Saturday, May 7, 2011

Geocriticism: Real and Fictional Spaces

The English translation of Bertrand Westphal's Geocriticism is now available. Click here for the official site.

Although time traditionally dominated the perspectives of the humanities and social sciences, space has reasserted itself in the contexts of postmodernity, postcolonialism, and globalization. Today, a number of emerging critical discourses connect geography, architecture, and environmental studies, among others to literature, film, and the mimetic arts. Bertrand Westphal’s Geocriticism explores these diverse fields, examines various theories of space and place, and proposes a new critical practice suitable for understanding our spatial condition today. Drawing on a wide array of theoretical and literary resources from around the globe and from antiquity to the present, Westphal argues for a geocritical approach to literary and cultural studies. This volume is an indispensible touchstone for those interested in the interactions between literature and space.

“The transdisciplinary spatial turn explodes globally in Geocriticism, a stunning literary tour-de-force that explores real and fictional spaces everywhere on earth. There is no one better than Westphal to interweave the Francophonic and Anglophonic geographical imaginations in ways that enhance our understanding of how geography and literature are critically related. This valuable translation opens the floodgates to European spatial thinking, while at the same time building creatively on the critical geographical literature available in English.”--Edward Soja, Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning, UCLA

“When you say you know a city, Paris, for example, how do you separate your flesh-and-blood visits there from your visits to the literary Paris of Baudelaire, of Dickens, of Hemingway? Do all those writers, and the multitude of other writers who have written about Paris, write about the same city? These are among the sorts of marvelous questions about the identity and difference of reality and representation, of sensation and memory, of life and fiction, which Bertrand Westphal’s Geocriticism investigates with deftness and rigor. Drawing on postmodern critical currents in philosophy and geography as well as in literary studies, Westphal examines a vast multilingual corpus of literary and cinematic examples to illuminate the field lying at the intersection of lived and imagined space.”--John Protevi, Professor of French Studies, Louisiana State University

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