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Apocalyptic Kingship, Harmony and Political Expediency: the Challenges and Paradoxes of Andrew Marvell’s “First Anniversary”

Abstract

The following paper deals with the interpretation of one of the major “Cromwellian” poems of Andrew Marvell (1621-1678), “The First Anniversary of the Government under His Highness the Lord Protector”, 1655. The poem is first set in the context of Marvell’s poetry and his public career in the period between 1637 and 1660. The article then identifies and analyses three main themes of “The First Anniversary”: the notion of a new aeon starting with Cromwell’s rule and the apocalyptical imagery related to his Protectorate, the concept of his power and authority between liberty and tyranny, and the relation between the harmony established by Cromwell and classical Pythagorean harmonious lore. The author argues that the imagery Marvell uses to describe the nature of the regime (especially the concept of Cromwell’s “no-kingship”) shows a deeply paradoxical structure, which uncovers the frailty and insecurity of Cromwell’s dictatorship as well as the circular logic of its justification. In that sense, the poem can be read as a vivid manifestation of the dilemmas and tensions of this period.

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From One Master of Horror to Another: Tracing Poe’s Influence in Stephen King’s The Shining

Abstract

This article deals with the work of two of the most prominent horror fiction writers in American history, namely Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King. The focus of this study is put on the comparative approach while tracing the influence of Poe’s several chosen narratives in King’s novel called The Shining (1977). The chosen approach has uncovered that King’s novel embodies numerous characteristics, tendencies, and other signs of inspiration by Poe’s narratives. The Shining encompasses Poe’s tales such as “The Masque of the Red Death”, “The Fall of the House of Usher”, and “The Black Cat” which are shown to be pivotal aspects of King’s novel. The analysis has shown that the aforementioned King’s novel exhibits Shakespearean elements intertwined with Poe’s “Masque of the Red Death”, the Overlook Hotel to be a composite consisting of various Poesque references, and that The Shining’s protagonist is a reflection of autobiographical references to specific aspects of the lives of Poe and King themselves.

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Hedging in Political Discourse: Evidence from the Speeches of King Abdullah II of Jordan

Abstract

This paper reports on the findings of a study that aimed to identify the linguistic items which act as hedges in the speeches of King Abdullah II of Jordan, as well as to examine the pragmatic functions of these devices. Twenty-five political speeches of King Abdullah II, randomly selected from the official website of King Abdullah (see Appendix), were analyzed adopting Salager-Meyer’s (1994) taxonomy. The study revealed that the most frequently used hedging device in King Abdullah’s speech is modal auxiliaries, and the most frequently used hedging device subcategory is the modal auxiliary “can”. The findings suggest that these hedging devices fulfil several pragmatic functions. These findings contribute to understanding that speaking a second language (Arabic, in the case of King Abdullah II) neither affects the types of hedging devices nor the functions these devices perform. Moreover, contrary to scientific discourse (e.g., medicine), the research concludes that political discourse as a non-scientific genre resorts to hedging devices to express indirectness, politeness, lack of commitment and probability.

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Holistic Linguistics: Anthropocentric Foundations and the Functional-Cognitive Paradigm

Abstract

This paper dwells on some aspects of language, grammar in particular, through the prism of the functional-cognitive approach. It covers such issues as language and mind, the embodiment of language, the peculiarities of language acquisition, and the metaphoric nature of the human mind. The functional-cognitive approach is regarded as part of a holistic anthropocentric paradigm where language is conceived of as a natural biological phenomenon connected with the adaptive functions of a human being as a holistic living organism. A new paradigm gives rise to new epistemologies and generates new forms of scientific collaboration. Thus, neurosciences, quantum physics, and biology become involved in processing language data, influencing the direction and goals of linguistic research. As suggested by the author of this paper, changes in language can be viewed with regard to quantum effects observed in the macroworld, or an autopoietic reconstruction of the language system. Dwelling on the ideas of cognitive typology, the paper also makes an attempt to elucidate some reasons for the appearance of new structural features in language which influence the reconstruction of its grammatical interface in the first place. Such processes are viewed as the reflection of global shifts in the linguistic world image of language bearers under the influence of the outer world/extralinguistic factors, and as connected with encoding by language of the changes in socio-discursive parameters of the intercourse. Finally, some perspectives of grammar analysis are outlined

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Landscapes of History in the Novels of Lawrence Norfolk

Abstract

This article deals with novels by Lawrence Norfolk which are read with a focus on their visual quality and the way they depict history. It is argued that Norfolk’s historical novels are unique in their portrayal of “landscapes of history”, large canvases in which individual characters play marginal, or a rather insignificant role. This approach distinguishes Norfolk from much of contemporary historical fiction, albeit at times this strategy might not be wholly satisfactory from a critical perspective. However, the article claims that Norfolk’s novels are intellectually inspiring since, similar to landscape, they invite a certain gaze, yet deny us the possibility of naming, of conceptualising. They provide readers with impressive vistas on history, which is seen as something too large to understand and penetrate. In this the novels are anti-humanistic. Individual characters (and their actions) are insignificant, or significant only to such an extent that they subscribe to some mythical framework, as Norfolk shows in, arguably, his best novel, In the Shape of a Boar (2000).

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“A Poetics of Disruption”: Farida Karodia’s A Shattering of Silence and the Exiled Writer’s Dihiliz Position

Abstract

Bearing in mind Edwidge Danticat’s ideas about writing being a dangerous affair, this paper reflects on authorial matters regarding Farida Karodia’s A Shattering of Silence (1993). Like other novels set in times of conflict, A Shattering of Silence can be seen to deploy what the researcher chooses to call a “poetics of disruption”. This is a poetics heavily at the service of politics, intended to disrupt and destabilise the blunt binaries lying at the heart of any armed conflict. In this sense, the main character in the story, Faith, embodies a poetics of disruption in so much as she problematises the binary dimension of the political situation in the Mozambique of the period, being a white woman who sympathises with the anti-colonial struggle. This article claims that, reproducing the dynamics of the poetics of disruption in a process which can be said to replicate that of her character, Farida Karodia herself makes the most of her strategic location in a liminal terrain across nations. Her position as an exilic author can be defined as dihiliz, that is, as a threshold vantage point which enables her to be both inside and outside the situation she reflects about. Karodia’s liminality is here more pointed than is usually the case with the exilic writer, since she chooses to write about Mozambique, in many senses close to her country of origin yet not her birth-place.

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