The University of Wisconsin Press

Literature & Criticism / Women's Studies / Gay & Lesbian Studies / Judaica / French Studies


In Memory of Elaine Marks
Life Writing, Writing Death
Edited by Richard E. Goodkin

"I think that we write and read not to change the world but to sharpen, to deepen, and to expand our awareness of being in the world and having to take leave of it."–Elaine Marks, MLA Presidential Address, "Multiplicity and Morality," from the Introduction

A widely recognized and respected authority on French literature, women's writing, feminist theory, and Jewish studies, Elaine Marks wrote groundbreaking books on Collette, Simone de Beauvoir, and Jewish themes in French literature. In Memory of Elaine Marks continues her legacy of rigorous intellectual exploration, enlivening scholarship in diverse areas of thought.

The eleven essays in the collection bring together a number of intellectual, political, and ethical domains that were central to Marks's work: pedagogy, feminism, lesbianism, women's auto/biography, Jewish identity, community, memory, mourning, isolation, and death. In their interpretations of works by Marks, Simone de Beauvoir, Hélène Cixous, Philip Roth, Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes, Saint-Simon, La Bruyère, Marcel Proust, and others, the authors illustrate and engage Marks's existential vision, fearlessly probing the human experience to make sense of how we live, die, and understand both.

"Smart and extremely evocative . . . at once a celebration of and a haunting tribute to the courageous, complex, and penetrating intelligence of Elaine Marks."–Bella Brodzki, coeditor of Lifelines: Theorizing Women's Autobiography

"A moving tribute to a scholar who was as beloved as she was challenging, the contributors to this volume not only acknowledge Elaine Marks's death and the personal, professional losses that entails, but also offer insights into how literature helps us understand the value of human mortality and community."–Katherine Ann Jensen, Louisiana State University

Contributors: Evelyn T. Beck, Martine Debaisieux, Isabelle de Courtivron, Nelly Furman, Annie Jouan-Westlund, Nancy K. Miller, Lawrence D. Kritzman, Tom Conley, Susan Lanser, David Harrison, Richard E. Goodkin, and Elaine Marks.

Richard E. Goodkin is professor of French at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and author of The Tragic Middle: Racine, Aristotle, Euripides; Around Proust; and Birth Marks: The Tragedy of Primogeniture in Pierre Corneille, Thomas Corneille, and Jean Racine.

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Of Related Interest
The Legacy of Kenneth Burke
Edited by Herbert W. Simons and Trevor Melia

cover features a black and white photo of a young Elaine Marks looking at a sculpture.

May 2007

LC: 2006031478 PQ
264 pp. 6 x 9

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