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Palimpsesting

Reading and Writing Lives in H. D.'s 'Murex: War and Postwar London (circa A. D. 1916–1926)'

Sarah Dillon

On the title page of her first prose work, Palimpsest (1926), H. D. defines a palimpsest as ‘a parchment from which one writing has been erased to make room for another’.1 Palimpsests were created from the seventh to fifteenth centuries primarily in the scriptoriums of the great monastic institutions such as Bobbio, Luxeuil, Fleury, Corbie and St Gall.2 Such recycling of vellum arose due to a combination of factors: the scarcity and expense of writing material; the physical deterioration of existing manuscripts from which reusable vellum was then sourced; and the changing historical and cultural factors which rendered some texts obsolete either because the language in which they were written could no longer be read, or because their content was no longer valued. Palimpsests were created by a process of layering whereby the existing text was erased using various chemical methods, and the new text was written over the old one. But the most peculiar and interesting fact about palimpsests is omitted from H. D.’s definition. Palimpsests are of such interest to subsequent generations because although the first writing on the vellum seemed to have been eradicated after treatment, it was often imperfectly erased. Its ghostly trace then reappeared in the following centuries as the iron in the remaining ink reacted with the oxygen in the air producing a reddish brown oxide. This process has been encouraged by the use of chemical reagents and ultraviolet light in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and by more advanced imaging technologies in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. A palimpsest is thus a surface phenomenon where, in an illusion of layered depth, otherwise unrelated texts are involved and entangled, intricately interwoven, interrupting and inhabiting each other.

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Vassiliki Markidou

spatial politics by outlining the function and significance of the concept of the palimpsest. Although a number of critics have tackled the concept no one to date has read the play within a context that conflates Michel de Certeau’s and Henri Lefebvre

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'a lacuna in the palimpsest'

A Reading of Flann O'Brien's At Swim Two Birds

Eibhlín Evans

The publication of Declan Kiberd’s Inventing Ireland: The Literature of the Modern Nation (1995) was widely praised and embraced enthusiastically by critics, teachers and students and its impact has already been recognised as influencing recent criticism where scholars have been quick to apply Kiberd’s approach to often fruitful ends. This essay is one of many indebted to his pioneering work, employing Kiberd’s thesis on the centrality of issues of identity in Irish writing. Kiberd claims that the enterprise of inventing Ireland’s and Irish identity has historically been varied, depending on the source of the project and the proclivities of the proponents. Inventing or inverting established, colonial or romanticised ideas of Ireland and the Irish are central concerns of many Irish writers whose work has not hitherto been considered in relation to this engagement nor recognised to contain this agenda. Acknowledging that Irish writing is not confined to this preoccupation alone, Kiberd claims that much of Ireland’s classic modern literature can be read as being engaged in this endeavour, an approach which leads to innovative and sometimes revelatory interpretations. In this essay I will apply Kiberd’s contemporary analysis to a long established classic of Irish writing, Flann O’Brien’s At Swim Two Birds, in a reading which outlines O’Brien’s insightful engagement with issues of identity and which also accounts for the book’s hitherto puzzling aspects.

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John F. Whitmire

Sartre's Les Mots has given rise to widely divergent competing readings in the philosophical literature, which tend to view it either as a simple continuation of his earlier, radical libertarianism, or as part of an alleged wholesale renunciation of the position we find in his early texts. I argue that most of these readings ignore the very real tensions in Words between the freedom of consciousness and the weight of circumstances. I further argue that Les Mots is a performative text whose double writing (originally composed 1954-1957; rewritten 1963) demonstrates for us that, whereas we cannot simply renounce our past and the original meanings mediated to us in childhood through our families, we do have the power to take it up in ways that skew those meanings in somewhat different directions. No matter what we do, however, the blurred outlines of those original meanings will always remain.

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Maggie Gray, Kees Ribbens, Sebastian Domsch, and Dyfrig Jones

Ribbens NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies Anna Maria Jones and Rebecca N. Mitchell, eds, Drawing on the Victorians: The Palimpsest of Victorian and Neo-Victorian Graphic Texts (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2017). 386 pp

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Delta Ontologies

Infrastructural Transformations in the Chao Phraya Delta, Thailand

Atsuro Morita and Casper Bruun Jensen

multiple histories of agency—of traveling engineers, scientists and traders, of states and kingdoms, of canals and dikes, and of landscapes—became ‘entangled’, the Chao Phraya Delta gradually turned into an ontological palimpsest made of complexly layered

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"Our Future Is Already in Jeopardy"

Duress and the Palimpsest of Violence of Two CAR Student Refugees in the DRC

Maria Catherina Wilson Janssens

a palimpsest. The data for this article are based on the biographic narratives of Euloge and Le Firmin and were collected during a multisited fieldwork period of one year in total from 2013 to 2015, with an additional follow-up visit in August 2016

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Alessandro Nova, The Book of the Wind: The Representation of the Invisible (2011) Reviewed by Tomas Macsotay

Tej Vir Singh, Critical Debates in Tourism (2012) Reviewed by Chiara Gius

Fabian Frenzel, Ko Koens, and Malte Steinbrink, eds., Slum Tourism: Poverty, Power and Ethics (2012) Reviewed by Clare A. Sammells

Jennifer Laing and Warwick Frost, Books and Travel: Inspiration, Quests and Transformation (2012) Reviewed by Olga Denti

Stuart Alexander Rockefeller, Starting from Quirpini: The Travels and Places of a Bolivian People (2010) Reviewed by Marie D. Price

Churnjeet Mahn, British Women's Travel to Greece, 1840-1914: Travels in the Palimpsest (2012) Reviewed by Semele Assinder

Naghmeh Sohrabi, Taken for Wonder: Nineteenth-Century Travel Accounts from Iran to Europe (2012) Reviewed by Arash Khazeni

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Henning Tewes, Germany, Civilian Power and the New Europe. Enlarging NATO and the European Union (New York: Palgrave, 2002)

Review by James Sperling

Andreas Huyssen, Present Pasts: Urban Palimpsests and the Politics of Memory (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003)

Review by Eric Langenbacher

Maria Höhn, GIs and Fräuleins: The German-American Encounter in 1950s West Germany (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002)

Review by Atina Grossmann

James McAllister, No Exit: America and the German Problem, 1943-1954, Cornell Studies in Security Affairs (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2002)

Review by Robert Gerald Livingston

Hubert Zimmermann, Money and Security: Troops, Monetary Policy, and West Germany’s Relations to the United States and the United Kingdom, 1950-1971 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002)

Review by Thomas Banchoff

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Chia-ling Lai

life, giving a new dimension to the presentation of the Holocaust, whose atrocities should never be repeated or be forgotten. Notes 1 Andrea Huyssen, Present Pasts: Urban Palimpsests and the Politics of Memory (Stanford, CA: Stanford