Future Insights

Broj 2 - Godina 9 - 06/2019

Uvodnik

The articles presented in the 18th issue of [sic] discuss, in broad terms, the ways in which literary and cultural phenomena manage to transcend the temporal and spatial framework into which they were born. They thus provide understandings and intuitions with continuing relevance, and their impact extends – regardless of when they were created – well into the future. In the opening article, Dejan Durić and Željka Matijašević analyze the concept of intensity through psychoanalytic lenses, as it evolves from the 1960s counterculture toward the present-day forms of capitalism. Krešimir Vuković delves into the imagery of classical literature and explores what insights Homer, Hesiod, and Callimachus offered for future authors. Finally, Korana Serdarević turns toward teaching methodology and tackles the issue of whether 19th century literature can help shape the views of today’s (and tomorrow’s) society. ..

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From Homer’s Odyssey and Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe to Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, the sea has always featured prominently in Western literature. Stories of voyages over (or under) boundless oceans, tales of mutiny and piracy, of treasure and adventure, have all become an integral part of our literary tradition. And while it was frequently admired, the sea’s capricious nature and fathomless depths have often led to it being feared in equal measure. Compiled and edited by Mike Ashley, From the Depths and Other Strange Tales of the Sea is an anthology comprising fifteen lesser known stories taken from other collections and pulp magazines dating back to the early 20th century, which ably illustrates that period’s fascination with the sea, especially with its more fantastical and uncanny aspects.The collection opens strongly with an invitingly horrific, if somewhat traditional ghost ship story. Albert A. Wetjen’s “The Ship of Silence” draws heavily both from legends like the Flying Dutchman and real-world mysteries like the Mary Celeste. An abandoned ship’s fate is revealed through the frenzied screeching of a parrot, the ship’s sole survivor, as it repeats the words of the doomed crew in their final moments. Bearing more than a passing resemblance to many of H. P. Lovecraft’s stories, the horror here lies not so much in what is shown, but in what is left to the reader’s imagination. Morgan Robertson’s “From the Darkness and the Depths” continues in the same vein and also features a ship assailed by invisible terrors. It is one of a number of stories from the period which emphasize, and often overestimate, the power of science and its ability to combat forces unfathomable to the human mind....

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One might perhaps feel that the question of the other has been extensively theorized, especially (though far from exclusively) within postcolonial and gender studies, and the processes of othering already illuminated from different perspectives. On the other hand, there are probably those who think that the question deserves constant attention and careful (re)considerations, and Igor Grbić’s book The Occidentocentric Fallacy: Turning Literature into a Province poses a provocative challenge to both stances. What if – the book’s underlying hypothesis seems to suggest – the entire notion of the other is nothing but, as the title states, a misconception narcissistically promulgated by what we commonly refer to as the West although it in effect counts not more than a couple of states, a mere province in any map of the world? What if, namely, numerous scholars and researchers who are concerned with the question of the other in the field of literary studies, criticism and theory only perpetuate, however unintentionally, the established misconception, simply by working within the norms of Western and neglecting all traditions of non-Western literary criticism? The occidentocentric fallacy is, according to the author of this book, particularly prominent and problematic when at work in literary arts, the humanities branch that is supposed to offer a holistic and universal evaluation of imaginative expressions. Therefore, while exposing different facets of the occidentocentric fallacy, this book engages, through its eight chapters, in offering a new description of the scope and idea of the elusive concept of world literature. ...

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Proučavajući pojam neomita, kao suvremene inačice mitoloških koncepata u književnosti i kulturi, nametnula su se brojna pitanja. Zara Minc u svom je tekstu iz 1979. godine upozoravala na neomitološke romane ruskih simbolista, kada svijet umjetničkog teksta počinje sličiti mitu (Minc), a istaknuti proučavatelj mita Eleazar Meletinskij ukazao je na važnost novog mita u europskoj književnosti, misleći pritom na romane F. Kafke, J. Joycea, T. Manna i dr., jer proces mitologizacije nastaje kao posljedica razočaranja u ranije umjetničke, znanstvene i druge koncepte, ponajviše pozitivističke (Meletinskij). Vadim Rudnev u Rječniku kulture 20. stoljeća uvodi termin „neomitološke svijesti” kao glavne okosnice kulturnog mentaliteta novijeg doba. Neomitologizam je nastao kao reakcija na pozitivističku svijest 19. stoljeća, pa je gotovo sva književnost 20. stoljeća povezana s mitom, jer bježeći od racionalnog i znanstvenog (logos), stremi iracionalnom (mitos). Suvremena se književnost s jedne strane okreće izvorištu, početcima i postanku, a s druge je strane upućena na budućnost, na projiciranje kraja kao novog početka. Težište na kraju kao novom početku jedan je od osnovnih neomitoloških koncepata koji se obrađuju u ovom bloku i koji stoga i nosi naslov Pogled u budućnost. U suvremenoj kulturi, kako tvrdi Ahmetova, „mitološke predodžbe ne nestaju, nego se transformiraju i adaptiraju novoj kulturno-povijesnoj situaciji” (Ahmetova 10). Najvažniji koncept (neo)mita jest onaj o početku i kraju ili kozmogonijsko-eshatološki, koji podrazumijeva stvaranje (prijelaz iz kaos u kozmos) i razaranje (Strašni sud, Apokalipsa, prijelaz iz kozmosa u kaos). Kaos je univerzalno načelo i početak svakog mita i svake religije. Tek se iz kaosa kao polazne točke i ničega rađa kozmos koji teži uređenju i nekom obliku osmišljenog završetka, što ujedno znači da se svaka mitologija i religija u svojoj osnovi bave početkom i krajem. Dok je u mitovima središte interesa usmjereno na početak, na stvaranje svijeta, čime se tumači postojeći svijet, biblijska kozmogonija usredotočena je na kraj (vidi: Užarević). Središnji je fokus biblijskoga teksta stavljen na spasenje ljudskog roda. Svijet je stvoren prema određenim zakonitostima koje potvrđuje božanska instanca, posebice uz naglašavanje i ponavljanje „I vidje Bog da je dobro” (Biblija, Post. 1.1-1.31), što je legitimacija učinjenog. Biblijski tekst, gledajući u cjelini, nije usmjeren na prošlost, na samo stvaranje koje je pisano kao izvještaj (vidi: Biblija, Post. 1.1-2.4a) u Knjizi o postanku, nego na komunikaciju Boga s čovjekom i zapravo na Sudnji dan, čime se zapravo sumira pobjeda dobra nad zlom. Kraj se tako nameće kao težište religijske svijesti, upravo zato što je kraj ujedno i novi početak. Kraj stoga ne znači uništenje, on je nada u novi Kristov dolazak i zapravo svaki početak. Nije neobično da se koncept kraja održao i aktualizirao u suvremenoj kulturi koja vapi za nadom u mogući novi početak ili neku vrstu nove (utopijske) nade. Profaniranje, nerijetko ironiziranje i travestiranje sakralnog koncepta zapravo je u svojoj suštini blizak upravo apokaliptičnom težištu (u smislu nade u novi dolazak). Suvremeni (neomitološki) tekst koji je umnogome desakralizirao koncept kraja-početka ili smrti-uskrsnuća, kao možda najsnažniji mitologem postaje otkošten mit ili mitska struktura bez „mesa”, bez sakralnog uporišta, zadržavši pritom obilježje mitskog diskursa. ...

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The latest tendencies in the modernization of teaching literature stress the development of students’ critical thinking as one of the main learning outcomes of the educational process. Based on this premise, the article demonstrates the applicability of the imagological approach which can, through guided critical reading of the canonical text, reveal another layer of the so-called non-canonical interpretation and point towards the deconstruction of cultural stereotypes embedded in the literary text. The teaching method will be demonstrated via close reading of the image of Roma people in the novella Tena by Josip Kozarac, where minority stereotyping takes on the form of discriminatory discourse in narration. Apart from developing critical thinking skills, a similar approach to a literary text in class offers the possibility of a comparative method, supported by the fact that the same mirage of Roma community drawn from a canonical work of Croatian Realism can be compared to the images (image) of Roma in contemporary Croatian literature: in the novel Ciganin, ali najljepši by Kristian Novak, in Oblak boje kože by Nebojša Lujanović, as well as in the short story Petica iz zadnje klupe by Barbara Matejčić. Finally, regarding the applicability of critical discourse analysis in class, the article's concluding remarks raise the question of whether literature describing the 19th-century society could, through guided interpretation, partake in shaping the views of today's society that has the tools to recognize its own heterostereotypes....

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