New This Month in Literature - June 2024

New This Month in Literature - June 2024

One of the most exciting trends in scholarship on the nineteenth century is the tendency to redraw the boundaries of its chronological, national, and disciplinary limits. Our series Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century publishes books that are open to such boundary transgressions, including not only comparative studies between the United States and Europe, but also books that extend the “Long Nineteenth Century” back in time to the mid–seventeen hundreds and forward through the fin de siècle and its connections to twentieth-century modernism. New in this series, Empire of Culture: Neo-Victorian Narratives in the Global Creative Economy, by Waiyee Loh, shows how Britain's trans-imperial engagements in the long nineteenth century have come to shape global cultural commodity flows today.

"This is a wonderful, wide-ranging book that draws together an incredible array of ideas and sources from different locations, points in history, textual and cultural traditions, and scholarly disciplines. With strong grounding in comparative literary studies and transnational pop culture studies, Loh develops a genuinely innovative argument and approach." — Lucy Fraser, author of The Pleasures of Metamorphosis: Japanese and English Fairy Tale Transformations of "The Little Mermaid"

Now available in paperback, Knausgård and the Autofictional Novel, by Claus Elholm Andersen, is a probing, generative analysis of Knausgård’s My Struggle, with implications for our understanding of the novel form more broadly in the twenty-first century.

"…the book provides an inspiring tour de force through a myriad of discussions surrounding the work both in the media and in academia … Andersen's book is sure to attract many readers and spark new ideas in the extensive research on one of the most interesting authorships in our time." — Life Writing

"Claus Andersen has written the best study available in English of Karl Ove Knausgård’s shifting, slippery, but at the same time deeply earnest literary strategies. In a series of brilliant readings, Andersen probes at the real struggle of My Struggle—how the author holds together the fictive and the real, how he attempts to be both postmodern and unfashionably 'Romantic' at once, how he tells a novelized story yet honors what Andersen rightly calls Knausgård's 'longing for reality.' Using the concepts of 'the fictional pact' and the 'autobiographical pact,' Andersen triumphantly makes the case that Knausgård moves between and unites both these modes of writing, while simultaneously blurring the divisions between them. This is a luminous piece of criticism, one that also expands to consider the larger contemporary autofictional tradition." — James Wood, staff writer and book critic at The New Yorker

"With impeccable scholarship and a fine eye for textual details, Claus Elholm Andersen argues that the question of novelistic form is at the heart of Knausgård's My Struggle, a novel often accused of being formless. His discussion of form in Knausgård's autofiction is fascinating. This book is an important contribution to current debates about the nature and meaning of autofiction." — Toril Moi, author of Revolution of the Ordinary: Literary Studies after Wittgenstein, Austin, and Cavell

"A valuable contribution to the study of Knausgård, autofiction, and contemporary literature more generally, this book argues that My Struggle indexes a crisis in the nature of fictionality in the twenty-first century. In developing the idea of 'auto-fictionalization,' Andersen complicates conventional understandings of the so-called autobiographical pact and models what a more sophisticated discussion of the relationship between fiction and life should look like. The book shines in its exploration of narrative theory, theories of fictionality, and the publishing contexts that informed Knausgård’s career trajectory." — Lee Konstantinou, author of The Last Samurai Reread

Also now available in paperback this month is Masculine Pregnancies: Modernist Conceptions of Creativity and Legitimacy, 1918-1939, by Aimee Armande Wilson. Wilson examines literary depictions of “mannish” pregnant women and metaphors of male pregnancy to reframe the relationship between creativity and gender in modernism.

"Masculine Pregnancies opens up important new perspectives on queer reproduction. Drawing on cutting-edge work in queer and trans studies, and carefully considering the entanglements of gender, sexuality, racialization, and class, Wilson reveals the uses, meanings, and contemporary legacies of masculine pregnancy in the modernist period." — Jana Funke, coeditor of Interrogating Lesbian Modernism: Histories, Forms, Genres

Happy reading and come back and see what's new next month!