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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

In his article “Changing the Rhythm of Design Capitalism and the Total Aestheticization of the World” Márton Szentpéteri intends to highlight the most important stages of the accelerating total aestheticization of the world resulting at the contemporary period of neoliberal design culture. In the age of design capitalism, the hegemony of consumption culture is being constantly maintained by a culture industry substantially expressed by and embodied in design. The paper claims that the eminent reason of the crisis of democracy today is rooted in the global society of the designed spectacle with its one-dimensional citizens loosing almost all abilities to recognize and consequently defend their rights and to decrease their alienation from real needs, responsibilities and sensibilities. Democracy is fading due to neoliberal globalization – especially in the case of the commercialization of the public sector. However, the particular role of design in this process has hitherto been neglected or underestimated. Against the trend of fading democracy, different sorts of design activism experimenting with disobedient objects and strategies of critical design point towards a much-awaited rebirth of art in terms of its compensatory power against damages of our lifeworld generated by the modernization process with globalisation in the lead. These endeavours are in harmony with the return of art in terms of emergency aesthetics. This rebirth can also be reinforced by the defence of the values of liberal learning being so much threatened amid a global higher education crisis, and especially by understanding design education in the frameworks of liberal learning rather than vocational training.

Abstract

In Slovakia, modern Cultural Studies of English-speaking countries have been integrated into university curricula since the 1990s. However, there is a fundamental difference in the role CLIL plays in teaching “realia” (alternatively: cultural studies, country studies and area studies) for philological students and for business students of non-philological faculties. While philological students study realia with primary linguistic and cultural goals (i.e. to learn new words, terminology, context and comparative cultural aspects), non-philological students’ goals are business oriented (i.e. allow a successful graduate to function effectively in a new business environment). That affects the methodology, teaching procedure and assessment of both disciplines in debate.

Abstract

This research aims to prove the effectiveness of Spanish as a Second Language lessons for Haitians designed by volunteers in Santiago de Chile. The methodology used through the study was based on the application of two questionnaires to Haitian students in order to compare results, and finally obtain an average that reflects the achievement of the communicative functions expected. Results indicate that neither the lessons planned, material giver nor the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages fulfilled such expectations. Findings are discussed in relation to previous studies on methodologies for Spanish as a Second Language for Haitian immigrants in Chile (Toledo, 2016)

Abstract

The aim of the paper is to identify the image of a woman coded in Danish proverbs. The basis of my research is the assumption that proverbs convey knowledge of how societies perceive the reality and that proverbs are used as interpretative mechanisms. This is mainly achieved thanks to the repetitive nature of proverbs. Simultaneously proverbs force certain perception of the world upon societies and promote certain values.

The image of a woman in the Danish language is composed by two stereotypes, a negative and a positive one. The image is a combination of contradictions. On one hand there is admiration for features such as care, motherhood, life experience and, hard work, but on the other hand women are submitted to discrimination and harsh social pressure. Women are depicted as talkative, dominating, evil, vain, unpredictable, unrestrained. They face pressure to get married, take good care of their looks, or be exemplary housewives. The analysis of Danish proverbs gives a possibility to observe how much women’s social status, character and the perception of women by the society have changed throughout the centuries and how these changes have influenced the language we use and the reality that the language depicts.

Abstract

In Ian McGuire’s novel The North Water (2016), Patrick Sumner, a young medical doctor recently dismissedfrom the British Army with his reputation and professional prospects in ruins, accepts a poorly paid position as a surgeon on a whaling ship in his attempt to flee from his past and his troubled conscience. However, contrary to his expectations, in the Arctic Circle he faces an ordeal far more demanding than anything he has hitherto endured in the form of the harpooner Henry Drax, a dangerous psychopath who is ready to abuse and murder anyone who is an obstacle to the satisfaction of his brutish physical needs. Confronted with violence and cruelty beyond understanding, within the fluid framework of the distorted ethical norms and values of the heterogeneous crew, the embittered Sumner is gradually forced to abandon his protective shell of resigned indifference and reassess the moral stances and responsibilities of a civilized person when faced with human wickedness. Though McGuire acknowledges primarily the inspiration of Herman Melville and Cormac McCarthy, this paper argues that in ethical terms the novel responds to Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim and Heart of Darkness, pushing the protagonist’s relationship to the other to an extreme by making the other an embodiment of pure evil.

Abstract

In his article “A Distant View of Close Reading: On Irony and Terrorism around 1977,” György Fogarasi investigates the contemporary critical potentials of close reading in the light of recent developments in computation assisted analysis. While rhetorical reading has come to appear outdated in a “digital” era equipped with widgets for massive archival analysis (an era, namely, more keen on “distant,” rather than “close,” reading), Paul de Man’s insights concerning irony might prove useful in trying to account for the difficulties we must face in a world increasingly permeated with dissimulative forms of threat and violence. The article draws on three major texts from 1977: de Man’s draft on “Literature Z,” his lecture on “The Concept of Irony,” and the first and second Geneva Protocols. The reading of these texts purports to demonstrate the relevance of de Man’s theory of irony with respect to the epistemology of “terrorism,” but it also serves as an occasion to reflect upon questions of distance, speed, range, scale, or frequency, and the chances of “rhythmanalysis.”

Abstract

Methodologically connecting at its core the experience-based and interpretation-based aesthetic approach to popular culture/popular art(s) on one hand and the basis-building views of what is called arch-textual thematology on the other, the paper seeks to examine, following its particular embodiment, one of the most stable, recurring and probably therefore one of the most iconic stock characters - the “tortured artist” stock character. This example of a “stereotyped character easily recognized by readers or audiences from recurrent appearances in literary or folk tradition” (Baldick, 2008, p. 317) can be - besides other principal and distinctive examples such as the “mad scientist”, the “lady/damsel in distress” or, let’s say, the “everyman” - witnessed all across culture, including the sub-sphere of popular culture, and the arts. The implied cultural significance and “omnipresence” of the “tortured artist” stock character can be aptly illustrated by Vincent Van Gogh and not only as a real-life tortured artist prototype or even archetype but also as a popular model for numerous and various cultural depictions - from poems by Charles Bukowski through the “moving pictures” of Loving Vincent to an episode of the well-recognized British TV show Doctor Who.

Abstract

In his article “Drums of Doubt: On the Rhythmical Origins of Poetic and Scientific Exploration” Caius Dobrescu argues that even though the sciences and arts of doubt have never been connected to the notion of rhythm, doubt is a form of energy, and more specifically, a form of vibration. It implies an exploratory movement that constantly expands and recoils in a space essentially experienced as uncharted territory. Poetry acquires cognitive attributes through oscillatory rhythmic patterns that are explorative and adaptive. In order to test this hypothesis, the essay focuses on the nature and functioning of free verse. This modern prosodic mutation brings about a dovetailing of the rhythmic spectrum, but also, and more significantly, a change in the very manner of understanding and experiencing rhythm. Oscillatory rhythms are broadly associable with entrainment indexes that point to the adaptation of inner physiological and behavioral rhythms to oscillatory environment stimuli. Free verse emerges from the experience of regaining an original explorative, adaptive, and orientation-oriented condition of consciousness.