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Being “completely half afraid to think”: Confronting the Absurd in Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policeman

Abstract

In order to demonstrate an aspect in which the novel is relatable to the canon of absurdism and enrich the view of dimensions in which it functions, the purpose of the following article is a reading of Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policeman in relation to the Absurd as an ontological category of existentialism and absurdism. Firstly, some assumptions already made on account of the novel are introduced. Secondly, the relevant and chosen characteristics of the Absurd are summarized in relation to Kierkegaard’s and Camus’s conceptions of the Absurd. Then, the novel is interpreted in relation to the insufficiency of human knowledge and rational thought in terms of achieving comprehension transcending existence. Lastly, the novel is interpreted in relation to the narrator’s fear of death, with death as an element transcending existence and adding to its irrationality. Overall, the way in which the novel depicts a specific contraction resulting in the Absurd is illustrated.

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The concept of happiness in Night Zoo

Abstract

This paper deals with a psychoanalytic interpretation of the titular story. It is part of the first volume in the Hungarian anthology series entitled Night Zoo – An Anthology of Women’s Sexuality (‘Éjszakai Állatkert – Antológia a női szexualitásról’). The analysis focuses on the story Night Zoo (‘Éjszakai Állatkert’) written by Zsófia Bán according to Freud’s personality theory. The theory regards our psyche as divided into three parts. The id is the instinctual part of our mind that represents our sexual and hidden desires, the superego contains the moral conscience and the norms, and the ego mediates between the wishes of the id and the rules of the superego. The chosen short story seems to revolve around unfulfilled love between two people. But after critical reading, it is obvious that this is not a love story of two people, but the relationship lies between the narrator and her unfulfilled desires. There is an immense conflict between instincts and social expectations. The narrator’s id has a desire; she just wants to be happy and have harmony in her life. But the superego does not allow her to fulfill the desire. The ego is therefore instrumental in deciding what the correct decision is.

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Literary space in Ismail Kadare’s novel The Palace of Dreams (A semiotic approach)

Abstract

This research study focuses on a social semiotic approach to Ismail Kadare’s novel The Palace of Dreams. The novel was chosen for study and analysis because it is considered to be one of the Kadare’s most important works. The Palace of Dreams reflects many aspects of Albanian society including governmental abuse of power during the period of the communist regime. The analysis of literary space in this novel focuses on locating the literary discourse in the text and the spaces of the text that produce discourse with their shape, presence and extension. The purpose of this research study is to see how and in what way meaning is conveyed through spaces, and also how and in what shape it serves the comprehensive ideas of the novel. Our purpose is not only to highlight the values of this novel, but rather enable to understand the great importance that space plays in people’s work environments and in their private lives (the characters), and how crucial the space is for their lives and destinies.

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The motifs of happiness, distress, anger and misery in the tales of Magda Szécsi

Abstract

The present study focuses on the tales of Hungarian-Roma writer Magda Szécsi, which were studied using the content analysis method. This study constitutes part of a larger research project that aims to provide methodological guidance for the integration of Roma pupils in schools that use Hungarian as the language of instruction. The types of function of primary socialization and the types of intra- and extra-familial interaction are illustrated via examples in the study. The motifs of happiness, anxiety, anger and misery in the tales of Magda Szécsi’s two books, Madarak aranyhegedűn (Birds on the Golden Violin [1996]) and Az aranyhalas lószem tükre (Mirror of the Horse Eye with the Gold Fish [1988]), are analysed in light of the aforementioned aspects. I applied the research method of qualitative content analysis and explained the forms of happiness and unhappiness in the books. There are many examples in the tales under discussion of the conditions of happiness and the reasons for misery in Roma culture. The three components determining the characters’ happiness or unhappiness are faith in God, idolatry and Gypsy law.

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A quest for unification with the divine: Crashaw’s Teresa Poems “A Hymn to the Name and Honour of the Admirable Saint Teresa” and “The Flaming Heart”

Abstract

As a metaphysical poet, Richard Crashaw (1613-1649) is recognized for his stylistic experimentation and deep religious faith. In the course of his short life, he became a fellow at Cambridge, was later introduced to Queen Henrietta Marie, Charles I’s wife, in France after his exile during the Interregnum, converted to Catholicism from Anglicanism and was highly influenced by Baroque poetry and the martyrdom of St. Teresa of Avila in his style and themes. He is a poet with a “most holy, humble and genuine soul” and in the last six years of his life, which coincided with a period of great crisis in both personal and professional spheres, he worked intensively on the religious phase of his literary career (Shepherd 1914, p. 1). He reflected his devotion to St. Teresa and to God in his religious poems. Within this context, this study analyses Crashaw’s two Teresian poems, “A Hymn to the Name and Honour of the Admirable Saint Teresa” and “The Flaming Heart” featuring the themes of the quest for divine love and unification with the divine along with Crashaw’s divergence from other metaphysical poets, his affection for the European style(s), and his religious views concerning both his country and other countries in Europe.

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The trauma of condemnation and the embellishment of an illegitimate child as a source of regeneration in Lizzie Leigh and Ruth

Abstract

This paper focuses on Mrs Gaskell’s treatment of the erring girl in Lizzie Leigh (1850) and Ruth (1853) and the new elements that she introduces which brand the treatment as different. Contrary to her Victorian contemporaries, Mrs Gaskell stresses the role of religion, the use of biblical quotations on the treatment of the sinner, and the role of motherhood. The paper also shows how Mrs Gaskell makes the illegitimate child an incentive towards repentance and hope of reclamation. Through her motherly love and devotion to her child, a mother rises and grows in character and faith. Moreover, the paper demonstrates Mrs Gaskell’s condemnation of the falsity of the traditional taxonomy of “illegitimate” or “fallen”, and her assertion that social value lies in the inherent properties within the individual. It also highlights how she makes forgiveness for the sinner a duty which society has to fulfil, and maintains that if the charitable and the kind are forced “to lie” because of the existing social and moral attitudes, then it is imperative that they should be changed so that “lies” are unnecessary. It concludes by investigating the stormy reception and the controversy it created among readers.

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American Indian Languages in the Eyes of 17th-Century French and British Missionaries

Abstract

This paper examines 17th-century descriptions of Algonquian and Iroquoian languages by French and British missionaries as well as their subsequent reinterpretations. Focusing on such representative studies as Paul Le Jeune’s (1592–1664) sketch of Montagnais, John Eliot’s (1604–1690) grammar of Massachusett, and the accounts of Huron by Jean de Brébeuf (1593–1649) and Gabriel Sagard-Théodat (c.1600–1650), I discuss their analysis of the sound systems, morphology, syntax, and lexicon. In addition, I examine the reception of early missionary accounts in European scholarship, focusing on the role they played in the shaping of the notion of ‘primitive’ languages and their speakers in the 18th and 19th centuries. I also discuss the impressionistic nature of evaluations of phonetic, lexical, and grammatical properties in terms of complexity and richness. Based on examples of the early accounts of the lexicon and structure of Algonquian and Iroquoian languages, I show that even though these accounts were preliminary in their character, they frequently provided detailed and insightful representations of unfamiliar languages. The reception and subsequent transmission of the linguistic examples they illustrated was however influenced by the changing theoretical and ideological context, resulting in interpretations that were often contradictory to those intended in the original descriptions.

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Animal transformation as a deserved punishment in archnarratives

Abstract

The present study is devoted to the transformation of protagonists into animals in ancient narratives (myths, magical stories, legends, etc.) from various cultures and continents (Europe, Asia, America, Africa and Australia). The aim of this research is to determine in what situations and subject-motive combinations the main protagonist transforms into an animal as a part or consequence of his/her fair/well-deserved punishment. We will also attempt to conceptually grasp the archetypal meaning of the existential transformation into an animal, which is directly related to human thinking and (sacral and profane) way of life.

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Junípero Serra’s Canonization or Eurocentric Heteronomy

Abstract

The article assesses the recent canonization of Junípero Serra, Spanish Franciscan missionary and founder of the California mission system. I begin by introducing the priest and outlining the genesis of his assignment. I then discuss the model of missions’ operation and problematize their results. The rise of Serra’s legend is situated within the historical context of California’s “fantasy heritage”. I later outline the chief arguments and metaphors mobilized by the Church in support of the new saint. In the central part of the essay, I address and critically examine the ramifications of a document Serra authored and which the Church took as the priest’s passport to sainthood. I argue that the document inaugurated the epistemic and social divides in California and, marking the Indian as homo sacer (Agamben), paved the way to the Indigenous genocide in the mission and American eras. Following this, I offer a semiological (after Barthes and Lakoff) interpretation of the canonization as a modern myth, argue that metaphors invoked in support of the priest inverted the historical role played by Serra and, finally, ponder the moral ramifications of this canonization.

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Let Them Be Heard: Bringing Native American Experience Closer in Teaching

Abstract

Teaching about Native Americans, especially as a non-Native person, involves a number of complications. The experience and histories of Indigenous peoples have often been presented from the point of view of the Euroamerican hegemonic power and complicated by a long pattern of colonization, including education. As a result, Native peoples themselves as well as outsiders have been mostly exposed to the dominant culture’s perspectives of Native Americans, often being stereotyped and reductive. The aim of the present paper is to examine the theoretical frameworks advanced by American Indian scholars and educators who demonstrate the methods which expose colonization and show the fundamental Native concepts needed to be involved in the pedagogies concerning Indigenous people. The primary consideration is to be guided by Native peoples' own concepts in trying to avoid perpetuating the colonizing pattern. Bryan McKinley Jones Brayboy (a Lumbee scholar and educator) advanced the Tribal Critical Race Theory, which offers a comprehensive framework which can provide useful guidelines for teaching about Native Americans. The paper also offers suggestions for implementing this framework in the classroom such as using contemporary Native American autobiographical writing, involving the concept of performance or digital resources like those developed by Craig Howe, an Oglala Sioux, and the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies. Exposing students to Native people through Indigenous people's own stories and resources may be helpful in presenting them as real people. Such an approach may help students to be able to hear and access Native peoples’ own voices sharing their lives, which can contribute to bringing their experience closer to students.

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