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By Subject - Literary Criticism
TitleAuthorDescription
Exile as HomeJordan FinkinLeyb Naydus (1890–1918) expanded the possibilities of Yiddish poetry via his rich cosmopolitan works, introducing a wealth of themes and forms seldom seen in that language, including some of its first sonnets of literary merit. Literary critic Naftoli Vaynig’s lengthy essay on Naydus, written in 1943 in the Vilne Ghetto, makes a remarkable case for why the poems of this cosmopolitan aesthete, who died so tragically young, should serve as a fitting emblem for a culture threatened with extinction. Exile as Home, which includes a translation of Vaynig’s essay, 'Naydus Studies', extends that argument.
Hernandez BrothersEnrique GarciaA critical examination of the work of Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, Mexican-American brothers whose graphic novels are highly influential The brothers started in the alt-comics scene, where their ‘Love and Rockets’ series gained prominence. Their depictions of latinidad and sexuality push against the edicts of mainstream Anglophone culture, but they also defy many Latino perceptions of life, politics, and self-representation.
Illness as NarrativeAnn JurecicWhile the illness narrative is now a staple of the publishing industry, the genre itself has posed a problem for literary studies. What is the role of criticism in relation to personal accounts of suffering? Can these narratives be judged on aesthetic grounds? Are they a collective expression of the lost intimacy of the patient-doctor relationship? Is their function thus instrumental—to elicit the reader’s empathy? To answer these questions, Ann Jurecic turns to major works on pain and suffering by Susan Sontag, Elaine Scarry, and Eve Sedgwick and reads these alongside illness narratives by Jean-Dominique Bauby, Reynolds Price, and Anne Fadiman, among others. In the process, she defines the subgenres of risk and pain narratives and explores a range of critical responses guided, alternately, by narrative empathy, the hermeneutics of suspicion, and the practice of reparative reading.

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IndebtedYonatan SagivThis is the first book to examine the oeuvre of Shmuel Yosef Agnon, 1966 Nobel laureate in literature, through a reading that combines perspectives from economic theory, semiotics, psychoanalysis, narrative theory, and Jewish and religious studies.

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