Over the past decade ‘singularity’ has been a prominent term in a broad range of fields, ranging from philosophy to literary and cultural studies to science and technology studies. This volume intervenes in this broad discussion of singularity and its various implications, proposing to explore the term for its specific potential in the study of literature.
Singularity and Transnational Poetics brings together scholars working in the fields of literary and cultural studies, translation studies, and transnational literatures. The volume’s central concern is to explore singularity as a conceptual tool for the comparative study of contemporary literatures beyond national frameworks, and by implication, as a tool to analyze human existence. Contributors explore how singularity might move our conceptions of cultural identity from prevailing frameworks of self/other toward the premises of being as ‘singular plural’. Through a close reading of transnational literatures from Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, France, and South Africa, this collection offers a new approach to reading literature that will challenge a reader’s established notions of identity, individuality, communicability, and social cohesion.
Table of Contents
PART I: Opening 1. Singularity and Transnational Poetics Birgit Mara Kaiser PART II: Literature in the Transnation 2. Literature and the Profane Community in Jean-Luc Nancy’s Being Singular Plural Bart Philipsen 3. Nancy, Djebar and the Singularity of Literature Jane Hiddleston 4. Contemporary Afrikaans Fiction and English Translation: Singularity and the Question of Minor Languages Derek Attridge 5. The Singularity of the Event: Gilles Deleuze, Paul Virilio, François Jullien Réda Bensmaïa PART III: Singularity in/of/as Transcultural Poetics 6. Absolute Nonabsolute Singularity: Derrida, Myles na gCopaleen and Fragmentation Maebh Long 7. Rusty Rails and Parallel Tracks: Trans-Latio in Yoko Tawada’s Das nackte Auge Leslie A. Adelson 8. The Figure that Robert Frost’s Poetics Make: Singularity and Sanskrit Poetic Theory Ranjan Ghosh 9. Singularity, Sinthome and Weak Universality in Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and Michael Cunningham’s The Hours Tom Ratekin 10. ‘All Things Do Change’: Metamorphosis and Community in Hafid Bouazza’s Spotvogel Henriëtte Louwerse
Birgit Mara Kaiser teaches Comparative Literature at Utrecht University. Publications include Figures of Simplicity. Sensation and Thinking in Kleist and Melville (2011); Postcolonial Literatures and Deleuze. Colonial Pasts, Differential Futures, edited with Lorna Burns (2012); Diffracted Worlds – Diffractive Readings: Onto-Epistemologies and the Critical Humanities, special issue of Parallax edited with Kathrin Thiele, 20/3 (July 2014).
"A timely reminder of how considerations of singularity can radically destabilize established ideas concerning identity, communicability, nationality, along with linguistic and cultural modes of translation." --Graham Allen, University College Cork, Ireland