Mythology

Aeneas Takes the Metro: The Presence of Virgil in Twentieth-Century French Literature
Fiona Cox
Studies In Comparative Literature 31 July 1999

  • unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 37.3, 2001, 341
  • ‘Affirms that Virgil's 'flexibility and openness to reception' has ensured his continuing relevance for writers of widely differing persuasions.’ — Julian Cowley, The Year's Work in English Studies 80, 2002, 615
  • ‘The fine chapters on Pierre Klossowski's controversial Aeneid translation and on the nouveau roman constitute in their grouping a genuine contribution to our understanding of Virgil's postwar reception... the coherence of traditional heroic and imperialistic readings gives way to a postmodern view of Aeneas as exile.’ — Theodore Ziolkowski, French Studies LV.2, 2001, 269-70
  • ‘Wide-ranging and illuminating... In sum, Aeneas Takes The Metro illustrates, if proof were needed, the ability of a well-informed and scholarly comparative study to transcend linguistic, formal and temporal barriers successfully and productively.’ — Kiera Vaclavik, New Comparison 31, 2002, 202-3

Survey works

Metaphor and Materiality: German Literature and the World-View of Science 1780-1955
Peter D. Smith
Studies In Comparative Literature 41 June 2000

  • ‘Smith is able to show convincingly how ambivalence about the role of science or scientific tendencies permeates these literary works, and he offers interesting insights into the sometimes subtle thematization of scientific ideas in literature.’ — Elizabeth Neswald, British Journal for the History of Science 35, 2002, 363-4
  • ‘Smith's mastery of both primary and secondary sources is remarkable, and his bibliographies provide a useful guide to the (often vast) secondary literature... Demonstrates the extraordinary richness and importance of the vein of research into which Smith has tapped, and puts much other work in so-called Cultural Studies to shame.’ — Paul Bishop, Modern Language Review 97.2, 2002, 505-7 (full text online)
  • ‘In this thorough study of the exchange between science and literature, Peter D. Smith skillfully argues that the idea of these Two Cultures existing in isolation from one another is overly simplistic... An excellent contribution to the vital research currently examining the interdisciplinary nature of scientific and literary works.’ — Heather I. Sullivan, Monatshefte 94.4, 2002, 541-2

Orientalism

Neither a Borrower: Forging Traditions in French, Chinese and Arabic Poetry
Richard Serrano
Studies In Comparative Literature 71 May 2002

  • ‘A book which illustrates the xing (a kind of evocation or opening stimulus) in Serrano's densely interesting and polysemic introduction.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies XL.2, April 2004, 238

Comedy

The Anatomy of Laughter
Edited by Toby Garfitt, Edith McMorran and Jane Taylor
Studies In Comparative Literature 813 September 2005

  • ‘An accessible and educative collection... provides much more than a visitation of standard methodologies, and it does much more than merely celebrate laughter as cognitive, linguistic, or aesthetic function. An indispensable collection for the serious humour scholar.’ — Tarez Samra Graban, Canadian Review of Comparative Literature December 2010, 428-31

Fin-de-siècle

Dilettantism and its Values: From Weimar Classicism to the fin de siècle
Richard Hibbitt
Studies In Comparative Literature 924 May 2006

  • ‘This study explores, with great erudition, the hitherto unknown faces of the dilettante, revealing an intriguing complexity. Hibbitt succeeds in showing how this "empty figure" can, thanks to his openness, mirror the concerns of different times and cultures.’Forum for Modern Language Studies 224)

Jewish Studies

Imagining Jewish Art: Encounters with the Masters in Chagall, Guston, and Kitaj
Aaron Rosen
Studies In Comparative Literature 1617 July 2009

  • ‘Rosen's effort to identify and elucidate the Jewish concerns of these three very different artists is penetrating and his analysis of the works in question is consistently insightful. Though the exact nature of Jewish art remains slippery, Rosen’s book is a worthy investigation of the ways in which the most evidently Jewish art can borrow from the least Jewish sources, and the ways in which less apparently Jewish art can have unexpected Jewish resonances.’ — Ezra Glinter, Zeek at Jewcy July 21, 2009
  • ‘Bypassing past scholars, critics, and curators who have sought the quintessential nature of Jewish art... but failed to come up with the answer, Rosen is your man.’The Jewish Telegraph November 20, 2009, p. 29)
  • ‘For lovers of American art, Jewish art, history or theology, Dr Rosen has approached the subject comprehensively... Making an exceptional input to the exchange of ideas and channel of communication between religion and the fine arts, Dr Rosen processes how any type of Jewish art may serve deep-seated Jewish ideas of family, tradition, and homeland... Dr Rosen communicates his ideas succinctly, in an accessible manner.’The American December, 2009, p. 35)
  • ‘Unashamedly scholarly yet written in a style that is refreshingly accessible, achieving a rare and satisfying balance between detailed, even minute, analyses of specific works of art and a broader sense of purpose, underpinned by an intimate knowledge of a wide range of theological and philosophical texts.... Imagining Jewish Art concludes with an excellent and immensely thought-provoking chapter entitled ‘Brushes with the Past’, suggestive of enough new avenues of intellectual enquiry to fuel several more volumes. While other scholars (both Jewish and non-Jewish) may indeed take up some of these challenges, I have little doubt that we shall be hearing more of Aaron Rosen in the future.’ — Monica Bohm-Duchen, Art & Christianity 62, Summer 2010, 14
  • ‘Towards the end of his book, Rosen explains that his intention has been to illustrate 'something of the unique, productive tensions which can arise when the themes and symbols in works by non-Jewish artists are made to "speak Jewish"' (106). In this he is entirely successful. The reader learns a good deal about the three artists, and can see in practice how a Jewish artist, interested in questions of Jewish history and identity, may engage the art-historical tradition in producing a new kind of visual imagery.’ — Janet Wolff, Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 9.3, 2010, 437-39
  • ‘A probing and accessible interdisciplinary contribution to the field of modern Jewish art.’ — Samantha Baskind, Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies 29.4, Summer 2011, 177-79
  • ‘The book is at its strongest when it employs formal comparisons to demonstrate the close visual conversations with European ‘Masters’ of religious art (such as Grü̈newald, Uccello and della Francesca) that Chagall, Guston and Kitaj each engage in.’ — Alana M. Vincent, Literature and Theology 27.1 (March 2013), 116

Mythology

Prometheus in the Nineteenth Century: From Myth to Symbol
Caroline Corbeau-Parsons
Studies In Comparative Literature 253 June 2013

  • ‘The truly interdisciplinary reach of Corbeau-Parsons’ work... makes it much more than (just) an exercise in comparative literature... What emerges from Corbeau-Parsons’ engaging study and her analysis of some stunning works of art is a powerful sense of the remarkable autonomy of the Prometheus figure, so much so that one is almost tempted to echo Wilamowitz in Der Glaube der Hellenen and exclaim: ‘The gods are there’!’ — Paul Bishop, Journal of European Studies 44.1, 2014, 81-82
  • ‘A well-written, systematic and comprehensive examination of the Prometheus myth and its many artistic adaptations and nuances.’ — Harriet Hustis, BARS Review 45, 2015
  • ‘Throughout this impressive book, which forms part of the Legenda Studies in Comparative Literature series, Caroline Corbeau-Parsons explores the Symbolist fascination with the Prometheus myth, tracing its origins in antiquity, its rediscovery in the Renaissance, its centrality in versions of German, French, and English Romanticism, and finally its use by Mallarmé, Moreau, and others.’ — Paul Wright, Modern Language Review 110.3, July 2015, 788-89 (full text online)

Survey works

Comparative Literature in Britain: National Identities, Transnational Dynamics 1800-2000
Joep Leerssen
Studies In Comparative Literature 2723 September 2019

  • ‘This is a study of the rare kind of which it can truthfully be said that it is definitive: the description fits Leerssen’s book perfectly. To those still living who launched comparative literature in the new universities some 50 years ago it will come as a happy reminder of an exciting time of innovation and change which they were fortunate to have been part of. To those of a later generation it will reveal that what happened in the 1960s did not emerge from nowhere: a long and honourable history, ably explored by Professor Leerssen, led up to it.’ — John Fletcher, Journal of European Studies 50.3, 2020, 302-321 (full text online)
  • ‘The publication of [this book] is welcome news... The entire section on the nineteenth century is a treasure house of insights into cross-national and comparative ways of approaching knowledge... This is, all in all, a book to be heartily recommended for a wide variety of readers interested in comparative studies in the humanities and social sciences, while being of particular interest to those wishing to understand the evolution of literary and cultural studies.’ — Barnita Bagchi, History of Humanities Fall 2020, 554-56

Likenesses: Translation, Illustration, Interpretation
Matthew Reynolds
Studies In Comparative Literature 3025 September 2013

  • ‘The collection reveals an impressive breadth of scholarship, travelling between disciplines and across centuries from George Stubbs’s equestrian paintings, through the more familiar Reynoldian territory of Robert Browning, to the conspicuously contemporary, ‘Dante on the Tube’. This diversity effectively demonstrates ‘continuities’ in literature, impressing upon the reader the contemporary relevance of earlier works through juxtaposition.’ — Rebecca Butler, Modern Language Review 110.3, July 2015, 793-94 (full text online)

Evolution

Samuel Butler against the Professionals: Rethinking Lamarckism 1860–1900
David Gillott
Studies In Comparative Literature 3216 March 2015

  • ‘Gillott’s book provides a convincing and well-structured analysis of the work of the novelist, art historian and amateur scientist Samuel Butler in the late nineteenth-century British context, focus- ing in particular on his research on art and literature.’ — Cristiano Turbil, British Journal for the History of Science 49.2, 2006, 300-01

Landscape

The Modern Culture of Reginald Farrer: Landscape, Literature and Buddhism
Michael Charlesworth
Studies In Comparative Literature 3626 February 2018

  • ‘The clear strengths of this book are in its lucid prose, historical accuracy, and truly fascinating subject matter... Richly supported in terms of diverse textual materials, the book is also visually stunning and contains a number of wonderful illustrations, photographs, and reproduced artworks... Charlesworth’s book presents a compelling case for a renewed interest in Reginald Farrer’s writings, and will remain the definitive work on this topic for many years to come.’ — Jeffrey Mather, Modern Language Review 115.1, 2020, 164-65 (full text online)

Exile

The Rhetoric of Exile: Duress and the Imagining of Force
Vladimir Zorić
Studies In Comparative Literature 3919 December 2016

  • ‘Since the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise and down to the exodus of Jews from Germany triggered by Kristallnacht, followed most recently by the flight of millions from the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, exile has constituted a basic experience of human history and myth, summoning forth a library of commentary... Zorić has taken a rich and fascinating topic and exposed it fruitfully to various theoretical analyses.’ — Theodore Ziolkowski, Modern Language Review 113.2, April 2018, 363-64 (full text online)
  • ‘The book has something of the virtues of classical philology, such as erudition and close reading of the overall European literary tradition in original languages. It is equally commendable for widening its scope to the literary depictions of exilic experience in often overlooked East and Central European literatures, thus escaping the rather common fault of essentially reducing European intellectual and imaginative experiences to its Western parts.’ — Aleksandar Pavlović, European History Quarterly 48.2, 402-03

Utopian thought

Utopian Identities: A Cognitive Approach to Literary Competitions
Clementina Osti
Studies In Comparative Literature 4122 August 2018


Jewish Studies

A Modernist in Exile: The International Reception of H. G. Adler (1910-1988)
Edited by Lynn L. Wolff
Studies In Comparative Literature 4223 April 2019

  • ‘A very impressive collection of moving and thought-provoking essays... Because the contributors to this book have such detailed and specialized knowledge of H. G.’s life and work, and such a masterly ability to contextualize his wide-ranging achievement and relate their new work to earlier critical work, they set a new standard in Adler scholarship. Consequently this fascinating volume will doubtless enhance H. G.’s reputation both as an intellectual and as a writer of prose fiction, and become necessary reading for anyone who has any kind of interest in him and his work.’ — Richard Sheppard, Journal of European Studies 50.3, Autumn 2020, 295–301 (full text online)
  • ‘This volume dedicated to H.G. Adler will prove edifying to seasoned scholars and newcomers alike... In contrast to Adorno, who - similar to many postmodernists - collapses traditions of value into barbarity and admits no distinction between the two, Adler struggles to maintain, describe, and explain the possibility of human goodness in the face of overwhelming evil. It is certainly true for Adler that in the world of the camps much, if not most, of the ability for ethical action was destroyed - but not all. And since this is true, Adler’s work challenges his readers to face the truth in its entirety and to define the scale of human value they will adhere to in the face of barbarity.’ — Traci S. O’Brien, Monatshefte 112.4, Winter 2020, 747-50

History of ideas

Sublime Conclusions: Last Man Narratives from Apocalypse to Death of God
Robert K. Weninger
Studies In Comparative Literature 4329 September 2017

  • unsigned notice, The Year's Work in English Studies 98.1, 2019, 657-58

The Holocaust

Reflections in the Library: Selected Literary Essays 1926–1944
Antal Szerb
Studies In Comparative Literature 4613 February 2017

  • ‘Skillfully translated from Hungarian by Peter Sherwood, edited with utmost circumspection by Zsuzsanna Varga, provided with a magisterial Introduction by Ágnes Péter and a foreword by Galin Tihanov, reveals much about its author, the novelist, scholar, and man of letters Antal Szerb and his mindset... Reflections in the Library can be seen, among its other achievements, as a gesture of proclaiming, now to the English-speaking world, the lasting relevance of Szerb’s legacy... Although Szerb’s life’s work was left unfinished, his contribution to the art of the essay is large and remarkable enough to merit a sequel.’ — Ákos Farkas, Hungarian Cultural Studies 10, 2017 (full text online)
  • ‘This is a beautifully produced and judiciously edited selection of essays by a major writer from early-twentieth-century Hungary... All of the essays reveal Szerb’s sparkling wit and humour as well as his acumen: describing Chesterton as a great scholar and sophisticated clown, he prophecies that Shaw’s work will outlive Chesterton’s, while his essays on Gogol and Proust equally overflow with aphoristic wit. It is a must-have volume both for critics and general readers: beautiful, touching, and remarkably up-to-date prose on nineteenth-century European literature.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 55.1, January 2019, 119-20

Evolution

Samuel Butler and the Science of the Mind: Evolution, Heredity and Unconscious Memory
Cristiano Turbil
Studies In Comparative Literature 4828 September 2020


History of ideas

Metaphor in European Philosophy after Nietzsche: An Intellectual History
Andrew Hines
Studies In Comparative Literature 5428 September 2020

Fragments, Genius and Madness: Masks and Mask-Making in the fin-de-siècle Imagination
Elisa Segnini 
Studies In Comparative Literature 5626 July 2021


Virgil (70-19 BCE), Roman poet

Aeneas Takes the Metro: The Presence of Virgil in Twentieth-Century French Literature
Fiona Cox
Studies In Comparative Literature 31 July 1999

  • unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 37.3, 2001, 341
  • ‘Affirms that Virgil's 'flexibility and openness to reception' has ensured his continuing relevance for writers of widely differing persuasions.’ — Julian Cowley, The Year's Work in English Studies 80, 2002, 615
  • ‘The fine chapters on Pierre Klossowski's controversial Aeneid translation and on the nouveau roman constitute in their grouping a genuine contribution to our understanding of Virgil's postwar reception... the coherence of traditional heroic and imperialistic readings gives way to a postmodern view of Aeneas as exile.’ — Theodore Ziolkowski, French Studies LV.2, 2001, 269-70
  • ‘Wide-ranging and illuminating... In sum, Aeneas Takes The Metro illustrates, if proof were needed, the ability of a well-informed and scholarly comparative study to transcend linguistic, formal and temporal barriers successfully and productively.’ — Kiera Vaclavik, New Comparison 31, 2002, 202-3

Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), Italian poet

Likenesses: Translation, Illustration, Interpretation
Matthew Reynolds
Studies In Comparative Literature 3025 September 2013

  • ‘The collection reveals an impressive breadth of scholarship, travelling between disciplines and across centuries from George Stubbs’s equestrian paintings, through the more familiar Reynoldian territory of Robert Browning, to the conspicuously contemporary, ‘Dante on the Tube’. This diversity effectively demonstrates ‘continuities’ in literature, impressing upon the reader the contemporary relevance of earlier works through juxtaposition.’ — Rebecca Butler, Modern Language Review 110.3, July 2015, 793-94 (full text online)

Richard Crashaw (c.1613-49), English poet

Rethinking the Concept of the Grotesque: Crashaw, Baudelaire, Magritte
Shun-Liang Chao
Studies In Comparative Literature 2212 April 2010

  • ‘There is much to admire in this stimulating and well-researched study, not least its invitation to reconsider the significance not only of the grotesque itself, but also of other influential and related aesthetic terms such as the sublime, the uncanny, and the fantastic.’ — Damian Catani, Modern Language Review 106.4, 2011, 1129-31 (full text online)
  • ‘Succeeds in its aims to define the grotesque, give insight into its use of visual and verbal media, and demonstrate its progression through time... a well-reasoned and well-researched book that is a welcome contribution to the study of the Grotesque, as well as to the literature on Crashaw, Baudelaire and Magritte.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 48.3, June 2012, 357-58

Laurence Sterne (1713-69), English novelist

Turning into Sterne: Viktor Shklovskii and Literary Reception
Emily Finer
Studies In Comparative Literature 1823 April 2010

  • ‘In [Finer's] own inventive readings, the impact of Sterne and English eighteenth-century narrative experiments is dominant in Shklovskii’s journalism and fiction of the mid 1920s. The overt play with convention evident in his non- fiction, as in his novels, exemplifies in a double sense the khod konia — both the knight’s move of artistic indirection and the hobby horse of Shandean digressions.’ — Dale E. Peterson, Slavonic and East European Review 89.4, October 2011, 720-21 (full text online)
  • ‘Emily Finer’s first monograph represents a significant advance on any other coverage of Viktor Shklovskii (1893–1984) and his work in literature to date... An outstanding study for those interested in early twentieth-century Soviet culture, comparative literature and literary reception, close readings of English literature in Russian translation, and the publication and dissemination of English literature in Russia and the Soviet Union.’ — Rosemari Baker, Slavonica 17.1, April 2011, 54-55

Denis Diderot (1713-84), French philosopher

Alienation and Theatricality: Diderot after Brecht
Phoebe von Held
Studies In Comparative Literature 1725 March 2011

  • ‘This is a rich and rewarding study that opens up important new perspectives not only on its two chosen thinkers, but also on the questions of acting both onstage and in society more generally.’ — Joseph Harris, French Studies 66.4 (October 2012), 557
  • ‘[Held's] general principle is surprisingly simple and compelling: While the 'self-alienating artifice' of Diderot's calculating actor succeeds for the most part at immedsing the audience to identification and illusion, there are moments at which it suddenly comes to the fore... Jolted by this 'sudden emergence of alienation', the spectator is now 'faced with her own involvement in the operation of delusion'.’ — Florian Nikolas Becker, Brecht Yearbook 37 (2012), 253-58

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829), French naturalist

Samuel Butler against the Professionals: Rethinking Lamarckism 1860–1900
David Gillott
Studies In Comparative Literature 3216 March 2015

  • ‘Gillott’s book provides a convincing and well-structured analysis of the work of the novelist, art historian and amateur scientist Samuel Butler in the late nineteenth-century British context, focus- ing in particular on his research on art and literature.’ — Cristiano Turbil, British Journal for the History of Science 49.2, 2006, 300-01