The Literary Beach: History and Aesthetics of a Modern Topos (Routledge Studies in Comparative Literature) (Hardcover)

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The Literary Beach: History and Aesthetics of a Modern Topos (Routledge Studies in Comparative Literature) By Carsten Meiner (Editor), Katrine Helene Andersen (Editor) Cover Image

The Literary Beach: History and Aesthetics of a Modern Topos (Routledge Studies in Comparative Literature) (Hardcover)

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As a geo-historical place, the beach integrates a variety of characteristics and functions so multiple that they tend to contradict each other. The beach is both a place of work and trade but also of leisure; it is both a place of therapy and health but also of migration, war, and death; it is a place of mass tourism and boredom but also the place of experiencing the Other; it is a public place but also an uncivilized and desolate place.

This book studies the literary representation of the beach from ancient Greek literature up until today, drawing on English, French, Italian, American, and Spanish literatures from various periods and genres and presenting multiple ways of comparing and understanding literary beaches as a ubiquitous literary phenomenon. It demonstrates how the literary beach as a both geo-historical place and as an aesthetic literary commonplace has been a constant and privileged resource for the analysis of more general existential, sociological, and moral problems. This is the case when for instance the Tahitian beach becomes the place of the "already modern" in Stevenson's tales, or when the Italian beach becomes a question of modern feminism in Ferrante.

In this sense, literature expands the local or national beach by articulating its transnational complexities.

Carsten Meiner is Professor of French at the University of Copenhagen. Katrine Helene Andersen is an Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen.
Product Details ISBN: 9781032526737
ISBN-10: 1032526734
Publisher: Routledge
Publication Date: May 8th, 2024
Pages: 176
Language: English
Series: Routledge Studies in Comparative Literature