About this Volume

About this Volume

This volume of Romantic Circles Praxis Series includes an editor's introduction by Cathy Caruth, with essays by Cathy Caruth, Ian Balfour, and David Ferris, along with three contributions by the late Tom McCall.

This issue takes its inspiration from the writings on translation, tragedy and twentieth century literary theory in the work of the late Romanticist and comparatist Tom McCall, who died suddenly in January 2011. Three noted Romanticists and literary theorists, taking off from specific critical essays by McCall, explore the centrality of Greek tragedy as it emerges in Romantic writing (especially that of Friedrich Hölderlin), for philosophy, literature, and literary theory. Passing between the Greek and the German (notably in Hölderlin’s translations of Sophocles), and between the literary and the philosophical, these papers offer new and original insights into the complex ways in which Romantic writing was bound to the translation and interpretation of Greek writing and the unique manner in which twentienth century literary theory emerged from the Romantic reflection on the relation between language and the emergence (and suspension) of thought.

About the Design and Markup

This volume was designed at the University of Maryland by David Rettenmaier, Site Manager at Romantic Circles. The initial transformation from WORD Doc to TEI P5 was made using the OxGarage tool, with further TEI markup modifications according to RC house style applied by David Rettenmaier. TEI renders text in archival quality for better preservation and future access. Laura Mandell developed the modified versions of the XSLT transforms provided by the TEI that were used to convert the TEI files into HTML.

About the Romantic Circles Praxis Series

The Romantic Circles Praxis Series is devoted to using computer technologies for the contemporary critical investigation of the languages, cultures, histories, and theories of Romanticism. Tracking the circulation of Romanticism within these interrelated domains of knowledge, RCPS recognizes as its conceptual terrain a world where Romanticism has, on the one hand, dissolved as a period and an idea into a plurality of discourses and, on the other, retained a vigorous, recognizable hold on the intellectual and theoretical discussions of today. RCPS is committed to mapping out this terrain with the best and most exciting critical writing of contemporary Romanticist scholarship.

About the Contributors

Cathy Caruth is Frank H. T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters and Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Cornell University. She is author of Empirical Truths and Critical Fictions: Locke, Wordsworth, Kant Freud and Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative and History. She has co-edited, with Deborah Esch, Critical Encounters: Reference and Responsibility in Deconstructive Writing and is editor of Trauma: Explorations in Memory. Most recently she has published Literature in the Ashes of History (2013) and her collection of interviews, Listening to Trauma: Conversations with Leaders in the Theory and Treatment of Catastrophic Experience will appear in fall 2014.

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Ian Balfour is Professor of English at York University. He is the author of several books including The Rhetoric of Romantic Prophecy and is editor of collections on Walter Benjamin, Jacques Derrida, human rights, and the “foreignness of film.” He has taught recently at Cornell as the M. H. Abrams Distinguished Visiting Professor of English. In fall 2013 he was the Kress Foundation Fellow in the Literature of Art at the Clarke Art Institute and in winter 2014 the Autrey Visiting Professor at Rice University. For 2014-15 he will be a member of the Rice Seminar devoted to 18th and 19th century British culture. He’s finishing an interminable book on the sublime.

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David Ferris is Professor of Humanities and Comparative Literature at the University of Colorado at Boulder and currently Leverhulme Visiting Professor at the University of East Anglia.  He is the author of Theory and the Evasion of History, Silent Urns: Romanticism, Hellenism, Modernity, The Cambridge Introduction to Walter Benjamin and has edited two volumes of essays on Walter Benjamin. His recent publications include essays on the moral image in Hawthorne and Benjamin, Agamben's messianism, mimetic paradox in Diderot and Fragonard, the politics of the useless in Benjamin, Sebald and Proustian memory, and aesthetic paradox in Jacques Rancière.

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Tom McCall was born in Seattle, Washington in 1953 and died in Houston, Texas on January 29th, 2011. He received his BA from the University of California at Davis and his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Yale University. A recipient of a Fulbright fellowship and a 1993-4 Fellow of the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University, his research focused on German Romanticism (particularly in relation to “the Greeks”), English Romanticism, the theory of translation, and literary theory. He lectured widely in the US and abroad and was known as a talented and beloved teacher. At the time of his death he was teaching in the Department of X at the University of Houston at Clearlake.

[go to essay, "The Case of the Missing Body"]

[go to essay, "Plastic Time and Poetic Middles"]

[go to essay, "Wrathful Translation"]