CFP: The Grotesque in the World of Susan Glaspell, Djuna Barnes, Zora Neale Hurston and Their Modernist Contemporaries (1/1/07;

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Panel Topic: The Grotesque in the Work of Susan Glaspell, Djuna Barnes,
Zora Neale Hurston, and Their Modernist Contemporaries

             As Philip Thomson argues in his The Grotesque, the grotesque
depends for its effect on disharmony and ambiguity, an interruption of the
normal by an eruption of the freakish, the ominous, and the estranged. He
goes on to argue that it most often appears in art and literature during
periods of great strife, radical change, or profound disorientation,
periods, that is, like that of the modernists in which artists responded in
their works to both national and international crises and
possibilities. The American literary grotesque is exemplified in the work
of Edgar Allan Poe and Flannery O'Connor, but it is not totally surprising
that it also figures in important ways in the work of early modernists who
were determined to break with the sentimental and romantic movements that
preceded their emergence and to make of American literature something
shockingly new. The grotesque in art is typically defined as work in which
the natural and the monstrous are intertwined in bizarre or fanciful
combinations; somewhat strangely, then, the grotesque character elicits
from the reader both disgust and empathy in that such a character repulses
us even as it whets our desire to understand its otherness. In Glaspell's
work, we see the grotesque emerge both in her plays (such as The Verge) and
in her novels (Fugitive's Return, for example), two examples that indicate
well the different uses to which the grotesque can be put. Other
modernists employ the grotesque in similarly innovative ways. The Susan
Glaspell Society invites papers on Glaspell and her contemporaries for a
panel at the 18th Annual Conference of the American Literature Association,
24-27 May 2007, in Boston, MA. Send paper abstracts to Mary E. Papke at
<file:///> by 1 January 2007 for

Barbara Ozieblo, Dpto. de Filologia Inglesa, Facultad de Filosofia y
Letras, Universidad de Malaga, 29071 Malaga, Spain. Tel: 34 952 131795;
Fax: 34 952 131843; e.mail:

The Susan Glaspell Society

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Received on Tue Nov 28 2006 - 17:55:36 EST