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Kate Atkinson's Family Romance

Missing Mothers and Hidden Histories in Behind the Scenes at the Museum

Sinead McDermott

From her first novel, Behind the Scenes At the Museum, to her most recent, Case Histories, Kate Atkinson's fiction can be described as attempting to rewrite and revision the family. All of her novels present us with families that have been altered or reshaped in some way, usually because of the loss of a mother or a child. Her narratives are driven by the need to account for these losses: to discover the fate of the missing family members, and in the process to uncover often unpleasant family secrets. In Atkinson's fictions, the family is revealed as a disturbing place, the site of violence, resentments and jealousies as much as love and affection. At the same time, the continued return to family plots in her novels suggests that the family, regardless of its flaws, is not an institution that either she or her protagonists can easily leave behind. Atkinson's first novel, Behind the Scenes At The Museum, like her later fiction, is both an attempt to critique and debunk received notions of family, and an exploration of familial loss and longing.

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‘Master, Slave and Merciless Struggle’

Sin and Lovelessness in Sartre's Saint Genet

Kate Kirkpatrick

: Pantheon, 1984). 2 See Kate Kirkpatrick, ‘Sartre: An Augustinian Atheist’‚ Sartre Studies International 21, no. 1 (2015): 1–20; Kate Kirkpatrick, Sartre on Sin: Between Being and Nothingness (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017). 3 Iris Murdoch

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Edited by Ârash Aminian Tabrizi, Kate Kirkpatrick, and Marieke Mueller

possibilities for thinking with Sartre – today. Ârash Aminian Tabrizi Kate Kirkpatrick Marieke Mueller

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Rebuilding, Remembrance, and Commerce

Perspectives on the Economic Revitalization of Lower Manhattan

Kate DeConinck

The 9/11 attacks claimed the lives of thousands of New Yorkers and also devastated the economy in Lower Manhattan. Many local businesses and restaurants were forced to close, and thousands of residents were displaced from their homes. For more than a decade, the neighborhoods surrounding the World Trade Center site struggled to stay afloat economically. However, recent years have witnessed the revitalization of this area as developers have built new office and retail spaces as well as museums and memorials that attract visitors from around the globe. Drawing from fieldwork conducted between 2010 and 2017, this article analyzes the significance of these rapid economic developments for individuals who were personally affected by the attacks. Some persons condemned the changes as immoral, believing that money and respectful remembrance cannot coexist. Others viewed the revitalization as redemptive, the product of the communitas that had united citizens after the tragedy.

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Kate Kirkpatrick

This article attempts to redress the neglect of Sartre's relationship to Augustine, putting forward a reading of the early Sartre as an atheist who appropriated concepts from Augustinian theology. In particular, it is argued, Sartre owes a debt to the Augustinian doctrine of original sin. Sartre's portrait of human reality in Being and Nothingness is bleak: consciousness is lack; self-knowledge is impossible; and to turn to the human other is to face the imprisonment of an objectifying gaze. But this has recognizable antecedents in Augustine's account of the condition of human fallenness. The article, therefore, (a) demonstrates the significant similarities between Sartre's ontology of human freedom and Augustine's ontology of human sin; and (b) asks whether Sartre's project – as defined in Existentialism Is a Humanism – 'to draw the full conclusions from a consistently atheistic position' – results in a vision of the world without God, but not without sin. It is proposed that this opens the possibility for a previously unexplored theological reading of Sartre's early work.

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Kate Myers

Abstract

While much attention has been paid to Angela Carter's intertextual appropriation of Shakespeare and her interrogation of the patriarchal ideology at work in his representations of familial strife, critics tend to focus on Carter's final novel, Wise Children. Shakespeare's influence on Carter's earlier novel, Nights at the Circus, has gone largely unremarked. Like Wise Children, Nights at the Circus builds a bricolage of Shakespearean allusions, but it more subtly reconsiders the ontological issues of legitimacy by returning to Shakespeare's interest in ambiguity, in deniability, in time, and in space. I argue that Nights at the Circus appropriates and shatters Shakespeare's disruptive methods concerning the materiality of time in The Winter's Tale and Hamlet. In so doing, Carter reverses time and dismembers space to criticise the masculine-made-legitimate at the expense of the feminine, which Shakespeare's temporal and spatial manipulations ultimately uphold.

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Conserving the Left

Reflections on Norberto Bobbio, Anthony Giddens and the Left-Right Distinction

Kate Soper

In a brief exchange with my mother following the British election in 1998, she told me that her bet was that ‘John Major and all the rest of them’ would now be kicking themselves for not having gone ‘New Tory’ and moved a little further to the left. The New Labour success indicated, she thought, that had they done so they could easily have stayed in power. I was not at all sure she was correct in this, but her remark interested me as reflecting both the impossibility of discoursing about politics without the left-right distinction, and one of the main reasons why its continued relevance to the European political situation is being called increasingly into question.

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Kate Soper

All of those working in the broad field of environmental studies (and I here include, among others, philosophers, geographers, political ecologists, sociologists, cultural historians and critics) are likely to agree to two points. First, the term “nature” which has been so central to our various debates, has lost its all-purpose conceptual status and can no longer be bandied around as it once was. This does not mean that we have ceased to use it. Indeed, it still regularly recurs in ecological laments and admonitions (it is “nature”, after all, that we are being told is being lost, damaged, polluted and eroded; and it is nature that we are enjoined to respect, protect and conserve). But we readily acknowledge now that this is no more than a kind of shorthand: a convenient, but fairly gestural, concept of eco-political argument whose meaning is increasingly contested. This bears on the second point of presumed agreement, namely, that we can, broadly speaking, discern two main parties to this contest over the nature of nature: the realists on the one hand, and the contructivists on the other. Since this distinction will be familiar to readers in its general outline, I shall not here elaborate in any detail upon it. But a few specifications might be added at this point.

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Chiara Collamati

Translator : Marieke Mueller and Kate Kirkpatrick

Abstract

Through an analysis of the category of alienation in the Critique of Dialectical Reason, this article aims to shed light on the way in which Sartre attempts to think through alienation both with Marx and going beyond Marx. Sartre does not reduce alienation either to an ontological dimension of praxis or to the exclusively socio-economic determination of the capitalist mode of production. In order to grasp better the theoretical stakes of Sartre’s position, André Gorz’s analyses of the link between labour and alienation is discussed. The path via Gorz (who always insisted on his philosophical indebtedness to Sartre) is useful in order to ascertain whether it is justified to adopt the Sartrean dialectic of praxis and alienation as the basis of a critique of labour in the present configuration of the capitalist system. These questions will be taken as a starting point for an ethical and political examination of the category of need, as it is problematized by Sartre in the Critique and above all in the manuscript of “Les Racines de l’éthique” (1964).

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Suzanne W. Jones, Sharon Monteith, Rosalind Poppleton-Pritchard, John Place, Kate Fullbrook, Dennis Brown, and Brenda McKay

Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy by Annette Gordon-Reed. Charlottesville and London: University Press of Virginia, 1998. paper ISBN 0-8139-1833-2.

Fictions of Labor: William Faulkner and the South’s Long Revolution by Richard Godden, New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997, pp. 288. ISBN 0521- 56142-6 (hardback), £37.50.

The Green Breast of the New World: Landscape, Gender, and American Fiction, by Louise H. Westling. Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 1998. ISBN 0-8203-2080-3. paper £14.50.

Inventing Southern Literature, by Michael Kreyling. Jackson: Univ. of Mississippi Press, 1998, Pp. xviii + 200. $17.00. ISBN 1-57806-045-1.

Dixie Debates: Perspectives on Southern Cultures Richard H. King and Helen Taylor, Eds. London: Pluto Press, 1996. Pp. xii, 242, ISBN 0 7453 0958 5 (HB), 0 7453 0957 7 (PB).

Literature, by PeterWiddowson. Routledge £8.99 ISBN 0-415-16914-3

The Feminine Political Novel in Victorian England, by Barbara Leah Harman. Charlottesville and London: University Press of Virginia, 1998. ISBN 0-8139-1772-7.