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Showing papers in "Forum for Modern Language Studies in 2014"



Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In the special issue of the 2013 Forum Essay Prize competition, the authors of the essays collected in this special issue as discussed by the authors considered the relationship between literature and gossip, and they considered a range of questions: In what ways does literature ex-ploit the concept of gossip? What can the use of gossip in fiction tell us about characters and plot? What ways is literature itself gossip? Doest the new immediacy made possible by the internet in general, and by social media in particular, offer new ways of thinking about gossip and literature?
Abstract: LITERATURE AND GOSSIP may appear at first sight to be strange bedfellows, given that they seem to be radically different discourses. Conventional wisdom has it that gossip differs from literature because the former involves dialogue and lacks an audience. 1 Conversely, and in characteristically provocative style, Truman Capote famously claimed that 'all literature is gossip', 2 but how true is this? Throughout history, literature has represented the fundamentally human practice of gossip. Gossip plays a key part in the literature of oral traditions, in classical drama, and in the epistolary novel, among many other forms. The six essays collected in this Special Issue of Forum for Modern Language Studies were all submitted to the 2013 Forum Essay Prize competition. In an attempt to illuminate the relationship between literature and gossip, the General Editors invited authors to consider a range of questions: In what ways does literature ex- ploit the concept of gossip? What can the use of gossip in fiction tell us about characters and plot? In what ways is literature itself gossip? What can literary cul- ture tell us about the nature of gossip? Does literature's use of gossip furnish parameters by which gossip can be described or defined? Doesthe new immediacy made possible by the internet in general, and by social media in particular, offer new ways of thinking about the relationship between gossip and literature? While none of the essays published here investigates all of these wide-ranging questions, and while none agrees with Capote's assertion that literature and gossip are indistinguishable, all conduct searching and illuminating analyses of literary uses and representations of gossip. In each case the author's immediate focus is on a particular text or period of literature. The essays' reflections on uses of gossip in literature span six centuries and five national literary cultures: fifteenth-century Scotland; seventeenth- and nineteenth-century France; nineteenth-century England; nineteenth- and twentieth-century Brazil; and twentieth-century Germany. The range of writers discussed under the unifying theme of literary uses of gossip is similarly broad: Thomas Mann, George Eliot, Jorge Amado, Robert Henryson, Montaigne, Erasmus and Stendhal. Collectively, the essays consider formal aspects of gossip, questions of its production, reception and dissemination, as well as issues connected with the aims, purpose and function of (literature on) gossip in a wide variety of literary and historical contexts. Of the dozen or more key features of the relationship between literature and gossip discussed by the essays collected here, the most prominent is what Emily

6 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper analyzed the intricacies of using English in a traditionally non-English context such as Somalia through the work of its foremost anglophone writer, Nuruddin Farah, using English to re-imagine the nation and promote intra-, panand transnational discourses within and outside Africa.
Abstract: This paper analyses the intricacies of using English in a traditionally non-English context such as Somalia through the work of its foremost anglophone writer, Nuruddin Farah. Farah uses English to re-imagine the nation and promote intra-, panand transnational discourses within and outside Africa. The analysis of Farah has been informed by the articulations of Ernest Renan, Ernest Gellner and Benedict Anderson, within the view of Somalia's now-contested exceptionalism. In Farah's hands, English becomes a vehicle for bringing together diverse linguistic, literary, cultural and religious expressions into a genre that facilitates transnational discourse. The paper argues that the anglophone African literary tradition that Farah embraces gains the capacity to transcend national boundaries and broadens – rather than limits – the scope and coverage of national and transnational literatures.

3 citations




Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A close reading of Llamazares's Luna de lobos reveals an additional protagonist in this guerrilla battle set in the mountains of northern Spain: the natural world as mentioned in this paper, which is a hostile force that brutalizes the protagonists.
Abstract: To synopsize Luna de lobos as a fictionalized account of the struggle between Republican guerrillas and the Civil Guard in the immediate aftermath of the Spanish Civil War is clearly misleading. A close reading of the work reveals an additional protagonist in this guerrilla battle set in the mountains of northern Spain: the natural world. This article provides a close analysis of Llamazares's presentation of nature in order to support the assertion that the novel transcends the specificity of Spain's history to provide a broader existential study of man's place in the universe, in particular his relationship with the natural world. In Luna de lobos, nature is a hostile force that brutalizes the protagonists. This presentation of the natural world conforms to Llamazares's aesthetic concerns as a Romantic. For Llamazares, the relationship between man and nature has become irremediably fractured.

2 citations