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Journal Article
Modern Language Quarterly (2017) 78 (1): 77–106.
Published: 01 March 2017
...Katherine Bode Abstract The approaches to data-rich literary history that dominate academic and public debate—Franco Moretti’s “distant reading” and Matthew Jockers’s “macroanalysis”—model literary systems in limited, abstract, and often ahistorical ways. This problem arises from neglect...
Journal Article
Modern Language Quarterly (2014) 75 (3): 327–354.
Published: 01 September 2014
...Nicholas Birns It is often said that the 1960s was an era of phenomenology in literary criticism. Interrogating this only partly justified statement leads us to a revised genealogy of theory in US academe. The famed 1966 conference at Johns Hopkins University saw the nearly simultaneous emergence...
Journal Article
Modern Language Quarterly (2011) 72 (3): 399–418.
Published: 01 September 2011
...Roberto M. Dainotto It is often assumed that a special function of imaginative and fictional writing and a special aesthetic value as a distinctive feature of literary prose are the fruits of what has been called the “invention of literature” between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries...
Journal Article
Modern Language Quarterly (2012) 73 (2): 201–235.
Published: 01 June 2012
.... Mad Men belongs to a long line of naturalist narratives in which the outsider within (often a Jew or probable Jew) assimilates the myriad impacts of capitalist globalization and thus exemplifies the periodic resurgence of historical realism, which Georg Lukács predicted in The Historical Novel...
Journal Article
Modern Language Quarterly (2012) 73 (3): 373–394.
Published: 01 September 2012
...Clair Wills Irish realism of the 1960s has often been interpreted as a continuation and rejuvenation of the tradition of Irish naturalism, particularly in its concern to undermine the perceived romanticism of revivalist myths in postindependence Ireland. While Irish realist social critique...
Journal Article
Modern Language Quarterly (2015) 76 (2): 247–269.
Published: 01 June 2015
...Christian Thorne Abstract Narratologists often profess a distaste for stories that end unambiguously. The emphatic ending is thought simplistic, politically retrograde, and more common in traditional and commercial narrative forms (the folk tale, the realist novel, the feature film) and accordingly...
Journal Article
Modern Language Quarterly (2016) 77 (1): 65–80.
Published: 01 March 2016
...Caroline Levine Abstract This essay seeks to revalue repetition in literary studies. Critics have often treated repetition—clichés, rules, norms, mechanization, monotony—as the painful or oppressive backdrop against which their best values emerge: originality, distinctiveness, resistance...
Journal Article
Modern Language Quarterly (2016) 77 (2): 175–191.
Published: 01 June 2016
...Doris Sommer Abstract During the US Cold War boom in area studies, scholars would sometimes innocently support homeland economic and political interests. In Latin America and elsewhere, the fact-finding focus often morphed into the look of love, as objects of investigation turned out to be more...
Journal Article
Modern Language Quarterly (2009) 70 (1): 19–42.
Published: 01 March 2009
... with connecting facticity and rationality under the pressure of global capitalism and U.S. domination. Realpolitik has become a euphemism for Machtpolitik . In a world whose power politics is programmatically infused with a cynical rhetoric of compassion and inevitability, one is often stuck in the terrain...
Journal Article
Modern Language Quarterly (2009) 70 (2): 223–243.
Published: 01 June 2009
...Heather Fielding Henry James often criticizes mass culture for having instrumentalized the novel by conditioning readers to reduce the text to its ending. Yet he also suggests that popular visual technologies—cinema and its predecessor, the magic lantern—are uniquely able to compensate for mass...
Journal Article
Modern Language Quarterly (2008) 69 (3): 315–345.
Published: 01 September 2008
...Christopher Braider This essay explores the origins of the modern French paradigm of literary genius in the dramatic works of Pierre Corneille. Guided by a critical suggestion inscribed in an often-noted allusion to Corneille's first tragedy, Médée , near the end of Jean Racine's Phèdre...
Journal Article
Modern Language Quarterly (2008) 69 (4): 437–459.
Published: 01 December 2008
...Paul H. Fry Harold Bloom in his “anxiety of influence” phase is often thought to insist on an intertextual dynamic that is ahistorical. This view might seem to be confirmed by comparison with the text of Bloom's “strong precursor,” T. S. Eliot's “Tradition and the Individual Talent.” The reason...
Journal Article
Modern Language Quarterly (2015) 76 (2): 159–180.
Published: 01 June 2015
...Vivasvan Soni Abstract Henry Fielding’s Joseph Andrews is often thought to have inaugurated a tradition of sociological observation in the novel, and it also cultivates a practice of judgment in readers. Yet the social theory that informs Fielding’s novel (Thomas Hobbes, Bernard Mandeville...
Journal Article
Modern Language Quarterly (2015) 76 (2): 225–246.
Published: 01 June 2015
...Eleanor Courtemanche Abstract In the late nineteenth century the literary genre of utopia enjoyed a boom inspired by the success of Edward Bellamy’s 1888 Looking Backward, 2000–1887 . These stories, including novels by William Morris and H. G. Wells, often featured a cicerone who explained how...
Journal Article
Modern Language Quarterly (2016) 77 (3): 297–319.
Published: 01 September 2016
...Sharon Marcus Abstract Through a reading of Erich Auerbach’s Mimesis , which readers inside and outside the academy have valued for decades, this essay teases out how literary critical value is often aligned with scale: big claims, minutely close readings, and the ability to move gracefully between...
Journal Article
Modern Language Quarterly (2017) 78 (4): 517–538.
Published: 01 December 2017
... historical novel. Atkinson’s novels are often cited as examples of postmodern metafiction, but in fact her work is more directly indebted to modernist experiments in counterfactual historical writing by figures like Virginia Woolf. Moreover, this inheritance, inasmuch as it informs Atkinson’s focus...
Journal Article
Modern Language Quarterly (2018) 79 (1): 81–104.
Published: 01 March 2018
... of cruelty and nonsense.” Paradoxically, those twin nouns—“cruelty and nonsense”—have often been used to describe her own poetry. This essay examines Smith’s allusions to Eliot, Algernon Swinburne, and John Keats and demonstrates that such “past echoes” helped her weigh the risk of dwelling on cruelty...
Journal Article
Modern Language Quarterly (2018) 79 (4): 421–444.
Published: 01 December 2018
... and nostalgic—as has often been argued—but can enable new forms of collective resistance and attachment. 20 Jordan Stump translates Mon cœur à l’étroit as My Heart Hemmed In (NDiaye 2017 ). In the present essay, however, all translations of NDiaye’s novel are my own. 21 This is not to say...
Journal Article
Modern Language Quarterly (2019) 80 (1): 21–27.
Published: 01 March 2019
... and remember more often the eighteenth-century narrative experiments that unfolded when liberalism was still new. Eliza Haywood’s novel of amorous (and sapphic) intrigue The British Recluse (1722) suggests one reason to do that remembering. To see how Haywood uses the figure of the contract—very differently...
Journal Article
Modern Language Quarterly (2020) 81 (4): 527–552.
Published: 01 December 2020
... of the methodological impasses of contemporary literary studies. Epideixis, a basic mode of pointing or linguistic ostension, confers value, often by way of praise or blame, without trying to persuade its audience with the practical immediacy of political or forensic rhetoric. Drawing on the ordinary language...