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 Volume 17/1, includes forum "Narrative Selves"
 January 2019

 Volume 16/2, includes forum on Monika Fludernik's Towards a 'Natural' Narratology
 June 2018

 Volume 16/1 includes forum "Modernity and Mobility: Victorian Women Traveling"
 January 2018

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 June 2017

 Volume 15/1: includes forum "Audionarratology"
 January 2017

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 January 2016

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 June 2015

 Volume 13/1: includes forum "TheGhetto as a Victorian Text"
 January 2015

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 June 2014

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 January 2014

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 June 2013

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 January 2013

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 June 2012

 Volume 10/1: includes forum "Fernando Pessoa and the Issue of Heteronymy
 January 2012

 Volume 9/2: Dickens: Uneasy Pleasures
 June 2011

 Volume 9/1
 January 2011

 Volume 8/2: British Women Writers
 June 2010

 Volume 8/1 includes forum "The Ethics of Temporality"
 January 2010

 Volume 7/2: Eyewitness Narratives
 June 2009

 Volume 7/1
 January 2009

 Volume 6/2: Narrative Knowing, Living, Telling
 June 2008

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 June 2007

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 Volume 4/2: Narrative as a Way of Thinking
 June 2006

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 June 2004

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 Quick Article Search

   Newest Articles

 Response Essay
 Monika Fludernik

 Experience, Affect, and Literary Lists
 Eva von Contzen

 Posthuman Narration as a Test Bed for Experientiality
 Marco Caracciolo

 The Curse of Realism
 Karin Kukkonen

 More than Minds
 Jonas Grethlein

 Toward the Non-Natural
 Maria Mäkelä

 Two Conceptions of Experientiality and Narrativity
 Dan Shen

 Against Nature
 Brian McHale

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Updated Up To 26/06/2018
Volume 16, issue 2 (January 2018) : 95-108
Then and Now
Travel, History, Narration in Dara Horn’s A Guide for the Perplexed: A Novel
Murray Baumgarten
Rubric A: Then and Now
Rubric B: Women Writers

Abstract

 

Travel changes character in this neo-Victorian novel, as it marks women with the signs of newly achieved difference. Their explorations array on a palimpsest that reconfigures conventional cultural expectations: it is a narrative technique and trope which renders the past with the immediacy and urgency of the present time of speaking. The novel focuses on a computer program called Genizah that records everything and can be played back to enable the viewer to make the past into an eternal present – a modern version of the Pharaonic project of pyramidal Egypt, a central location for this novel. The Genizah computer program enables time travel, and now can turn into then, dream-experience and/or traumatized life. Horn elaborates the separate strands of this triple-plotted narrative that takes us into the historic Genizah of the ancient Cairo Fustat Synagogue, discovered by two intrepid Victorian women ethnographers. Their discoveries invite links with the historical novel of Sir Walter Scott, the nostalgic fiction of Charles Dickens, and the philosophical thought of Moses Maimonides. The plot turns on a modern re-gendered version of the Biblical account of Joseph and his brothers in Egyptian servitude. History, familial rivalries, and global ambitions thread through the story, and that which has been hidden is forced into acknowledgment and public engagement through a contemporary technology with ancient roots.


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