The Séance of Reading: Uncanny Designs in Modernist Writing, Thomas J. Cousineau




the Manole Complex, sacrificial death, fleshly body, architectural body, literary modernism


‟The Séance of Reading: Uncanny Designs in Modernist Writing” (2023), a book arising out of Thomas J. Cousineau’s long and fruitful teaching experience and his extensive engagements in Romanian academia as a Fulbright scholar, entices readers to appreciate key canonical works spanning American and European literature through the lens of the Romanian ballad ‟The Legend of Master Manole” and Mircea Eliade’s view of mythical creation by sacrifice. The aesthetic myth of master-builder Manole lends magnitude and resonance to nine modernist texts set in harmonious juxtaposition for the purpose of revealing and restoring the sacrificed textual elements within. Most valuably, the author makes the reader register the intricate relationship between the sacrificed protagonist and the architectural body of the literary monuments discussed throughout his book, which successfully brings together different literary genres, capitalizing on the scenario of death and ontological rebirth.

Author Biography

Mădălina Elena Mandici, ”Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iași, Romania

Mădălina Elena Mandici is an Assistant Professor at the Department of English Language and Literature at the Faculty of Letters, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iași, Romania, where she teaches seminars in English Morphosyntax, Victorian Literature and English Didactics, as well as Grammar and practical courses in Text Discussions. She publicly defended her doctoral dissertation, Female Readers in the Nineteenth-Century British Novels, in December 2022 and received a Summa cum laude distinction. Mădălina Mandici has published one book – English Morphosyntax. A brief course for EFL university students – (co-authored with Ileana Oana Macari, Ph.D., and published by the Demiurg Printing Press, 2021). She has articles published in Studia UBB Philologia, Acta Iassyensia Comparationis, Studii de Știință și Cultură, and other peer-reviewed journals. She is a member of the European Society for the Study of English (ESSE) and The Romanian Society for English and American Studies (RSEAS). Her research interests include – but are not limited to – Victorian literature, English morphosyntax and TEFL. She also holds an MA in Applied Linguistics – Teaching English as a Foreign Language (2019) and a BA in Romanian and English Language and Literature (2017) from UAIC.


Cousineau, T. J. (2023). The séance of reading: Uncanny designs in modernist writing. București: Editura Universitară.




How to Cite

Mandici, M. E. (2024). The Séance of Reading: Uncanny Designs in Modernist Writing, Thomas J. Cousineau. Swedish Journal of Romanian Studies, 7(1), 161–165.