Institute of Modern Languages Research

Nicole Robertson
March 1, 2022

The "amoral voice" of fin-de-siècle Vienna, Arthur Schnitzler (1862–1931) was one of the major figures of European modernist literature. Throughout his lifetime and posthumously, he enjoyed substantial domestic and international success, yet the arrival of his dramatic works in Great Britain was plagued by false starts, short runs and inconsistencies. Only with Tom Stoppard’s adaptations of Das weite Land and Liebelei, as Undiscovered Country (1979) and Dalliance (1986) respectively, were Schnitzler’s plays finally produced at the National Theatre. 

This fascinating new title enquires into the whys and wherefores of that dilatory dissemination to unearth evidence of power in transcultural...

Edited by Katharina Herold and Frank Krause
November 18, 2021
Literary references to smell in social contexts have a long tradition. However, the significant contribution of odour imagery to our moods and emotions goes largely unnoticed, which accounts for the comparatively late attention paid to smell in research into the significance of sensory images in literature. The well-known capacity of smell motifs to affirm and disrupt social and aesthetic norms cuts across historical periods, but the ways in which specific literary-historical periods renew motifs of smell in social life have remained underexplored. This volume, based on the interdisciplinary conference that took place in November 2018 at the University of London's Institute of Modern Languages Research, gives an overview of such...
Sara Delmedico
November 15, 2021
Shifts in state boundaries and socio-economic structures deeply affected the political landscape in nineteenth-century Italy, coinciding with changes to the legal system. The patriarchal, hierarchical and strict class stratification of society saw women redefining their sense of self and rethinking their identities beyond the traditional domestic roles of daughter, wife and mother. This volume charts the process and, by analysing the law in action and women’s interaction with it, recovers the forgotten voices and stories of ordinary women who, in their everyday lives, reacted against the limitations and constraints imposed upon them. The picture which emerges gives an alternative interpretation of the nineteenth-century image of women:...
Tom Zille
June 30, 2021

Christian Felix Weiße (1726-1804) is best known as a dramatist and influential children’s writer of the Enlightenment period. This is the first book to explore his singularly extensive output as a literary translator, investigating the conditions which allowed Weiße to become the most prolific German translator of English literature in the eighteenth century, a popular translator of French drama, and an influential editor and ‘entrepreneur’ of the translations of others. Drawing on previously unpublished correspondence, the study examines Weiße’s wide-ranging professional networks as a cultural mediator of European significance. Special attention is paid to his role in the German reception of Ossian, his introduction of English children...

Rebecca Maria DeWald
December 18, 2020

Reading creates imaginary worlds. Rather than merely contemplating this world, we establish links between the fictional world and the environment we live in. At the same time, the books we read form part of our daily lives, and contribute to the creation of a universe of possible worlds we inhabit. Taking Possible World Theory as a starting point, DeWald re-evaluates and overturns the assumed hierarchical relationship between original text and its translation. Focusing on the translations of Virginia Woolf and Franz Kafka by Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, the author considers why we insist on maintaining borders between texts. DeWald examines marginal cases of translations and originals (pseudo-translations and collaborative...

Cornelia Wech
June 30, 2020

This study examines how the literary works of Elisabeth Reichart, Charlotte Roche and Elfriede Jelinek challenge normativity both in their engagement with gender and sexuality and with aesthetic choices. The comparative analysis of texts published over a twenty-year period provides insights into the socio-political and cultural dynamics at the time of publication. It reveals the continuing relevance of feminist authorial voices to the present day, challenging the stable, normative understanding of feminism and feminist writing itself, and showing how literature can function as a form of intervention that provides a reflective space for readers to question norms in their own lives and to take the initiative to change these norms.

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Rebecca May Johnson
August 9, 2019

How has classical literature shaped culture, knowledge, the thinkable? What happens when a canonical text is translated from his gaze into her, and their, gaze(s)?  These are some of the questions Barbara Köhler pursues in her modern epic poem, Niemands Frau (2007), her response to The Odyssey. Translated and re-imagined over the centuries, Homer’s tale found critical resonance in intellectual traditions from Christianity through to Post-Colonialism. Odysseus has been viewed as an ideal, reputedly using reason rather than force to dominate, but in Niemands Frau Köhler takes inspiration from Penelope to weave a text that challenges the rationalist and patriarchal...

Edited by Margit Dirscherl and Astrid Köhler
July 5, 2019

Urban microcosms are small-scale communal spaces that are integral to, or integrated into, city life. Some, such as railway stations or department stores, are typically located in city centres. Others, such as parks, are less quintessentially metropolitan, whilst harbours or beaches are often located on the peripheries of cities or outside them altogether. All are part of a network of nodes establishing connections in and beyond the city. Together, they shape and inflect the infrastructure of modern life. By introducing the concept of urban microcosm into social, cultural, and literary studies, this interdisciplinary volume challenges the widely held assumption that city life is evenly spread across its spaces. Sixteen case...

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