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Book Reviews

John Bodinger de Uriarte, Paula Mota Santos, and Song Yun

Randy Malamud, The Importance of Elsewhere: The Globalist Humanist Tourist. Chicago/Intellect, The University of Chicago Press, 2018, vii +236 pp., ISBN-13: 978-1783208746, $29.50 (paperback).

Mark Rice, Making Machu Picchu: The Politics of Tourism in Twentieth Century Peru (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2018), xvi +253 pp., ISBN 978-1-4696-4353-3, $28.75 (paperback).

Jeffrey Mather, Twentieth-Century Literary Encounters in China: Modernism, Travel, and Form (New York: Routledge, 2020), ix +182 pp., ISBN 978-1-03-208815-0, US $48.95 (paperback).

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Bruce Chatwin

What He Was Doing Here

Kurt Caswell

Abstract

This article is an attempt to answer the question Bruce Chatwin posed in the title of the last book published during his life: What Am I Doing Here. A critical focus on Chatwin's masterwork, The Songlines, and its exploration of nomadism paired with wandering, leads to an exploration of his lifelong quest for spiritual renewal and ascension. Part literary criticism, part personal essay, the article makes personal connections with Chatwin's life and work. Included here are several book lists, featuring an extensive list of books that Chatwin read and references in his own writing, assembled possibly for the first time.

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Coalition as a counterpoint to the intersectional critique of The Second Sex

Emma McNicol

Abstract

The analogy Simone de Beauvoir draws between “les femmes” and “des Noirs d'Amérique” is a key part of the intersectional critique of The Second Sex. Intersectional critics persuasively argue that Beauvoir's analogy reveals the white, middle-class identity of The Second Sex's ostensibly universal “woman”, emphasizing the fact that the text does not account for the experiences of black, Jewish, proletariat or indigenous women. In this essay, I point to multiple instances in The Second Sex in which Beauvoir endorses a coalition between workers black and white, male and female. When Beauvoir writes on economic injustice, she advocates for an inclusive workers party where racial and sexual differences become immaterial as workers come together in a collective struggle. I thus propose that Beauvoir's Marxism is an overlooked, yet important, counterpoint to the intersectional critique of The Second Sex.

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Competing Selves in Madame de Lafayette's La Princesse de Montpensier and the Nouvelle Historique

Nupur Patel

Abstract

This article analyzes the different selves operating in Madame de Lafayette's La Princesse de Montpensier. Contrary to scholarship, which tends to position the text as a mere precursor of La Princesse de Clèves, it is in La Princesse de Montpensier where one first locates the interior. Lafayette presented a princess coming to terms with her identity, debating with different selves against a backdrop of social, historical, and political ideals. The nouvelle historique was central to the development of selves; it was an important medium through which Lafayette could perceive, explore, and contest a woman's identity in relation to society. The genre also enabled writers to examine themselves. Lafayette used it to test out her own authorial self and locate her place in the literary sphere.

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Decolonization as Existential Paradox

Lewis Gordon's Political Commitment to Thinking Otherwise and Setting Afoot a New Humanity

Justin Fugo

Abstract

This article offers a critical analysis of Euromodernity through an engagement with the Africana existentialism of Lewis R. Gordon. Drawing on Gordon's recent work Freedom, Justice, and Decolonization (Routledge, 2021) as well as Frantz Fanon, the author argues for the need to decolonize modernity by decoupling Europe and reason, freedom, knowledge, and power. Understanding what it means to be a human being involves an ongoing commitment understanding its relationship to the larger structures of reality, including social reality.

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Existential Psychoanalysis and Sociogeny

Thomas Meagher

Abstract

This article explores Sartre's existential psychoanalysis as a phenomenological method for apprehending the fundamental project of the existent through an examination of the anonymous features of human desire. In grasping the anonymity underlying the “I want,” existential psychoanalysis seeks the meaning of freedom from a standpoint of alterity. I then analyze Fanon's Black Skin White Masks as a work of existential psychoanalysis which hinges on his use of “sociogeny” to diagnose the alienation of Black existents. Finally, I conclude by examining the implications of a Fanonian existential psychoanalysis for anti-racism through a discussion of Michael Monahan's critical reflections on the notion of being nonracist.

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Existentialism is an Antiracism

T Storm Heter

This special issue explores how existential thinking can be a living, global force that opposes racist praxis and thought. We are used to hearing that the “heyday” of existentialism was the middle of the twentieth century. In truth, because existential thought is future-oriented, the heyday of existentialism may be yet to come.

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‘He States That This is the Most Lovely Building He Has Ever Had the Pleasure of Seeing . . . ’

The Travel Writing and Collecting of Frederick Horniman

Ryan Nutting

Abstract

The travel journal, collecting, and exhibition of objects by museum founder, tea merchant and Member of Parliament Frederick Horniman (1835–1906) in the late nineteenth century demonstrate how material objects exemplify travel writing. Through an examination of objects he collected and later interpreted at the Horniman Free Museum, this article presents a case study of how collecting activities mirror and serve as a form of travel writing. This article presents a new model for understanding, beyond the written word, how travelers can capture the experience of a foreign expedition through the collecting and interpretation of objects.

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Interrogating Sartre and Apartheid

Mabogo Percy More

Abstract

In an important article published last year (2020), Tal Sela asserts that Sartre's contributions to the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa throughout the 1960s are overblown and overestimated. Sartre was motivated, Sela argues, by a desire for self-aggrandizement rather than by any genuine concern for the victims of apartheid racism. This article refutes those claims. In countering Sela's arguments, I revisit in detail Sartre's interventions denouncing the phenomenon of apartheid and establish the importance of Sartre's tireless struggle against racism to highlight the force of his opposition to South Africa's infamous policy and his equally firm commitment to freedom both in his philosophy and personal life.

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John Allen Chau and the Designative Authority of Martyrdom

A Rhetorical Analysis

Gary McCarron

Abstract

This article describes two journeys. The first is the journey undertaken by Christian missionary John Allen Chau to North Sentinel Island, where he planned to preach the Christian gospel to the island's inhabitants despite the fact that they have been cut off from the outside world for sixty thousand years. Chau's efforts ended in his death at the hands of the islanders. The second journey recounted in the article is that from missionary to saint undertaken following Chau's death. The article examines several issues related to certain philosophical problems in respect of the authority required to designate a victim of violent death a martyr or a saint.