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2 Going Native: When the Academic Is (Also) the Fan

Catherine M. Roach Indiana University Press ePub

Here’s a moment. I am in Tuscaloosa, Alabama’s one really good seafood restaurant—fish trucked in daily from the Gulf of Mexico—having lunch with Eloisa James/Mary Bly. She’s the guest of the University of Alabama; we invited her down in her capacity as Dr. Mary Bly, Shakespeare and Renaissance scholar at Fordham University, but also in her capacity as Eloisa James, New York Times–bestselling author of historical romance novels. She delivered a campus-wide talk in the English department, visited my gender studies seminar, and spoke with my students about romance fiction. Mary is a respected academic with scholarly publications and degrees from Harvard, Oxford, and Yale. Eloisa is a high-level, successful romance writer. I am there in that moment eating lunch as a fan of Eloisa James, asking when her next book is coming out. I am there as an academic who works in popular romance studies, talking with Mary over shrimp salad about American cultural ambivalences around women’s sexuality. And I am also there as a beginner writer—what’s called a wannabe—eager for and honored by Eloisa’s volunteered advice on my own historical romance manuscript. She reads and critiques my first chapter over key lime pie: “Core idea intriguing, but opening scene no good—not enough tension! Raise the stakes! Make the heroine suffer more! And the hero, his eyes could be sky blue.” All great advice, except I keep his eyes brown, “chocolate brown,” influenced I suspect by an early boyfriend.

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2 Virginia Woolf and Musical Culture

Adriana L. Varga Indiana University Press ePub

Mihály Szegedy-Maszák

ALTHOUGH VIRGINIA WOOLF WAS SKEPTICAL OF THE MERITS of any verbal approach to music, she was fascinated by the ideal of ut musica poesis. As she listened to a concert in 1915, she decided that “all descriptions of music are quite worthless” (D1: 33), yet she constantly drew inspiration from music. There is good reason to believe that as early as 1905 (PA 251) she became familiar with Walter Pater’s celebrated statement “All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music” (86), echoed by Oscar Wilde’s declaration in the preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray: “From the point of view of form, the type of all the arts is the art of the musician” (17). “Its odd, for I’m not regularly musical, but I always think of my books as music before I write them,” she remarked toward the end of her life. “I want to investigate the influence of music on literature,” she added a few months before her death (L6: 426, 450).

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Chapter 1: The Birth of Old Odessa

Jarrod Tanny Indiana University Press ePub

“I’M GOING TO ODESSA for money!” declared Reb Khaim-Shulim, an impoverished and hapless Jew living in Kishinev during the mid-nineteenth century. Fed up with supporting a large family and living his life from hand to mouth, Khaim-Shulim packed his bags and set off for the wondrous city on the Black Sea, which was then all the rage among the Jews in Russia’s Pale of Settlement. But Khaim-Shulim’s friend, Reb Haskel, saw nothing but danger in Khaim-Shulim’s future: “It’s a spoiled, spoiled city I tell you … there will be dark temptations everywhere; in the cafés, in the theaters. Take a prayer book with you and read psalms in your spare time; it will be edifying.”1

By the time Khaim-Shulim, a literary character invented by the Russian-Jewish writer Osip Rabinovich, embarked upon his journey to Russia’s southern frontier, Odessa was already a town with a notorious reputation: a land of opulence and sin, a city where wealth could easily be acquired and where revelry and decadence lurked around every corner. Reb Khaim-Shulim may have been among the first “shtetl” Jews to travel to Odessa, but he was making a journey of exploration and imagination undertaken and recorded by many actual travelers before him—including Russians, Englishmen, Frenchmen, Germans, and Italians. These sojourners laid the foundations for the myth of old Odessa in their letters, travelogues, and memoirs, creating the discursive blueprint for what would become Russia’s foremost city of affluence and dissipation. From the mid-nineteenth century on, Jewish travelers (both literary and real) came to Odessa in droves. Writers like Osip Rabinovich and Sholem Aleichem embraced and appropriated the embryonic Odessa myth and, through their writings, imbued it with elements of Jewish culture and humor.

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3. Awake

Robert B. Ray Indiana University Press ePub

Morning is when I am awake and there is a dawn in me. Moral reform is the effort to throw off sleep.… To be awake is to be alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake. How could I have looked him in the face?

We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn. (64)

Walden’s rich mysteriousness often derives from Thoreau’s own ambivalence. “The fact is,” he reported to his journal, “I am a mystic, a transcendentalist, and a natural philosopher to boot” (J, 5 March 1853). Emerson’s Neoplatonic transcendentalism had regarded the material world as a set of signs pointing to more important spiritual truths, and Walden often reflects that lesson. Thus, although Thoreau provides the exact details of planting and nurturing his crops, insisting “I was determined to know beans,” he immediately shifts registers: “Not that I wanted beans to eat … but, perchance, as some must work in fields if only for the sake of tropes and expression, to serve a parable-maker one day” (111). In “Brute Neighbors,” a chapter nominally devoted to the pond’s wildlife, Thoreau strikes the same note, proposing that “animals … are all beasts of burden, in a sense, made to carry some portion of our thoughts” (153).

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4 The Big Slicks

Ray E. Boomhower Indiana University Press ePub

FOR MILLIONS OF VETERANS FOLLOWING THE END OF WORLD War II, their return home resembled what they had gone through upon their induction into military service: long waits in long lines. On Friday, February 16, 1946, after filling out the necessary paperwork at an army separation center at Camp Ulysses S. Grant near Rockford, Illinois, John Bartlow Martin achieved what he had been seeking for many months: discharge from the U.S. Army status as a civilian. He took a train to Chicago and by 8:00 PM was back home in Winnetka with his wife, Fran, and daughter, Cindy. Upon walking through the front door, Martin hugged his wife and turned to hug his daughter, and then the three of them embraced one another.1

Before returning home, Martin had written to Fran outlining his plans for the future. Someone had asked him what he wanted to do with the rest of his life, and Martin had responded, “I told him – and meant it and rather surprised him and perhaps myself – I wanted to be happy with you, then wanted to write well, then wanted to make a lot of money. In that order. (The order of the last two isn’t quite as simple as it appears; it just means that I think I can make a very comfortable living AND write well, and if so I’d rather do it than write lousy and make a whole lot of money).” Martin added that he would take care of the final two items, but they were meaningless unless “you make me happy. And the best way to ensure that is for me to work a bit on making you happy. So that’s what I’m going to [do].”2

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Note On Transliteration

Jarrod Tanny Indiana University Press ePub

For Russian transliteration, I have adopted the Library of Congress System. For a handful of personal names known to English readers, I have used the more familiar spelling (such as Isaac Babel instead of Isaak Babel'). For transliterating Yiddish, I have used the YIVO system. In the case of individuals and terminology that are rendered differently in Russian, Yiddish, Hebrew, and English, I have used the most common spelling, in the interest of clarity and consistency.

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[THREE ESSAYS ON INFINITY AND GOD]

Peirce, Charles S. Indiana University Press PDF

Limits of Religious Thought, 1859 37

37

An essay on the Limits of

Religious thought written to prove that we can reason upon the nature of God

MS 53: August 1859

I

What can we discuss? Can we discuss nothing we do not comprehend? Can we not even discuss that which has no existence in nature or the imagination? We can discuss whatever we can syllogise upon.

We can syllogize upon whatever we can define. And strange as it is we can give intelligible comprehensible definitions of many things which can never be themselves comprehended.

I will give two instances of this; one simple and the other practical.

Suppose somebody should talk about an OG and when you asked him what he meant he should say it was a four-sided triangle. You would proceed to show that he had no such conception that nobody had. You would reason upon that which you could not conceive of. This instance is too elementary. Suppose someone should tell me he could imagine two persons interchanging identities. I should proceed to reason on the pretended imagination and show that it was inconceivable.

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A Martian Stranded on Earth: A Poem

Alexander Bogdanov Indiana University Press ePub

 

 

Published as a supplement to the second (sixth) edition of Red Star in 1924, the poem outlines the content of a third novel which Bogdanov planned but never completed. A Martian has reached Earth but is unable to return to his native planet, where mankind has attained a superior level of communist civilization.

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3 Aryeh Lev Stollman’s The Far Euphrates: Re-Picturing the Pre-Memory Moment

Emily Miller Budick Indiana University Press ePub

Re-Picturing the Pre-Memory Moment

CYNTHIA OZICKS THE SHAWL is not primarily about the problem of subject position. Yet it frames that problem in ways that open up the subject of Holocaust fiction to dazzling new scrutiny. In Art Spiegelman’s Maus the problem of subject position moves to the center of the text. Frame after frame as the novel unfolds, and frame within frame as we read each of the storytellers/story-listeners enfolded within the other, we experience the profound impact of every listener’s fantasies and fears concerning the stories being told. Each of these subject positions in turn gets expressed in the stories each listener turned narrator tells. In both The Shawl and Maus the exposure of the characters’ subjectivities within the texts and of the author outside it frames our own reading. It holds up to us the mirror of the characters’ (and sometimes the authors’) failures to examine or deal adequately with their own fears and fantasies about the Holocaust. These fantasies and fears reflect not only their conscious thoughts about the Holocaust but also their largely unconscious motivations and incentives to think and behave in certain ways.

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4 Sex: Good Girls Do, or, Romance Fiction as Sex-Positive Feminist Mommy Porn

Catherine M. Roach Indiana University Press ePub

Listen to this cri de coeur by romance heroine Lishelle. She is one of the main characters in the 2007 novel Getting Some by USA Today–bestselling author Kayla Perrin, and Lishelle is royally fed up:

See, this is what I don’t understand. If guys fuck a hundred women, they’re heroes. They feel no shame in bedding a woman they’ve just met. But if a woman has a one-night stand, my God, she’s a dirty whore. How dare she like sex? This is the twenty-first century, honey. It’s high time we women embrace our sexuality and bury the shame. We have needs, the same as men do. Why do we feel so friggin’ bad about going after what we want?1

Lishelle’s passionate endorsement that women embrace their sexuality highlights how the story of romance is rapidly changing, perhaps especially for young women. Contrary to traditional notions that “good girls don’t do things like that,” today’s good girls do. A new era has opened up wherein women can write or read such erotica, hook up with multiple partners and different types of partners, make amateur porn or post pinups of themselves on sites like Suicide Girls, attend home-sale sex toy parties, wear porno-chic fashion, take pole-dancing classes at the local gym, revel in TV’s Girls or Sex and the City reruns, and, of course, read the Fifty Shades trilogy. Or consider the phenomenon, much reported in the press, of heterosexual women, well-educated and of upper-income levels, having sex without wanting long-term boyfriends. For the younger woman, she may feel she has no time or need for a serious male partner amid the demands of education and career moves; for the older woman, the children may be grown and flings provide more fun. Both like sex but prefer to enjoy male company without the compromises of full-time commitment.2

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2. What Is a Sign? (1894)

Edited by the Peirce Edition Project Indiana University Press ePub

 

MS 404. [Published in part in CP 2.281, 285, and 297–302. This work, probably composed early in 1894, was originally the first chapter of a book entitled “The Art of Reasoning,” but was then turned into the second chapter of Peirce’s multi-volume “How to Reason: A Critick of Arguments” (also known as “Grand Logic”).] In this selection Peirce gives an account of signs based on an analysis of conscious experience from the standpoint of his three universal categories. He discusses the three principal kinds of signs—icons, indices, and symbols—and provides many examples. He maintains, as he had earlier, that reasoning must involve all three kinds of signs, and he claims that the art of reasoning is the art of marshalling signs, thus emphasizing the relationship between logic and semiotics.

§1. This is a most necessary question, since all reasoning is an interpretation of signs of some kind. But it is also a very difficult question, calling for deep reflection.1

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6 Flying Dutchmen, Wandering Jews: Romantic Opera, Anti-Semitism, and Jewish Mourning in Mrs. Dalloway

Adriana L. Varga Indiana University Press ePub

Emma Sutton

IN APRIL 1921 VIRGINIA WOOLF MADE THE FOLLOWING ENTRY in her diary: “L.[eonard] explained the plan of his new book – a revised version of the Wandering Jew. Very original & solid, it seemed to me; & like a good business man, I pressed him to promise it for the press [ . . . ] a solid big book like L.’s is essential” (D2: 111–12). Woolf’s admiration for the “originality” of Leonard’s “essential” book leaves unspoken the fact that Leonard was not alone in planning a work on the Wandering Jew in the early 1920s; Mrs. Dalloway might equally be described as a “revised version” of this legend. Woolf’s novel is haunted by Richard Wagner’s Romantic opera Der fliegende Holländer (1843), and, as Wagner’s description of his protagonist as “this Ahasuerus of the seas” reminds us, the figure of the Flying Dutchman was frequently equated with the Wandering Jew, his fate read as an allegory of Jewish “redemption” (Prose Works 1: 17).1 It will come as no surprise to scholars of Woolf and music that Woolf’s fiction should be informed by a Wagnerian intertext, although Wagner’s influence on Mrs. Dalloway is far less conspicuous than on The Voyage Out, Jacob’s Room, The Years, or The Waves, for instance. In these texts Woolf’s diegetic allusions to, and the formal influence of, Wagner are extensive and more explicit.2 Mrs. Dalloway has played a relatively small part in analyses of Woolf and music to date;3 its debt to Wagner’s opera is opaque and its references to music relatively few, but Woolf’s commanding knowledge of Wagner’s oeuvre and her lifelong engagement with it in her fiction invite us to consider the discreet parallels between the texts seriously. Wagner’s version of the legend was one Woolf had ample opportunity to hear, and the Woolfs’ record collection later included a recording of excerpts of the opera.4 In the third volume of his autobiography, Leonard made the qualified observation that there was “more, perhaps, to be said for the early Wagner” than Der Ring (BA 50). Mrs. Dalloway’s intertextuality with Wagner’s opera places the novel in a matrix of discourses about music and Jews that includes this specific text representing the archetypal “Jew” “redeemed” by woman’s love, Wagner’s other operatic representations of Jews and Jewishness, and his published essays and private comments on Jews and music. It also inevitably engages other anti- and philo-Semitic discourses about music in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, from fiction and poetry to popular caricature, racial theory, and academic musicology. This essay introduces Woolf’s responses to discourses about Jews and music through a twofold focus. First, it traces the relationship between Mrs. Dalloway and Der fliegende Holländer, exploring the significance of Wagner’s opera to Woolf’s novel. In doing so, it proposes that Woolf’s postwar interest in Wagner’s text crystallized around the figure of the displaced wanderer and the sexual politics of female self-sacrifice that are essential to this Wagnerian model of tragedy. Second, it considers the role and representation of Jewish individuals and religious practice in the novel. It suggests that Mrs. Dalloway’s intertextuality with Wagner’s opera is juxtaposed with its representations of displaced Jews in pre- and postwar England and with the novel’s extensive debts to Jewish mourning practice, shivah.5 As Leena Kore Schröder acknowledges, there “can be no straightforward account” of Woolf’s attitudes toward Jews and Jewishness (298); we have, collectively, been rightly attentive to Woolf’s anti-Semitism and that of her contemporaries, but this attention has arguably discouraged consideration of the possibility that such negative views of Jews coexisted with more sympathetic, informed, and creative responses to Judaism. Without wishing to act as an apologist for Woolf, I hope that this analysis of her knowledge and fictional use of Jewish theology might encourage further consideration of this underexplored subject.

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20. [Note on Kant’s Refutation of Idealism]

Charles S. Peirce Indiana University Press PDF

20

[Note on Kant’s

Refutation of Idealism] c. 1890

Houghton Library

Kant’s refutation of idealism in the second edition of the Critic of the Pure Reason has been often held to be inconsistent with his main position or even to be knowingly sophistical. It appears to me to be one of the numerous passages in that work which betray an elaborated and vigorous analysis, marred in the exposition by the attempt to state the argument more abstractly and demonstratively than the thought would warrant.

In “Note 1,” Kant says that his argument beats idealism at its own game. How is that? The idealist says that all that we know immediately, that is, otherwise than inferentially, is what is present in the mind; and things out of the mind are not so present. The whole idealist position turns upon this conception of the present. Obviously, then, the first move toward beating idealism at its own game is to remark that we apprehend our own ideas only as flowing in time, and since neither the future nor the past, however near they may be, is present, there is as much difficulty in conceiving our perception of what passes within us as in conceiving external perception. If so, replies the idealist, instead of giving up idealism we must go still further to nihilism. Kant does not notice this retort; but it is clear from his footnote that he would have said: Not so; for it is impossible we should so much as think we think in time unless we do think in time; or rather, dismissing blind impossibility, the mere imagination of time is a clear perception of the past.

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4 Hauntings of Anne Frank: Sitings in Germany

Edited by Barbara KirshenblattGimblett Indiana University Press ePub

Henri Lustiger Thaler and Wilfried Wiedemann

In stark contrast to the extensive attention paid to Anne Frank’s life since the first publications of her diary, especially the years she spent in hiding in Amsterdam, the story of her death in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, which took place at some time in March 1945, was long neglected. There is an inherent disparity between her life and her death as encountered in the diary. For readers who come to the diary already knowing her fate, the text foreshadows her eventual capture and death with every turn of the page—and yet, these events are extrinsic to the diary itself, as its final entry is dated several days before Anne’s arrest. The unknowing reader learns about Anne’s final months in an epilogue that appears at the end of published versions of the diary. The diary reveals to the public in great detail the story of Anne’s life in hiding, as well as this singular young woman’s private thoughts, in her own voice. But Anne’s death at Bergen-Belsen, even as it is a widely known fact, was for many years enveloped in silence and obscurity. Until 1999, no memorial had been erected to commemorate her imprisonment and death at the camp, where the location of her remains is unmarked. Nevertheless, the site of Anne’s death is key to understanding the impact of her life and work in the Federal Republic of Germany throughout the postwar years, where her remembrance exemplifies Germany’s postwar grappling with the crimes of National Socialism.1

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1. Immortality in the Light of Synechism (1893)

Edited by the Peirce Edition Project Indiana University Press ePub

 

MS 886. [First published in CP 7.565–78. This article, submitted on 4 May 1893, was written for the weekly magazine The Open Court and was favorably considered for The Monist, but was not published because of a misunderstanding between Peirce and their editor, Paul Carus.] In this short and provoking paper, Peirce considers synechism, his doctrine that everything is continuous, and characterizes the stance of the synechist toward various philosophical questions. He applies his doctrine to the question of immortality and finds that it is rash to assume that we only have carnal life. Peirce maintains that synechism is a purely scientific philosophy and predicts that it will help reconcile science and religion.

The word synechism is the English form of the Greek from continuous. For two centuries we have been affixing -ist and -ism to words, in order to note sects which exalt the importance of those elements which the stem-words signify. Thus, materialism is the doctrine that matter is everything, idealism the doctrine that ideas are everything, dualism the philosophy which splits everything in two. In like manner, I have proposed to make synechism mean the tendency to regard everything as continuous.*

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