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This paper calls into question the growing tendency of quasi-absolutism within postmodern mainstream media discourse under the guise of objectivity. The tendency’s major aim is to ascribe more believability to its discourse by re-presenting that which it covers as the vehicle of objective truth to the mainstream audience. Two interweaving discourses have marked such objectivity: one in the form of indoctrinating and omnipresent narratives, which via effective propaganda become tantamount to ritualism, the other epitomised in the nostalgia for rationalisation, already inherent in western positivist thought through the exponential increase of quasi-empiricism (e.g. investigative reporting or speculative statistics). Accordingly, what the media cover exists. What they do not remains in the order of myth. The article starts by rethinking objectivity within modern western academia, a discourse whose objectivity is already flawed from within. Then, with respect to human experience and media coverage, the paper concludes by raising the question of postmodern mainstream media’s substitution of religious quasi-absolutist narratives, be they secular or non-secular. Subjectivity thus emerges as the ultimate ground upon which our being may be legitimate.
The literary palette of Tolnai’s textual universe within the Hungarian literature from Vojvodina is based, among others, upon the intertwining of various cultural entities. The social and cultural spaces of “Big Yugoslavia,” the phenomena, figures, and works of the European-oriented Yugoslav and ethnic culture (literature, painting, book publishing, theatre, sports, etc.), the mentalities of the migrant worker’s life, the legends of the Tito cult embed the narrative procedures of particular texts by Tolnai into a rich culture-historical context. Similarly to the model of Valery’s Mediterranean, the narrator’s Janus-faced Yugoslavia simultaneously generates concrete and utopian spaces, folding upon one another. Above the micro spaces (towns, houses, flats) evolving along the traces of reality, there float the Proustian concepts of scent and colour of the Adriatic sea (salt, azure, mimosa, lavender, laurel). The nostalgia towards the lost Eden rises high and waves about the “grand form” of Big Yugoslavia, the related space of which is the Monarchy. The counterpoints of the grand forms are “the small, void forms,” provinces, regions (Vojvodina, North Bačka) and the micro spaces coded into them. The text analyses of the paper examine the intercultural motions and identityforming culture-historical elements of the outlined space system.
This article explores the relationship between film, contemporary art and cultural memory. It aims to set out an overview of the use of film and media in artworks dealing with memory, history and the past. In recent decades, film and media projections have become some of the most common mediums employed in art installations, multi-screen artworks, sculptures, multi-media art, as well as many other forms of contemporary art. In order to examine the links between film, contemporary art and memory, I will firstly take a brief look at cultural memory and, secondly, I will set out an overview of some pieces of art that utilize film and video to elucidate historical and mnemonic accounts. Thirdly, I will consider the specific features and challenges of film and media that make them an effective repository in art to represent memory. I will consider the work of artists like Tacita Dean, Krzysztof Wodiczko and Jane and Louise Wilson, whose art is heavily influenced and inspired by concepts of memory, history, nostalgia and melancholy. These artists provide examples of the use of film in art, and they have established contemporary art as a site for memory.
Royal bio-pics have always enjoyed a high priority among cinematic representations of British history and taken a lion’s share in defining Britishness to audiences at home and abroad. These historical narratives never render national identity by capturing the past of historians, instead reconstruct the past as a mirror of contemporary reality and in a way as to satisfy their audience’s demand for both romantic qualities and antiquarian nostalgia, for sensations they regard their own. The author’s basic assumption is that such cinema does not represent history but exploits spectatorial desire for a mediated reality one inhabits through the experience of an empowered identity. The first part of the article examines how private-life films (a subgenre of royal bio-pics) mythologized and idealized Tudor monarchs in the 1930s, while in the second part, contemporary representatives of the subgenre are analysed as they portray the challenges of the Monarchy in its search for a place within modern British identity politics. Analysed films include The Private Life of Henry VIII (Alexander Korda, 1933), The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (Michael Curtiz, 1939), Mrs Brown (John Madden, 1997), The Queen (Stephen Frears, 2006), and The King’s Speech (Tom Hooper, 2010).1
For the Bulgarian Muslims in Spain wedding videos are a popular device for socializing, overcoming nostalgia and keeping pace with the news and events that take place back home in Bulgaria. The mediatization of the ritual allows an extension of the ritual across time and space. Watching the videos is a re-enactment of the celebration and has become part of the ritual itself. Subsequently, this extension of the ritual through a mediated device has led to its subtle transformations. At the same time, wedding videos and the particular mode of use produce a social effect beyond the structure of the ritual. They contribute to the extending and re-creating of a migrant community that spreads over space transnationally and temporally between the past of home and the present of life in migrancy. Drawing on ethnographic material and using the analytical tools of actor-network theory, the main aim of this paper is to trace the uses and effects of wedding videos for transforming the wedding ritual through postponing and re-enacting it on one hand, and for sustaining the phantasm of an imagined virtual community on the other. The broader problem that this paper seeks to address is the specific role that material devices play for producing social effects for migrant communities.
In the context of twenty-first century global conservatism, where anti-immigrant sentiment is everywhere apparent, the importance of Ishiguro’s writing arguably lies in its on-going challenge to this perspective’s faulty logic and its capacity to reveal the radical violence behind nationalist political attacks on minority and immigrant populations. In this article I explore this challenge explicitly through a politically-oriented reading of The Remains of the Day (1989), highlighting this novel’s joint critique of Thatcherite nationalism and late twentieth century global entrepreneurialism. While this focus obviously represents a response to an earlier socio-political moment, defined by its own unique amalgam of ideological anxieties, nevertheless what emerges most prominently through this reading is the novel’s topical condemnation of cultural essentialism and its attendant hierarchies, concerns which remain of utmost critical significance within the twenty-first century. Thus, by making this assessment explicit, highlighting British conservatism’s devastating psychological and material implications for affected individuals, ranging from repressed and traumatised psychologies to radical economic precarity, this novel can be seen to register Thatcherite prejudice in a poignantly relevant manner. Indeed, the pseudo-respect granted to the ‘genuine old-fashioned English butler’ in this novel might also be seen as comparable to Trump’s pseudo-populism or Brexit nostalgia, both of which likewise ignore the pressing reality of imperialism’s historical violence.
What happens once the rogue rides off into the sunset? This cross-genre essay considers the figure of the rogue’s decline and gradual dismemberment in the face of the pressures of the world. Beginning with the “rogue” digits and other body parts lost by the men who surrounded him in his youth—especially his grandfather—Dobson considers the costs of labour and poverty in rural environments. For him, the rogue is one who falls somehow outside of cultural, social, and political norms—the one who has decided to step outside of the establishment, outside of the corrupt élites and their highfalutin ways. To do so comes at a cost. Turning to the life of writer George Ryga and to the poetry and fiction of Patrick Lane, this essay examines the real, physical, material, and social costs of transgression across multiple works linked to rural environments in Alberta and British Columbia. The essay shows the ways in which very real forms of violence discipline the rogue, pushing the rogue back into submission or out of mind, back into the shadowy past from whence the rogue first came. Resisting nostalgia while evincing sympathy, this essay delves into what is at stake for one who would become a rogue.