Études britanniques contemporaines
[1 followers] Follow
Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 1168-4917
Published by Revues.org [400 journals]
- Recent British Literature: Concluding panel of the 2015 SEAC conference
Authors: Vanessa Guignery, Catherine Lanone, Lacy Rumsey
Abstract: The texts here gathered continue the tradition of the panels which conclude the yearly conferences of the Société d’Études Anglaises Contemporaines. This year, the panel turns not only to recent fiction writing or prose coming from Britain—in this case Iain Sinclair—, but also poetry as well as writing coming from world literature. The three contributions testify once more to the vibrancy of recent literature emerging in the British isles and to the increasingly complex nature of what can no longer be defined as strictly ‘British’ writing. As the recent evolution of the Man Booker Prize also shows, which is now awarded to a piece of fiction originally written in English and published in Britain, the increasing globalization of very recent fiction in English opens up new horizons for a ‘British’ literature which today can no longer be understood along the established frontiers distinguishing ‘British’ from ’post-colonial’ writing.
- Laughing Out Loud with Jonathan Coe: A Conversation
Authors: Vanessa Guignery
Abstract: This conversation with Jonathan Coe took place at the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon on 15 October 2015. Part of the discussion focuses on Coe’s fictional production and part of it draws from essays included in Marginal Notes, Doubtful Statements. Non-Fiction, 1990-2013, a collection which contains pieces about such comic or satirical writers as Henry Fielding, Jonathan Swift, Laurence Sterne, B.S. Johnson, Alasdair Gray and David Nobbs, as well as musicians and film directors. The book comprises reflections on Coe’s art of writing but also on comedy, humour, satire and laughter, more specifically in the essays entitled ‘What is so Funny about Comic Novels?’ and ‘The Paradox of Satire’. In one of them, Coe remembers his childhood when laughter was ‘something that drew people together … something shared’, when it ‘forged bonds of sympathy between people, among friends and among families’. This sense of a community of laughter corresponds to what Benjamin notices in The Rotters’ Clu...
- Elsa Cavalié. Réécrire l’Angleterre, L’anglicité dans la
littérature britannique contemporaine
Authors: Elie Robert-Nicoud
Abstract: Comment peut-on être anglais ? Et comment répondre dans le roman contemporain à cette question qui habite différemment la littérature anglaise, au cours des deux derniers siècles alors que la notion « d’anglicité », « Englishness » apparaît au début du dix-neuvième. C’est là le sujet de l’ouvrage d’Elsa Cavalié, Réécrire l’Angleterre qui s’attache principalement aux œuvres de Barnes, Ishiguro, McEwan et Pat Barker. Dans l’introduction, Elsa Cavalié rappelle que le terme « d’Angleterre » n’est pas purement géographique, mais à la croisée des chemins entre topographie, histoire et littérature. Pour analyser les textes contemporains de réécriture de l’Angleterre et de l’identité anglaise, elle s’appuie sur le concept de lieu de mémoire, développé par Pierre Nora qui permet de donner une définition de soi, de son passé de son histoire dans un « lieu au-delà de la topographie ». Le lieu de mémoire est un réceptacle de l’identité. Dans la première partie c’est le lieu à proprement parler q...
- Isabelle Keller-Privat, Between the lines. L’écriture du déchirement
dans la poésie de Lawrence Durrell
Authors: Corinne Alexandre-Garner
Abstract: Cet ouvrage récent est une invitation à la découverte de la poésie de Lawrence Durrell, souvent ignorée aussi bien en France que dans les pays anglophones. Premier livre publié sur le sujet, il nous rappelle que l’auteur du Alexandria Quartet, « grand poème en prose » pour reprendre les mots de Henry Miller, souhaitait rester dans nos mémoires comme poète et non comme romancier, ce dont témoigne sa correspondance avec Diana Menuhin, bien que Durrell ait toujours refusé de répondre à la question cruciale de son éditeur T.S. Eliot : « serez-vous romancier ou poète ? ». C’est sous l’angle de la poésie qu’Isabelle Keller-Privat choisit de relire son œuvre. Plus particulièrement elle étudie les recueils poétiques écrits entre 1943 et 1973 dont elle esquisse une nouvelle cartographie puisqu’elle ne s’intéresse pas seulement aux poèmes individuellement. Si à travers de brillantes micro-lectures, elle entre dans l’univers de chaque poème et déploie sa fine compréhension des images, son analy...
- ‘The Vicar at the Window Sponging his Aspidistra’: Comedy in High and
Low British Culture
Authors: David Quantick
Abstract: This article strives to demonstrate that one of the specificities of British comedy resides in class comedy. The author alternately concentrates on low and high comedy, and makes comments on related features or forms, like surrealism. It ends up on the unifying powers of comedy.
- ‘There’s a Lot to Be Said for Making People Laugh’: The Grotesque as
Political Subversion in Jonathan Coe’s Fiction
Authors: José Ramón Prado-Pérez
Abstract: Jonathan Coe’s choice of the comic in his novels becomes a political statement that derives its force from the destabilising power that humour can exert over the representation of reality and dominant narratives. I will argue that his comic approach is indebted to transgressive forms of humour ranging from satire to the absurd, and drawing on elements of defamiliarisation and distancing to highlight reflexivity. Coe plays the contradictions of humour against themselves, providing entertainment, while simultaneously enhancing the grotesque in order to counter any potential numbing effect. This paper will analyse a selection of grotesque moments in Coe’s novels in his attempt to present a distorted and deformed reality which becomes itself the standard of normalcy. The political then would emerge from acknowledging that the comic grotesque becomes the norm rather than the exception, allowing for an in-between space of social critique.
- Katherine Mansfield and World War One, Alice Kelly and Isobel Maddison
eds. Katherine Mansfield Studies. Gerry Kimber, Todd Martin, Delia da
Sousa Correa, eds.
Authors: Julie Sauvage
Abstract: In the wake of the recent interest in World War One literature sparked by the 100th anniversary of the conflict, Katherine Mansfield and World War One, the 2014 Yearbook of the Katherine Mansfield Society, guest-edited by Isobel Maddison and Alice Kelly, proves a valuable addition to Mansfield studies. At first sight, though, editing a volume on Katherine Mansfield and the war may seem to be a challenge or, at least, to raise a series of serious questions. Indeed, the short story virtuoso cuts a paradoxical figure in her time. The genre she excelled in is commonly considered not to have inspired the war writers, who rather turned to poetry or opted for the novel. Besides, although she was directly affected by the conflict when her younger brother Leslie died in military training, Mansfield did not often mention the war in her fiction, not explicitly at least, except in a few well-known short stories like ‘The Fly’ or ‘An Indiscreet Journey’, and lesser-known pieces like ‘Two Tuppeny ...
- Peter Tolhurst, Virginia Woolf’s English Hours
Authors: Adèle Cassigneul
Abstract: But Lord what a lovely country this is – England […].
Virginia Woolf to Ethel Smith, 1930 Virginia Woolf’s English Hours first strikes as the work of an amateur: in tune with the Latin meaning of the word, it is the work of a sensitive man who openly expresses his strong fondness for the English countryside—as Black Dog Books publisher, he mainly focuses on regional literature and culture—, travel writing and Virginia Woolf. As such, it does not offer any academic reading of the Woolfian oeuvre; neither does it thoroughly delve into the author’s relationship to her native land. The point of his beautifully illustrated book is elsewhere. Focusing on Woolf’s ‘passionate affair with the English countryside’ (v), Peter Tolhurst maps out the lady’s peregrinations and explores how country experiences were encrusted in her daily life. From St Yves, her childhood Cornish ‘emotional bedrock’ (vii), to her ‘long, romantic attachment’ to Sussex (106), he impresses Woolf upon the face of England ...
- Elephants and Light Fantasy: Humour in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld
Authors: Caroline Duvezin-Caubet
Abstract: The Discworld is a world shaped like a disc, travelling through space on the backs of four elephants, themselves astride the shell of the great turtle A’Tuin. Sir Terry Pratchett, the most famous representative of the light (or comic) fantasy subgenre, pays tribute to J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert E. Howard, William Shakespeare, Jerome K. Jerome, P.G. Wodehouse, the Monty Pythons and so many others, yet the whimsical, borderline absurd universe he has developed during thirty-two years and over the course of forty-one main novels resembles no other. His humour, though given to slapstick, satire and almost maniacal repetition, always elevates where it could demean, holding his universe together and enlightening his readers. It is this power of humour, and how it relates to the Discworld’s generic hybridity, which we will explore in the course of this article. Contrary to Bergson’s theory, the Disc’s laughter is inclusive and even affectionate, not limited to the happy few. Unabashedly juxtap...
- Come(dies) of Ageism: Kingsley Amis’s Barmy, Old Devils
Authors: Georges Letissier
Abstract: Today Kingsley Amis seems to have fallen into relative oblivion and to his name is associated the figure of a reactionary writer averse to literary experimentalism. This being said, Amis senior has remained to this day a major representative of the comic vein in English fiction writing, poised between caustic realism and social satire. The Old Devils, which ranks amongst his best works, is one of the rare comic novels to have been awarded the Book-McConnell Prize–as the current Man Booker was known then. Taking up the subject of old age, The Old Devils (1986) bears close resemblance with Ending Up (1974), a tragi-comic novella recording the final days of a group of old age pensioners living in an isolated country cottage, as in a sort of commune. This contribution purports to reread both novels, which incidentally are often listed in Ageing Studies bibliographies, by drawing from Alenka Zupančič’s study, The Odd One In, On Comedy (2008), to propound new approaches to comedy in Amis’...