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English Department

Peter Hughes

Peter Hughes, Prof. Dr.

  • Em. Professor für englische und amerikanische Literatur

Portrait and Research Interests

Peter Hughes went from Canada to take a B.A. in English and French literature at Oxford, after which he did his doctorate at Yale. He taught English and Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto, and then from 1977 until his retirement in 2006, at the University of Zurich. His approach to literature, which the following list may help to make clearer, is to what makes it patterned and playful; an approach based on literary poetics and the response of the reader. His work in progress includes a book on allusion from the Renaissance to the present and a study of autobiography based on the writings of Vico, Coleridge, and Michelet.


Books and Monographs:

Imprints & Re-visions (ed. with Robert Rehder), Tübingen: Gunther Narr, 1996.

V.S. Naipaul, London and New York: Routledge, 1988.

Waterloo and the Hundred Days, Vol VIII of the OUP edition of the Journals and Letters of Fanny Burney, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980.

George Woodcock, Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1974.

The Varied Pattern: Studies in the Eighteenth Century, ed. with David Williams, Toronto: A.M. Hakkert, 1971.

Spots of Time, Toronto: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 1969.

Selected Articles:

"The Image of a Relation in Blood," Colloquium Helveticum, 25 (1997), 63-80.

"Tropic of Candor: V.S. Naipaul," Contemporary Literature, 38:1 (1997), 205-12.

"Last Post: Alternatives to Postmodernism. A Review Article," Society for Comparative Study of Society and History, 38 (1996), 182-88.

"Ruins of Time: Estranging History and Ethnology in the Enlightenment and After," in: Time: Histories and Ethnologies, ed. Diane Owen Hughes & Thomas Trautmann. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1996.

"Brennpunkt der Illusionen", Du, 10 (1993), 26-31.

"Performing Theory: Wittgenstein and the Trouble with Shakespeare", Comparative Criticism 14 (1992), 71-86.

"Bathos" and "Anspielung", articles in Historisches Wörterbuch der Rhetorik, Tübingen, 1992.

"The Usual Terror, the Unusual Suspects" Colloquium Helveticum, 11/12 (1990), 21-38.

"Quinconce et cylindre: espace allusif chez Beckett", in Espaces du texte. Neuchâtel: La Baconnière, 1990, pp. 241-251.

"Painting the Ghost: Wittgenstein, Shakespeare, and Textual Representation", New Literary History XIX, 1988, 371-84.

"'The Words Are Lost': Self-Allusion, Symbolism and Kubla Khan", Texte, 7 (1988), 33-60.

"From Allusion to Implosion: Vico, Michelet, Joyce, Beckett," in Vico and Joyce, ed. Donald Phillip Verene. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1987, pp. 83-99.

"Playing with Grief: Hamlet and the Act of Mourning," Comparative Criticism, 9 (1987), 111-33.

"Wars Within Doors: Erotic Heroism and the Implosion of Texts," English Studies, 60 (1979), 402-21. Rpt. in The English Hero, ed. Robert Folkenflik. Newark and London: University of Delaware Press, 1984.

"Narrative, Scene, and the Fictions of History," in Contempory Approaches to Narrative, ed. Anthony Mortimer. Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag, 1984, 73-87.

"Le Sang noir: Michelet und das Schreiben der Geschichte," in Wissenschaft und Kunst, ed. Paul Feyerabend and Christian Thomas. Zürich: E.T.H. Verlag, 1984, 67-88.

"Michel de Certeau, L'Écriture de L'Histoire," History and Theory, 17 (1978), 367-74.

"Originality and Allusion in the Writings of Edmund Burke," Centrum, 4 (1978), 32-43.

"Allusion and Expression in 18th-Century Literature," in The Author in his Work, ed. Louis L. Martz and Aubrey Williams. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1978, pp. 297-317.

"Restructuring Literary History," New Literary History, 8 (1977), 257-77.

"Vico and Literary History," Yale Italian Studies, 1:1 (1977), 83-90.

"Creativity and History in Vico and his Contemporaries," in Giambattista Vice's Science of Humanity, ed. Giorgio Tagliacozzo and Donald Phillip Verene. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976, pp. 155-69.


"Manhattan Stone" and "Why I Am Not a Jew" from "Out of Europe", Ploughshares 17: 1 (Spring 1991).

"Manhattan Stone", "Minima Moralia", "Finistère", "17, rue Auguste Comte", "After Grodek: Trakl's Last Days", "The Wild Child", "Retreat to the Loire", "Glad To Be Old", "Watching Your Self", "Why I Am Not a Jew", "To the Emigrant", "A Riddle for Moses", "De Gaulle in Morocco", "Proserpina's Garden", "Resistance", "To the Delaware Water Gap", "Casanova's Last Goodnight", PN Review 79 (May/June 1991).