Altered States

Broj 1 - Godina 8 - 12/2017

Uvodnik

Non-thematic issues always represent a challenge, mostly premised on defining and constructing a subtle thread that would, at least apparently, unify all of the numerous submitted papers, thoughts and opinions about a variety of different subjects. Sometimes the final product, the metaphoric body of our journal, is a harmonious and perhaps even optimistic reading of cultural, social and literary phenomena, while on some other occasions the projected and articulated themes and ideas tend to be a bit harsher, stronger and more explicit in their nature. Such is the issue in front of you; in spite of the cheerful and celebratory time of the year, the segment dedicated to culture and literature is defined by the somewhat gloomy overtones of the presented ideas, merging silently with the foreboding shadows and the unfriendly figure insidiously dominating our cover. However, the articulated themes and analyses, while inclined toward the darker states and altered perceptions of reality, still form a rich tapestry of research and scrutiny, actively and significantly contributing to contemporary debates on the subjects at hand...

Pročitaj cijeli članak →
Izdvojeno

Jutro je i muškarac u plavoj kućnoj haljini, kojega sada svi zovu Starac, skoro je sat vremena proveo uz kaveze hraneći kuniće. Iziđe u vrt, gdje se njegova supruga upravo brine o biljkama, i sagne se pokraj nje, pred svježe presađeni kaktus. Čuperak ravne i sive kose padne mu preko naočala. Prsti su mu prljavi te ga nevoljko pokuša ukloniti nadlanicom, ali čuperak iznova padne. Trebat ću posjetiti frizera, kaže, i neko vrijeme razgovaraju o tome. Oboje se slažu da je opasno izlaziti. Nisu prošla ni tri mjeseca od napada na kuću, i još uvijek su vidljive, na ciglenim zidovima spavaće sobe i na blindiranim kapcima na prozorima, lepeze rupa što su ih ostavili meci. Organizacija, čak i raštrkana, uspjela je u međuvremenu prikupiti novac da se vila osigura. Podignut je vanjski zid, izgrađeno sklonište s krovom od armiranog betona, drvena dvorišna vrata zamijenjena su čeličnima s alarmom, podignuta su tri nova tornjića za nadgledanje okolnih ulica. Štoviše, između tornjeva razvukli su bodljikavu žicu i elastičnu mrežu da odbija granate. Vlada ove vruće i egzotične zemlje, jedina koja ih je pristala primiti, posramljena napadom, utrostručila je broj stražara. Pa ipak, on zna da mu nema spasa. Ja sam vojnik, odgovorio je jednim novinama nema dugo, i primjećujem da su sve karte protiv mene. Zna i to da je jedino on ostao od izvorne skupine: sve su druge već sredili. Sam je, piše njegova supruga, i hodamo ovim tropskim vrtom okruženi duhovima prosviranih lubanja. Od kuće su sada napravili tvrđavu, istina, ali svaka je tvrđava ujedno i zatvor. Više ne mogu ni pomišljati na izlazak. Ne brini se, kaže supruga, ja ću to srediti: frizer će doći....

Pročitaj cijeli članak →

In this article we analyze the novel Waiting for the Barbarians, by the South African writer John Maxwell Coetzee. We read the novel from the perspective of some ethical insights of Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida, associating them with the emphasized domination of the political in the novel. In this unequal relationship, however, political domination gradually cedes place to the ethical doing, the beginning of which is marked by aporia, that is, by an attempt to reconcile two irreconcilable perspectives: that of loyalty to political authority and that of individual responsibility for the other human being. When the latter takes place, the main character – the unnamed Magistrate – becomes an ethical subject. But this is not an easy process, and in order for this to happen, he must experience physical pain and risk his own life. In doing so, he undergoes the journey from a position of political power to complete disempowering. However, taking responsibility for the other is a much more complex and precarious process than Levinas would have it. As the Magistrate finds out from his own experience, physical suffering and the recognition of immediate death deprive the human being from the possibility of apprehending the world because the body is completely focused on the pain it suffers. Bodily integrity is a precondition of any moral concepts, and identification with the other through pain therefore rarely happens at the subject’s own will and much more often is a result of circumstances. In this particular novel, those circumstances are defined and imposed by politics. ...

Pročitaj cijeli članak →

The paper examines some of the Gothic features used in character development in William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! and Toni Morrison’s Beloved, and explores how the two novels complement each other to form a comprehensive picture of the American South around the Civil War. In the traditions of Gothic realism and postcolonial Gothic respectively, the authors describe the 19th-century South as populated with supernatural beings: demoniac slaveholders, monsters who try to fight oppression, zombies whose souls have been devoured by the oppressive system, ghosts and revenants who return to haunt their wrongdoers, and hybrids whose transgressive nature is feared by the oppressors and the oppressed alike.Keywords: American Gothic, American South, character development, slavery, hybrids, monsters, ghostsEven though, as Allan Lloyd Smith points out in his survey of the 19th-century American Gothic, American writers like James Fenimore Cooper and Nathaniel Hawthorne complained that the New World lacked Gothic material, that everything was too new, bright and devoid of mystery (163), certain characteristics of the American continent such as racism, slavery, Puritanism and the vicinity of the frontier and the unexplored wilderness beyond it have contributed to the shaping of American literature as, in the words of Leslie Fielder, “bewilderingly and embarrassingly, a Gothic fiction, non-realistic and negative, sadist and melodramatic – a literature of darkness and the grotesque in a land of light and affirmation” (qtd. in Worrall 165). Although American writers do not often appropriate the Gothic genre in its entirety, elements of the Gothic are still easily discernible in many of their works. The American South has particularly proved to be suitable for Gothic treatment, and a whole subgenre of American Gothic dealing with the South has developed – the Southern Gothic....

Pročitaj cijeli članak →

This paper begins by offering a brief overview of the popular culture narrative Crimson Peak (2015), directed by Guillermo del Toro. The analysis focuses on the most compelling Gothic trope del Toro reintroduces, the proverbial mansion, simultaneously displaying Freud’s heimlich and unheimlich elements, oppressing and liberating its inhabitants. Since the narrative revolves around two female protagonists, Lucille Sharpe and Edith Cushing, the paper also refers to feminist socio-cultural perspectives on space, primarily Gillian Rose’s and Shelley Mallett’s, in order to understand the position of the two protagonists within the decidedly Gothic space. This paper aims to emphasize that Lucille’s liberation as the mistress of the house is illusory regardless of the fact that she is represented as the embodiment of domestic corruption. It is precisely because she is a sexually active woman and a disruptor of the patriarchal order that she must ultimately be punished. Even though del Toro subverts the traditional image of the madwoman in the attic by positioning her at the center of the narrative, Allerdale Hall does not reveal itself as a space of female empowerment....

Pročitaj cijeli članak →