Exile and Creativity: Signposts, Travelers, Outsiders, Backward Glances / Edition 1

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Overview

A major historical phenomenon of our century, exile has been a focal point for reflections about individual and cultural identity and problems of nationalism, racism, and war. Whether emigrés, exiles, expatriates, refugees, or nomads, these people all experience a distance from their homes and often their native languages. Exile and Creativity brings together the widely varied perspectives of nineteen distinguished European and American scholars and cultural critics to ask: Is exile a falling away from a source of creativity associated with the wholeness of home and one’s own language, or is it a spur to creativity?
In essays that range chronologically from the Renaissance to the 1990s, geographically from the Danube to the Andes, and historically from the Inquisition to the Holocaust, the complexities and tensions of exile and the diversity of its experiences are examined. Recognizing exile as an interior experience as much as a physical displacement, this collection discusses such varied topics as intellectual exile and seventeenth-century French literature; different versions of home and of the novel in the writings of Bakhtin and Lukács; the displacement of James Joyce and Clarice Lispector; a young journalist’s meeting with James Baldwin in the south of France; Jean Renoir’s Hollywood years; and reflections by the descendents of European emigrés. Strikingly, many of the essays are themselves the work of exiles, bearing out once more the power of the personal voice in scholarship.
With the exception of the contribution by Henry Louis Gates Jr., these essays were originally published in a special double issue of Poetics Today in 1996. Exile and Creativity will engage a range of readers from those whose specific interests include the problems of displacement and diaspora and the European Holocaust to those whose broad interests include art, literary and cultural studies, history, film, and the nature of human creativity.

Contributors. Zygmunt Bauman, Janet Bergstrom, Christine Brooke-Rose, Hélène Cixous, Tibor Dessewffy, Marianne Hirsch, Denis Hollier, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Linda Nochlin, Leo Spitzer, Susan Rubin Suleiman, Thomas Pavel, Doris Sommer, Nancy Huston, John Neubauer, Ernst van Alphen, Alicia Borinsky, Svetlana Boym, Jacqueline Chénieux-Gendron

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This is a rich and thought-provoking collection of essays about a subject of almost inexhaustible interest: exile as both a physical state and a state of mind, entailing both loss (of homeland, continuity, tradition) and gain (of new experiences, new ideas, new languages). These aspects of exile, which have made it so often a stimulus to writers and artists, are explored here in a fascinating variety of contexts and perspectives, and the collection as a whole maintains a nice balance between personal witness and objective scholarship.”—David Lodge
Boston Review
[Essays] discuss the pain -- and, often, pleasure -- of forgiveness with rare subtelty and humanist solidarity.
David Lodge
[A]spects of exile, which have made it so often a stimulus to writers and artists, are explored here in a fascinating variety of contexts and perspectives... -- David Lodge
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822322153
  • Publisher: Duke University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 456
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Rubin Suleiman is C. Douglas Dillon Professor of the Civilization of France and Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University. She is the author of several books, including, most recently, Budapest Diary: In Search of the Motherhood.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Exsul 9
Exile as Romance and as Tragedy 25
Art and the Conditions of Exile: Men/Women, Emigration/Expatriation 37
"Mamae, disse ele," or, Joyce's Second Hand 59
Letter from Paris (Foreign Mail) 89
At Home Abroad: El Inca Shuttles with Hebreo 109
Gombrowicz's Tango: An Argentine Snapshot 143
Surrealists in Exile: Another Kind of Resistance 163
Jean Renoir's Return to France 180
A Master of Amazement: Armando's Self-Chosen Exile 220
Estrangement as a Lifestyle: Shklovsky and Brodsky 241
Bakhtin versus Lukacs: Inscriptions of Homelessness in Theories of the Novel 263
Romain Gary: A Foreign Body in French Literature 281
The Welcome Table: James Baldwin in Exile 305
Assimilation into Exile: The Jew as a Polish Writer 321
Strangerhood without Boundaries: An Essay in the Sociology of Knowledge 353
Persistent Memory: Central European Refugees in an Andean Land 373
Monuments in a Foreign Tongue: On Reading Holocaust Memoirs by Emigrants 397
Past Lives: Postmemories in Exile 418
Contributors 447
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