Metacritic Journal

for Comparative Studies and Theory

ISSN 2457 – 8827
Bertrand Westphal Bertrand Westphal

Literature Helps Worlding the World – A Conversation with Bertrand Westphal

In the following interview, Bertrand Westphal, professor of comparative literature at the University of Limoges, discusses some of the prevailing issues surrounding contemporary forays into spatial studies and the function of the humanities in current academia. The dialogue also touches on subjects pertaining to World Literature studies, such as Immanuel Wallerstein’s “world systems analysis” or Franco Moretti’s “distant reading” method, in an attempt to propose an applied and pragmatic approach through which...   ⇨ Read more
Marco Petrelli Marco Petrelli

Post-Southern Geographies: Space and Literature in the Contemporary American South

From a geocritical standpoint, American gothic literature historically relies on the symbolical space of the wilderness: a labyrinthine parapsychological realm of darkness and irrationality, and a rhetorical inversion of pastoral motives. The traditional sense of place of the American South stems from society’s projected cultural values on the environment and from a strict separation of Garden and Wasteland. This separation was no longer held after agricultural capitalism swept the region in the 1920s and...   ⇨ Read more
Snejana Ung Snejana Ung

Crossing Borders: From (Ex-)Yugoslavia to the Whole World

Starting with the 1990s a myriad of literary texts that tackle the Yugoslav wars have been published worldwide. Despite the wide variety of texts, scholars (Obradović, Pisac, Vervaet, Wachtel) have focused mainly on those written by ex-Yugoslav writers and on the representation of the former country in these books. This paper focuses on the aforementioned literary phenomenon – the representation of ex-Yugoslavia – from a broader perspective. My selection includes texts that originate in different geo-cultural...   ⇨ Read more
Alina Cojocaru Alina Cojocaru

Dislocated Identities, Erased Memories: The Dystopian Architecture of Inner Spaces in J. G. Ballard’s High-Rise

What would a dystopian version of London look like? How would the architecture of the near future engage with personal and collective memories in order to define, or even transform the identities of the inhabitants? In an attempt to answer these questions, British New Wave science fiction turns its attention to the exploration of urban dwellers in relation to their dystopian surroundings. This article explores the extent to which the novel High-Rise by J.G Ballard highlights the erasure of memories and ultimate...   ⇨ Read more