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Palgrave Macmillan

Commemorating Writers in Nineteenth-Century Europe

Nation-Building and Centenary Fever

ISBN 9781137412133
Publication Date August 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

The many statues to writers dotted around the cities of Europe are the leftovers of a wave of commemorations which passed across the continent in the nineteenth century. Commemorating Writers in Nineteenth-Century Europe is the first volume to study this phenomenon in depth, offering both detailed accounts of the cults of individual writers and a comparative perspective on the spread of centenary fever across Europe. The result is fascinating insights into the interaction between performance, cultural memory and identity, and into the role of literature as a platform for both the negotiation of conflict and the celebration of common values. The comparative approach reveals how national identities were established along comparable lines in different countries, and how they were entangled in complex ways with struggles for power and prestige at local, regional and transnational levels. Among the fifteen cases studied, the English reader will encounter familiar names like Scott, Burns, Goethe, Dante, Petrarch, Cervantes and Camões, but also less familiar ones, such as Petőfi, Prešeren, and Vondel. This study offers a radically new perspective on the trans-European cult of literature in the nineteenth century and on its societal importance.

Joep Leerssen is Professor of European Studies at the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands. His publications address the role of literature in cultural memory and national identities, and the transnational development of cultural nationalism in nineteenth-century Europe. He heads the Study Platform on Interlocking Nationalisms (SPIN, www.spinnet.eu).

Ann Rigney is Professor of Comparative Literature at Utrecht University, Netherlands. She has published widely in the field of historical fiction, historiography, and cultural memory studies, including most recently The Afterlives of Walter Scott: Memory on the Move (2012).

List of Illustrations
Notes on the Contributors
Introduction: Fanning out from Shakespeare; Ann Rigney and Joep Leerssen
1. Schiller 1859: Literary Historicism and Readership Mobilization; Joep Leerssen
2. Burns 1859: Embodied Communities and Transnational Federation; Ann Rigney
3. Scott 1871: Celebration as Cultural Diplomacy; Ann Rigney
4. Moore 1879: Ireland, America, Australia; Ronan Kelly
5. Dante 1865: The Politics and Limits of Aesthetic Education; Mahnaz Yousefzadeh
6. Petrarch 1804-1904: Nation-Building and Glocal Identities; Harald Hendrix
7. Petrarch 1874: Pan-National Celebrations and Provençal Regionalism; Francesca Zantedeschi
8. Voltaire 1878: Commemoration and the Creation of Dissent; François Boudrot
9. Vondel 1867: Amsterdam-Netherlands, Protestant-Catholic; Joep Leerssen
10. Conscience 1883: Between Flanders and Belgium; An De Ridder
11. Pushkin 1880: Fedor Doestoevsky Voices the Russian Self-Image; Neil Stewart
12. Prešeren 1905: Ritual Afterlives and Slovenian Nationalism; Marijan Dović
13. Mácha, Petőfi, Mickiewicz: (Un)wanted Statues in East-Central Europe; John Neubauer
14. Cervantes 1916: Literature as Exquisite Neutrality; Clara Calvo
15. Whose Camões? Canons, Celebrations, Colonialism; Paulo de Medeiros

Pierre Boudrot, University Paris-I Panthéon-Sorbonne, France
Clara Calvo, University of Murcia, Spain
Marijan Dović, University of Nova Gorica, Slovenia
Harald Hendrix, Utrecht University, Netherlands
Ronan Kelly, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
Joep Leerssen, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Paulo de Medeiros, University of Warwick, UK
John Neubauer, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
An de Ridder, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Ann Rigney, Utrecht University, Netherlands
Neil Stewart, University of Bonn, Germany
Mahnaz Yousefzadeh, New York University, USA
Francesca Zantedeschi, European University Institute, Italy


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