Past Issues

Fall 2002, Volume 35, Number 2

Fearful Asymmetries: A Manifesto of Cultural Translation

Tomislav Niebylski

If alchemy hides the secret desire of the natural sciences to transform and dominate the material universe, then translation hides the origin of the humanities in the process of a constant search for new forms of knowledge in the cultural domain.

"Postcolonial Legacies": The Rhetoric of Race in the East/West German National Identity Debate of the Late 1990s

Anke Pinkert

Instead of treating identity as a kind of unsettled space where different developments in society intersect with sets of related discourses, Gabriele Mendling turns the stereotype of the racist East German into a depository for German's unresolved national socialist past.

Voicing Childhood: Remembering the Mother in Annie Ernaux's Autobiographies

E. Nicole Meyer

For Annie Ernaux, a social cacophony fluctuates in her many autobiographical texts -- sometimes intimate in nature, often disquietingly anonymous.

Nation and Translation: The Pachuco in Mexican Popular Culture: German Valdez's Tin Tan

Javier Duran

Pachuco culture is a form of assemblage, a cultural affirmation of contraditions in the present rather than a nostalgic return to an imaginary original past.

Translating the Slums: The Coding of Criminality and the Grotesque in Arthur Morrison's A Child of the Jago

Kevin R. Swafford

Whatever the varied acts of dissociation, the end result was generally the same: the slums, and those of the East End in particular, were simply alien zones, located within the very heart of the nation and empire.

Writing the Wrongs of Literature: The Figure of the Feminist and Post-Colonialist Translator

Melissa Wallace

These rather humble beginnings foreshadow the intellectual and ideological movements which have been led beyond the more passive re-reading or rewriting to the more active, interventionist stance of many of today's feminist translation scholars: many of them are transgressors, subversives, interventionists, and authors in their own right.

Translating Laughter: Humor as a Special Challenge in Translating the Stories of Ana Lydia Vega

Carol J. Wallace

Puerto Rican vernacular includes standard Spanish words written as a Puerto Rican might pronounce them, as well as specifically Puerto Rican words and phrases. It is a celebration of the creativity of the popular language, and the pleasure generated is one of recognition for the Puerto Rican reader -- the opportunity to find oneself in the text -- and one of discovery for the non-Puerto Rican Spanish speaker who enjoys dialectical diversity.

Refusing Translation in Exile: The Language Barrier in Cesar Vallejo's Poemas humanos

Dianna Niebylski

Against the visceral wreckage provoked by the experience of exile, Vallejo's broken subjects cease to be mere philosophical or psychological emblems of the modern or even postmodern condition, and become metonymic but graphic depictions of real "foreign" bodies, bodies constantly exposed to the unfamiliar, subject to distortion, disorientation, and displacement.

Book Reviews

Against Autonomy: Global Dialectics of Cultural Exchange. By Timothy J. Reiss. (Susan Larson)

The hero's descent in Don Quijote into the Cave of Montesinos with its symbolic representation of the need for cultural movement, openness, and self-questioning is an excellent point from which to begin a discussion of the need for cultures and histories to be reformed and rewritten in order to remain vital and alive.

Shakespeare on Love and Lust. By Maurice Charney. (Terri Bourus)

That Shakespeare used Petrarchan love conventions is apparent; but it is when he upsets those conventions, mixes them up, and turns them upside down that his plays are most witty, most fun, and most imaginative.

Working the Garden: American Writers and the Industrialization of Agriculture. By William Conlogue.

American Georgics: Economy and Environment in Early American Literature. By Timothy Sweet. (Andrew Hoberek)

Between them these two books provide a crash course in the history of American agriculture up to the present moment and -- more importantly for those of us who take literature and culture as our purview -- its inextricable interrelationships with works of the imagination.

Between Literature and Science: Poe, Lem, and Explorations of Aesthetics, Cognitive Science, and Literary Knowledge. By Peter Swirski. (Mike Reynolds)

Building from his central analysis of Poe, Swirski's own ambitious work aims to reveal a unified cognitive methodology which would speak to the great difference in literary and scientific study while also recognizing the common epistemological imperatives of the analysts.

Publishing the Family. By June Howard. (Thomas Morgan)

From the initial conception of the project by William Dean Howells, through the coordination of the project by Elizabeth Jordan, to the serial publication of the novel in Harper's Bazar and its final publication in book form by Harper & Brothers, The Whole Family functions as an index of the period's debates about the role of the family, the relation between culture and commerce, coeducation, women's roles in public life, and narrative form.

Reciting America: Culture and Cliche in Contemporary U.S. Fiction. By Christopher Douglas. (Angela Laflen)

Like other new Americanists, Douglas is concerned about the function of discourse in ideology.

Continental Drift: From National Characters to Virtual Subjects. By Emily S. Apter. (Alex Papadopoulos)

In an analysis of astounding reach and skill, Apter explores from a psychoanalytic, postcolonial, and feminist perspective the feminine colonial and postcolonial ego in its multiple permutations: from Joan of Arc as anti-colonial hero appropriated by the ultra-right National Front party, and her Algerian seventh-century Berber counterpart La Kahina, to the exoticized women described in the French colonial harem genre, and cyberpunk's superlibidinal aliens and mutants.

Literary Culture in a World Transformed: A Future for the Humanities. By William Paulson. (Dean Papas)

Paulson's book is a thoughtful and practical effort to envision a future divested of the aura of print culture, an aura that has separated literary works from ordinary readers and purged literary pedagogy of its relation to rhetoric.