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CompLit InterArt Book Series

The CompLit InterArtbook series, part of New Directions in the Humanities Collection, is one of the book series of the European Society of Comparative Literature. The trilingual series (English, French, Spanish) focuses on the importance of storytelling as a catalyst for the constitution, confirmation and modification of human experiences. Stories can be contemplated as meta-cognitive paradigms that provide frames for meaning making processes. Readers' identification with the protagonists, and the actions performed, serve to raise awareness and encourage people to care for the world, thus leading to content-wise forms of art and civic engagement with socio-cultural and environmental heritage. Curated by Prof, Asun López-Varela (Complutense) and Prof. Bernard Franco (Sorbonne), the book series seeks contributions dealing with the analysis and interpretation of stories in various media formats, literary narratives, visual media, film, dance, performance studies, or electronic literature and net-art. 

(Re)Writing Without Borders: Contemporary Intermedial Perspectives on Literature and the Visual Arts
Brigitte Le Juez, Nina Shiel, and Mark Wallace (eds.)
The diverse range of approaches and of study texts in this volume celebrates the proliferation of word and image media, and the porosity between them, and attests to the continuing relevance of literature and the visual arts in producing and reproducing meaning within contemporary contexts. The essays gathered here examine cross-artistic encounters with a view to capture the most up-to-date interaction between literature and the visual arts. The breadth of expertise from an international array of authors offers a collective and thorough examination of diverse critical approaches that explore how topics such as adaptation and ideology, modernization of traditional genres, relations between art and digital graphics, ekphrastic narratives, are expressed through different types of texts and media.

Once upon Two Cities: A Parallel between New York City and Bucharest by 1900 by Prof. Mariana Ne

There is an old fable about a mouse who claimed to be able to compete with an elephant. At first sight, the mere idea of a comparison between Bucharest and New York City seems as preposterous as the pretense of that old mouse. Yet, this book shows how the two cities appealed to people’s senses and how this feeling was mediated by guidebooks, cookbooks, conduct manuals, music, and films. It is about how people lived and how they enjoyed life. It is a glimpse of people hustling, crowding, and walking at leisure. It shows how they saw the two cities and how they talked about them. It explains what each of the cities was generally considered to look like and what they were shown to look like: not so much what people’s lives were, but what they seemed to have been; not how people behaved, but how they were taught to behave; not what they ate, but what they must have eaten; not all the “partitions” of the music in the cities, but those few icons and “scores” which were supposed to appeal, first and foremost, to the middle class. It is a book about images: word images, fictional images, visual images, auditory images. And it is also a book about urban and rural imaginaries. This is a book about two cities in search of their identities. In all these respects, the world metropolis and the small European capital city could stand side by side. In all these respects, they could justifiably be compared.  CG New Directions in the Humanities

The Ekphrastic Turn: InterArt Dialogues  Edited by Asunción López-Varela  and Ananta C. Sukla

Placing emphasis on the storytelling aspects of intermedial and transmedial configurations, this collection studies the role of art in the construction of cultural processes, helping build a bridge between theoretical academic research and social practices. It brings together scholarship in intercultural studies by drawing on social narrative theory and semiotics as analytical tools to expand on the models of comparative literature. It also explores how communicated experiences and the stories behind them bring about social change and empowerment.  
Read a review at Metacritic Journal 
The print volume and e-book are available at CG New Directions in the Humanities

Mediating Travel Writing, Mediated China: The MiddleKingdom in Travel Books and Blogs  by Stefano Calzati
At the crossroad between literary and media studies, Mediating Travel Writing, Mediated China offers an insightful analysis of what it means, today, to travel to and in China, as well as of the various forms that writing about these travels can take, either in print or on the Web. By drawing upon a wide archive of texts in English, French, Italian and Chinese, the great merit of this book is to renovate the discussion on the poetics of travel writing by recasting it into a broader and theoretically informed transmedial and intercultural perspective. On the one hand, printed travelogues and travel blogs –regarded as two differently mediated forms of the same genre are compared as both texts and cultural artifacts. On the other hand, the focus on both Western- and Chinese-authored texts overcomes the risks of ethnocentrism – proper to many studies in the field – eventually questioning the notions of “West” and “China”, as well as the idea of the Web as a uniformly diffused and used medium.