Through a series of case studies spanning the bounds of literature, photography, essay, and manifesto, this book examines the ways in which literary texts do theoretical, ethical, and political work. Nicole Simek approaches the relationship between literature, theory, and public life through a specific site, the French Antillean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, and focuses on two mutually elucidating terms: hunger and irony. Reading these concepts together helps elucidate irony's creative potential and limits. If hunger gives irony purchase by anchoring it in particular historical and material conditions, irony also gives a literature and politics of hunger a means for moving beyond a given situation, for pushing through the inertias of history and culture.
Nicole Simek is Associate Professor of French and Interdisciplinary Studies at Whitman College, USA. She is the author of Eating Well, Reading Well: Maryse Condé and the Ethics of Interpretation.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Living on the Edge
2. Theory or Over-Eating
3. Ironic Intent
4. In the Belly of the Beast: Irony, Opacity, Politics
5. Hunger Pangs: Irony, Tragedy, Constraint
6. Thirsty Ruins, Ironic Futures