Recent publications by CTTR members


Foreign Correspondence

Edited by Jan Borm and Benjamin Colbert

Cambridge Scholars Press 2014

Though writers and readers have long agreed that travel both  broadens the mind and provides a useful opportunity to report on experience, the question of what to report and how has remained a matter of debate. To think of travel and travel writing as "foreign correspondence" is to apply, metaphorically, a phrase that has its own complex and overlapping history in journalism, politics, and international culture. The chapters of this volume focus on this notion, seen here as a dual problematic oscillating between the private and the public, whether as letters or other forms of writing sent from abroad. From Mandeville's notorious Travels to fin de siecle Hispanic writing, this volume offers readings of accounts by early modern and more recent Lithuanian and Polish travellers, representations of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Ottoman Empire and India, Quixotic tropes in English travel writing about Spain, Galignani's newspaper aesthetics, and several contributions on translation issues and the foreign as an idiom to be rendered in more familiar terms. The essays collected here thus all take foreign correspondence as their starting point, whether as letters or in other narrative forms. These texts are involved in complex webs of personal, political, social, and cultural negotiations between travellers and their hosts, as well as their presumed target audience; a key aspect of the rhetorics of foreign correspondence, as the chapters of this volume also go to show.


Place, Setting, Perspective: Narrative Space in the Films of Nanni Moretti

By Eleanor Andrews

Rowman & Littlefield 2014

Place, Setting, Perspective examines the films of the Italian filmmaker, Nanni Moretti, from a fresh viewpoint, employing the increasingly significant research area of space within a filmic text. The book is conceived with the awareness that space cannot be studied only in aesthetic or narrative terms: social, political, and cultural aspects of narrated spaces are equally important if a thorough appraisal is to be achieved of an oeuvre such as Moretti's, which is profoundly associated with socio-political commentary and analysis. After an exploration of various existing frameworks of narrative space in film, the book offers a particular definition of the term based on the notions of Place, Setting, and Perspective. Place relates to the physical aspect of narrative space and specifically involves cityscapes, landscapes, interiors, and exteriors in the real world. Setting concerns genre characteristics of narrative space, notably its differentiated use in melodrama, detective stories, fantasy narratives, and gender based scenarios. Perspective encompasses the point of view taken optically by the camera which supports the standpoint of Moretti's personal philosophy expressed through the aesthetic aspects which he employs to create narrative space. The study is based on a close textual analysis of Moretti's eleven major feature films to date, using the formal film language of mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing, and sound. The aim is to show how Moretti selects, organizes, constructs, assembles, and manipulates the many elements of narrative space into an entire work of art, to enable meanings and pleasures for the spectator.

Reassessing 20thCReassessing the Twentieth-Century Canon: From Joseph Conrad to Zadie Smith

Edited by Nicola Allen and David Simmons

Palgrave 2014

This edited collection brings together experts in the field of twentieth-century writing to provide a volume that is both comprehensive and innovative in its discussion of a set of newly canonical texts. From Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (1899), through the work of acclaimed authors such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Virginia Woolf and D. H. Lawrence, and right up to more contemporary examples including Hanif Kureishi's The Buddha of Suburbia (1990) and Zadie Smith's White Teeth (2000) this volume provides a lively yet informed re-evaluation of some of the twentieth-century's most significant and enduring literature. The emphasis in the collection is on a synthesis of original and established approaches to the texts, making the book particularly useful to newcomers to the field. The book employs a theoretically and philosophically informed approach but its style and language make it accessible to a wide audience.


Reading Jean Toomer's 'Cane'

By Gerry Carlin

Humanities-Ebooks 2014

Jean Toomer's Cane (1923) is regarded by many as a seminal work in the history of African American writing. It is generally called a novel, but it could more accurately be described as a collection of short stories, poems and dramatic pieces whose stylistic indeterminacy is part of its unique appeal. The ambiguities and seeming oddities of Toomer's text make Cane a difficult work to understand, which is why this lucid, accessible guide is so valuable. Exploring some of the difficulties that both the writer and his work embody, Gerry Carlin offers an enthralling account of Toomer's eloquent and exquisite expression of the African American experience.


Interrogating Gaze

Interrogating Gazes: Comparative Critical Views on the Representation of Foreignness and Otherness

Edited by Montserrat Cots, Pere Gifra-Adroher, and Glyn Hambrook

Peter Lang 2013

The volume brings together essays in English, Spanish and Catalan that consider from original and informed perspectives both the conceptualization of the foreign and foreignness in its human, geographical/spatial, historical and cultural guises, not only as contemplated but also as a lens in the act of contemplation. This multi- and inter-disciplinary collection of essays is the result of an inspired and timely collaboration between specialists in comparative literature from across the world. Dealing with fundamental questions relating to the trans- and intercultural, otherness, migration, cosmopolitanism and the global, it will be of interest to researchers and students in comparative literature, modern languages and area studies, travel writing, intercultural studies, sociolinguistics and social anthropology. 


HeliosThe Reception of Francophone Literature in the Modernista Review Helios 1903-1904: A Preliminary Study and Source Book

By Glyn Hambrook

Edwin Mellen 2013

Spain’s fin de siècle relationship with Romantic and subsequent Francophone literature has conventionally been linked to a quest for literary renovation prompted by national cultural stagnation (decadencia). Originally predicated on the concept of influence, specifically that of foreign literatures, this polemical relationship laid the conceptual foundation of critical enquiry for decades to come, not least in a spate of ‘influence’ studies published in the 1970s. The subsequent demise of traditional ‘influence’ study, although timely, frequently saw the baby of specific cases of literary interchange ejected with the bathwater, leaving questions unanswered, territory unexplored, and assumptions untested. More recently, challenges to traditional historiography of fin de siècle Spain, the innovative consideration of Spain’s literature in relation to an international context, and new plural theoretical perspectives in comparative literature have given grounds to revisit Spain’s fin de siècle ‘French connection’.

This empirically-grounded study, incorporating a sourcebook comprising 98 annotated entries, of the reception of Francophone literature in Helios – arguably the most important modernista review – opportunely reappraises frequently unsubstantiated claims regarding modernismo’s ‘French sources’ and questions fin de siècle Spain’s relegation to the cultural periphery. 


Victorian PoetryVictorian Poetry in Context

By Rosie Miles

Bloomsbury 2013

Victorian Poetry in Context offers a lively and accessible introduction to the diverse range of poetry written in the Victorian period. Considering such issues as reform and protest, gender, science and belief this book sets out the social and cultural contexts for the poetry of a fast-changing era. Sections on Victorian poetics, form and Victorian voices introduce the key literary contexts of poetry's production, and poetic innovations of the period such as the dramatic monologue are highlighted.

At the heart of the book is a focus on the importance of attentive close reading, with original readings offered of well-known texts alongside those that have recently received renewed attention within scholarship. The book also offers an overview of critical approaches to several key texts and discussion of how Victorian poetry has remained influential in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. 


A Great Big Shining Star

By Niall Griffiths

Jonathan Cape 2013

Sixteen-year-old Grace may be from a small coastal village but she’s not staying there. She has huge dreams, and knows from television and magazines that she can get to the big city, she can be a star, simply by changing from a duckling to a swan. It doesn’t take much: a little silicone and surgery here and there – enhancement and augmentation – nose, breasts, lips, hair, teeth, nails. Then with the right clothes and a new tan she’ll be ready: ready to be seen, consumed and adored by millions on YouTube, television and lifestyle magazines. Grace will become a celebrity.

Written with a raging, lyrical fury, this is a devastating satire on a society fixated on image and celebrity – how innocence and individuality are routinely sacrificed for the totems of sex and wealth and glamour: a magnificent howl of anger and despair at a culture disintegrating into a brittle cult of fame. 


British and Irish TravelTravel Writing and Tourism in Britain and Ireland

Edited by Benjamin Colbert

Palgrave Macmillan 2012

Between the mid-eighteenth and the early twentieth centuries, home tourism within Britain and Ireland became established as part of a vibrant tourist industry increasingly aware of its own commercial powers and social responsibilities. Travel Writing and Tourism in Britain and Ireland brings together leading international historians and travel writing experts in a series of timely essays that examine this phenomenon.

Evaluating the perspectives of travellers from the British Isles, as well as visitors from America and Continental Europe, the collection emphasizes the role of peripheries, borders, and regionalism in the construction of gender, class, and national identity.