Selected Essays of Malcolm Bowie I: Dreams of Knowledge
Malcolm Bowie
Legenda (General Series) vol 1 of 24 December 2013

  • ‘Only someone with Bowie’s exquisite powers of expression and formidably focused, well-stocked mind could home in so closely on the multilevelled play of thought in some of the most difficult modern writers, and especially on the places where their work crosses aesthetic boundaries... It is therefore a huge treat to be able to revel in the publication of his Selected Essays, impeccably edited by Alison Finch and beautifully produced by Legenda... Even in the space of a short review, Bowie’s writing offers both pleasure and intense mental stimulation. For readers old and new, there are marvels in store in these two magnificent volumes.’ — Michael Sheringham, French Studies 68.3, July 2014, 422-23
  • ‘These two volumes can only add to our sense of [Bowie's] importance... Criticism like this is clearly so much more than criticism: it is an engagement with the act of creation that is brought back to creation itself. These two volumes are full of brilliance and insight and deftly communicated and thus infectious pleasure.’ — Patrick McGuinness, Times Literary Supplement 5805, 4 July 2014, 21
  • ‘His readings are always marked by a resistance to easy answers that would attempt to reduce or deny the complexity of the text under analysis; the role of the critic is to illuminate that complexity, giving close attention to the way the text functions and how it guides the reader to a range of potential interpretive moves. While he is a highly trustworthy guide through the intricacies of the text, as he himself writes in an essay on Mallarmé, 'somehow the passage through imbricated levels of utterance towards some final state of achieved propositional clarity is never quite the point' (I: 152).’ — Joseph Acquisto, Nineteenth-Century French Studies 43.1-2, 2014
  • ‘How Verdi moves Shakespeare’s Othello around the globe, finding the mental ‘fingerprint’ in Winnicott, introducing Judith Butler, deciphering Stéphane Mallarmé, exploring brevity in Proust (yes), Liszt’s relationship with Wagner, ‘that most exhausting of sons-in-law’: these are just a few of the subjects considered with such zest by Malcolm Bowie, who was a critic of immense talent.’ — Edward Hughes, Times Higher Education Supplement 1 January 2015, 63
  • ‘Evidence abounds in these pieces of Bowie’s keen appetite for intrinsically difficult subject-matter. Indeed, his ability to sustain his critical nerve in the handling of complex material was to become a hallmark of his achievement... Yet alongside this intensity of engagement with serious subject-matter, we also see the poise and panache of a critic who was so evidently at home with textual composition.’ — Edward J. Hughes, Modern Language Review 111.1, January 2016, 228-29 (full text online)

Selected Essays of Malcolm Bowie II: Song Man
Malcolm Bowie
Legenda (General Series) vol 2 of 24 December 2013

  • ‘Only someone with Bowie’s exquisite powers of expression and formidably focused, well-stocked mind could home in so closely on the multilevelled play of thought in some of the most difficult modern writers, and especially on the places where their work crosses aesthetic boundaries... It is therefore a huge treat to be able to revel in the publication of his Selected Essays, impeccably edited by Alison Finch and beautifully produced by Legenda... Even in the space of a short review, Bowie’s writing offers both pleasure and intense mental stimulation. For readers old and new, there are marvels in store in these two magnificent volumes.’ — Michael Sheringham, French Studies 68.3, July 2014, 422-23
  • ‘These two volumes can only add to our sense of [Bowie's] importance... Criticism like this is clearly so much more than criticism: it is an engagement with the act of creation that is brought back to creation itself. These two volumes are full of brilliance and insight and deftly communicated and thus infectious pleasure.’ — Patrick McGuinness, Times Literary Supplement 5805, 4 July 2014, 21
  • ‘Bowie’s style appeals both to generalist and specialist readers; his clarity makes it possible for all to follow the argument even in his more technical writings, while the sharpness of his insights make his pieces for general audiences appealing to specialists as well. His writing always strikes a balance between sophistication and accessibility, often with a dose of wit (see especially his delightful self-review of Proust Among the Stars [II: 203-6]), allowing us to travel with him through our own areas of expertise and amateur interest.’ — Joseph Acquisto, Nineteenth-Century French Studies 43.1-2, 2014
  • ‘How Verdi moves Shakespeare’s Othello around the globe, finding the mental ‘fingerprint’ in Winnicott, introducing Judith Butler, deciphering Stéphane Mallarmé, exploring brevity in Proust (yes), Liszt’s relationship with Wagner, ‘that most exhausting of sons-in-law’: these are just a few of the subjects considered with such zest by Malcolm Bowie, who was a critic of immense talent.’ — Edward Hughes, Times Higher Education Supplement 1 January 2015, 63
  • ‘Evidence abounds in these pieces of Bowie’s keen appetite for intrinsically difficult subject-matter. Indeed, his ability to sustain his critical nerve in the handling of complex material was to become a hallmark of his achievement... Yet alongside this intensity of engagement with serious subject-matter, we also see the poise and panache of a critic who was so evidently at home with textual composition.’ — Edward J. Hughes, Modern Language Review 111.1, January 2016, 228-29 (full text online)

Poetry and the Leningrad Religious-Philosophical Seminar 1974-1980: Music for a Deaf Age
Josephine von Zitzewitz
Legenda (General Series) 1 September 2016

  • ‘Von Zitzewitz convincingly demonstrates that the religious-philosophical impulse in general, and a pull to Russian Orthodoxy in particular, was a widespread cultural phenomenon in the late Soviet period, cutting across the official/unofficial divide... von Zitzewitz’s precise situating of her subjects in their unofficial environment constitutes a crucial key to understanding the semantic and formal features of their work, and in turn, the lonely and frustrated spirit of their time.’ — Ainsley Morse, Modern Language Review 112.4, 2017, 1053-55 (full text online)
  • ‘In her impeccably researched and documented book, Josephine von Zitzewitz combines an examination of the Religious-Philosophical Seminar with five case studies of poets from the Leningrad underground of the 1970s and 80s... An important contribution to the study of both late-Soviet poetry and religious literary culture.’ — Sarah Clovis Bishop, Slavic and East European Journal 61.4, Winter 2017, 913-14

Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe: (Un)timely Meditations
John McKeane
Legenda (General Series) 10 December 2014

  • ‘This study is a comprehensive and clearly written introduction to Lacoue-Labarthe’s thought and writing.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 51.3, July 2015
  • ‘With an irresistible combination of patience, precision, lucidity, and forceful intellectual engagement, McKeane gives us Lacoue-Labarthe in all his compelling dispersion... This is an excellent and enlightening book, and highly recommended.’ — Martin Crowley, French Studies 70.1, January 2016, 130
  • ‘McKeane contests such an approach [regarding PL-L as purely a philosopher], insisting on the importance of keeping ‘art, literature and the stage’ in view in discussing Lacoue-Labarthe. One of the virtues of McKeane’s study is that, while it rejects the notion of any eclecticism on the part of Lacoue-Labarthe, it draws judiciously on a wide range of texts, yet manages to present a cohesive sense of this unique writer and thinker. It is fascinating as well to see McKeane refer to his own unpublished interviews and correspondance with Nancy.’ — Jeff Fort, Modern Language Review 111.2, April 2016, 555-57 (full text online)

Lucidity: Essays in Honour of Alison Finch
Edited by Ian James and Emma Wilson
Legenda (General Series) 1 September 2016

  • ‘This carefully crafted volume offers subtle and sustained reflections on the theme of lucidity as it is manifested in a range of cultural forms and media... This volume of fine schol- arship is dedicated to Alison Finch. As such, it pays tribute to her writing, teaching, and personal qualities, and constitutes a fitting tribute to her own lucidity.’ — Shirley Jordan, French Studies 74.1, January 2020, 157 (full text online)

Haunted Serbia: Representations of History and War in the Literary Imagination
David A. Norris
Legenda (General Series) 1 September 2016

  • ‘This is a remarkable study, which accomplishes a lot more than a brief review can mention. One of its greatest merits is the convincing and coherent narrative which strings together a large number of apparently disparate works around an axis which is at one and the same time a literary one — the uncanny and its Gothic repertoire — and extra-literary: searching for meaning in both recent past and in contemporary events. Admirably well researched, Haunted Serbia offers an invaluable insight into a turbulent though fruitful period of Serbia’s literary history, which up until now was uncharted territory.’ — Zoran Milutinović, Slavonic and East European Review 95.2, April 2017, 353-54 (full text online)
  • ‘David A. Norris, direttore del Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies dell’Università di Nottingham, disegna un panorama della narrativa a tema bellico nella letteratura serba della seconda metà del XX secolo guardando ad essa dall’angolatura delle “ways in which narrative fiction represents the changing relationship between past and present in times of crisis” (p. 35)... L’interessante sintesi di D. A. Norris, proprio per la complessità del materiale da essa messo in circolazione, induce a più di qualche riflessione.’ — Janja Jerkov, Ricerche Slavistiche N.S. 14, 2016, 560-72
  • ‘In this well-informed, logically structured study, David A. Norris o ers a lucid and original interpretation of important and in uential Serbian narrative ction between the demise of Tito in 1980 and the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999.’ — Ralph Bogert, Slavic Review Summer 2018, 510-12

The Made and the Found: Essays, Prose and Poetry in Honour of Michael Sheringham
Edited by Patrick McGuinness and Emily McLaughlin
Legenda (General Series) 25 May 2017

  • ‘Micky’s words return here in all their felicity. His appetite, brilliance, and distinct sensibility are intensely present. The editors speak of Micky ‘drawn by what was accidental, unsystematic, eccentric’ (p. ix). They see him glorying in ‘the overspill of things’. They speak of Micky as their ‘friend and colleague’ and this book is a beautiful act of camaraderie.’ — Emma Wilson, French Studies 72.3, July 2018, 485-86 (full text online)
  • ‘This starry roster of writers, working in English and French, often operate along lines of creative interplay between chance and choice, the map and serendipity, walking and writing, celebrating the transition from noticing to noting and from there maybe even into actually making poetry.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 54.3, July 2018, 375
  • ‘The Made and the Found is a rich volume that will be of interest to friends of the late Michael Sheringham as well as to all those wanting to study the relation between French culture, language and the everyday.’ — Verena Andermatt Conley, H-France 18.214, November 2018

Cultural Reception, Translation and Transformation from Medieval to Modern Italy: Essays in Honour of Martin McLaughlin
Edited by Guido Bonsaver, Brian Richardson, and Giuseppe Stellardi
Legenda (General Series) 17 May 2017

  • ‘A remarkable unified collection... [the essays] may be read in any order, so rich and abundant are the resonances among them.’ — Carmine G. Di Biase, Times Literary Supplement 8 May 2018
  • ‘Zygmunt G. Barański presents a deeply contextualized understanding of the Orpheus myth in Petrarch’s Canzoniere, taking into account Virgilian and Ovidian antecedents, and the traces of their elaboration in works including the Bucolicum carmen and Familiares. At the heart of his essay, Barański boldly, but not unpersuasively, asserts Petrarch’s lyric collection of fragments to be “the great overlooked Orphic text of the Western tradition”. Brian Richardson’s essay is also among the most ambitious, tackling a massive quantity of Renaissance Italian poetic production—extempore Latin and vernacular lyric compositions—and he does so with aplomb, providing perhaps the first categorization with a qualitative/theoretical valuation of this important but almost entirely overlooked subgenre of poetry... Meriting special distinction, Peter Hainsworth’s contribution rescues John Dickson Batten’s illustrations to Dante’s Inferno (1897–1900) from their relative oblivion.’ — Sherry Roush, Renaissance Quarterly 71.9, October 2018, 1193-95
  • ‘The scope, historical locus and chronological ambition of the present volume are exceptionally wide and rich... The quality of the contributions is invariably high and all are case-studies relevant to the book’s central preoccupation with cultural contact and interchange... an admirable collection, full of stimulus and surprises, handsomely produced by Legenda.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 54.2, July 2019, 265-66 (full text online)
  • ‘This volume brings to mind one of Calvino’s own definitions, in his Why Read The Classics?: ‘The classics are those books which come to us bearing the aura of previous interpretations, and trailing behind them the traces they have left in the culture or cultures (or just in the language and customs) through which they have passed’ (McLaughlin’s translation). The volume invites readers into the palimpsest that is Italian culture, which is to say, among other things, its imitations, its intertextuality and transmediality, and its translations.’ — Antonella Braida, Translation and Literature 29, 2020, 291-96 (full text online)
  • ‘The volume reads as a user guide to the most updated views on literary theory and cultural studies, demonstrating how ‘open’ a field Italian studies has become in recent years. Texts—in a semiological sense, hence comprising all meaningful artefacts of culture—are scrutinized through a wide range of approaches, including linguistic, philological, thematic, intertextual, historical, sociological, comparative. and hermeneutical.’ — Oscar Schiavone, Modern Language Review 115.3, July 2020, 737-41 (full text online)

Freedom and the Subject of Theory: Essays in Honour of Christina Howells
Edited by Oliver Davis and Colin Davis
Legenda (General Series) 14 May 2019