The Anthology of Babel

Why should there only be literary scholarship about authors who actually lived, and texts which exist? Where are the articles on Enoch Campion, Linus Withold, Zelda Calhoun, Redondo Panza, Darshan Singh, or Heidi B. Morton? That none of these are real authors should be no impediment to interpreting their invented writings. In the first collection of its kind, The Anthology of Babel publishes academic articles by scholars on authors, books, and movements that are completely invented. Blurring the lines between scholarship and creative writing, The Anthology of Babel inaugurates a completely new literary genre perfectly attuned to the era we live in, a project evocative of Jorge-Louis Borges, Umberto Eco, and Italo Calvino.

TABLE OF CONTENTS //

Introduction: Labyrinths of Imagined Literature – Ed Simon

Chapter One: The Body-Loving Philosophers: Hornbeat and The Early Megarian Hypothesis Computationally Reconsidered – Stephen David Engel

Chapter Two: Deities of Encounter and Theory of Experience: an Analysis of The Great Darkness Text – Seth Ligo

Chapter Three: The Romance of the Minotaur Reconsidered – Katherine McLoone

Chapter Four: “The very Globe came undone”: Ontological Negation in Enoch Campion’s The Tragedy of Dracule – Ed Simon

Chapter Five: “All my heroines must like him”: Circumscribing the spouse in Jane Austen’s Plan of a Husband – Tom Zille

Chapter Six: Linus Withold and the Birth of the Rhizomatic Text – Eric D. Lehman

Chapter Seven: In the Land of the Borderlands: (Mis-) Translating Place in Zedda Calhoun’s “In the Colorado Desert, the Normal Rules of Civilization No Longer Apply” – D. Seth Horton

Chapter Eight: First-order Variables & Repression: Oedipal Relations in The Sandwich by Rubiard Whimp – Austin Sarfan

Chapter Nine: Beneath Unknown Skies: Writing as Erasure in The Rainberg Variations – Reed Johnson

Chapter Ten: Towards the Slope of W: Silent Letters and the Language of Resistance in Cahel’s Emaelgut – Avra Spector

Chapter Eleven: El fin del mundo: Uncharted Territory of Ernest Hemingway’s Fiction – Maria-Josee Mendez

Chapter Twelve: The Unfinished Works of R. A. Conlan – James Speese

Chapter Thirteen: Stirring the Sentient Dust: Marie-Rose Souci’s The Grey Moth – Claire Daigle

Chapter Fourteen: Traduttore, Traditore: Authorial Inconsistencies in the Works of Redondo Panza – Julia Coursey

Chapter Fifteen: Lost Humans and Found Objects: A Restructuring of the Return through Darshan Singh’s Pudpudiyan – Ranjodh Singh Dhaliwal

Chapter Sixteen: The Purists: Cooperative Fundamentalism and Aesthetic Dogmatics – Matthew Newcomb

Chapter Seventeen: From Paratext to Text: The Archeology of Heidi B. Morton’s Archive – Ryan Marnane

Chapter Eighteen: “What else was there to do?”: Fat Futurity and the Limits of Imagination in Desolation – Em K. Falk

Chapter Nineteen: “All My Life My Writing Is”: The Auto-Bio-Graph of Smalloysius F.: Being Told by Itself – Stephen Hock

Chapter Twenty: The Temptations of Anthropocentra: Bardo in Macau – Katie Lavers and Jon Burtt

Chapter Twenty-One: The Gravity of the Situation – Bruce Krajewski

Epilogue: “Darkness Made Visible”: An Interview with Eamonn Peters on Imagined Literature – Ed Simon

Excerpt from Chap. 4: “The very Globe came undone”: Ontological Negation in Enoch Campion’s The Tragedy of Dracule

“I thrice shall nail the papal crown to his head/ as nail’d I the Saracens’ turbans theirs.” In act 4 scene 4 of Enoch Campion’s 1592 play The Tragedy of Dracule, the titular antagonist confronts with reptilian efficacy three Ottoman envoys sent by Sultan Mehmed II. The Wallachian prince, described as having serpent eye and tongue, hisses to his prisoners, saying “Your charge Constantinople’s scourge may be/but now a high’r god your souls sent to be/not to the sheep Nazarene false as yours/nor to the stiff-neck’d Jews’ God of Mos’ic law/for three in one, and one in three, all these/gods strut, lie, and die, three imposters all.” The dramatic action is placed in a Hungarian monastery, where the plays massive central personality, Vlad Tepes, son of Vlad Dracule of the House of Dragon has spent the entire scene torturing the unfortunate diplomats. The scene isn’t out of character for Vlad, as the scholarly and apocryphal tradition which has accumulated around the fragmentary text has it that the character has spent four acts murdering his way across Hungary, Romania, Saxony, the Balkans, and the Ottoman Empire. Now, after scenes which apparently included implement, dismemberment, rape, infanticide, and cannibalism, we reach the narrative denouement in which the arch-heretic sinner explicates his nihilistic non-theology, his “ontological negation” as philosopher Adolph Trachtenberg describes it.

Mathias Blum writes in Akiva’s Garden that “No play in the Renaissance canon, no play in the English canon, no play in literature is as terrifying as The Tragedy of Dracule, not because of what it says, but because of what it doesn’t say.” This play will examine these themes of negation which surround the rich folkloric extra textual tradition associated with a play none of us have ever been able to see performed in its entirety, fusing both the archival scholarship of Eamonn Peters with the hermeneutic interpretations of Trachtenberg.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *