Art and Subversion

Broj 1 - Godina 3 - 12/2012

Uvodnik

When discussing art, regardless of its form, expression, context, genre or any other classifying or defining feature, one of the key issues that constantly emerges as a thing of relevance is its connection to real life, its meaning to our everyday existence, together with its impact on historical, current, and sometimes even future social and cultural aspects of our lives. Within this context the idea of subversion comes to art almost naturally. By constantly reinventing itself, by expanding various social boundaries, which are in fact self-imposed limitations, art (un)successfully subverts everything that stands in its path, creating different approaches to established routines and perceptions, or even completely breaking down all of the traditional notions surrounding a particular segment or phenomena present in society...

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Izdvojeno

In 2000 the final volume of the fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials was published in London. Although it was only after New Line Cinema announced the film adaptation that it attracted world wide attention, it is undeniable that Pullman’s work made an immense contribution not only to children’s literature, but to British literature in general. The fact that Pullman was the first children’s author to receive The Whitbread Award, as well as the sales of more than 15 million, speak in favour of the significance his work. However, because of his public outbursts against the boycotters of his works, Pullman came under strident criticism. Unconventional usage of traditional religious and Church-related concepts as literary devices brought into question his integrity as an author and designated him as a fervent atheist. The central aim of this paper is to show how Pullman uses various religious concepts, which are mainly related to Christian tradition and doctrines. The resonant imagery of His Dark Materials carries numerous canonical references, primarily from the Bible, but also from Milton’s Paradise Lost and the works of William Blake. Pullman employs different strategies throughout the volumes to introduce these, somewhat dogmatic, precepts; they are either rewritten in a way that casts new light upon the matters they relate to or are presented unaltered per se, but in a completely new context that enables a different, allegorical reading of the canonical item. This paper opens with a short explication of the religious canon, followed by examples of its subversion in His Dark Materials. Special emphasis is placed on the transfer and modification of the traditional Christian religious concepts into fantasy fiction context and a relatively critical replica of the Catholic Church in His Dark Materials....

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You can close your eyes but you can’t close your ears.In the darkness, I keep hearing the screams. I don’t know who’s screaming. I squeeze my eyes tighter and realize that I’m the one who’s screaming. In the darkness, there is no hate. There’s a strange smell and it isn’t me. In another time and another place, someone would have known why all this was happening, someone would have been able to give a name to everything that seems so inexplicable to me, but which does have an explanation. It has to. It won’t be a logical explanation.In another life, I tried to find causes and effects until I came to understand that nothing that happened to me had them. I believed that I thought with my head. I believed that I thought.In the darkness, I don’t think with my heart or with my head. I don’t have any. Others will come and they’ll tell my story. It’ll sound different from their lips.I’ve never been different than everyone else. All my life I endeavored to stay in the middle of the road, not to be too high or too low, too smart or too dumb. I didn’t want to stand out in any way and, in the end, that was the thing that made me stand out, the thing my husband fell in love with....

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Literary texts display many linguistic peculiarities, as well as social and cultural aspects of our lives and, thus, we can assert that literary translation is one of the main ways of communication across cultures. Translating literary texts, however, is not an easy task, since it certainly poses many problems for the translator. One of the problems a translator can face arises from the fact that some words or phrases denoting objects, facts, phenomena, etc… are so deeply rooted in their source culture (SC) and so specific (and perhaps exclusive or unique) to the culture that produced them that they have no equivalent in the target culture (TC), be it because they are unknown, or because they are not yet codified in the target language (TL). When discussing the problems of correspondence in translation, “differences between cultures may cause more severe complications for the translator than do differences in language structure” (Nida 130). Moreover, several theorists, such as Santoyo, García Yebra and Yifeng, amongst others, support untranslatability when we face texts with terms which are so culture-bound and culture-specific as to defy translation (cf. Fernández Guerra, “The issue” 41)....

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Art has always held a very ambiguous position in human society: on the one hand it has been exploited for promotional use and revered as a stand in for the entity it represents; on the other hand however, its ability to question dogmatic authorities by appealing to an individual’s innermost instincts and thoughts has made it a threatening and seditious force to be reckoned with. As a result, numerous studies on the impact of art and visions on society, authority, and our perception of reality, have emerged and taken many forms of interdisciplinary inquiry (it is sufficient to think of movements such as “literature and the visual arts”, “culture studies”, “cross-cultural image studies” or “law and imagery”, to mention a few). As a confirmation of this, the subversive power of art, in the form of suppressed colours and controversial portraits, is at the heart of two of Tracy Chevalier’s works, The Virgin Blue (1997) and The Lady and the Unicorn (2003). In both novels the protagonists’ lives are dominated by a strong patriarchal society that suppresses the voices of those who do not pertain to politically privileged categories. Art therefore is the force that leads the characters to leave the paths that had been assigned to them by custom and seek out their own future....

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