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Narrating Political Subjectivity

A Conversation among Liberals, Conservatives, and Anti-Liberals

Manuel Clemens

training—can still help us find an answer for the current crisis. A possible route to finding an answer could be to re-examine and transform the aesthetic idea of Bildung into political Bildung by means of a modern Bildungsroman or its contemporary

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“You are exactly my brand of heroin(e)“

Convergences and Divergences of the Gothic Literary Heroine

Julianne Guillard

What brand of heroine can be found in the Twilight series? What discernible characteristics of a heroine can be found in gothic fiction and do these characteristics contribute to a social definition of girlhood/womanhood? In an analysis of the Twilight series' protagonist as a gothic heroine in contrast to Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, I claim that the author, Stephenie Meyer, constructs a particular category of contemporary gothic heroine. Drawing on the statement made by the novel's leading male character, Edward, to Bella that she is his “brand of heroin,“ this article plays with the idea that Meyer merged elements of the bildungsroman and the Female Gothic to create her brand. This brand of heroine fulfills the three distinct categories of girlhood/womanhood that characterize both the Gothic novel and the bildungsroman: a dependent stage, a caretaker stage, and a wife stage.

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Where to from Here?

Emerging Conversations on Girls’ Literature and Girlhood

Dawn Sardella-Ayres and Ashley N. Reese

articulate a definition of girls’ literature in part by linking it to its subgenre, the bildungsroman . Although not all girls’ fiction is a bildungsroman , the heroine's 1 trajectory of growth and development remains analogous for both girls’ fiction and

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'A Simple Enormous Grief'

Eighteenth-Century Utopianism and Fire Down Below

Kevin McCarron

William Golding’s Fire Down Below (1989) is the last in his ‘Sea Trilogy’, a sequence of novels which began in 1980 with Rites of Passage and continued in 1987 with Close Quarters. Edmund Talbot, Golding’s young, aristocratic protagonist, finally arrives in Australia shortly after the end of the Napoleonic Wars and this sea-borne bildungsroman is brought to an end. The response to Fire Down Below was extremely enthusiastic, and markedly different from the cautious and even mildly hostile response which greeted Close Quarters. The great majority of reviewers agreed that the happy ending of Fire Down Below made it Golding’s most optimistic novel. John Bayley wrote: ‘Fire Down Below brings the whole magical enterprise to a prosperous and happy conclusion’, while John Fowles wrote: ‘In this black-besotted age some may be unsettled by the happy ending, indeed by the generally jaunty (a word that kept perversely returning to me as I read) spirit of this closing leg.’ However, the last of Golding’s books published in his life-time can be read as a deeply conservative political allegory and, overall, as one of his most deeply pessimistic novels.

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Contemporary Fiction

Katharine Cockin

Contemporary fiction has to address all manner of uncertainties. Those brought about by scientific developments and related social changes are possibly most acute in novels which experiment with the new science of cloning and reproductive technologies. Here there is often an explicit exploration of what it means to be human. As Eva Sabine Zehelein’s article shows, the capability of science to replace sexual reproduction is explored as a potentially liberating idea by the scientist-author, Carl Djerassi. His novel provides a means of educating the reader about science as well as providing a testing-ground for the ethical issues which face today’s scientists. Notably it is the long-term effects of scientific inventions in reproductive technologies which require hard thinking today. While these concerns will be considered by scientists and legislators, they are certainly being tested in the relative freedom of the novel. Thus Eva Hoffmann’s The Secret demonstrates that, to some extent, it is the clone who exposes what is taken for granted as human. Susan Stuart illustrates here the critical perspective offered by this novel. Whatever scientific interventions and biological crafting are involved in the creation of new life, the complexity of the decisions and actions of the life created provides a rich source of narrative exploration, especially in the bildungsroman form.

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Claudia Mitchell

's literature, Dawn Sardella-Ayres and Ashley N. Reese in “Where to from Here? Emerging Conversations on Girls’ Literature and Girlhood,” in “seek[ing] to articulate a genre theory-centered definition of girls’ literature,” consider the girl's bildungsroman in

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The Ocean as Another Place

Tina Montenegro

(with at least a nod to Chris Marker's Sans soleil ). 1 Much has already been said and written about Atlantics , a sophisticated and subtle combination of fantasy, love story, sociopolitical critique, and bildungsroman . 2 With the migration crisis

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Girl, Interrupted and Continued

Rethinking the Influence of Elena Fortún’s Celia

Ana Puchau de Lecea

), by 23-year-old Carmen Laforet, initiated a boom of autobiographical novels written by women that featured adolescents. These bildungsroman show the characteristic stifling context of post-war Spain, represented through an unstable family atmosphere

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Chung-Hao Ku

at the bloomless, descending blue, at the boy he had left behind” ( Capote 2004: 194 ). According to Joseph Valente, “the prospect of Joel finding himself—the normative telos of a Bildungsroman —[is], paradoxically, a moment of narrative and psychic

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Back in Time Yet of His Time

Marty McFly as a 1980s Teenage Boy Role Model

Daniel Smith-Rowsey

something of a good boy becoming a good man. We tend not to think of Back to the Future as a bildungsroman, as we do other teen films from this period, but in fact Marty is coming to painful terms with the similarities he shares with his father. In a sense