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Abstract

Olga Grjasnowa’s debut novel The Russian Is One Who Loves Birch Trees, revolving around themes such as national and linguistic boundaries, borderline transgressions and border crossings, the sense of home and the sense of alienation and the search for one’s own identity in the face of a life in the threshold of cultures. Using the example of a young woman who has emigrated from Azerbaijan, who was traumatized as a child, and who is trained as an interpreter in Germany, the article explores subjects such as loneliness, identity, limitations and hunger for language. By making interpreting her profession, the figure solidifies the leap from one culture to the next as a pattern of action and acts transculturally between different spaces. She finds access to marginalized groups, she has ambivalent erotic experiences with men as well as with women, which reflects her cultural indecision.

Abstract

The aim of the present paper is to analyse the trilingual Transylvanian toponyms (German, Hungarian an d Romanian) from the Terra ante Silvanum (The Realm Beneath the Forest) and to reconstruct and explain them.

When the Saxons arrived in Transylvania, in the 12th Century, they met Szekler, Hungarian and Romanian ethnic groups. The Realm Beneath the Forest represents, from a historical point of view, the Western border of the Transylvanian territory inhabited by the Saxons, which was not a compact area and which was divided into three districts

(Sibiu, Brașov, and Bistrița) and two ‘seats’ (Mediaș and Șeica). The Realm Beneath the Forest included three ‘seats’ (Lat. sedes, judicial and administrative forums): Orăștie, Sebeș and Miercurea Sibiului.

All the areas of the Realm Beneath the Forest, both those inhabited by German and/or Hungarian and Romanian populations and those inhabited only by Romanian people, have corresponding toponyms in all three languages.

The toponyms Orăștie, Romos, Aurel Vlaicu, Pianul de Jos, Petrești, Sebeș, Câlnic, Reciu, Gârbova, Dobârca, Miercurea Sibiului, Apoldu de Sus, Amnaș that are analysed in the paper can be classified according to the following criteria: according to their founder, to the river that flows through the area, to the local toponyms, to their origin and their way of formation.

A series of toponyms contributed to the apparition of some autochthonous family names such as Broser, Hamlescher, Kellinger, Mühlbächer, Polder, Rätscher, Urbiger.

Abstract

After the First Wald War, the community of Transyvanian Saxons found itself in a new political context. This study analyses cultural representations as both self-identification and cultural dialogue in two of the main publications in German language of the early inter-war period, the cultural journals Ostland and Klingsor. Literary translations and the representation of other literatures through the selection of authors and texts are also subjects of this study.

Abstract

The present study focuses on imagology. Starting from the theoretical aspects of the concepts self-image and hetero-image, the analysis ponders upon the imagological constructs of two ethnical groups in the novel of the Romanian German-language author Andreas Birkner. In this analysis, the self image identifies with the one of the Transylvanian, and the image of the other is that of the Roma. The analysis of Birkner's novel leads to the conclusion that there have been certain mental images deeply rooted in historical reality and which can be, partly, explained by means of collective memory parameters. Stereotypes and prejudices should be considered in this context.

Abstract

This paper aims to reveal the relevance of a so far neclected essay, written by Petru Dumitriu in German and originally published in 1965. This essay discussed the situation of the novel and argue against some shortcomings in contemporary conceptions of literature.

Abstract

Beyond the communicative function of death notices, to informe about a death case, one will be repeatedly surprised by auxiliary functions of this category of private notices. The following article analizes from an intercultural perspective the representation of the (professional) identity in obituaries and death notices pertaining to a Romanian and a German corpus – the achievements attained to in the job environment and – in case of a blurred or merely outlined professional identity – on interests outside of one’s job, which were cherished by the deceased to the effect of shaping and defining him.

Abstract

The writer Emil Witting (1880-1952), known by German readers through the descriptions of the forests and pastures of the Carpathian Mountains, author of extensive relations dedicated to the bear (Frate Nicolae) and to deer (Scrimerul), conceives a novel dedicated to a painter connected to the Szekler’s world. Imre Nagy (1893-1976) served as a model for the main character. From this unfinished writing, three fragments were published. These have recently been translated into Hungarian, printed in Miercurea Ciuc in an illustrated edition containing Imre Nagy’s paintings and graphic works.

Abstract

Herta Müller’s leaning towards word for word transfer of Romanian set phrases in her texts can be explained by the environment in which she lived until her emigration to West Germany and this admittedly intensifies with the gradually increasing general interest in multi-lingualism. The fact that the authoress speaks of the German-Romanian transfer in her acceptance speech on the occasion of the Nobel Prize award proves the important role, which Hertha Müller ascribes to this procedure.

Also at the centre of the latest books by Balthasar Waitz stands the multicultural region of the Banat. The author seems to be gripped by the plurilingualism of the immediate surroundings of his homeland. Different forms of Romanian, from slang to everyday speech, but occasionally also Hungarian, Slovak and Serbian phrases find their way into the texts of the Banat author. In this manner just as with Hertha Müller, language images come into being, new light. Thus literary multilingualism in both writers enables one to have a novel access to the relation between literature and reality.

Abstract

The Black Church, the largest sacral building in Transylvania, has been given a central role in the local identity narratives. As a historical place of remembrance, it mediates and mobilizes elements of historical knowledge, and at the same time constructs a myth.The article examines how the Black Church in Brasov, one of the most important symbols of the Transylvanian Saxons, is poetically constructed as a place of cultural memory in the German, Romanian and Hungarian poems of the interwar period, how the concrete place is reinterpreted as a space for creating identity, while the ethnic dimension should not be ignored. It examines the question of what symbolic value it has for the German, Romanian and Hungarian populations and how this can be seen from the lyrical texts of the time.