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Simona Klimková

Abstract

Joseph Conrad devoted twenty years to the writing of short stories. The wide range of subject and setting, spanning from sea stories to domestic tales, managed to constitute Conrad’s reputation as a master story-teller capable of capturing his audience with any theme. While the stories vary in quality, length and themes explored, they all oscillate around the subject of human psyche, with its unpredictability and dark corners portrayed in a rather complex way. The paper seeks to explore the vision of humanity, emerging from Conrad’s short fiction, as well as the literary devices which enable him to capture the essence of human struggle. It focuses primarily on Conrad’s extensive use of figurative language, which contributes to the lyrical quality of his texts, and enables him to express the anguish and disintegration of his characters.

Open access

Simona Klimková

Abstract

In the postcolonial context, language represents one of the crucial tools of cultural communication and is therefore often a subject of heated discussion. Since language constitutes the framework of cultural interaction, postcolonial authors often challenge the privileged position of Standard English within their writing by modifying and substituting it with new forms and varieties. The Trinidad-born writer Sam Selvon belongs to a handful of Caribbean authors who initiated linguistic experiments in the context of Caribbean literature and is considered one of the first Caribbean writers to employ dialect in a novel. His 1956 novel The Lonely Londoners reflects the possibilities of vernacular experimentation and thus communicates the specific experience of a particular cultural group in an authentic way.

Open access

Simona Klimková

Abstract

The implications of the colonialist discourse, which suggested that the colonized is a person “whose historical, physical, and metaphysical geography begins with European memory” (Thiong’o, 2009), urged postcolonial writers to correct these views by addressing the issues from their own perspectives. The themes of history and communal/national past thus play a prominent role in postcolonial literature as they are inevitably interwoven with the concept of communal identity. In Petals of Blood (1977), the Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o explores the implications of social change as brought about by the political and economic development during the post-independence period. This paper seeks to examine the crucial relation between personal and communal/national history and relate it to the writer’s views of principal legacies of colonialism. As Thiong’o states: “My interest in the past is because of the present and there is no way to discuss the future or present separate from the past” (Thiong’o, 1975). Clearly, the grasping of the past and one’s identification with it seems fundamental in discussing national development. As Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s narratives are always situated in the realm of political and historical context, blending fiction with fact, this paper also aims to elaborate on the implications of his vision.