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Niklas Salmose

Abstract

This essay explores the modernist aesthetic involved in creating a fictive, nostalgic, childhood experience. Evoking the experience of childhood through fiction is as close to actually reliving childhood as we can get. The author argues that it is possible to actually transport the reader into not only the idealized world of childhood, but more so into an embodied experience of childhood through the use of different kinds of narrative and stylistic configurations. In a stylistic and narratological analysis of three modernist novels, Virginia Woolf’s The Waves (1931), Tarjei Vesaas’ The Ice Palace [Is-slottet] (1963) and William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury (1929), the author explores the different ways that literature can create (or re-create) the very experience of childhood through literary style. The strategies involved in establishing a fictive experience of childhood extend from narratological choices such as free indirect style, strict focalization through a child in the narrative (which implies limitations in perception and cognitive abilities, as well as in linguistic terms) to the use of a child-like temporality, the hyperbolic use of phenomena, and an emphasis of the sensorial aspects of perception.

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Katarzyna Poloczek

Women's Power To Be Loud: The Authority of the Discourse and Authority of the Text in Mary Dorcey's Irish Lesbian Poetic Manifesto "Come Quietly or the Neighbours Will Hear"

The following article aims to examine Mary Dorcey's poem "Come Quietly or the Neighbours Will Hear," included in the 1991 volume Moving into the Space Cleared by Our Mothers. Apart from being a well-known and critically acclaimed Irish poet and fiction writer, the author of the poem has been, from its beginnings, actively involved in lesbian rights movement. Dorcey's poem "Come Quietly or the Neighbours Will Hear" is to be construed from a perspective of lesbian and feminist discourse, as well as a cultural, sociological and political context in which it was created. While analyzing the poem, the emphasis is being paid to the intertwining of various ideological and subversive assumptions (dominant and the implied ones), their competing for importance and asserting authority over one another, in line with, and sometimes, against the grain of the textual framework. In other words, Dorcey's poem introduces a multilayered framework that draws heavily on various sources: the popular culture idiom, religious discourse (the references to the Virgin Mary and the biblical annunciation imagery), the text even employs, in some parts, crime and legal jargon, but, above all, it relies upon sensuous lesbian experience where desire and respect for the other woman opens the emancipating space allowing for redefining of one's personal and textual location. As a result of such a multifarious interaction, unrepresented and unacknowledged Irish women's standpoints may come to the surface and become articulated, disrupting their enforced muteness that the controlling heteronormative discourse has attempted to ensure. In Dorcey's poem, the operating metaphor of women's silence (or rather—silencing women), conceived of, at first, as the need to conceal one's sexual (lesbian) identity in fear of social ostracism and contempt of the "neighbours," is further equated with the noiseless, solitary and violent death of the anonymous woman, the finding of whose body was reported on the news. In both cases, the unwanted Irish women's voices of either agony, during the unregistered by anybody misogynist bloodshed that took place inside the flat, or the forbidden sounds of lesbian sexual excitement, need to be (self) censored and stifled, not to disrupt an idealized image of the well-established family and heteronormative patterns. In the light of the aforementioned parallel, empowered by the shared bodily and emotional closeness with her female lover, and already bitterly aware that silence in discourse is synonymous with textual, or even, actual death, the speaker in "Come Quietly or the Neighbours Will Hear" comes to claim her own agency and makes her voice heard by others and taken into account.

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Piotr Szlanta

Abstract

The bloody conflict which was taking place in South Africa in the years 1899-1902 was followed with a great interest by Polish public opinion. Its greatest part strongly sympathized with the Boer republics. Their burgers were idealized and presented by the Polish press as brave fighters for independence, who dared to stand up against the world empire to defend their rights while Great Britain was attributed full responsibility for the outbreak of the war. For many Poles the Boers personified the general idea of freedom fighters and symbolized all suppressed nations. Their sad fate seemed to be quite similar to the Polish one and this similarity was the main source of sympathy toward defenders of the Transvaal and Free Orange State. Voices of few Polish intellectuals, who called for a more objective and not so emotional view on the war, could not change the pro-Boers stance of the greatest part of Polish public opinion.

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Postmemory, Stereotype and the Return Home

Rewriting Pre-Existing Narratives in Sofi Oksanen’s Purge

Anna Estera Mrozewicz

Abstract

The article offers a discussion of Sofi Oksanen’s novel Purge, focusing on the book’s strategy of evoking stereotypical narratives about Eastern Europe, such as the (postcommunist) fallen woman and (Russian) return home narratives, as well as related intertexts, primarily Lukas Moodysson’s film Lilya 4-ever. I argue that Oksanen constructs the plot around clichés in order to challenge them in a subversive fashion, first and foremost, in the name of recuperating the notion of Home. Related to locality and the feeling of being at-home, where the wholeness of the (national) subject is possible, ‘home’ is staged as an alternative to stereotypes, associated with transnational travel and the apparatus of colonization. A significant counter-narrative embedded in the novel - and hitherto rarely discussed - is the exilic perspective with its idealization of the lost and imagined home(land). In Purge, this is mediated through the main character’s postmemory. By means of a postexilic narrative, home is reconfigured as a ‘third space’ - neither fully ideal and (ethnically) pure nor adhering to the aforementioned stereotypical narratives. The positive valorisation of home, despised by some critics as simplistic and conservative, does not prevent movement and dislocation from being included in the new experience of home(land) emerging from the post-Soviet condition.

Open access

Lingui Yang

Abstract

Do Marjorie Garber’s premises that Shakespeare makes modern culture and that modern culture makes Shakespeare apply to his reception in Asian contexts? Shakespeare’s Asianization, namely adaptation of certain Shakespeare elements into traditional forms of local cultures, seems to testify to his timelessness in timeliness. However, his statuses in modern Asia are much more complicated. The complexity lies not only in such a cross-cultural phenomenon as the Asianizing practice, but in the Shakespearization of Asia-the idealization of him as a modern cultural icon in a universalizing celebration of his authority in many sectors of modern Asian cultures. Yet, the very entities of Asia, Shakespeare, modernity, and tradition must be problematized before we approach such complexities. I ask questions about Shakespeare’s roles in Asian conceptions of modernity and about the relationship between his literary heritage and Asian traditions. To address these questions, I will discuss this timeliness in Asian cultures with a focus on Shakespeare adaptations in Asian forms, which showcase various indigenous approaches to his text-from the elitist legacy maintaining to the popularist re-imagining. Asian practices of doing Shakespeare have involved other issues. For instance, whether or not the colonial legacies and postcolonial re-inventions in the dissemination of his works in Asian cultures confirm or subvert the various myths about both the Bard and modernity in most time of the 20th century; in what ways Shakespeare has been used as at once a negotiating agent and negotiated subject in the processes of the prince’s translations and adaptations into Asian languages, costumes, landscapes, cultures and traditions.

Open access

Ema Jelínková

Abstract

This paper presents the case of Scotland as a traumatized nation haunted by ghosts of the past. Scottish national identity has been profoundly influenced by the country’s loss of sovereignty in the 1707 Act of Union. As a result, the stateless nation deprived of agency built its literature on the foundations of idealized stories of its heroic past. It was not until the 1980s that Scottish literature started to tackle the collective trauma and gave rise to works focusing on the weak and the exploited rather than the brave. Janice Galloway and A. L. Kennedy both epitomize this new vein of literature of trauma and explore the links between national and individual experience and strategies for healing the trauma.