Fundamentalism And Literature

Overview

Ever since Ayatollah Khomeini declared the notorious fatwa against novelist Salman Rushdie in 1989, the fact that literature and fundamentalism have mutual resonances has become obvious. With recent events, from the 9/11 World Trade Centre mayhem to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, fundamentalism has become one of the most pressing concerns of our time. This volume explores its manifold reverberations in writing in English. The contributions approach the phenomenon of fundamentalism in its various guises, which ...

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Overview

Ever since Ayatollah Khomeini declared the notorious fatwa against novelist Salman Rushdie in 1989, the fact that literature and fundamentalism have mutual resonances has become obvious. With recent events, from the 9/11 World Trade Centre mayhem to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, fundamentalism has become one of the most pressing concerns of our time. This volume explores its manifold reverberations in writing in English. The contributions approach the phenomenon of fundamentalism in its various guises, which are not restricted to Islamic fundamentalism. They explore fundamentalism's changing and ambiguous relationships with literature, showing literature as neither complicit nor simply subversive but as an open field where negotiations still appear possible.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A probing, lucid, and versatile examination of the crucial phenomenon marking our time. Fair-minded and many-sided, the work brings us distinctly closer to understanding the protean shapes of fundamentalism, its elusive motives and terrifying powers.”—Ihab Hassan, Emeritus Vilas Professor, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
 
“This book brings together a series of useful and diverse approaches to what is clearly a crucial issue of our time-the interaction of Literature and the new fundamentalist movements which have so affected us in recent decades. The book is wide ranging and covers not only the more obvious examples such as the resurgence of fundamentalism in the Islamic world and amongst Hundus but also handles the equally significant rise of fundamentalism in America. The material on the rise of US fundamentalist publishing and media as illustrated by the now notorious "Left Behind" series is an example which this collection handles especially well. The geographical spread is also not limited to those areas usually seen as of particular concern to Europe and America, as the inclusion of material on Indonesia illustrates. It is perhaps often forgotten in the northern hemisphere that Indonesia is the single largest Muslim nation on earth, a fact which is far more in the consciousness of its near neighbors such as Australia in the wake of incidents such as the Bali bombings. The range of the collection and the quality of its individual essays will ensure that this collection will have a major effect in developing interest in this vital field.  It deserves to be on the bookshelf of every scholar interested in how literary texts interact with the new fundamentalist movements which are sweeping the world.”—Gareth Griffiths, University of Western Australia Albany
 
"The book is both interesting and insightful. Its strength is its cross-cultural approach, including examples of Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, and Parsi fundamentalism; its historical range from the seventeenth to the twenty-first centuries; its undermining the stereotypical binary oppositions that usually portray fundamentalism/fundamentalists and distinguish them from their opponents; its highlighting of the often neglected South Asian version of fundamentalism in the British diaspora and India (Kureishi, Mistry, and Roy); and its focus on key fundamentalist attitudes and concerns, such as purity of the self, corruption of the world, misogyny, and millennialism." —Richard T. Antoun, State University of New York at Binghamton
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403974914
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 1/1/2007
  • Pages: 228
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Klause Stierstorfer is Professor of English at the University of Münster, Germany. He studied at the Universities of Regensburg and Oxford, received his D.Phil. at the University of Oxford, trained as a secondary school teacher and became assistant professor at the University of Würzburg, from where he moved on to take up his professorships at Düsseldorf and, since 2004, at Münster. His publications include John Oxenford (1812-1877) as Farceur and Critic of Comedy (1996); (ed., introd., annot.), London Assurance and Other Victorian Comedies. Oxford World's Classics (2001); Konstruktion literarischer Vergangenheit (2001), and (series editor) Women Writing Home, 6 vols. (forthcoming 2006).

Catherine Pesso-Miquel
is Assistant Professor in the English Department of the Sorbonne University in Paris. She received her D. Phil at the Sorbonne University, after studying at the Ecole Normale Supérieure. Her publications include Toiles trouées et désert lunaires dans Moon Palace de Paul Auster (1996), Alexander's Bridge de Willa Cather (2001), and numerous articles focusing on post-colonial literature and the contemporary British novel.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Fundamentalism and Literature—Catherine Pesso-Miquel, Klaus Stierstorfer
Part I: Historical Probes * To the Shore of Tripoli': Milton, Islam, and the Attacks on America and Spain—Gordon Campbell * Jonathan Swift and the Idea of the Fundamental Church—Anne Gardiner Part II: The Many Guises of Fundamentalism: Expanding Visions * Different Aspects of Fundamentalism and Tolerance in Ayub Khan Din's East is East, Last Dance at Dum Dum, Brian Friel's Dancing at Lughnasa and Frank McGuinness' Someone Who'll Watch Over Me—Nuvid Alemdaroglu * The 'Aesthetics' of Fundamentalism in Recent Jewish Fiction in English—Axel Stähler
Part III: Beyond the Binary: Literary Interventions in Polarization * Deconstructing Fundamentalisms in Hanif Kureishi's The Black Album—Wendy O'Shea-Meddour * From Enlightenment to the Prison of Light: Reverting to Parsi Fundamentalism in Rohinton Mistry's Family Matters—Catherine Pesso-Miquel * Doubling of Parts: Arundhati Roy as Novelist and Political Critic—Susanne Peters
Part IV: Fundamentalism in Post/Modernist Contexts * Tariq Ali and Recent Negotiations of Fundamentalism—Klaus Stierstorfer * Literature as the Schismatic Other of the Sacred Text or Itself Sacred? The Black Album by Hanif Kureishi—Helga Ramsey-Kurz
• Never Better Than When Late: The Left Behind Series and the Incongruities of Fundamentalist Idealisms—Kevin Cope

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