Feminist aesthetics, negativity and semblance

mimesis unfolds in the double – socio-psychological and aesthetic – register. It is intertwined as much with the changing modalities of subject formation, social relations and the organisation of labour as with the history of aesthetics. This critical genealogy reveals a profoundly ambiguous role of mimesis in modernity – it is both an index of the forgotten, unconscious history of libidinal investments and fantasies and a controlled, regulated practice in the service of domination. As such, Mimesis in black and white 55 this historical investigation not only

in The new aestheticism
Rothenburg, 1561–1652

Given the widespread belief in witchcraft and the existence of laws against such practices, why did witch-trials fail to gain momentum and escalate into ‘witch-crazes’ in certain parts of early modern Europe? This book answers this question by examining the rich legal records of the German city of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a city that experienced a very restrained pattern of witch-trials and just one execution for witchcraft between 1561 and 1652. The book explores the factors that explain the absence of a ‘witch-craze’ in Rothenburg, placing particular emphasis on the interaction of elite and popular priorities in the pursuit (and non-pursuit) of alleged witches at law. By making the witchcraft narratives told by the peasants and townspeople of Rothenburg central to its analysis, the book also explores the social and psychological conflicts that lay behind the making of accusations and confessions of witchcraft. Furthermore, it challenges the existing explanations for the gender-bias of witch-trials, and also offers insights into other areas of early modern life, such as experiences of and beliefs about communal conflict, magic, motherhood, childhood and illness. Written in a narrative style, the study invites a wide readership to share in the drama of early modern witch trials.

influential novel in nineteenth-century America) and Twain’s belated, bloated satiric fantasy of chivalry, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889). Two questions present themselves insistently: why did Twain’s antipathy to Scott last well beyond the point in his own career where his literary reputation stood clear of the shadow of ‘The Author of Waverley’? And why was it so virulent? Both aspects of the issue register an element of excess which itself chimes with the characteristics of the biblical story through which my analysis will be focused. 10 Susan

in Special relationships
Open Access (free)
Chantal Chawaf ’s melancholic autofiction

directs the murderous impulses inwards and thus tends Chawaf ’s melancholic autofiction  towards suicidal fantasies. Melancholia, imaged as ‘a painful wound’ (p. ), figuratively drains the subject of his/her lifeblood: it is like ‘an open wound [. . .] emptying the ego until it is totally impoverished’ (p. ). Kristeva develops this vampiric imagery in Soleil noir, describing the melancholic as one of the living dead. Assuming the subject position of a melancholic, she claims that ‘Je vis une mort vivante, chair coupée, saignante, cadavérisée’ (p. ) (‘I live a

in Women’s writing in contemporary France
Gender and contemporary fantasies of witchcraft

5 Seduction, poison and magical theft: gender and contemporary fantasies of witchcraft As was the case in many other places in early modern Europe, most of those who were accused of or who confessed to witchcraft or who were formally questioned as suspected witches in Rothenburg were female.1 They ranged in age from eight to eighty-eight years but most were aged twenty-one and above,2 with those aged from around thirty to sixty – and perhaps particularly those in their fifties – most at risk of becoming the subject of a legal investigation into an allegation of

in Witchcraft narratives in Germany
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The hidden self in Beckett’s short fiction

infiltrating the flow of a narrative. Occasionally, a fantasy/memory of ruptured early nurturing disrupts a story generated intentionally by the narrator to calm himself; this often occurs when there is a failure of selfsoothing. The title of ‘The Calmative’ suggests not only the vial of sedative given by a stranger to the narrator, but the actual effect of the telling of the fantasy/fiction itself. In that story, the narrator tells a story to contain himself, since he is beset by disintegration anxieties predicated on loneliness: ‘For I’m too frightened this evening to

in Samuel Beckett and the primacy of love
Open Access (free)
Mass violence, corpses, and the Nazi imagination of the East

imagination and fantasy interacted with state ideol­ogy, to expose ‘people’s tendency to think outside, against, under­neath, and above it’. Such efforts do not attempt to discount or minimize the role of ideology in mass violence, but rather underscore that ideology is a part of culture and therefore remains linked with a longer continuity of mentalities which feed into it, justify it, and form its foundation.4 This argument works well for the subject of the German vision of the East. As Vejas Liulevicius has noted, a longer trajectory of German thought vis-à-vis Eastern

in Destruction and human remains

other open questions in the study of the region through the lens of ‘race’. Both the transnational histories of popular music's globalised production and circulation, and the narratives and fantasies of identity revealed in its audiovisual and embodied dimensions, are encounters with and often reconstructions of global formations of race, where musicians, media workers and listeners–viewers respond to music from outside the region and participate in musical cultures grounded inside it. It is integral within what Gloria Wekker ( 2016 : 2), showing how to study race and

in Race and the Yugoslav region

integrate the paradigm shift represented by the emancipation of women in the Weimar era. In addition, Wulffen’s position as a writer of case studies became increasingly complicated due to the criminological fantasies of German society. The depiction of crime in Weimar popular culture, its ‘dominance and prevalence as a cultural symbol’ for the Weimar era, have long been noted in secondary literature.11 Todd Herzog has skilfully elaborated how, in the face of rising crime statistics, discourse about crime became all-encompassing and remained so even after 1924, once

in A history of the case study
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Watt’s unwelcome home

possible. Federman views the novel as ‘a narrative experiment which exploits the inadequacy of language, reason, and logic to reveal the failure of fiction as a means of apprehending the reality of the world’ (1965: 119). He believes the core of the novel, Watt’s journey to, and stay in, Knott’s house, becomes a metaphor for the fictional process itself. This notion is central to this reading, which views the novel as a reflection of the underlying narrative-self and its own struggle to maintain an enduring, whole relationship with another (through fantasy), including

in Samuel Beckett and the primacy of love