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We are delighted to announce the winners of this year's Travel Award competition:
If the book we are reading does not wake us, as with a fist hammering on our skull, why then do we read it? So that it shall make us happy? Good God, we would also be happy if we had no books, and such books as make us happy we could, if need be, write ourselves.... A book must be like ... an ice-axe to break the sea from inside us.
Franz Kafka, "Letter to Oskar Pollak", November 8, 1903; cited from Max Brod (ed.) Briefe, 190
The article is part of a series of interconnected essays on feminism and other social-political movements of emancipation that have played a crucial role in the fight for women’s rights from the 19th century onwards (see under the thematic group ‘Feminism and Women’s Studies’, https://www.litencyc.com/php/showgrouparticles.php?articlegroupid=21). Focusing on the earlier history of the United States, the article discusses key figures and historical moments, throwing light on the slow march of legislative changes that have contributed to bringing the ‘woman’s question’ at the forefront of the political arena.
In its careful delineation of the contours of an epoch, its discriminative choice of illustrative texts and its analytical sharpness, the article provides an excellent example of contextual situatedness, a way of looking at literary art that places it within the contours of its epoch – the famous Spanish siglo de oro or ‘Golden Age’ – but also within the larger tendencies and cultural currents prevalent in Europe at the time.
In the recent political context dominated by various waves of refugee crises and an ongoing war, an article that looks at the literary production emerging precisely as a result of an earlier conflict (the Lebanese Civil War) and its consequent cultural disruptions/ relocations provides a long-term perspective that the history of the present cannot possibly entertain. It is both a fascinating excursion into the wealth of Lebanese works published outside Lebanon by writers as diverse as Rabih Alameddine, Rawi Hage, Nada Awar Jarrar or Patricia Sarrafian Ward, and a reminder that imagination and creativity often flourish on the back of longstanding historical trauma.
The essay exemplifies the variety of ways in which graphic art has engaged with works of literary fiction. Reviewing some of the theoretical implications of adapting what is essentially a verbal form into the multi-modal, verbal-visual form of graphic sequential art, the article then looks chronologically at a selection of examples taken mainly from English-language comics, manga and graphic novels, many of which are of highly canonical literary texts. Insightful and ambitious, the article occupies a critical space that helps redefine the concept of adaptation and reveals the versatile ways in which the visual and the verbal interconnect and enhance each other.
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