Susan ByrneLaw and History in Cervantes’ Don Quixote

University of Toronto Press, 2013

by Siobhan Mukerji on January 29, 2015

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[Cross-posted from New Books in Law] Please listen to the fascinating conversation I had with Susan Byrne, Associate Professor of Spanish and Director of Undergraduate Studies for Spanish at Yale University, about her new work, Law and History in Cervantes’ Don Quixote (University of Toronto Press, 2013). Byrne leads us through a close reading of Cervantes’ most famous work, revealing an overwhelming amount of legal details, all of which tie into early modern Spanish debates.

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R. Keller KimbroughWondrous Brutal Fictions: Eight Buddhist Tales from the Early Japanese Puppet Theater

January 23, 2015

[Cross-posted from New Books in Buddhist Studies] In his recent book, Wondrous Brutal Fictions: Eight Buddhist Tales from the Early Japanese Puppet Theater (Columbia University Press, 2013), R. Keller Kimbrough provides us with eight beautifully translated sekkyō 説経 and ko-jōruri 古浄瑠璃 (“old” Japanese puppet theatre) pieces from the seventeenth century.  Sekkyō was a type of publically-performed Buddhist storytelling that focused on the forces of karma and the [...]

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Jenny KaminerWomen with a Thirst for Destruction: The Bad Mother in Russian Culture

January 20, 2015

[Cross-posted from New Books in Gender Studies] Jenny Kaminer‘s new book, Women with a Thirst for Destruction: The Bad Mother in Russian Culture (Northwestern University Press, 2014) analyzes Russian myths of motherhood over time and in particular, the evolving myths of the figure of the “bad mother.” Her study examines how political, religious, economic, social, and cultural factors affect [...]

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Paola IoveneTales of Futures Past: Anticipation and the Ends of Literature in Contemporary China

January 19, 2015

[Cross-posted from New Books in East Asian Studies] Paola Iovene’s new book is a beautiful exploration of visions of the future as they have shaped a range of texts, genres, and editorial practices in Chinese literature from the middle of the twentieth century through the beginning of the twenty-first century. Tales of Futures Past: Anticipation and the [...]

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Steven ShaviroThe Universe of Things: On Speculative Realism

January 16, 2015

[Cross-posted from the New Books Network Seminar] Steven Shaviro’s new book is a wonderfully engaging study of speculative realism, new materialism, and the ways in which those fields can speak to and be informed by the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. While The Universe of Things: On Speculative Realism (University of Minnesota Press, 2014) will satisfy even advanced scholars [...]

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Steven FieldingA State of Play: British Politics on Screen, Stage and Page, from Anthony Trollope to The Thick of It

December 12, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Critical Theory] To understand contemporary politics we must understand how it is represented in fiction. This is the main argument in A State of Play: British Politics on Screen, Stage and Page, from Anthony Trollope to The Thick of It (Bloomsbury Academic, 2014) a new book by Steven Fielding, Professor of Politics at the University of Nottingham. [...]

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Joshua S. MostowCourtly Visions: The Ise Stories and the Politics of Cultural Appropriation

December 10, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in East Asian Studies] In pre-modern Japan, Ise monogatari (also known as the Ise Stories or Tales of Ise) was considered to be one of the three most important works of literature in the Japanese language. Joshua S. Mostow’s new book focuses on the reception and appropriation of these stories from the twelfth through seventeenth centuries.  Paying special attention [...]

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Beth DriscollThe New Literary Middlebrow: Readers and Tastemaking in the Twenty-First Century

December 3, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Critical Theory] It is a cliche to suggest we are what we read, but it is also an important insight. In The New Literary Middlebrow: Readers and Tastemaking in the Twenty First Century (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2014), Beth Driscoll, from University of Melbourne, extends and critiques the work of Pierre Bourdieu to account for modern literary tastes [...]

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Melek OrtabasiThe Undiscovered Country: Text, Translation, and Modernity in the Work of Yanagita Kunio

December 3, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in East Asian Studies] Melek Ortabasi’s new book explores the work of Yanagita Kunio (1875-1962), a writer, folk scholar, “eccentric, dominating crackpot,” “brilliant, versatile iconoclast” and much more. The Undiscovered Country: Text, Translation, and Modernity in the Work of Yanagita Kunio (Harvard University Asia Center, 2014) expands how we understand and evaluate his work by [...]

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Wai-yee LiWomen and Trauma in Late Imperial Chinese Literature

November 24, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in East Asian Studies] Wai-yee Li’s new book explores writing around the Ming-Qing transition in seventeenth-century China, paying careful attention to the relationships of history and literature in writing by women, about women, and/or in a feminine voice. In a series of chapters that showcase exceptionally thoughtful, virtuosic readings of a wide range [...]

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