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Saturn is the planet of melancholy, about which Walter Benjamin writes: “I came into the world under the sign of Saturn - the star of the slowest revolution, the planet of detours and delays.” W. G. Sebald’s prose poetics seems to be driven by this motion, which is more than a simple state of being: it is a way of perceiving the world as well as a way of writing, perpetual transition, walk, halt, deviation from the road, getting lost and finding the way back. The paper reflects on W. G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn (Die Ringe des Saturn: Eine englische Wallfahrt, 1995], a unique literary achievement deeply embedded into the history of literature, culture and the arts, which can be best construed from the direction of “the order of melancholy.” On the pages of the book the reader can traverse, together with the Sebald-narrator, a route in East Anglia, with digressions in various directions of (culture) history. The journey in the concrete physical space turns into an inner journey, into a spiritual pilgrimage; the traversed locations become documents of destruction and transience. From the perspective of the order of melancholy places are determined by their relations, temporality and role in history rather than by their concrete geographic coordinates. The infinitely rich construction of the narrative creates a continuous passage between the local and the universal, the concrete locations of the journey and the scenes of world history, between the time of the journey and the (colonial] past, between East and West. The traversed historical, cultural and medial spaces displace the perception of human existence and result in the incommensurable aesthetic experience of the Sebaldian prose.
Samuel Beckett: Gothic History, the Gothic Tradition, and Modernism.” In Gothic and Modernism: Essaying Dark Literary Modernity , ed. John Paul Riquelme, 1–25. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press.
Smart, Robert A. and Michael Hutcheson. 2007. “Suspect Grounds: Temporal and Spatial Paradoxes in Bram Stoker’s Dracula : A Postcolonial Reading.” Postcolonial Text vol. 3, no. 3: n/a.
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In the decade since Al-Qaeda, led by the late Osama Bin Laden, attacked America, there has been a resurgence in the debate about the relationship between religion and politics. The global Islamic terrorist networks and their successful operations against various targets around the globe increasingly draw attention to what constitutes the core values of Islamic extremism: the logic of evangelistic strategy, the import and relevance of its spiritual message and consideration of the composite view of life that does not distinguish between sacred and temporal mandates. Suspicions have been fuelled that Islam is incompatible with modern democratic systems and pluralist outlooks. The real cause of Islamic militancy is at once universal and particular. The Nigerian experience of this radical Islamism-Boko Haram-brings home the once “distant” threat to global peaceful co-existence. While there exist arguments regarding the raison d’etre and means or methods of the operations of Boko Haram, the end has been normative; to achieve a purely religious nationalistic system on the basis of the sharia code of ethics. This paper, therefore, critically analyses the historical and philosophical interpretations of Islamic history constructed as an infallible corpus, and how it has been impacted by the democratic vision in Nigeria. It concludes with a consideration of the possibility and practicability of a liberal system at once free and religious in a pluralist and global society.
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