View recent publications by staff in the School of Languages and Cultures.
Linda Lê translated by Sian Robyns, Mākaro Press, 2017
She comes and goes. Opens another book. It's a collection of Chinese poems. She reads just these few words, The roots of love reach up to the sky, and, in an instant, she is as if transformed. She grabs a jacket, closes the door, and goes down the stairs. She walks briskly. She's going into the unknown to bring back the unknown.
Catherine Churchman, Rowman & Littlefield, 2016
This fundamental study provides the first comprehensive history in any language of the lands between the Red and Pearl Rivers in southern China and the people who resided there over a span of a thousand years. Bringing to life the mysterious early people known as Li and Lao who inhabited the area, Catherine Churchman explores their custom of casting large bronze kettledrums. As the symbols of political authority and legitimacy for the Li and Lao rulers, the abundance of drums found in the archaeological record is an indication not only of the great number of such rulers, but also of their great wealth and power, which increased significantly from the third century CE even as the Chinese Empires tightened their control over surrounding districts. Drawing on a combination of Classical Chinese sources and scholarship in archaeology, anthropology, and historical linguistics, the author explains the political and economic factors behind the rise to power and subsequent disappearance of the indigenous leadership and its drum culture. She fills significant gaps in our understanding of the early interactions between China and northern Southeast Asia, challenging many widely held assumptions about the history of Chinese settlement and ethnic relations in the region, including those concerning the relationship between the Chinese Empires and the lands that would form the heart of a future Vietnamese state. A crucial work for understanding historical developments in the highland regions south of the Yangtze valley, it examines the first steps in the Sinic penetration of this highland world, one that has continued to the present. Bringing unprecedented attention to the historical identity of a previously overlooked region and a people, this book creates a new category in East Asian history.
About the author: Catherine Churchman
Miguel Arnedo-Gómez, Bucknell University Press, 2016
The Cuban writer Nicolás Guillén has traditionally been considered a poet of mestizaje, a term that, whilst denoting racial mixture, also refers to a homogenizing nationalist discourse that proclaims the harmonious nature of Cuban identity. Yet, many aspects of Guillén's work enhance black Cuban and Afro-Cuban identities.
Miguel Arnedo-Gómez explores this paradox in Guillén's pre-Cuban Revolution writings placing them alongside contemporaneous intellectual discourses that feigned adherence to the homogenizing ideology whilst upholding black interests. On the basis of links with these and other 1930s Cuban discourses, Arnedo-Gómez shows Guillén's work to contain a message of black unity aimed at the black middle classes. Furthermore, against a tendency to seek a single authorial consciousness - be it mulatto or based on a North American construction of blackness - Guillén's prose and poetry are also characterized as a struggle for a viable identity in a socio-culturally heterogeneous society.
About the author: Miguel Arnedo-Gómez
reinterpreted, translated, annotated, and with commentary, Folkestone, Kent and Leiden: Brill Japanese Studies Library Series, in conjunction with Global Oriental Publishers, 2016
Harima Fudoki, dated to 714CE, is one of Japan's earliest extant written records. It is a rich account of the people, places, natural resources and stories in the Harima region of western Japan.
Produced by the government as a tool for Japan's early state formation, Harima Fudoki includes important myths of places and gods from a different perspective to the contemporaneous 'national' chronicles.
This document is an essential primary source for all who are interested in ancient Japan.
In this new critical edition, Palmer draws upon recent research into the archaeology, history, orality and literature of ancient Japan to reinterpret this hitherto little-known document. Palmer's insightful commentary contextualises the Harima tales for the first time in English.
Giorgio Orelli, Marco Sonzogni (translator) and Ross Woods (translator), Guernica Editions, Spring 2015
Critics include Orelli among the so-called post-hermetic poets, aligning him with one of Italy's most distinctive literary schools: the Linea Lombarda. Orelli's poetry, however, eludes pigeonholing. The phonosymbolism enveloping his verse, combined with sharpness of observation, elegance of diction, and irony of tone, make his poetry distinctive and exacting. Readers, scholars and translators are enticed and challenged at every word. This anthology -- the first in English -- charts Orelli's poetic journey from his debut collection in 1944 to the last poems written shortly before his death. Selected and introduced by Orelli's foremost scholar, Pietro De Marchi, and translated and annotated by two award-winning translators, Marco Sonzogni and Ross Woods, Pondering the Weight of Being brings to English-speaking readers a major poet.
Sarah Leggott, Memory, War, and Dictatorship in Recent Spanish Fiction by Women.
Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2015
A new book by Professor Sarah Leggott (Spanish and Latin American Studies Programme) discusses recent novels by Spanish women writers that represent women's experiences in Spain during the years of the Spanish Civil War and Franco dictatorship. Memory, War, and Dictatorship in Recent Spanish Fiction by Women, just published by Bucknell University Press, analyses a series of novels in the context of the "memory boom" in contemporary Spain, which has seen a huge upsurge in interest about the events of the Civil War and Franco dictatorship and has sparked intense social debate in Spain.
"Almost 40 years after Franco's death, the history of the Spanish Civil War and his dictatorship continues to be a highly polemical topic in contemporary Spain," Sarah says.
The novels that are studied in this book present different aspects of women's historical experiences in Civil War and postwar Spain. These include regime boarding schools and reformatories, guerrilla warfare in the clandestine democratic movement, and the grim conditions in Francoist prisons, as well as the more mundane daily struggle for survival of the civilian population in the early years of the dictatorship. Some of the novels present an adult protagonist who remembers childhood experiences of war, exile, and dictatorship, while others seek to present the past "as it was lived," telling the story through the voices of the characters at the time of the events. Others present protagonists in contemporary Spain who embark on a quest to discover details of their parents' and grandparents' past as part of their own search for self-understanding.
Memory, War, and Dictatorship in Recent Spanish Fiction by Women discusses the different narrative strategies these contemporary writers use to cast light on women's roles and experiences during the Civil War and Franco years, and examines their contribution to the broader movement to recover historical memory in Spain.
About the author: Prof Sarah Leggott
edited by Jean Anderson, Carolina Miranda and Barbara Pezzotti, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015
This is the first book to focus explicitly on the complexities of crime fiction seriality. As a whole the book argues that, far from being limited and repetitive, serial crime fiction exploits a seemingly infinite variety of permutations to explore major social issues. Covering definitions and development of the serial form, implications of the setting, perceptions and marketing of the series, this book also offers lively and innovative readings of nineteenth to twenty-first century crime fiction from Argentina, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, the UK, and the USA. Authors studied include Conan Doyle, Dorothy Sayers, Sara Paretsky, David Peace, James Ellroy, Maurice Leblanc, Lisa Marklund, Andrea Camilleri, and Jorge Luis Borges, across print, film and television.
Translation, Transnationalism, World Literature (Novi Liguere: Edizioni Joker, 2015, 436pp)
Sonzogni, Marco and Benocci, Francesca (PhD Candidate in Literary Translation Studies at Victoria), eds.
This is a volume of essays by established and emerging scholars from around the world on current topics in Translation Studies.
Sonzogni, Marco, Questa stupida faccia (Milano: Archinto, 2015, 55pp).
This contains the annotated correspondence between Irma Brandeis and Gianfranco Contini, completing a decade of work on the papers of the Jewish-American muse of the Italian poet and Nobel Laureate, Eugenio Montale.
About the author: Dr Marco Sonzogni
About Eco (Novi Ligure: Edizioni Joker, 2014, 206pp)
Sonzogni, Marco and Adamo, Giuliana (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland), eds.
This a volume of essays by established and emerging scholars from around the world on the scholarly and literary works of Umberto Eco, one of the most influential intellectuals of our time.
Sonzogni, Marco, Ci vuole un fiore (Firenze: Società Editrice Fiorentina, 2014, 48pp)
This collection of ekphrastic poetry - based on a URF project - is shortlisted for an international award for poetry in Italian.
Hill, Sarah Patricia and Giuliana Minghelli, eds., Toronto: University of Toronto Press (2014)
The book brings together the writing of scholars, theorists, and artists on the uneasy relationship between Italian culture and photography. Highlighting the depth and complexity of the Italian contribution to the technology and practice of photography illustrated with more than 150 images, its chapters explore how Italian literature, cinema, popular culture, and politics have engaged with the medium of photography over the course of time.
It includes topics such as Futurism's ambivalent relationship to photography, the influence of American photography on Italian neorealist cinema, and the connection between the photograph and Duchamp's concept of the Readymade. With contributions from writer and theorist Umberto Eco, photographer Franco Vaccari, art historian Robert Valtorta, and cultural historian Robert Lumley, among others, Stillness in Motion engages with crucial historical and cultural moments in Italian history, examining each one through particular photographic practices.
Rebecca West, Professor Emerita at the University of Chicago, writes of the collection: “Dazzling in their array of erudite, original, and rigorous insights, and sustained by a judicious and relevant choice of accompanying photographs, the essays come together in this beautifully edited volume to form what is, to my mind, an instant classic.”
trans. Ross Woods (Toronto: Guernica Editions, 2014)
This book describes a consciousness in transit, a life on the move, a coming and going and a to-ing and fro-ing that encapsulates one of the most universal experiences of our time: nomadism and transience. Nomadism in space and time, because, here, geographical itineraries correspond to journeys from a past that at once remains very distant from an uncertain present as full of promises as it is of ambushes: journeys in time that are crueller because from them there is no return; journeys in which, above all, the baggage of the traveller consists of a list of what he has lost. But also of what most belongs to him, of a life lived and enjoyed, of that which is waiting for him: the hope of hearing a laugh, of once more experiencing "the dawn of happiness." - Antonio Muoz Molina
Breathing Underwater works on the basic premise that without pessimism there can be no hope. This sentiment, so effectively expressed in the Spanish language, represented the most arduous challenge in the translation of the book into English. Indeed, aware that poetry itself, as Robert Frost put it, is what gets lost in translation, I have endeavoured to preserve as much as possible of the emotional power of the original poems. Ultimately, as Valdivia himself has noted, "Melancholy exists because hope exists and hope exists because negativity exists." This dichotomy serves to make Breathing Underwater a truly beautiful and melancholic collection of poems. - Ross Woods
About the translator: Dr Ross Woods
Poesie 2009-2014, Marco Sonzogni. (La Vita Felice, 2014)
Dr Marco Sonzogni, a Senior Lecturer in Italian and the current Director of the New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation, has recently published his fourth book, Tagli (2009-2014), a new collection of poems. Released by one of Italy's top publishers of poetry, this book represents five years of intense metaphysical inquiry and sustained engagement with form and register. The forward and afterword are penned by two leading poetry critics, who highlight the book's depth of content and sharpness of language.
About the author: Dr Marco Sonzogni
Die schönste Zeit meines Lebens: Ernst und Felix Delbrücks Briefe aus Japan aus den Jahren 1887 bis 1889.
Ernst Delbrück, author; Felix Delbrück, author. Anna Bartels-Ishikawa, editor; Hansgerd Delbrück, editor; Yushi Ito, editor (Dunedin, University of Otago, 2014)
This book has several authors; it even might be called, somewhat unusually, a collaborative effort between writers from the 19th and the 21st centuries, who contribute to making the whole a repository of information, about two countries on two different continents: 19th century Germany, and Japan during the Meiji Period.
The 19th century writers are the cousins, Ernst and Felix Delbrück, whose recollections, in the form of letters written from Japan between 1887 and 1889, were undoubtedly the starting point for, and have become the nucleus of, this book. These legal specialists were among the thousands of foreign experts invited by the, then, new Japanese government, to help modernise a country which had been closed to western influence for 250 years. Their letters provide personal insights into Japanese society and the life of the German community in Tokyo between 1887 and 1889 - personal because the recipients were not government officials or colleagues, but family members back home.
The three 21st century writers are: Anna Bartels-Ishikawa, Hansgerd Delbrück and Yushi Ito, who have taken the material in the letters and added their own scholarly commentary to form the seven chapters that precede the comprehensive letter section.
These chapters in their own right – when viewed independently of the letters - are testimony to both the span and depth of the book. The process by which the cousins, came to travel to Japan as lawyers is, for example, described in the third of the seven chapters. In the fourth, members of various generations of the large and complex Delbrück family are put under the spotlight in order to throw light on the beliefs and Weltanschauung of Ernst and Felix. Because the Delbrücks were prominent in many areas of public life in 19th century Germany, this naturally touches on many of the prevailing events and ideas of the time. The fifth chapter describes the cousins` life after their return to Germany, thus ensuring that the reader has an appropriate historical and social context into which to place the men`s Japanese experiences.
The sixth chapter, by Anna Bartels-Ishikawa, is an examination of the German community in Tokyo at the time of the Delbrücks` activities there. In chapter seven, Yushi Ito examines the activities of the renowned German educationalist Emil Hausknecht, who was working in Tokyo at the same time as the Delbrücks.
The letters form the main section of the volume. They allow Ernst and Felix Delbrück to voice their impressions themselves. They illustrate not only their time in Japan, but their outward journey from Germany on the ship, the Bayern, via the Suez Canal and the Indian Ocean and their return journey home in 1889, first on the Oceanic to the west coast of the United States (arrived in August 1889) and then from New York to Germany. Letters by other writers also find a place in this work as do maps and photos which underpin, and provide a textured dimension to the texts.
Seen as a whole, the book offers new insights into a family and the many people with whom they came into contact, as well as into events and processes in different countries. It contains material that might be taken up and analysed by other researchers or might inspire others to investigate further aspects of the Meiji period.
eds. Sarah Leggott and Ross Woods (Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2013)
In recent years, much Spanish literary criticism has been characterized by debates about collective and historical memory, stemming from a national obsession with the past that has seen an explosion of novels and films about the Spanish Civil War and Franco dictatorship. This growth of so-called memory studies in literary scholarship has focused on the representation of memory and trauma in contemporary narratives dealing with the Civil War and ensuing dictatorship. In contrast, the novel of the postwar period has received relatively little critical attention of late, despite the fact that memory and trauma also feature, in different ways and to varying degrees, in many works written during the Franco years. The essays in this study argue that such novels merit a fresh critical approach, and that contemporary scholarship relating to the representation of memory and trauma in literature can enhance our understanding of the postwar Spanish novel.
The volume opens with essays that engage with aspects of contemporary theoretical approaches to memory in order to reveal the ways in which these are pertinent to Spanish novels written in the first postwar decades, with studies on novels by Camilo José Cela, Carmen Laforet, Arturo Barea and Ana María Matute. Its second section focuses on the representation of trauma in specific postwar novels, drawing on elements from trauma studies scholarship to discuss neglected works by Mercedes Salisachs, Dolores Medio and Ignacio Aldecoa. The final essays continue the focus on the theme of trauma and revisit works by women writers, namely Carmen Laforet, Rosa Chacel, Ana María Matute and María Zambrano, that foreground the experiences of female protagonists who are seeking to deal with a traumatic past. The essays in this volume thus propose a new direction for the study of Spanish literature of 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s, enhancing existing approaches to the postwar Spanish novel through an engagement with contemporary scholarship on memory and trauma in literature.
Rereading the Writings of Roberto Arlt (1900-1942) within the Framework of Argentine Theatre and Popular Literature: A New Way of Interpreting a Major Latin American Author
by Dr Carolina Miranda, (Edwin Mellen Press 2013)
The present book sets out to offer new readings of Roberto Arlt's oeuvre, particularly of his less studied short fiction and plays. It provides a comprehensive overview of the literary production of one of the most prominent Argentine authors of the 20th century. The son of lower middle-class immigrants, Roberto Arlt (1900-1942) is often portrayed as a voracious reader, a consumer of translations, and a hard-working writer, whose strength and talent, born out of necessity as well as of resentment, would come to compensate for a lack of a literary culture and technique. In fact, Arlt would turn his unprivileged upbringing into one of his major assets as a writer, thematizing his knowledge of a street culture in his work. Arlt's work has attracted a wide readership and also the growing interest of critics who have often been at pains to decipher this unique writer. Offering an innovative view regarding Arlt's position not only as a writer but also as a reader within the Argentine tradition, we are presented with an account of Arlt's aesthetics in relation with the politically creative appropriation of the well-established and the so-called “minor” literary genres, and the introduction of popular diction (lunfardo, cocoliche, etc.) in terms of a translational practice. Understood in the broad sense, Arlt could be said to be an intercultural agent, a kind of literary and cultural translator, acting across different social strata and circles through his writing. This constitutes an invitation to (re) read the fiction and theatre of a notable Argentine writer who, seventy years after his death, continues to speak to us with renewing passion and vitality about ourselves.
About the author: Dr Carolina Miranda
The Foreign in International Crime Fiction: Transcultural Representations
Jean Anderson, Carolina Miranda, Barbara Pezzotti, eds. London, Continuum, 2012
The foreign is a familiar topic in popular crime fiction, from the foreign detective whose outsider status provides a unique perspective on a familiar or exotic location to the xenophobic portrayal of the criminal Other. Exploring popular crime fiction from across the world, The Foreign in International Crime Fiction examines these popular works as 'transcultural contact zones' in which writers can tackle such issues as national identity, immigration, globalization and diaspora communities. Offering readings of 20th and 21st century crime writing from Norway, the UK, India, China, Europe and Australasia, the essays in this book open up new directions for scholarship on crime writing and transnational literatures.
The launch of the book, The Foreign in International Crime Fiction: Transcultural Representations, was held on Monday 13 August 2012. Pictured from left are the editors and contributors: Dr Margaret Sutherland, Dr Keren Chiaroni, Dr France Grenadier-Klijn, Assoc Prof Jean Anderson, Dr Barbara Pezzotti, Dr Andrew Francis and Dr Carolina Miranda.
Understanding the Poetry of José Manuel Caballero Bonald
The Function of Memory in a Spanish Writer's Art by Dr Ross Woods (Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2012)
This book offers a re-examination of the theme of memory in the later poetry of the award-winning Spanish poet José Manuel Caballero Bonald. Although the extant critical response to Caballero Bonald highlights the importance of memory as a recurrent motif throughout his entire oeuvre, these studies tend towards chronological analyses of his work. This study, for the first time, takes a focussed approach to a single aspect of Caballero Bonald's later poetry. Woods argues that the theme of memory in Caballero Bonald's later poetry acts as a Rosetta stone for potential understanding of the other major themes in his work and that this new reading of memory points to an underlying moral commitment in his writing. In doing so, he demonstrates how the interaction of the themes of time, identity and writing with memory is central to the poet's tripartite search for understanding: of the self, of the world around him and, ultimately, of his role as a poet in society. Woods concludes that this new reading of memory reveals Caballero Bonald as a poet who refuses to accept the failures of both memory and language, and who continues to write due to the possibility that the future holds. Indeed, in doing so, Caballero Bonald rejects the existence of certainty and challenges his readers to do the same by critically engaging with the world around them. For more information, cl ick here .
About the author: Dr Ross Woods
Ad Maiora: Selected papers from the Victoria University of Wellington
Postgraduate Symposium edited by Sarah Leggott and Marco Sonzogni.
This volume comprises a selection of papers presented at the inaugural School of Languages and Cultures (SLC) Postgraduate Symposium, held in October 2011 at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. The Symposium showcased the research work of Honours, MA and PhD students from the different language and culture programmes in the School: Asian Studies, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Italian, and Spanish. Interaction and exchange between postgraduate students and academic staff are at the heart of SLC's research culture. Consequently, the supervision and mentoring of future academics play a central role in the life of the School. The inaugural SLC Postgraduate Symposium was both a reflection and a product of such dialogue. This was a very important and highly successful event for our School, and we are proud of the excellent work produced by our postgraduate students who are clearly very promising scholars.
The essays included in this book are testament to the quality and the diversity of research work that is undertaken by the postgraduate community in SLC. Engaging with contemporary critical debates in different areas of literary, language and cultural studies, the papers serve to highlight the interdisciplinary nature of the research produced in the School. The essays in this book are arranged in four sections, mirroring the four sessions of the symposium, each focusing on a key thematic area: Issues of Representation, Issues of Translation, Issues of Language, and Issues of Reception and Cross-Cultural Representation. These sections, and the essays that comprise them, signal not only the breadth of scholarship in SLC, but also particular strengths in areas such as translation studies, contemporary literary criticism, and history and memory studies.
The launch of the book Ad Maiora was held on 31 May 2012. Pictured from left are: Head of the School of Languages and Cultures (SLC), Assoc Prof Sarah Leggott, SLC Postgraduate Coordinator, Dr Marco Sonzogni and Assoc Prof Paul Warren, Associate Dean Postgraduate Research.
Re-Covered Rose. A Case Study in Book Cover Design as Intersemiotic Translation
by Dr Marco Sonzogni, Senior Lecturer in Italian. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2011.
When a reader picks up a book, the essence of the text has been translated into the visual space of the cover. Using Umberto Eco's bestseller The Name of the Rose as a case study, this is the first study of book cover design as a form of intersemiotic translation based on the purposeful selection of visual signs to represent verbal signs. As an act of translation the cover of a book ought to be an 'equivalent representation' of the text. But in the absence of any established interpretive criteria, how can equivalence between the visual and the verbal be determined and interpreted? Re-covered Rose tackles this question in an original and creative way, laying the foundation for a new research trend in Translation Studies.
About the author: Dr Marco Sonzogni
Snow from Broken Eyes: Cocaine in the Lives and Works of Three Expressionist Poets
by Dr Richard Millington, Lecturer in German. Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main, 2011
Snow from Broken Eyes: Cocaine in the Lives and Works of Three Expressionist Poets, Bern: Peter Lang, 2012. 341pp. For more information.
The highpoint of German Expressionism in the second decade of the 20th century coincided with a rapid increase in the availability of cocaine as the drug was stockpiled for medical purposes by armies fighting the First World War. This study investigates the implications of this historical intersection for the lives and works of three poets associated with Expressionism: Gottfried Benn, Walter Rheiner and Georg Trakl. All three are known to have used the drug during the War, although under very different circumstances, and the cocaine references contained in their works are equally diverse. In this study, the findings arising from close readings of key works by Benn, Rheiner and Trakl are contextualized in relation both to the longstanding historical association between psychoactive substances and imaginative literature, and to the radical innovations in literary style that characterized the early 20th century.
About the author: Dr Richard Millington
One Artist on Five Continents: The Life of Elisabet Delbrück
by Dr Margaret Sutherland, Senior Lecturer in German. Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main, 2011.
Elisabet Delbrük (1876-1967) was one of a number of Germans who came to New Zealand in the late 1930s. Unlike most, she had not intended to emigrate but was touring the country when World War II broke out. She was at first forbidden to leave and then chose to remain in Wellington. Her thirty years in Mahina Bay on Wellington harbour had a profound effect on all who knew her. This study aims to discover why she was so remarkable. It explores her early life, her marriage into a prominent German family and her qualification as an artist. She turned this into a profession, teaching and exhibiting on five continents in the 1920s and 1930s. She always travelled alone, observing the customs and beliefs of the people she met. In Australia and New Zealand in 1938 and 1939 she was wrongly suspected of spreading Nazi propaganda. Her story is also the story of a heroic group of Wellingtonians who helped her in the 1940s and valued her friendship till her death.
About the author: Dr Margaret Sutherland
The Last of the Human Freedoms - The French civilians who chose to help Kiwis during the Second World War
by Dr Keren Chiaroni - Senior Lecturer in French
With forewords by Michel Legras, Ambassador of France to New Zealand, and Rosemary Banks, Ambassador of New Zealand to France. RRP $39.99 HarperCollins Publishers NZ.
When Kiwi airman John Sanderson was shot down over Laines-aux-Bois in 1944, a French family chose to shelter him. A local doctor called in to treat his wounds made a different choice and betrayed them all to the Gestapo. The mother was eventually released, but her husband was transported and died en route to Dachau concentration camp. The airman survived the war and began a correspondence with the family, the legacy of which continues today.
Based on letters, journals, military records and personal accounts, The Last of the Human Freedoms tells of a number of dramatic escapes by downed airmen made with the help of French citizens―some were members of the Resistance and others just ordinary citizens from many walks of life―all of whom were aware of the dangers involved. The helpers associated with two of the pilots whose stories are told in this book were sent to concentrations camps. One died en route, one died in the camps, the others returned with nightmares that remained with them for the rest of their days.
'Their decision to assist others at great cost to themselves,' says Chiaroni, 'provides a counterpoint to the shameful policies of the Vichy regime, while offering a demonstration of the role of choice in our lives even, and especially, in circumstances where our freedom has been curtailed.'
Chiaroni's extensive research during the course of five years, took her to many locations in France and New Zealand, where she interviewed surviving members of the families whose stories are told in this book, and was able to access archival resources in both public and private collections.
While primarily about individual lives and personal choices, The Last of the Human Freedoms also presents a poignant and compelling view of humanity. As Auschwitz survivor and philosopher Viktor Frankl wrote: 'Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms' to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.'
Keren Chiaroni teaches French at Victoria University. She is committed to exploring links between different media and cultures, and between France and New Zealand.
About the author: Dr Keren Chiaroni
Une étude sémantico-narratologique de Dis-moi que je vis (1964) et du Portique(1967) de Michèle Mailhot. Colimaçon et oscillation dans les soliloques de Josée
by Myreille Pawliez, Senior Lecturer in French
Lewiston-Queenston-Lampeter, The Edwin Mellen Press, 2010, 356 pages, ISBN-13: 978-0-7734-1322-1 / ISBN-10: 0-7734-1322-7.
This study is an in-depth narratological analysis of the first two books by the Quebec writer, Michèle Mailhot, who was first published in the 1960s, at a time when a truly Quebec literature emerged and the number of published novels in the province soared. Each of the novels, Dis-moi que je vis (1964) and Le Portique (1967), is narrated in the first person and portrays a female protagonist named Josée who lives in Montreal.
The research departs from the existing sociological and psychological works, essentially feminist, which have focussed on the personal struggle of Mailhot's protagonists who live in a patriarchal Quebec. Based on Gérard Genette's internationally recognised narratological theory, it looks closely and systematically at the narrative features of both works in order to pinpoint their network of narrative characteristics and interpret the effects from textual clues such as verbal tenses, spatial and temporal deictics, personal and modal markers, typological and discourse indicators that are presented in the two long tables of the appendices. It also examines how characters are constructed within the text, combining the notion of semantic traits with some aspects of narrative theory, using a model specifically developed to supplement the theoritical gap in the study of characters within the boundaries of narratology. As a result of this examination, despite a noted similarity in many narrative elements relating to time, focalisation, narration and characterisation, a different, and meaningful, overarching narrative structure, as well as a meaningful network of characters, are uncovered for each of the novels, thus showing for the first time how the narrative underpins the semantic in Mailhot's first two novels. New elements and effects, sometimes paradoxical and often relating to the protagonist, emerge, confirming, or refuting, previous findings. In particular, it is revealed if Josée is the one and same protagonist, and if the humour, which ranges from derision to sarcasm, stems from Josée-the protagonist or Josée-the narrator.
The detailed comparative semantico-narratological analysis, accompanied by an exhaustive bibliography and preceded by a presentation of the author's writings and a commentary of the associated media reviews and academic studies, leads to the contextualisation of both works within the broad classification of traditional vs modern novels, as well as within the ideological and literary context of Quebec. The work concludes on the paradoxical aspects of Dis-moi que je vis and Le Portique as well as the paradoxes surrounding Michèle Mailhot's writings. In the end, this study unveils the extent of her talent and to a certain degree, explains why her writing has somehow been overlooked.
This publication would appeal to readers interested in Michèle Mailhot's novels, Quebec literature, characterization and narratological analysis.
About the author: Dr Myreille Pawliez
So Far the World (Si Loin du Monde)
Tahitian fisherman Tava'e Raioaoa was cast adrift in the currents and winds of the Pacific Ocean. He travelled over 1,200 kilometres in his small open vessel for more than 100 days until landing on Aitutaki in the Cook Islands. Tava'e Raioaoa told his story to French journalist Lionel Duroy.
The French language book was first published in 2003 by Oh Publishing and went on to win the Document category of the Prix des Maisons de la Presse Award in 2003.
So Far the World has been translated into English by Dr Jean Anderson, Senior Lecturer, School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Victoria and Director of the New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation / Te Tumu Whakawhiti Tuhinga o o Aotearoa.
About the author: Associate Professor Jean Anderson