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Changing Role of Indian Woman: A Glimpse into Two Bollywood Movies English – Vinglish and Queen

Abstract

Bollywood, being one of the biggest film industries of India, is an interesting area of research to understand the socio-cultural perspectives of today’s India. My paper will focus on the changing role of Indian woman. It will argue if the change is merely superficial or the Indian woman has been successful to negotiate with and challenge the patriarchal social structure. These multiple issues will be discussed with special reference to two of the latest Bollywood movies, namely, English-Vinglish and Queen.

The focus on these two movies is because both concentrate on emancipation of woman. Sashi, the central character of English-Vinglish, despite facing all kinds of humiliation in her own family and finally learning English (her inability to speak in English being one of the primary reasons for her being ridiculed in her family) comes back to her family at the end. Queen showcases a different kind of emancipation where Rani, the leading lady of the movie, being dumped by her fiancé, decides to go for her honeymoon trip all by herself and recognises herself anew.

These two movies are examples of the changing role of woman who does not need a male to rescue her from danger or to console her in her tears. She is a self-sufficient woman who does not forget her roots. Both the movies generate thought-provoking questions about the status of woman in present India and can be employed as lenses to see through the multiple layers of the gendered Indian society.

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in CLEaR
The Discreet Horror of the Holocaust in Ida Fink’s Stories

Abstract

The topic of the article is writings by Ida Fink. It analyses stories of the author of Wiosna 1941 (The Spring 1941) which refer to the Holocaust. The analysis also draws attention to the poetics of “discreet horror” in which Ida Fink’s stories are embedded. In her records the author does not underline the cruelty, but shows the terror of the situation by subtle narrative and compositional manoeuvres. The picture of death is de-emphasised by the psychology of characters, and the main focus are complicated human relationships in which the author with a great delicacy presents various emotional states of people who, despite being sentenced to death, still try to survive the war.

Ida Fink’s stories are different from the majority of Holocaust literature which exposes the severity and brutality of mass death. These stories stand out as an exceptional phenomenon among works by such authors as Tadeusz Borowski, Zofia Nałkowska, Leon Buczkowski, Henryk Grynberg or Bogdan Wojdowski.

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Food as the Representation of Idyllic Landscape of Victorian World in the Novels by Thomas Hardy

Abstract

The aim of the paper is to analyse the idea of cooking/eating in two novels by Thomas Hardy: Jude the Obscure and Tess d’Urbervilles. Both works present the idea of food as one of the major points of reference in human relationships. One of the aspects worth analysing is eating as one of the most crucial primary needs. Another one is family eating. The meetings are preceded by careful preparation of meals (e.g. Sunday preparations in Arabella’s house or cooking in the house of the Crick family). The food often becomes the major topic during these meetings, showing in this way the idyllic character of family eating: the looks of dining rooms and kitchens are essential as well as the possibility of talking to each other while eating. This idyllic space of collective eating (according to M. Bakhtin) can be frequently destroyed by social conventions; when Tess was rejected by society, she used to eat alone and did not take care of what she eats. Both novels explore the idea of food making it important for the creation of an idyll.

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Manifestations of Slovak and Rusyn Identity in Vasil Stefan Koban’s The Sorrows of Marienka and Excerpt from Michal

Abstract

Vasil Stefan Koban (1918-2007) was an American writer of Slovak origin. His cultural identity is, however, somewhere between Rusyn and Slovak, but all his writings were published in Slovak journals such as Slovakia, or Almanac run by National Slovak Society. The Slovak translation of his only novel, The Sorrows of Marienka, was published in 2006 with the subtitle Púť Slovákov za lepším životom do Ameriky. The book is about the life of his mother Marienka who after marriage to Ivan Kinda emigrates from Jarabina to Conemaugh, an American coal mine town. Excerpt from Michal: Biography of a Galician Coal Miner, 1906-1933 is a revised version of the story in which Michal, Koban’s father and Marienka’s second husband, loses his leg in an accident and he must stay in a hospital for a year. In both stories Koban uses lots of Slovak words, but on the other hand, he mentions that Michal helped to build the Russian Orthodox Church of St. John the Baptist in Conemaugh with other Galicians, his natives, since he was born in Habowa. Although he considered himself to be of Slovak origin, Koban is enlisted under Carpatho-Rusyn Literature in The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Multiethnic American Literature. The article focuses on manifestations of Slovak and Rusyn identity in Koban’s two most notable literary works.

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Paraenetic Character of Modern Islamic Prose

Abstract

Paraenetic literature encompasses didactic literature which promotes adequate and morally correct manner of action. One of the features of paraenesis is its normativism proposing models of ideal heroes, characteristic for a given social background. Paraenetic literature has its roots in Ancient Greece. In the subsequent centuries Christianity, drawing on the ancient canon of an ideal man, proposed moral values and ideal heroes hitherto unknown. At the same time, what Christianity did in the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque, was to develop new genres that aimed at conveying paraenetic content. The concept of the aesthetic role of literature as opposed to its utilitarian character was created as late as in Romanticism.

In the Arab world the utilitarian and aesthetic functions have stood hand in hand since the very beginning. In the 1980s a movement described as “Islamic literature” emerged. This genre has a didactic function and aims at forming attitudes and moral behavior patterns that go in line with the rules of Islam. This paper analyses models of heroes who are inspired by Prophet Muhammad and face modern dangers and challenges, resulting from the Western pressure.

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They were never wrong… Masters of Word and Picture about Suffering

Abstract

To handle physical, mental or existential pain, man resorts to medicine, psychology, religion, philosophy ... This issue has also been discussed by writers and painters of all epochs. Artists have the advantage though - using the language of art, they can reach the truth about human life which cannot be accessed in a different way.

The departure point for the deliberations about suffering and the sense of debating about it by means of words and pictures is a poem by W. H. Auden “Musée des Beaux-Arts”, from which the title quotation is derived. Auden refers to P. Bruegel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, which applies to Ovid. In this paper, besides the aforementioned works (Auden, Bruegel; Metamorphoses), other paintings by Bruegel as well as the prose by Z. Herbert The Passion of our Lord Painted by an Anonymous Hand from the Circle of Rhenish Masters are used, allowing one to reflect on suffering, on the language of art, on making sense of the work in the reception process, and also on the morality of art and the morality of art understanding.

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in CLEaR
Corroded by Globalisation: The Image of Japanese Literature in German Review Articles

Abstract

The end of the 1980s was marked by a general interest in Japan because of the country’s ongoing economic boom. Shortly after, in 1990, Japan was guest of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair and, in 1994, Ōe Kenzaburō was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. All of this led to the establishment of a good number of Japanese literature series being published in German-speaking countries and a considerable increase in the translation of Japanese literature. Furthermore, the dispute over a novel by Murakami Haruki on the TV show Das Literarische Quartett (The Literary Quartet) in the year 2000 had a remarkable influence on these developments. This dispute triggered the tremendous popularity of the author in German-speaking countries and simultaneously led to a change of attitude towards the translation of Japanese works in publishing houses. Against this backdrop, this paper investigates the image of Japanese literature portrayed in review articles of German language newspapers at the beginning of the 21st century. The main themes of these review articles will be presented in 12 categories that constitute the image of Japanese literature in the German book market. These categories will be presented and described in detail before conclusions about the tendencies of reviewing Japanese literature and about what influence these tendencies have on the image of Japanese literature are drawn.

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Discrimination Against Women in the People’s Republic of China and Japan: A Comparative Analysis of the Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action 1995–2010

Abstract

This paper comparatively examines steps taken to further gender equality and end discrimination against women by Japan and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) between 1995 and 2010. The theoretical framework is set by the Beijing Platform for Action, adopted at the United Nations “Fourth World Conference on Women” in 1995, which sought to encompass the full scope of discrimination against women in twelve critical areas of concern. Although universally agreed upon, the platform is not legally binding, which limits its applicability and impact in practice. The results of this analysis show that both states pursued a very similar approach in the implementation of the platform: they developed ambitious national plans and revised domestic laws while failing to address the root causes for gender-based discrimination. Both seem to have understood the document as a non-exhaustive list of suggested priority areas and have addressed important issues insufficiently or not at all. There is a lack of political will, which seems to partially result from cultural stereotypes common to both states. As a result, most women in the PRC and Japan have not benefitted from the selective measures taken in the framework of the platform’s national implementation and continue to face discrimination.

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Innovation Transfer during the Warring States Period: Considering the Importance of Early China’s Relationship with the Steppes

Abstract

This paper focuses on the contact between pre-imperial China and the peoples living on the steppes in her vicinity. For all the obscurity that had been shrouding the steppe inhabitants throughout centuries of historical scholarship, archaeological discoveries during the past century attest to their highly developed culture and economy and, what is more, make obvious that they had been entertaining close relations with the Chinese from as early as the second millennium BCE. Following a line of scholarship which has set out to redefine the role of the steppes in world history on the basis of this new data, this paper aims to demonstrate certain aspects of the important role they played in the history of China. Several very impactful innovations diffused to early China through interactions with the steppes, influencing Chinese history to a major degree. The paper specifically concentrates on a timeframe surrounding the Warring States Period (c. 500- 221 BCE), during which a couple of key innovations can be shown to have been adopted from the steppes. Furthermore, it illustrates the impact of these innovations on historical developments within China, thereby reinforcing the argument that the role of the steppes in Chinese history was one of tremendous importance.

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International Peace Cooperation Activities of Japan and the Republic of Korea between 2000 and 2010: A Comparative Analysis

Abstract

International peace cooperation plays an important role in international relations. National interests and power balances lead to situations in which national security, human security and peace are often threatened, and international cooperation is required. The desire for peace and security is a motivating factor for states to engage in cooperation and to foster a more stable and secure environment, which in turn will also facilitate further social, political and economic development in individual countries as well as worldwide. Due to globalisation, the interconnectedness and interdependence of states in various contexts has significantly increased. This development has also led to a growing demand and need for cooperation between states to take collective action and to commonly solve regional as well as global challenges, such as peace and relevant security issues but also issues of economic, social and political importance. The aim of this paper is to present a comparative analysis and to give an overview of Japan and the Republic of Korea’s efforts and actions concerning peace cooperation in order to promote regional and global peace between 2000 and 2010-apart from the commonly known international peacekeeping operations. How do both states’ global peace supporting activities compare to each other, and is it possible to identify differences in their approaches towards international peace cooperation?

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