of Minor Literature (1) draws on many of the themes of their earlier works; a critical stance towards psychoanalytical hegemony, an emphasis on the continuities between human
An edited version of this review appeared in issue 9.3 of ImageTexT: read it here To what extent can our favourite comic book superheroes be viewed as sovereigns in their own realms? And how does the role of superhero complicate or otherwise
A parentless gypsy of fifteen or sixteen, Esmeralda captures the interest of four very different admirers. There is the philosopher Pierre Gringoire, the playboy Captain Phoebus, the repressed archdeacon Claude Frollo, and the eponymous hunchback, Quasimodo. These admirers, though individually very different, fall
Charlotte Salomon was a German-born Jewish artist of significant achievement and greater promise but aged just 26, and pregnant with her first child, she died in a gas chamber at Auschwitz. The crowning achievement of Charlotte’s tragically short life, Leben?
Freud’s Beyond the Pleasure Principle is perhaps his most controversial work. It is difficult to get to grips with ideologically and to follow through the twists and turns of its reasoning. This post offers a simple explanation of Freud’s key ideas.
Written in the 1980s at the height of Thatcher’s Britain, Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta is a politically charged graphic novel set in a dystopian near-future world in which Britain has fallen into fascism following a brief nuclear exchange. The