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Abstract

The purpose of this essay is to capture and convey, through the use of different works of philosophy that encapsulate thoughts on the same idea, the motif of the absurdity of life in Ernest Hemingway’s first novel The Sun Also Rises. The concept of the absurd will be, first and foremost, examined through absurdist criticism of the novel, using the philosophical thought of Albert Camus, Soren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche and other philosophers who captured the essence of the absurd in their philosophy, all in order to represent this concept in Hemingway’s novel and to show how it truly manifests itself upon some of the most important characters’ psychology and their actions, portrayed throughout the three parts of the book. Mention will be made of the concept of “Lost generation” as it is the cornerstone to understanding, firstly, the characters’ background and current psychological status and the effects that the war had on an entire generation, leading them to an unwilling search for meaning in what this essay strives to present as a meaningless life.

Abstract

West Kerry storyteller Seán Mac Criomhthain (1873-1955) was born almost a quarter-century after the Great Irish Famine. Nevertheless, his upbringing occurred in a context which included both overt and covert references to the kinds of sectarian divisions which initially had contributed to the famine, and which later were entrenched by it. Sectarian division in the Irish context expressed itself primarily via denominational attachment, and to a lesser extent, along linguistic lines. Such divisions were explored across the country through traditional lore and through song; and in the specific repertoire of Seán Mac Criomhthain, through the medium of a mellifluous ‘brand’ of Munster Irish for which the Corca Dhuibhne peninsula has since become renowned. This article attempts to describe attitudes to sectarian division in the evidence of Mac Criomhthain’s repertoire. With extensive reference to a composition translated for the first time to English, it will be argued that concerns of immediate social pragmatism are afforded much greater importance than those of denominational or linguistic attachments.

Abstract

The essay entitled “Food Imagery in Lesley Saunders’ Poetry” expands upon various food issues that will be approached via Gaston Bachelard’s aesthetic theory which situates us in the proximity of a sensible point of objectivity further enlarged upon from a phenomenological perspective that merges the exterior substantiality of food with the reality of imagination. The acquired intimate connotations of the poetess’ food environment are tackled in terms of the inner/outer opposition and the Platonic dialectics that involves old versus new, good versus evil, plenty versus scarcity, revealing the dynamic virtues of “roots,” the emblem of the diversity of food. Our approach to the house, where various types of food are being prepared, in relation to its pivotal functions of dwelling, preparing food and sharing it, turns both the house and food into the unfailing communality and sociality constructs of all places and ages.

Abstract

This essay studies scenes that focus on food and eating in the films and I Served the King of England (). To assess whether or not they constitute food porn we compare and contrast such scenes with the description of an unwholesome recipe for cannibalistic eating in Titus Andronicus, which anticipates our contemporary food obsession. At its most basic (and controversial), food porn names the alluring visualisation of certain foodstuffs, which renders food the object of erotically tinged desire. Serving different purposes in the two films, such eroticisation of food can be more than self-referential insofar as it indicates human interactions framed as power relations. Showing chocolate making and eating, in Chocolat, actually visualises a woman’s exertion of power over the women and their husbands in a bigoted French village in 1959, intended to awaken the people’s benumbed desire. Not food proper is the object of desire in the Czech film, but the young woman served up as ocular side dish to the moguls dining in a stylish Prague restaurant before the outburst of WWII. By contrast, food eroticisation is completely absent in Shakespeare; at stake is a verbal (and implicitly visual) concern with the transformation of flesh and body parts into ingredients for seemingly festive consumption. Visualising food, in Titus, implicitly visualises the reclaim and exertion of power in the fictional Roman polity. In all these cases, the concern with food vectorises power relations and may fluidise gendered hierarchies, an issue which food porn scholarship rarely addresses.

Abstract

This paper explores the use of the Breton language (Brittany, North-West France) in contexts where speakers wish to signal their commitment to social equality through their linguistic practices. This is done with reference to examples of job advertisements which have pioneered the use of gender-fair language in Breton. Linguistic minorities are often portrayed as clinging to the past. This paper, however, sheds a different light on current minority language practices and demonstrates a progressive and egalitarian response to modernity among some current speakers of Breton, in their attempts to assume gender-fair stances.

Abstract

Most Humanities scholars probably have an intuitive sense of what is meant by a “ghost word” – it is a word that, in one way or another, exists as the result of someone’s unrecognized mistake. However, upon closer examination it becomes clear that the term is liable to be employed so broadly that important distinctions can be lost. For one thing, ghost words are often regarded simply as nuisances that should be deleted whenever they are detected. But in practice they often prove to be too useful simply to discard: this article presents some examples that have made their way into active usage among the Celts. In other cases the etymology may indeed be unnatural, but turns out to be the result of more than a hint of deliberate word-crafting right from the start. A taxonomy is here proposed that distinguishes true ghost words and dead words, on the one hand, from active items that may be described as poltergeist words and even Frankenstein words on the other.

Abstract

The Jordanian-American novelist Laila Halaby is perceived as one of the most well-known contemporary Arab-American writers whose hyphenated identity raises questions regarding which side of the hyphen she belongs to. In this respect, one way to determine whether Halaby identifies herself as an Arab or an American is to examine how she perceives and explores Arab and American cultures and to investigate the different images she constructs about Arabs and Americans. In , throughout the tales of the four female cousins, this American writer of Arab descent explores the Arab communal values and conventions, as well as the Western beliefs and ways of life. Most importantly, Halaby depicts different images of Arabs and non-Arabs in the context of social, political, and economic conflicts and relationships. In this article, the focus will be mainly on the images of non-Arabs in West of the Jordan. My study, accordingly, draws on Edward Said’s Orientalism and its counterpart Occidentalism, which offer theories of communal and identity construction, as well as practices that lead to stereotyping discourses about the other. This article will consequently start with a definition of the term Orientalism and its counterpart Occidentalism, moving on to deal with the different images of non-Arabs in the second part. Indeed, this latter section investigates how Halaby, who belongs to the Western and Eastern worlds, produces knowledge of the Western society and culture, by offering interesting representations of the two worlds. The third part will shed some light on Halaby’s attitude toward the American world and toward the Arab-American relationships.

Abstract

Nobel-prize winning poet Seamus Heaney is celebrated for his rich verses recalling his home in the Northern Irish countryside of County Derry. Yet while the imaginative links to nature in his poetry have already been critically explored, little attention has been paid so far to his rendering of local food and foodways. From ploughing, digging potatoes and butter-churning to picking blackberries, Heaney sketches not only the everyday activities of mid-20th century rural Ireland, but also the social dynamics of community and identity and the socio-natural symbiosis embedded in those practices. Larger questions of love, life and death also infiltrate the scenes, as they might in life, through hints of sectarian divisions and memories of famine.

This essay proposes a gastrocritical reading of Heaney’s poetry to study these topics in particularly meaningful ways. Gastrocriticism is a nascent critical approach to literature that applies the insights gained in Food Studies to literary writings, investigating the relationship of humans to each other and to nature as played out through the prism of food, or as Heaney wrote: “Things looming large and at the same time [...] pinned down in the smallest detail.”

Abstract

I discuss the nativeness of heritage speakers of Breton in the twentieth century. I present a syntactic test designed for Breton that sets apart its native speakers from its late learners, for whom Breton is a second language. Nativeness is revealed by a better tolerance to syntactic overload when sufficient linguistic stress is applied. Both heritage speakers of inherited Breton and early bilinguals whose linguistic input comes exclusively from school answer this test alike, which I take as a sign they are cognitively natives. The syntactic nativeness of children deprived of familial Breton input suggests there is many more young Breton natives among contemporary speakers than previously assumed. Taking stock of these results, I discuss the cultural erasure of Breton native speakers. I compare their cultural treatment with the figure of the ghost. I end by a discussion of the term new speaker.