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James Baldwin’s Just Above My Head
Jenny M. James

This article considers James Baldwin’s last published novel, Just Above My Head (1979), as the culmination of his exploration of kinship, reflecting on the ways distance and loss characterize African-American familial relations. By analyzing Baldwin’s representation of Hall Montana’s relationship to, and mourning of, his younger brother Arthur, this article argues that JAMH revises the terms of the black family to imagine an alternative, errant kinship that is adoptive, migratory, and sustained through songs of joy and grief. My approach to the novel’s portrayal of kinship is indebted to Édouard Glissant’s Poetics of Relation (1990), in which he defines “errantry” as a fundamental characteristic of diaspora that resists the claustrophobic, filial violence and territorial dispossession that are slavery’s legacies. Baldwin represents errant kinship in JAMH through his inclusion of music and formal experimentation. Departing from previous scholarship that reads JAMH as emblematic of the author’s artistic decline, I interpret the novel’s numerous syntactic and figurative experiments as offering new formal insight into his portrait of brotherly love. Baldwin’s integration of two distinctive leitmotifs, blood and song, is therefore read as a formal gesture toward a more capacious and migratory kinship.

James Baldwin Review
New writers, new literatures in the 1990s
Editors: Gill Rye and Michael Worton

The 1990s witnessed an explosion in women's writing in France, with a particularly exciting new generation of writer's coming to the fore, such as Christine Angot, Marie Darrieussecq and Regine Detambel. This book introduces an analysis of new women's writing in contemporary France, including both new writers of the 1990s and their more established counter-parts. The 1990s was an exciting period for women's writing in France. The novels of Louise Lambrichs are brilliant but troubling psychological dramas focusing on the traumas that inhabit the family romance: incest, sterility, the death those we love and the terrible legacy of mourning. The body of writing produced by Marie Redonnet between 1985 and 2000 is an unusually coherent one. The book explores the possibility of writing 'de la mélancolie' through focusing on the work of Chantal Chawaf, whose writing may be described as 'melancholic autofiction', melancholic autobiographical fiction. It places Confidence pour confidence within Constant's oeuvre as a whole, and argues for a more positive reading of the novel, a reading that throws light on the trajectory of mother-daughter relations in her fiction. Christiane Baroche was acclaimed in France first as a short-story writer. Unable to experience the freedom of their brothers and fathers, beur female protagonists are shown to experience it vicariously through the reading, and the writing of, narratives. Clotilde Escalle's private worlds of sex and violence, whose transgressions are part of real lives, shock precisely because they are brought into the public sphere, expressed in and through writing.

Open Access (free)
Trauma, dream and narrative
Victoria Best

   Louise L. Lambrichs: trauma, dream and narrative The novels of Louise Lambrichs are brilliant but troubling psychological dramas focusing on the traumas that inhabit the family romance: incest, sterility, the death of those we love and the terrible legacy of mourning. Bringing together themes of loss and recompense, Lambrichs’s novels trace with infinite delicacy the reactions of those who suffer and seek obsessively for comfort and understanding. But equally they perform a subtle and often chilling evocation of the secrets, lies and crimes that

in Women’s writing in contemporary France
Literature and/or reality?
Marion Sadoux

imagination serving so little imagination, in a way.) Complexity of formal elaboration is indeed a trademark of many of Angot’s works, and the imaginary counterpart is both schematic and repetitive:  Transgressions and transformation Angot writes about nothing but herself. She repeatedly makes allusions to incest, to the horror of giving birth, and to the difficulties encountered by a character who is a writer, a mother and a lover. Angot’s work also consistently reveals the tensions between her public life and her need for privacy: her personal life, it would seem, is

in Women’s writing in contemporary France
Open Access (free)
Sara Haslam

provoked the most controversy [. . .]. Once again Freud draws attention to a type of knowledge so devastating as to be unbearable in one’s sight, 58 Fragmenting modernism and only slightly more bearable as a subject of psychological interpretation. In essence, this knowledge is of incest, which can be very correctly described as a tangling of the family sequence [. . .]. What overwhelms Oedipus is the burden of plural identities incapable of coexisting within one person. (pp. 169–70) The ‘barrier’ Said refers to in the first line describes a ‘tangle’ which resists

in Fragmenting modernism
Open Access (free)
Postcolonial women writers in a transnational frame
Elleke Boehmer

eponymous voice of the spirit-medium of the 1890s land wars or chimurenga, and Under the Tongue (1996) is the deeply internalised narrative of a victim of incest. Butterfly Burning (1998), also strongly spatialised, was discussed in chapter 10. Thereafter, shifting away from the topic of Arundhati Roy’s reception in the west, which was the focus of chapter 9, I will offer an intertextual commentary on her first and to date only novel The God of Small Things and of her non-fictional polemic against transnationalism. Large nations, small gods Many recent commentaries have noted

in Stories of women
Open Access (free)
Sara Haslam

business of psychoanalysis is those ‘fathomless workings’, which it seeks to make known – a process that has always been in thrall to literature. The literary influences on Freud are regularly expounded (and usually include Shakespeare, Goethe, Flaubert and Schopenhauer);7 Freud acknowledges that Sophocles himself introduces male fantasies of maternal incest into his story of Oedipus (quoting Jocasta’s lines ‘Many a man ere now in dreams hath lain / With her who bare him’).8 Psychoanalysis has been identified as a ‘true child of literature’, and Edith Kurzweil cites a

in Fragmenting modernism
The lump-child and its parents in The King of Tars
Jane Gilbert

regulating marriage ties superimposes the kingdom of culture on that of a nature abandoned to the law of mating. The prohibition of incest is merely its subjective pivot, revealed by the modern tendency to reduce to the mother and the sister the objects forbidden to the subject’s choice, although full licence outside of these is not yet entirely open. This law, then, is revealed clearly enough as identical with an order of language. For without kinship nominations, no power is capable of instituting the order of preferences and taboos that bind and weave the yarn of

in Pulp fictions of medieval England
Roberta Frank

Scylding family closet and surmised that the Old English poet suppressed stories involving rape or incest as too hot to handle, a kind of self-censorship. 20 Or was the poet's deafening silence deployed to prick or excite his audience's recall, to turn absence into presence and thereby evoke the horror behind the curtain. To hear what is not being said in Beowulf involves tapping stories from a variety of late narratives, in full awareness that the conversation changes over the years, that each poet or saga-teller makes

in Dating Beowulf
Open Access (free)
Where postcolonialism is neo-orientalist – the cases of Sarojini Naidu and Arundhati Roy
Elleke Boehmer

publicity, the work’s verbal intricacy was seen as strikingly contrasted with its disturbing subject matter: the ‘intimate and revealing portrait of the caste-system’, especially the focus on the ‘forbidden’ sexual touch of the (almost godlike) Untouchable, and on the horrific punishment which follows it.20 And as if this were not enough, the novel almost impossibly heightens the ne plus ultra of its cross-caste theme with its representation of child molestation and incest between twins. In some reviews, the layerings of contrasting extreme experiences, of national turmoil

in Stories of women