The Routledge Concise History of Science Fiction (Routledge Concise Histories of Literature)

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Bould, Mark, and Sherryl Vint. Routledge Concise Histories of Literature Series. London and New York: Routledge, ISBN All of a sudden, it seems, we can hardly move for histories of science fiction. It is as if there is a sense of something coming to an end, as if there is now enough historical perspective for us to look back and assess how the genre was shaped and developed. This latest variant on the form is also one of the briefest; in comparison, the Routledge Companion to Science Fiction, which the authors of this "concise history" also co-edited, contains almost as many pages in the section on the history of the genre as this entire book.

The Companion also treats the genre far more broadly, in terms of the timeframe covered, the forms of sf covered though Bould in particular is a specialist in film, this book is all about literature , and the understanding of what constitutes sf. This last leads directly into one of the problems with this book. It is clear that this volume is intended as a teaching aid, primarily for undergraduates with little or no previous acquaintance with the genre.

In this it works well: it is brisk and breezy, throws in enough theory to seem serious without being weighty, and lets much of the argument rest on the numerous booklists that are embedded throughout the text. The booklists constantly direct the reader outside the text, and while no work that appears in a list is allowed any substantive discussion in the text, taken alone the lists do act as a reasonable if far from comprehensive guide to many of the most significant works of the genre.

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They cloned a square meter of skin for him, grew it on slabs of collagen and shark-cartilage polysaccharides. They bought eyes and genitals on the open market. The eyes were green. Book 1 chaps. The authors allocate far more space to historically inconsequential writers such as Leslie F.

World literature

Stone and George O. To complement these, SFWA members chose the best short stories and novellas published before and have generated the multivolume Science Fiction Hall of Fame , , , Arthur B. Evans, Istvan Csicsery-Ronay Jr. Evans, Istvan Csicsery- Ronay Jr.

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In contrast, Spitzer spent only three years in Istanbul, between when he fled Cologne, where he was succeeded by Curtius, in , and his further move to the United Sates in The Humanism of the Renaissance rests upon the re-discovery of classical civilization as the realm of the human instead of the divine, as was the case in medieval times. This is symbolized by the rediscovery of the human body as the legitimate and proper subject for art, as Kenneth Clark has convincingly shown in his celebrated study The Nude , and by the philological study of texts not as divine revelation but as man-made.

However, the adulation of the classics this initially implied also made them into a measure for conservatives to return to again and again, thus making Humanism for this group a permanent state in the past from which the present could only be a falling off. His position, mutatis mutandis, was shared by other conservatives such as T.

This is what Said sees Auerbach doing, and what he himself put into practice. Humanism, however, is more than Ancient monuments; the rise of Humanism in the Renaissance also marks the rise of philology as investigative method to draw out the meaning of all kind of texts. The postcolonial critic and theoretician Edward Said insists precisely on the value of humanistic philology as an instrument also for self-critically investigating the foundations of Humanism itself, and of that European civilization it undergirds.

Moreover, in Europe or in the European tradition comparative literature in practice was the domain of a cultured elite naturally schooled in a variety of languages, often because of the specific political or other conditions they found themselves in. It is certainly no coincidence that many of the nineteenth-century forerunners of comparative literature, and of its earlier practitioners in the twentieth century, were Swiss or worked in that country. Additionally, the cultured elite in Europe during the nineteenth and early twentieth century as a matter of course understood, spoke and wrote French, and was educated with Latin and Greek as self-evident parts of the high school curriculum, with Latin often being a prerequisite for admission to university.

Finally, scholars working in languages and literatures until WWII were almost invariably philologists, who as a matter of course studied European rather than single national literatures. In the United States circumstances were completely different, and when after WWII the lead in comparative literature passed from Europe to the USA this also had immediate consequences for the study of world literature. The scope of the literatures that could be studied broadened significantly, no immediate filiation between various works studied need be demonstrated, and more general topics could be broached.

The History of Sci Fi - Jules Verne - Extra Sci Fi - #1

For various reasons, though, from the s through the s comparative literature, and world literature with it, were eclipsed by a rapid succession of theoretical movements that flourished in national literature, and particularly English departments, rather than comparative literature departments, at least in the United States.

The recent renewed interest in world literature, though, has returned comparative literature to the center of American academe again. However, this is a much-changed comparative literature from its earlier days. Interestingly, though, the recent upswing of interest in world literature as fueled by comparative literature goes hand in hand with a re-discovery, or in any case a re-reading and re-interpretation, of a number of pioneers in the field of comparative literature that are being reappropriated for present-day concerns.

It also coincided, as we have seen in the first chapter, with the emergence of a clear consciousness of national literatures and with the writing of their histories. It is not that histories of literature spanning a wider reach than a single country or one single language had not been written before. Jost also mentions a number of examples from England and France. John Dryden — , Jost points out, wrote a number of essays on various genres, as well as on comparisons between poetry and painting, in which he addressed more than one literature. It had been an agent of concentration in furthering national literatures; an agent of expansion by furthering the transnational dimension of literature.

These works, as I have also argued with regard to Goethe on Weltliteratur, simultaneously look back at the Republic of Letters and forward to the new Romantic era of national literatures. The celebrated British-Scots poet Byron — was also, during certain periods, a frequent visitor. Jahrhunderts —19; a twelve-volume History of Poetry and Eloquence since the End of the Thirteenth Century , by the German philosopher and critic Friedrich Bouterwek — It indicated a scientific method that had become very popular especially in anatomy and philology. In philology, the name of the English jurist and orientalist William Jones —94 stands out.

Comparative Literature: The Early Years The birth of comparative literature as a discipline proper is to be situated in France. If from the s on, then, comparative literature has become an accepted enterprise, at least in France, this is not to say that this new way of looking at literature also was honored with official chairs at French universities. For sure, a number of courses in comparative literature were instituted, mostly under the tutelage of chairs in foreign literatures, but no independent chairs.

Authors : Bould, Mark : SFE : Science Fiction Encyclopedia

The first such chairs were created in Italy and in Switzerland. The very first chair would seem to have been created in Naples, although accounts differ to its regard. According to Jost 12 a chair in comparative literature was created in Naples in for the Italian scholar and politician Francesco de Sanctis —83 who, however, could only take up his professorship in For Pichois and Rousseau 19 , De Sanctis already became Professor in Comparative Literature at Naples in upon the creation of a chair there.

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France followed in with the appointment of Joseph Texte to a newly created chair in Comparative Literature at the University of Lyons. Beyond France: Hugo Meltzl and Max Koch In the second half of the nineteenth century comparative literature spread to the rest of Europe, and beyond. However, not everything that appeared in its pages unhesitatingly was in support of a Goethean Weltliteratur.

In the journal published an article by the German poet and critic Wolfgang Menzel — , a staunch opponent of Goethe and Heinrich Heine. Young Germany Junges Deutschland was the name given to a German social and literary reform movement between and Inspired by liberal ideas of French origin the writers making up the movement opposed nationalist and Romantic excesses.

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By the German authorities, and by conservative commentators, they were seen as dangerous revolutionaries, and their works were banned or censored. Heinrich Heine, although he formally had nothing to do with them, was often counted among them because his ideas were close to theirs. Brassai belonged to the Hungarian-speaking population of Transylvania, Meltzl to the Germanspeaking minority long established there. In the countryside around Cluj Romanian was the dominant language.

They should use, however, only those means which we have called the two most important comparative principles, translation and polyglottism, never acts of violence or barbaric hypotheses which will be profitable for nobody but which unfortunately appear occasionally even in the great European journals.

In practice, most articles were in German and Hungarian. It should also be said that the Acta, notwithstanding its ambitions, and probably at least partially due to its relatively inauspicious site of publication, never had more than a few score subscribers and readers. In fact, if I have dwelt upon Meltzl in such detail it is because he has become somewhat of an iconic figure for comparatists, especially in the United States, since the beginning of the twenty-first century.

Damrosch in particular, but in his wake others such as Haun Saussy, have seized upon Meltzl to at least partially reground the genealogy of comparative literature in the direction of a globalized multilingual, or polyglottal, discipline. Saussy is overlooking three things here.

To begin with, Meltzl himself at the outset of the first part of his programmatic statement feels it necessary to insist that his new journal is not to be taken as a philological enterprise. Meltzl here seems to be implying that Goethe could afford his cosmopolitanism because even if he was comparing the position of German literature unfavorably with that of English and especially French literature, he was still writing from the comfort of a major language, and hence from a position of power.


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He needs to defend polyglottism as a defense against the encroachment of German, yet he also needs to raise Hungarian above the status of the other minority languages in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, particularly Romanian. As Schulz and Rhein note, Melzl never precisely defines what he means by the latter term.


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The latter was, next to a noted poet, also a revolutionary, who died most probably his body was never found in a battle for Hungarian independence.