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  • 1.
    Wrethed, Joakim
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    “‘A Momentous Nothing’": The Phenomenology of Life, Ekphrasis and Temporality in John Banville’s The Sea2014In: The Crossings of Art in Ireland / [ed] Ruben Moi, Brynhildur Boyce, Charles I. Armstrong, Bern: Peter Lang Publishing Group, 2014, p. 183-211Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 2.
    Wrethed, Joakim
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    Chiasm, Epoché, and Synergy: The Metaphorical Style in John Banville's Art Trilogy2008In: Nordic Irish Studies, ISSN 1602-124X, Vol. 7, p. 91-102Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    My article is based on a theoretical hybridization of cognitive linguistics and phenomenology. I focus on three novels by the Irish writer John Banville: The Book of Evidence (1989), Ghosts (1993), and Athena (1995). Their similar major themes about art and ethics have brought them together as the Art Trilogy or the Frames Trilogy. My article seeks to identify three interrelated aspects of metaphoricity in the literary texts. The first aspect concerns what I call chiasmatic oscillation. I argue that metaphoricity in the Art Trilogy is the central force that reveals how the imagery continuously reciprocates with what in familiar terms would be called literal or more ‘mimetic’ levels of the narratives. Furthermore, I claim that metaphoricity in the Art Trilogy is indicative of recurring cuts or reductions, in which existence is somehow intensified. These metaphorical epochés sometimes resemble epiphanic moments, where surprising affective-eidetic patterns break through the endless becoming without ruling it out. These moments are discussed in terms of synergy, which denotes the creative energy itself, the chora, the domain of child’s play, liturgy, science, and art; the primordial exhilaration that belongs neither to the subject nor to the world. Thus, I simultaneously try to discuss style as a very profound linguistic-experiential phenomenon.

  • 3.
    Wrethed, Joakim
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    Ethical Perspectives on Irish Conflicts and the Thematised Mise En Abîme in John Banville’s Fiction2018Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Wrethed, Joakim
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    "Horribly, pleasurable transgression": Metaphor, Theology and Evil in John Banville’s The Book of Evidence2011In: Beyond Ireland: Encounters Across Cultures / [ed] Hedda Friberg-Harnesk, Gerald Porter, Joakim Wrethed, Oxford: Peter Lang , 2011, p. 217-240Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Wrethed, Joakim
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    I am a place: Aletheia as Aesthetic and Political Resistance in Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing2015In: Journal of Aesthetics and Culture, ISSN 2000-4214, E-ISSN 2000-4214, Vol. 7Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The article investigates the aesthetic and political power of Margaret Atwood’s 1972 novel Surfacing. It argues that the novel’s perennial vitality is partly explained by Jacques Rancière’s theory about the aesthetic regime of art that highlights the tension between art for art’s sake and art as a political instrument. By means of phenomenological methodology and concepts, mainly derived from Martin Heidegger and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, the examination uncovers an experiential aesthetics intimately intertwined with the protagonist’s perceptions throughout the narrative. These perceptions and impressions are permeated by a sense of semi-religious revelation. But here they are primarily seen from an epistemological perspective through the dominance of immediacy (denoted by the Greek aletheia) over verificational dimensions (denoted by the Roman veritas). These predominantly sensory aspects of Surfacing make up the aesthetic nerve that is linked to the political impact of the work. Aletheia functions as a promise of emancipation since it transcends the political division of the sensory, that is, art for art’s sake and art as life. But, Atwood’s work also upholds this separation since aletheia is ultimately autonomous, which in turn sustains the autonomy of the novel. It is claimed that the persistent status of Surfacing—and thereby its sustained political impact—is ultimately due to its aesthetic integrity. The novel’s more explicit political concerns of ecocriticism and feminism are secondary in relation to the force of aletheia.

  • 6.
    Wrethed, Joakim
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    “In an Artist’s Studio” by Christina Rossetti as Seeing Without Seeing: Girard, Heidegger, Scotus and Marion2019Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    “In an Artist’s Studio” is a Victorian poem that has kept its affective and cognitive brilliance for more than a century. This paper claims that the perennial qualities of the poem partly have to do with the complexity of seeing that it makes manifest. On a superficial level, the poem illustrates the male artist’s predatory gaze appropriating the female figure, in other words, acting as the subject that cannot properly see the Other. This is however problematized by the fact that we have a witness in the studio who comments on what s/he sees. According to Girard’s logic of the contagious mimetic desire, the witness ought to desire the object too. There is certainly a sense of desire involved but it is partly overruled by the word, the sign, language, that makes seeing possible. Drawing on Heidegger and Scotus, the argument will show that the disclosure of the world, the woman or the poem is always already “worded”. It is worded and worlded in the same stroke. The whole of being is reliant upon a primordial, inner word, a verbum interius. In addition to this, a requirement for an empathic seeing is the accompanying affectivity of love with a minimum degree of desire. Jean-Luc Marion’s philosophy on love and the erotic helps illustrate how love holds the poem together. On a metaphorical and allegorical level, the Petrarchan sonnet intimates the agape of the Christian theological tradition.

  • 7.
    Wrethed, Joakim
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    John Banville and Hugo von Hofmannsthal: Language, mundane revelation and profane sacrality2019In: John Banville and His Precursors / [ed] Pietra Palazzolo, Michael Springer, Stephen Butler, Bloomsbury Academic, 2019, p. 146-162Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 8.
    Wrethed, Joakim
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    John Williams's Stoner and Literature as Dark Matter in the Age of Educational Managerialism2019In: Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies, ISSN 1218-7364, Vol. 25, no 1, p. 151-160Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The tension between Bildung and more utility-oriented dimensions of education is nothing new. For instance, Friedrich Nietzsche addressed the issue in a series of lectures presented at the Basel city museum in 1872. The German philosopher particularly despised 19th century tendencies to let education be controlled by external forces. The contemporary literature teacher may feel inclined to endorse some of Nietzsche’s sentiments. What is allowed to remain of the subject of literature in the age of massification, learnification, and criterion referenced teaching in secondary and tertiary education? Through an analysis of certain aspects of John Williams’ Stoner, the paper considers a few central questions: Why is the devoted literature teacher forced into a hypocritical position, pretending to do a set of stated things (learning outcomes), while actually doing (or wanting to do) something completely different? Is it not precisely what cannot be put into words that is the actual driving force of the study of literature? The paper suggests that this Gordian knot cannot be untied and that it should not be cut, but also that the attempts to untie the knot are in themselves vitalising forces that ought not to be neglected within literary studies and teaching.

  • 9.
    Wrethed, Joakim
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    Mnemonic air in John Banville's Science tetralogy2007In: Recovering memory: Irish representations of past and present / [ed] Hedda Friberg, Irene Gilsenan Nordin and Lene Yding Pedersen, Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Cambridge , 2007, p. 280-290Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 10.
    Wrethed, Joakim
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    No immanence for old men: the art of acting in John Banville's Eclipse and Philip Roth's The Humbling2012In: NIS: Nordic Irish Studies, ISSN 1602-124X, E-ISSN 2002-4517, Vol. 11, no 1, p. 121-131Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 11.
    Wrethed, Joakim
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    Representation, Ritual, and the Sacred in Tom McCarthy’s Remainder: A Phenomenological Interpretation of Eric Gans’s Minimal and Secondary Hypotheses2017In: GASC2017: Generative Anthropology Society Conference, June 8-10, 2017Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 12.
    Wrethed, Joakim
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    Suffering as the Embodiment of the Sacred in Hugo von Hofmannsthal's "A Letter" and "Tale of the 672nd Night"2018Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In Eric Gans’s theoretical framework, the sacred may be seen as a ritualised re-enactment of the inaccessibility of the appetitive object. This set-up calls attention to more formalised situations in which the separation of the profane and the sacred are upheld. Drawing on the work of C. Jason Throop, this paper attempts to trace the blurring of this distinction in terms of embodied suffering in two short stories by fin de siècleauthor Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Throop highlights the encounter with the sacred not only in terms of an experience of a limit or a zone of the unknowable, but also as a phenomenological transformation of aspect (what Wittgenstein called “aspect-dawning”). This experiential conversion in itself obscures a clear line of demarcation between the sacred and the profane. In Throop’s words, the instants focused on are “moments in which the reality of our singularity, vulnerability, and finitude is made manifest. The seeds for such forms of phenomenological modification are also found in more mundane, profane, and everyday experiences. This includes everyday experiences of pain and suffering”. This thesis analyses literary manifestations of phenomenological modifications that display suffering as sacred in the fiction of von Hofmannsthal.

  • 13.
    Wrethed, Joakim
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    Suffering as the Embodiment of the Sacred in Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s "A Letter" and "Tale of the 672nd Night"2018In: Anthropoetics, ISSN 1083-7264, E-ISSN 1083-7264, Vol. 24, no 1Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In Eric Gans’s theoretical framework, the sacred may be seen as a ritualised re-enactment of the inaccessibility of the appetitive object. This set-up calls attention to more formalised situations in which the separation of the profane and the sacred are upheld. Drawing on the work of C. Jason Throop, as well as Gans, the present article attempts to trace the blurring of this distinction in terms of embodied suffering in two short stories by fin de siècle author Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Throop highlights the encounter with the sacred not only in terms of an experience of a limit or a zone of the unknowable, but also as a phenomenological transformation of aspect (what Wittgenstein called “aspect-dawning”). This experiential conversion in itself obscures a clear line of demarcation between the sacred and the profane. In Throop’s words, the instants focused on are “moments in which the reality of our singularity, vulnerability, and finitude is made manifest. The seeds for such forms of phenomenological modification are also found in more mundane, profane, and everyday experiences. This includes everyday experiences of pain and suffering”. The article analyses literary manifestations of phenomenological modifications that display the suffering of the lack of adequate language as manifestations of the sacred in the fiction of Hofmannsthal.

  • 14.
    Wrethed, Joakim
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    The Aesthetics of the Flesh in John Banville's The Book of Evidence, Eclipse and Shroud2010In: NIS: Nordic Irish Studies, ISSN 1602-124X, E-ISSN 2002-4517, Vol. 9, p. 49-70Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 15.
    Wrethed, Joakim
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    The (Anti-)Ecology of Nietzschean Aesthetics in Tom McCarthy’s Satin Island2019Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Satin Island (2015) contains a number of Tom McCarthy’s already established and interrelated fictional characteristics. Excessive recycling (borrowing or stealing), intertextual and allusional frenzy, monomaniacal preoccupation with seemingly trivial details, fascination with the material and technological aspects of human culture, problematisation of traditional dichotomisation of human vs. non-human, detached and unempathic protagonist, a distinctly imaginative and associative narration—which makes itself manifest primarily as cerebral (hence the affective indifference)—and last but not least an obsession with patterns and pattern analogies. One such pattern is the conspicuous theme of oil spills in the narrative. In taking on the regularity of configurations, the spills become aestheticised as black artworks, “the oil-flower unfurling its petals, the dark water swelling and cresting” (13). Oil spills are in a traditional environmentalist discourse seen as adequate punishments for human hubris. According to this moral logic, the human greed for energy backlashes and spreads death on coastlines and on ‘innocent’ animal and vegetational life. However, in McCarthy’s twisted fictional world, the spills become manifestations of a full-blown Nietzschean aesthetics that overrides all values, so that aestheticised reality becomes everything beyond and above any apocalyptic or utopian human telos. The ultimate level of (post)humanity is the revelation of a dehumanised and autonomous aesthetics of the world itself. Basically, McCarthy’s novel tries out the idea of the beauty of destruction as a maximation of the anthropocene. In addition, the narrative dramatises the impossibility of such an event, since it suggests that this would entail human extinction and therefore there can be no conceivable recording of the accomplishment. This paper analyses pattern, matter and surface aesthetics in Satin Island as a provocative comment on more ethically oriented environmentalist stances.

  • 16.
    Wrethed, Joakim
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    The Border Within: John Williams' Stoner and Literature as Dark Matter in the Age of Learnification2017In: English Across Borders: Celebrating the Diversity of the English Language, 2017Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The tension between Bildung and more utility-oriented dimensions of education is nothing new. For instance, Friedrich Nietzsche addressed the issue in a series of lectures presented at the Basel city museum in 1872. The German philosopher particularly abhorred 19th century tendencies to let education be controlled by external forces. The contemporary literature teacher may feel inclined to endorse some of Nietzsche’s sentiments. What is allowed to remain of the subject of literature in the age of massification, learnification, and criterion referenced teaching in secondary and tertiary education? Through an analysis of certain aspects of John Williams’ Stoner, the paper considers a few central questions: Why is the devoted literature teacher forced into a hypocritical position, pretending to do a set of stated things (learning outcomes), while actually doing (or wanting to do) something completely different? Is it not precisely what cannot be put into words that is the actual driving force of the study of literature? In addition, is it not this dark matter of words and unknowing that in extension constitute the suspense in the area of education as a whole? The paper suggests that this Gordian knot cannot be untied and that it should not be cut. But also that the attempts to untie the knot are in themselves vitalising forces that ought not to be neglected within literary studies.

  • 17.
    Wrethed, Joakim
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    The Experiential Motivation of Metaphors: On a Poem by Carol Ann Duffy, Phenomenology, and Cognitive Linguistics2008In: Selected Papers from the 2006 and 2007 Stockholm Metaphor Festivals / [ed] Nils-Lennart Johannesson, David C. Minugh, Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, 2008, p. 43-52Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The backbone of this paper is a close reading of Carol Ann Duffy’s poem “The Grammar of Light” with focus on its metaphorical dimension. The poem is analysed mainly through concepts used in cognitive linguistics. Consequently, the paper highlights the ontology implied by the discipline of cognitive linguistics. In addition, the investigation examines the aforementioned implications by means of a phenomenological meta-analysis. After having determined the poem’s central conceptual metaphors that are combined and their experiential motivation, the paper attempts to investigate the experiential-cognitive roots of metaphors generally and more closely. What are the conditions of possibility for the understanding-A-through-B structure on this ontological plane? It is argued that experience involves an immediate access to eidetic intuition. The direct experience of a candle necessarily at every instant involves experiential ‘candleness.’ For Husserl, as well as for the cognitive linguist, perception is conception. The immediately accessible creative imagination is of crucial importance to metaphoricity. The paper also takes into consideration aspects of the literal dimension of the engagement with literature. Against the Nietzschean-Derridean line of thinking, it is argued that cognitive embodiment and certain general aspects of experience save the literary text from a complete loss of truth and straightforwardness.

  • 18.
    Wrethed, Joakim
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    The infinities by John Banville2010In: Estudios Irlandeses, ISSN 1699-311X, no 5, p. 201-202Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 19.
    Wrethed, Joakim
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    The Invisible Apocalyptic City: The Affectivity of Urbanity, Movement, and Desire in William Blake’s ‘London’, Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis, and Ivan Vladislavić’s The Exploded View2016In: Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies, ISSN 1218-7364, Vol. 22, no 2, p. 305-325Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article investigates apocalyptic aspects of William Blake’s “London”, Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis, and Ivan Vladislavić’s The Exploded View. The analysis explores the suitability of the urban and suburban settings of these works as backdrops for religious, semi-religious, and secular versions of apocalyptic structures. Furthermore, the central argument utilizes a Heideggerian conceptualisation of desire in distinguishing between ontical craving (the striving for materialist security and pleasure) and ontological desire (the need of a spiritual life-dimension). These aspects reveal underlying affective layers of the primarily negative images of urban and suburban life in these three works. Moreover, the concept of desire is in DeLillo’s and Vladislavić’s works linked to the notion of speed (and lack thereof) in order to highlight modern dilemmas of ontical craving in capitalist urban settings. The investigation suggests that urbanity provides an adequate venue for apocalyptic narratives in three interrelated ways. Firstly, urbanity intensifies individual suffering, egotism, and alienation in a context which has the potential of providing the ground for collaboration, community, and fraternity. Secondly, it intensifies the affectivity of capitalist ruthlessness and speed in an environment that paradoxically supports and rejects these forces (hence the memento mori motif in all three literary texts). Thirdly, by presenting such a dark vision of fallen mankind it concurrently forwards a redemptive or cathartic perspective in the form of a literary response to materialist decay.

  • 20.
    Wrethed, Joakim
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    The Phenomenology of Representation, Ritual, and the Sacred in Tom McCarthy’s Remainder2017In: Anthropoetics, ISSN 1083-7264, E-ISSN 1083-7264, Vol. 23, no 1Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is here argued that Tom McCarthy’s Remainder may be read through Eric Gans’s anthropological hypothesis of the originary scene. The re-enactments the protagonist performs are seen as rituals, which posit the sacred as present in its absence. In that way Remainder investigates the limits of representation. The protagonist in the novel aims at making the ritual “real”, which leads to a collapse of representation and a reification of the sacred. Thereby the reader experiences a symbolic breakdown of human culture as we conceive it. However, the sacred re-introduces itself as an indestructible factor towards the end of the narrative.

  • 21.
    Wrethed, Joakim
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    ʻWhere danger is, there rescue growsʼ: Technology, Time, and Dromology in Tom McCarthy’s C.2017In: C21 Literature: Journal of 21st-century writings, E-ISSN 2045-5224, Vol. 5, no 3Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    On one level, Tom McCarthy’s C comes out as a postmodern intertextual patchwork that borrows the form of the Bildungsroman. Accordingly, the protagonist Serge travels from birth to death in a forthrightly chronological narrative, but that journey is accompanied by the fact that the text’s modernist historical context is partly embedded in a posthuman and postmodern ontology. Technologically speaking, this version of modernity displays itself as technē, both in terms of artistic creation and as technology innovation (the radio transmitter, the car, the aeroplane, the cinema). Moreover, the novel equates technology with dromology (from Gr. dromos: race course) dealing with increasing speed as economic and political advantage, but it also reveals its human downside in terms of disaster (war, car crash, aeroplane crash). Through the protagonist, C forwards technology as death drive and the human as always already being ahuman (technē as primordial attribute of bios). In terms of time, the narrative seemingly incarnates the occidental obsession with teleology and eschatology. This article goes through these dimensions, but in addition it contends that there is another level at work in the narrative. Considered as artistically rendered philosophical cognition, the novel puts forth the Stoic apathea (equanimity), Husserlian flux, and anachronistic temporality as giving way to a peculiar kind of faith. This is closely tied to the artistic creativity of technē, including the activity of writing, which rescues a form of transcendence from conventional postmodern elimination. Dominant discourses of technology and time—apocalyptic and utopian—are challenged in this reading.

  • 22.
    Wrethed, Joakim
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    Friberg-Harnesk, HeddaMid Sweden University.Porter, GeraldUniversity of Vaasa.
    Beyond Ireland: encounters across cultures2011Collection (editor) (Other academic)
  • 23.
    Wrethed, Joakim
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    Uddén, Anna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
    Coverage or Depth: Teaching Literary History Courses at the University2015Conference paper (Other academic)
1 - 23 of 23
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