Going to Extremes: Literature and Language at the Limits. A Special Issue of Interplay: A Journal of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature

Interplay: A Journal of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature is seeking contributions in its respective fields for a special issue examining instances of extreme forms/modes of expression. Throughout history, various shifts in usage within literature and language have been viewed as “tendentious” (Mikhail Bakhtin), or conceptually provocative toward more received modes of discourse. Bakhtin has provided a general context via his notion of the “carnivalesque,” which would include disturbing or irreverent verbal statements, socially transgressive comments, and/or forms/genres of literature that go beyond the expected content and/or styles of literary conventions, often in ways calculated to disturb, provoke or even insult cultural norms. Bakhtin’s model was Rabelais, and other early writers, such Cervantes and Laurence Sterne, also examined historical and cultural issues in satires designed to move their readers’ views beyond outworn traditions. The British and the American Romantics deliberately challenged the poetic standards of their day, both philosophically and stylistically. Other significant examples include Charles Baudelaire and Gustave Flaubert, both of whom shocked the aesthetic and moral sensibilities of bourgeois society. The modernists and postmodernists sought to address social reality in ways not before seen or generally accepted, and the Beat writers radically broke away from typical narrative and poetic forms in self-consciously “hip” styles. We find evidence of the extreme in Franz Kafka’s existential nightmares, in Gustav Meyrink’s beer hall satire cum horror tale, The Golem, in the plays of Bertolt Brecht and Samuel Beckett, in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s feminist gothic parody of chauvinist stereotypes, “The Yellow Wallpaper.” The Magical Realist writer Gabriel García Márquez developed fantastical tropes and marvelous events in order to attack socially vitiated conditions and cultural backwardness. New Journalist Hunter S. Thompson’s “gonzo” style, laced with acid satire and mocking hyperbole, skewered the various deserving targets of his moment, while Charles Bukowski offered his poetry as shamelessly raw and biting personal and social commentary. Ishmael Reed, Gish Jen and Ana Castillo have treated ethnic and racial politics from extreme perspectives, exposing the corrosive Eurocentric archetypes of modernity.  Satire, invective, parody, spleen, radical criticism, mockery, challenging or untypical shifts in verbal/linguistic structures, the legacy of “hip” discourse, bizarre neologisms, new and unique blends of genre, the carnivalesque, the morbid and the grotesque, provide the general sphere of interest for this special issue of Interplay. Contributions may be in English, French, German or Spanish. Deadline for abstract submissions is November 15, 2016; notification of initial acceptance will be sent by December 15, 2016. Completed drafts for external review will be due by March 31, 2017. Notice of final acceptance will be sent by May 15, 2017. Final drafts of accepted essays will be due by June 15, 2017.  Abstracts of 300 words, in MLA format, with a list of key words, should be emailed as attachments to the co-editors:

Thomas Argiro: tomarg_29@hotmail.com

Manfred Sablotny: manfred.sablotny@gmail.com

Interplay: A Journal of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature is published by the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature

Tunghai University, Taichung, Taiwan, R.O.C.