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Marvell’s Green Thought(s): The Paradoxes of Marvell’s Nature Poetry

Abstract

This paper interprets the “green” poetry of Andrew Marvell (1621-1678). It discusses the main features of the Renaissance pastoral, especially the standard elements of the genre and its ethical aspects. Methodologically, it combines ecocritical reading with the philosophical concepts of harmony, based on Pythagorean harmonic lore. It shows the paradoxes of Marvell’s treatment of the pastoral, especially the dramatic contrast between the meditative and comforting aspect of the pastoral genre and the impossibility of reconciling the harmonious ethos of the natural world with the plagues of human love and its finality.

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Reclaiming the Past: Restoration of Personal and Communal History in Petals of Blood

Abstract

The implications of the colonialist discourse, which suggested that the colonized is a person “whose historical, physical, and metaphysical geography begins with European memory” (Thiong’o, 2009), urged postcolonial writers to correct these views by addressing the issues from their own perspectives. The themes of history and communal/national past thus play a prominent role in postcolonial literature as they are inevitably interwoven with the concept of communal identity. In Petals of Blood (1977), the Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o explores the implications of social change as brought about by the political and economic development during the post-independence period. This paper seeks to examine the crucial relation between personal and communal/national history and relate it to the writer’s views of principal legacies of colonialism. As Thiong’o states: “My interest in the past is because of the present and there is no way to discuss the future or present separate from the past” (Thiong’o, 1975). Clearly, the grasping of the past and one’s identification with it seems fundamental in discussing national development. As Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s narratives are always situated in the realm of political and historical context, blending fiction with fact, this paper also aims to elaborate on the implications of his vision.

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Rhetorical Strategies of Alterity in Arthur Leared’s Morocco and the Moors (1876) and Budgett Meakin’s Life in Morocco (1905)

Abstract

Arthur Leared’s Morocco and the Moors (1876) and Budgett Meakin’s Life in Morocco and Glimpses Beyond (1905) are two less-examined imperial travel texts on precolonial Morocco. These two travelogues are British (Irish and English, respectively) – a fact that casts on them from the beginning the special taste of this genre which is a British specialty par excellence. Coming from the same political and cultural backdrops, Leared and Meakin peregrinated into Morocco in a precolonial time when it was still perceived as the “Lands of the Moors”. These two travellers responded to moments of interactions with the Moors as a culturally, socially and religiously different other. Both these Victorian travellers were aware of the fact of empire as their travelogues function as fodder to energize the discursive grandiloquence of empire. They stress an ethnocentric view in depicting Moroccans and their culture, and they communicate their observations through an interpretative framework, or in Foucauldian terminology, through the “discourses” provided by their culture. This paper undertakes the examination of these two travellers’ perception of otherness; the approach is to question and bring to the fore the rhetorical and discursive strategies as well as modes of representation Leared and Meakin deploy in their encounters with the Moors in Pre-Protectorate Morocco.

Open access
Terminology as a Specific Carrier of Information

Abstract

This paper deals with terminology as a characteristic feature of the language used in science and technology. The lexical units in question serve the communication needs and demands of particular discourse communities, i.e., experts in different branches of science and specializations. Terminology precisely describes reality, carries specific information on the phenomena and relationships between them and helps to avoid shifts in meaning during the process of communication. In comparison with other spheres of life where shifts in meaning are common, in science and technology, changes in the information transferred are unacceptable and may lead to serious consequences. This paper focuses on various aspects and approaches to this part of the lexical system. Examples from the English language for Electrical Engineering and Communication Technologies provide an insight into different criteria for classifying units as terms, lexical patterns and semantic relationships between the individual constituents. Other features, qualities and functions of terminology, such as the stabilizing reality, interconnection between explicitness and implicitness or description of progress reflecting a unique attitude to reality are also discussed.

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Foreign in London: Diaspora as a traumatic experience in Samuel Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners

Abstract

Stuart Hall in Black Britain claims that “the experience of black settlement has been a long, difficult, sometimes bitterly contested and unfinished story.” Such is the case in Samuel Selvon’s 1956 novel The Lonely Londoners, which depicts the trauma of diaspora for West Indian newcomers. People from the Caribbean who settle in the “mother country” experience total disillusion because they are not welcomed by the white British. The paper focuses on the influence British politics has had upon the Windrush generation of immigrants. It shows how the characters cope with animosity, loneliness and the sense of failed promise that all lead to the traumatic experience of living in total isolation in a foreign city far from their native islands. The immigrants face xenophobia, suffer from being the “other”, invisible and segregated. They try to cope with the trauma of “not belonging anywhere”, i.e. being uprooted from their homes in the West Indies. In the aftermath of the decolonization process they fail to come to terms with their new living conditions, and as there is no return ticket to the Caribbean, they experience the ever-growing trauma of unsuccessful resettlement.

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Hate crime trauma and pain: Affiliation, becoming and in-Betweenness in The Laramie Project

Abstract

Tectonic Theater Project’s documentary/verbatim theatre work entitled The Laramie Project charts the intricacies of the process of a hate crime victim’s search for and acquisition of identity (becoming) and the concurrent success and failure of the community to engage in this process (affiliation). The productions, as well as the film version, of The Laramie Project tackle the crucial importance of understanding the grey area between the state of becoming (part of) something and being excluded from it (in-betweenness). This liminality, reflecting Victor Turner’s illustrious ideas of “betwixt and between”, shall serve to explore The Laramie Project as an attempt to show the facets of social and cultural affiliation and becoming, as well as an instrument to put them to use in socially and politically relevant theatre. The paper will seek to show how Tectonic Theater Project’s work scrutinizes the significance of “in-betweenness” and employs it to communicate a message that is both humanistic and aesthetic.

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Iconization of the deathly affliction in Andersen’s Fairytales1

Abstract

The contribution focuses on a thematological interpretation of the existentials of misery and extinction, using a corpus of selected fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen. In explaining the specificity of Andersen’s concept and presenting life’s givenness (the parameters of being-in-the-world) he verifies the relevance of several existentials which were explained by Heidegger in connection with the use of factual existence (Dasein). The use of existentials as real facts in describing a textual model of the world is justified by the thematic concept as a proposition of modes of existence by Ricouer.

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The landscape of trauma, pain and hope in Jim Crace’s The Pesthouse

Abstract

Jim Crace likes to refer to himself as a “landscape writer” and indeed, in each of his eleven novels he has created a distinct yet recognizable imaginary landscape or cityscape. This has led critics to coin the term “Craceland” to describe the idiosyncratic milieux he creates, which, through his remarkably authentic and poetic rendering of geography and topography, appear to be both other and familiar at the same time. In The Pesthouse 2007, the milieu is the devastated America of an imagined future, a country which has deteriorated into a pre-modern and pre-industrial wasteland so hostile to sustainable existence that most of its inhabitants have become refugees travelling eastwards to sail to a new life on another continent. Franklin and Margaret, two such refugees, are leaving their homes not only to flee misery and destitution, but also the trauma and pain occasioned by the loss of their relatives. Using geocriticism as a practice and theoretical point of departure, this article presents and analyses the various ways in which Crace’s novel renders and explores its spaces, landscapes and places, as well as how it links them with the transformation of the protagonists’ psyches and mental worlds.

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Media, simulation, freedom and control in Richard Flanagan’s The Unknown Terrorist 2006

Abstract

Richard Flanagan’s novel, The Unknown Terrorist, does not only depict terrorism and violence but especially contemporary postmodern life in an Australian urban setting influenced by media, information technologies and consumerism. Drawing on Jean Baudrillard’s theory of simulacra and simulation, this paper analyses Flanagan’s depiction especially of the main character, the Doll, and the way she symbolically represents various aspects of the process of simulation as understood by Baudrillard. In this context, the Doll and other characters are understood as subjects both manipulating and manipulated by the simulated image of reality represented by media and technology, the image which replaces physical reality. The imagery of manipulation is understood as a metaphor implying a critique of hypocrisy and consumerism of the contemporary urban setting in the technologically advanced society represented by the Australian city of Sydney.

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Romancing the crucifixion in biblical rewritings by Phillip Pullman and Colm Tóibín

Abstract

This paper focuses on how the romance mode is used to re-narrativize the trauma of Jesus’s crucifixion in two contemporary biblical rewritings: Pullman’s The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ 2010 and Tóibín’s The Testament of Mary 2012. Reflecting on the process of the composition of the Bible, these novels resort to romance in order to invite a critical reflection on different narrativizations of the traumatic event, dependent as they are on both conservative and more subversive effects of romance. As some characters rely on the strategies of traditional spiritual romance in order to alleviate their pain, others cynically resort to a dualistic vision to establish and consolidate power, and still others make use of the excess and disarticulation of romance to do justice to the absolute horror of the event, the novels draw attention both to the comforting and subversive function of Christian scripture. Adding a metafictional dimension to the narrative of crucifixion, the novels expose the way in which religious scriptures can become ideological instruments, and signal the potentially dangerous effects of the renewed significance of religion today.

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