DepositLogsex in Hell: What a Body Can’t Do

My paper concerns two radically distinct portrayals of genital injury. The first examples, drawn from legal and doctrinal narrative, describe the cultural norm of meaningful castration. The other, which provides my paper with its title, is from Peter of Cornwall’s Book of Revelations. This set of one is an analogous injury that may mean nothing: neither penitential nor quite juridical, it may be just a strange injury, something that just happens. Rather than resolve this quandary, I’ll instead conclude by exploring the ethics of interpreting literary accounts of torment.

DepositRe-visioning Romantic-Era Gothicism: An Introduction to Key Works and Themes in the Study of H.P. Lovecraft

Howard Phillips Lovecraft was an author, letter writer and poet who lived between 1890 and 1937. His works blend science fiction with Gothic themes. Lovecraft was, by the majority of accounts (including his own), a bad writer. He was also an outspoken racist for the majority of his life to a degree which makes much of his work, to a modern reader, politically grotesque. Despite the above, it would not be an exaggeration to say that Lovecraft’s work can be found in the genealogy of almost all modern science fiction and horror. This essay introduces the major concepts in critical responses to the fictional prose works of H.P. Lovecraft. The author examines the recurring themes of language, genre, literary influences, xenophobia, cosmic indifferentism, dreams, time and the influence of Lovecraft. This essay does not, due to length limitations, seek to be inclusive of all Lovecraft criticism, but instead presents key themes and works. Nor does it address the totality of Lovecraft’s work and focuses, instead on readings of his fictional prose works.

DepositInterview with Jon McGregor

In lieu of an abstract, here is the beginning of the article: Born in 1976 in Bermuda, Jon McGregor grew up in Norfolk and currently lives in Nottingham in the UK. McGregor came to literary prominence with the publication of his first novel, If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things (Bloomsbury, 2002). The novel was an immediate success and at just 26 years old McGregor was the youngest contender – and only first-time novelist – for the Man Booker Prize long list that year. Shortlisted for the British Book Awards Newcomer of the Year, theCommonwealth Writers Prize and the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award,If Nobody Speaks went on to win the Betty Task Prize and the Somerset MaughamAward in 2003. This critical success enabled McGregor to write full-time, move out of his narrow boat and give up his various part-time jobs; which had ranged from working in a call centre, a t-shirt factory and a post room to standing in a bear costume to advertise the new pound shop in Barnsley high street.

DepositTravelling away from the “artsy post-modern lefty-pinko university”. Noor’s transcultural experience and the duties of the intellectual

Travelling away from the “artsy post-modern lefty-pinko university”. Noor’s transcultural experience and the duties of the intellectual. The volume Qur’an and cricket consists of several travelogues produced by a Malay intellectual, Farish A. Noor, during his trips to the most problematic places of the world, marked by the contemporary “battles of God”. This book is interpreted in terms of a quest for transcultural condition understood as a dimension of experience transcending the multiplicity of cultural orders in dissent. Noor sketches his own definition of the intellectual, contrasted in this article with the visions given by Gramsci, Adorno and Said. The subject of the transcultural condition is defined as “itinerant scholar” transgressing the limitations of the academia by his nomadic immersion in the world. The attitude of the traveller is marked by openness and readiness to listen, even if he is confronted to irrational mumbling. Precisely the mumbling of anger and hate becomes the most difficult challenge to the intellectual unable to deal with it rationally. The only remaining answer is a sheer presence and love, emotional attachment to the world, as the scholar rejects the temptation of the ivory tower that would isolate him from the otherness. The modality of speech that opposes the hateful mumbling isn’t based on clear, persuasive argumentation, but on ironic ambivalence conjugated with directness and the rejection of euphemism. Most importantly, the “itinerant scholar” is not a preacher. In opposition to the leftist tradition of defining the intellectual as a secular figure, the “itinerant scholar” remains deeply immersed in religion. The challenge of building up the transcultural dimension is connected to the necessity of finding a place for the authentic religious experience in times of “battles of God”. Key words: Farish Noor – transcultural – intellectual – religious conflicts – travel

DepositIntroduction to Panic Spring

Editor’s Introduction to Panic Spring. First published in 1937, two years after Durrell took up residence on the Greek island Kerkyra, Panic Spring broke with the realist tradition in 1930s novels and shows the young author’s first attempts to extend High Modernist innovations in rural and personal landscapes. Cubist, surrealist, and imagist techniques merge with rural life and the peasant village that an international group of expatriates are led to by a curiously Pan-like boatman. Unavailable for seven decades, this new edition of Panic Spring shows Durrell’s emerging passion for Mediterranean life and the Greek world as well as his first attempts to articulate a political-aesthetic direction distinct from his peers, George Orwell and W.H. Auden. Under the shadow of financial and political ruin, on the verge of revolution and war, the one chance summer depicted in Panic Spring will make readers reconsider the impetus and interests behind Durrell’s late modernist masterpieces, The Alexandria Quartet, The Black Book, and Prospero’s Cell.

DepositIrish Mantles, English Nationalism: Apparel and National Identity in Early Modern England and Ireland

The Irish mantle – a type of long, heavy woolen cloak – came under regular attack by writers and lawmakers in Tudor and Stuart England. This article examines how a range of early modern English texts used the Irish mantle to establish and regulate the boundaries of national identity. The Irish were problematically similar to the English; most significantly, they lacked the clear physical differences that distinguished other colonial subjects. For writers such as Barnabe Rich, Edmund Spenser, John Davies, and Ben Jonson, the mantle takes on the function of signifying an essential ‘Irishness’ and differentiating it from ‘Englishness.’ Relying on an easily changed garment to signal natural difference, however, rendered less stable the very distinctions in national identity that English writers attempted to create and maintain. Irish texts from the same period, including several of the Annála [Annals] and poems by Tadhg Dall Ó hUiginn and Dháibhidh Uí Bhruadair, offer competing images of Irish dress and often demonstrate a greater comfort with hybrid identities and less concern with the idea of an Irish nation. English discourse on the mantle could help to create and police an English identity only by simultaneously creating an Irish nation against which to define itself.

DepositLooking for a radically open digital landscape

The digital landscape has the potential to open up rare books and manuscript libraries. If they used to be places where selected people were invited in to witness the display of special items, and those with sufficient expertise were allowed to use items under careful supervision, they now can become radically more open. More institutions are placing digital facsimiles online for viewing to anyone who comes across them, and more are reaching out to audiences instead of hoping that they will stumble across them. It’s a shift from modes of limited access, expert authority, and control to ones of openness and sharing. But how successfully are we in meeting the potential radical openness of the digital landscape? Images are hard to find, the same canonical works are digitized repeatedly, little attempt is made to provide context or to educate users on what the images are, and licensing restricts their uses. The potential for radically open digital special collections is there, but we haven’t yet made it happen.