The Mirror and the Killer-Queen

The Mirror and the Killer-Queen : Otherness in Literary Language

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The book not only confirms the high ethical stakes in informed contemporary reading; it offers a rare readerly pleasure in... exploring the wider cultural significance of gender and the body and their narrative representation." -Henry Sussman, SUNY-BuffaloGabriele Schwab revitalizes debates about literature's cultural function by exploring literary experience as an encounter with otherness. Drawing on literary theory, anthropology, and psychoanalysis, Schwab contends that literature facilitates contact with cultures that may seem foreign to us. At the same time, literature can render the familiar strange, and foreground what a culture tends to repress. At its best, literature challenges the very boundaries of the culture from which it emerges.Schwab's readings of writers such as Hawthorne, Faulkner, Joyce, Lewis Carroll, Djuna Barnes, Marguerite Duras, and John Cage demonstrate the centrality of aesthetics and the literary to studies of otherness and cultural contact.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 154 x 232 x 12mm | 381.02g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 0253210518
  • 9780253210517
  • 1,751,274

About Gabriele Schwab

GABRIELE SCHWAB is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California-Irvine.
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Back cover copy

Gabriele Schwab revitalizes debates about literature's cultural function by exploring literary experience as an encounter with otherness.
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Table of contents

PrefaceAcknowledgmentsI. The Otherness of Poetic Language1. Reading, Otherness, and Cultural ContactII. Nonsense, Dream, and Chaos: The Otherness of Literary Language2. Nonsense and Metacommunication: Reflections on Lewis Carroll3. Joyce, Cage, and Chaos: Finnegan's Wake, Roaratoria, and French FeminismIII. Witches, Mothers, and Male Fantasies: The Otherness of Woman4. Seduced by Witches: Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter in the Context of New England Witchcraft Fictions5. The Multiple Lives of Addie Bundren's Dead Body: On William Faulkner's As I Lay DyingIV. Trauma, Transgression, and Transference: The Otherness of Gender6. Traversing Spaces of Otherness: Djuna Barnes's Nightwood7. "While She Lives She Invites Murder": On Marguerite Duras's The Malady of DeathNotesWorks CitedIndex
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