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Elizabeth Kella

Abstract

This article examines the affective terrain of Poland, Canada, and the US in Eva Hoffman’s autobiographical account of her migration and exile in Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language (1989), the text that launched Hoffman’s reputation as a writer and intellectual. Hoffman’s Jewish family left Poland for Vancouver in 1959, when restrictions on emigration were lifted. Hoffman was 13 when she emigrated to Canada, where she lived until she went to college in the US and began her career. Lost in Translation represents her trajectory in terms of “Paradise,” “Exile,” and “The New World,” and the narrative explicitly thematizes nostalgia. While Hoffman’s nostalgia for post-war Poland has sometimes earned censure from critics who draw attention to Polish anti-Semitism and the failings of Communism, this article stresses how Hoffman’s nostalgia for her Polish childhood is saturated with self-consciousness and an awareness of the politics of remembering and forgetting. Thus, Hoffman’s work helps nuance the literary and critical discourse on nostalgia. Drawing on theories of nostalgia and affect developed by Svetlana Boym and Sara Ahmed, and on Adriana Margareta Dancus’s notion of “affective displacement,” this article examines Hoffman’s complex understanding of nostalgia. It argues that nostalgia in Lost in Translation is conceived as an emotion which offers the means to critique cultural practices and resist cultural assimilation. Moreover, the lyricism of Hoffman’s autobiography becomes a mode for performing the ambivalence of nostalgia and diasporic feeling.

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Dagmara Drewniak

Abstract

In her I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors published in Canada in 2006, Bernice Eistenstein undertakes an attempt to cope with the inherited memories of the Holocaust. As a child of the Holocaust survivors, she tries to deal with the trauma her parents kept experiencing years after WWII had finished. Eisenstein became infected with the suffering and felt it inescapable. Eisenstein’s text, which is one of the first Jewish-Canadian graphic memoirs, appears to represent the voice of the children of Holocaust survivors not only owing to its verbal dimension, but also due to the drawings incorporated into the text. Therefore, the text becomes a combination of a memoir, a family story, a philosophical treatise and a comic strip, which all prove unique and enrich the discussion on the Holocaust in literature. For these reasons, the aim of this article is to analyze the ways in which Eisenstein deals with her postmemory, to use Marianne Hirsch’s term (1997 [2002]), as well as her addiction to the Holocaust memories. As a result of this addiction, the legacy of her postmemory is both unwanted and desired and constitutes Bernice Eisenstein’s identity as the eponymous child of Holocaust survivors.

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Kinga Lis

Abstract

Richard Rolle’s Psalter rendition, as any of the medieval English Psalter translations, is thickly enveloped in a set of assertions, originating in the nineteenth century, whose validity has been accepted unquestioned. It is the purpose of the present paper to investigate one such claim concerning the vocabulary selection, according to which Rolle’s rendition would employ almost exclusively lexical items of native origin, except for the instances where no proper item with native etymology presents itself in a particular context and Rolle is forced to use a Latin-derived word. The assertion generates at least two problematic issues. Firstly, it identifies Rolle’s translation as most exceptional in relation to the remaining 14th-century English Psalter translations: the Wycliffite Bibles and the Middle English Glossed Prose Psalter of which the former are asserted to be overtly influenced by the Latin text they render and the latter deeply indebted both syntactically and, more importantly, lexically to a ‘French source’. Secondly, it ascribes Richard Rolle the ideas nowadays covered by the term linguistic purism. Therefore, it seems necessary to analyse the lexical layer of the text in search of evidence, or lack thereof, which sets Rolle’s translation lexically apart from other renditions and sheds some light on the issue of Rolle’s supposed linguistic purism. Such a study is conducted on the basis of the nominal layer of the first fifty Psalms of the four relevant texts analysed in relation to their common Latin source text as only the juxtaposition of all of these enables one to (dis)prove the claim cited above. To provide a wider context from which to view them, the findings will be presented in relation to an overview of the contemporary theory of translation and set against a broadly sketched linguistic map of contemporary England.

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Boris Hlebec

Abstract

The author upholds Anna Wierzbicka’s opinion that unless strict scientific definitions of performatives are reached, no successful classification of these verbs can be made. The article compares definitions of the verb elect and four performative verbs (appoint, declare, excommunicate and pronounce) as presented in four English dictionaries, as well as in the form of Wierzbicka’s explicatives and the author’s formulations reached by means of the collocational method. This method seeks to gain a realistic insight into the semantic structure of lexemes because most metalinguistic elements are drawn from facts offered by the language itself. The definitions of the performative verbs, like of any other verb, can be marshalled by combining and incorporating semantic definitions of the collocating grammar words and constructions. The latter task is done by extracting the common content of the grammar words and constructions in the relevant meanings as appearing in collocations of their own. The same procedure is carried out for the noun collocates occurring in the subject and object slots of the verbs in question. The performative force within this small lexical field manifests gradation, depending on the presence of a person in authority.

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Helena W. Sobol

Abstract

Bliss & Frantzen’s (1976) paper against the previously assumed textual integrity of Resignation has been a watershed in research upon the poem. Nearly all subsequent studies and editions have followed their theory, the sole dissenting view being expressed by Klinck (1987, 1992). The present paper offers fresh evidence for the textual unity of the poem. First examined are codicological issues, whether the state of the manuscript suggests that a folio might be missing. Next analysed are the spellings of Resignation and its phonology, here the paper discusses peculiarities which both differentiate Resignation from its manuscript context and connect the two hypothetical parts of the text. Then the paper looks at the assumed cut-off point at l.69 to see if it may provide any evidence for textual discontinuity. Finally the whole Resignation, seen as a coherent poem, is placed in the history of Old English literature, with special attention being paid to the traditions of devotional texts and the Old English elegies.

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Antonio R. Raigón Rodríguez and Ángela Mª Larrea Espinar

Abstract

Since language teaching in modern-day society is closely linked to cultural instruction, this study employs the model of a cultural learning analysis based on the earlier work of Paige and Lee. Using this model, the authors analysed the cultural content of six B1 and B2-level textbooks for teaching English to adults in Spain, and carried out a comparative study of the results, contrasting the two levels. Findings show that the subjective aspects of culture receive less coverage in textbooks, despite being fundamental to an understanding of the values of a society. Regarding the comparison between B1 and B2 levels, the data indicate that the number of big “C” Culture occurrences is similar for both levels, although there are differences in other cultural aspects. So, for example, culture in general is dealt with more at the B1 level, whereas small “c” culture is dealt with more at the B2 level.

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Joanna Ludwikowska

Abstract

For medieval audiences women occupied a specific, designated cultural area which, while they could freely form it according to their will and nature, was in fact imaginary and immaterial. Women in social, legal, and religious contexts were mostly counted among the receptive, inactive, and non-ruling groups. On both levels, there was a group of features universally defining all women: the strong, virtuous and independent model Aquinas lamented was replaced in real life by the sinful, carnal and weak stereotype, and the erotic, emotional, mysterious, and often wild type present predominantly in literature. Indeed, women were a source of scientific, theological, and cultural fascination because of their uncanny and complex nature, producing both fear and desire of the source and nature of the unattainable and inaccessible femininity. In social contexts, however, the enchantress seems to lose that veil of allure and, instead, is forced to re-define her identity by suppressing, denying, or losing her supernatural features. With the example of Saint Agnes from the South English Legendary Life of Saint Agnes, and Melior from Partonope of Blois (ca. 1450), the article will explore how medieval texts dealt with the complex and unruly female supernatural, and how its neutralization and subduing fitted into the moral, scientific, and cultural norms of medieval society.

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Manuel Aguirre

Abstract

This article is part of a body of research into the conventions which govern the composition of Gothic texts. Gothic fiction resorts to formulas or formula-like constructions, but whereas in writers such as Ann Radcliffe this practice is apt to be masked by stylistic devices, it enjoys a more naked display in the–in our modern eyes–less ‘canonical’ Gothics, and it is in these that we may profitably begin an analysis. The novel selected was Peter Teuthold’s The Necromancer (1794)–a very free translation of K. F. Kahlert’s Der Geisterbanner (1792) and one of the seven Gothic novels mentioned in Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey.

There is currently no literature on the topic of formulaic language in Gothic prose fiction. The article resorts to a modified understanding of the term ‘collocation’ as used in lexicography and corpus linguistics to identify the significant co-occurrence of two or more words in proximity. It also draws on insights from the Theory of Oral-Formulaic Composition, in particular as concerns the use of the term ‘formula’ in traditional epic poetry, though again some modifications are required by the nature of Teuthold’s text. The article differentiates between formula as a set of words which appear in invariant or near-invariant collocation more than once, and a formulaic pattern, a rather more complex, open system of collocations involving lexical and other fields. The article isolates a formulaic pattern—that gravitating around the node-word ‘horror’, a key word for the entire Gothic genre –, defines its component elements and structure within the book, and analyses its thematic importance. Key to this analysis are the concepts of overpatterning, ritualization, equivalence and visibility.

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Salena Sampson Anderson

Abstract

The maxim Wyrd oft nereð // unfӕgne eorl, / þonne his ellen deah “Fate often spares an undoomed man when his courage avails” (Beowulf 572b-573) has been likened to “Fortune favors the brave,” with little attention to the word unfӕgne, which is often translated “undoomed”. This comparison between proverbs emphasizes personal agency and suggests a contrast between the proverb in 572b-573 and the maxim Gӕð a wyrd swa hio scel “Goes always fate as it must” (Beowulf 455b), which depicts an inexorable wyrd. This paper presents the history of this view and argues that linguistic analysis and further attention to Germanic cognates of (un)fӕge reveal a proverb that harmonizes with 455b. (Un)fӕge and its cognates have meanings related to being brave or cowardly, blessed or accursed, and doomed or undoomed. A similar Old Norse proverb also speaks to the significance of the status of unfӕge men. Furthermore, the prenominal position of unfӕgne is argued to represent a characterizing property of the man. The word unfӕgne is essential to the meaning of this proverb as it indicates not the simple absence of being doomed but the presence of a more complex quality. This interpretive point is significant in that it provides more information about the portrayal of wyrd in Beowulf by clarifying a well-known proverb in the text; it also has implications for future translations of these verses.