The project of our journal 452ºF has reached its fifth issue. To
celebrate the fact that we continue working on it, we considered the
possibility of transforming this special issue into a selection of guest
articles from a variety of researchers who trusted us to help them
spread their work and research. Some of these authors appear in this
special issue for the first time, and some others are old friends by
The Editorial board decided to dedicate this issue to celebrate both the surprise and the joy of having actually having reached the publication of it; we say that we feel joy and surprise because a project as ambitious as this, even though it found different difficulties and obstacles throughout its development, has found the way to deal with them thanks to the work and efforts of all the people involved in the process: authors, readers, reviewers, proofreaders, translators and illustrators. They compose a long list of achievers deeply involved with the development of the project, and who have contributed to its realization. The commemorative issue takes the form of a selection of articles specially requested to their authors. Some of them had previously published in 452ºF
, and others were chosen for their international renown –all of them chosen within the global spirit that is the foundation of the comparatist philosophy according to our beliefs.
And it is this inherent philosophy of the comparatist approach what encourages us issue after issue to achieve a high-quality product. We have already mentioned this, but not explained it properly. This is where we introduce two of our guests, Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek writing together with Louise O. Vasvári on the one hand, and Federico José Xamist on the other, who will update us on the situation of Comparative literature as an institution and field of knowledge. Tötösy de Zepetnek and Vasvári dedicate their essay to outlining a state of affairs within comparative humanities, both in the US and Europe, while Xamist carries out a reflection on the history of European comparatism.
Once we have been placed within the framework, and conscious of the conditions of existence of this journal, we move onto a more pragmatic level of comparative engagement with the works of three young and promising researchers. The first offer comes from Ana García Díaz, with her analysis of the literary strategies of Jorge Semprún in his novel La escritura o la vida
, with which the late writer constructs a link between memory and collective identity within the political frame of the European Union. In the second place, Ibai Atutxa makes use of –among other methodological tools- the concept of Homo Sacer
created by Giorgio Agamben, to meticulously dismember the process of construction of the “Basque terrorist” by the Spanish state. Last, but not least, Caroline Kelley works with a hypothesis of reinterpretation of the play Leïla, poème scénique en deux actes et un prologue
by Myriam Ben from the Antigone
by Sophocles to bring us closer to the past of the Algerian revolution.
Leaving behind these more earthly states, and placing ourselves in more sublime spheres, without abandoning the road traced by comparatism, we are lead by two authors who refer to this method for their analysis: on the one hand, Vera Castiglione takes us back to the historical avant-garde movement, and by focusing on the analysis of a series of texts of authors placed within the Futurist movement, wonders if it is possible – and desirable- nowadays to talk about an avant-garde. On the other hand, Kevin Perromat offers us in his article a token of the research he has developed for his PhD, dealing with plagiarism and intertextuality. The object of study cannot be alien to us since it is, in a way, the pure origin of comparative literature.