Coded Realities

Broj 1 - Godina 4 - 12/2013

Uvodnik

The seventh issue of [sic] was conceived as an open-themed issue, unrestricted by a specific topic, genre or mood. Yet, the papers that made it through the review process all seem to remind the readers that our reality is coded in so many ways. Whether it is by means of a literal code, such as the one used between the brothers Vrančić, one a cardinal and writer, the other a diplomat and poet, to prevent others from reading their letters, or a less conspicuous one, such as the one that transforms reality into reality TV, our literature, art and culture seem to rely heavily on cyphers, secrets and the tension between the real and the false. At times, in Grand-Guignol, the boundaries between viewing a play and witnessing a violent act become blurred as the viewer unintentionally becomes a witness or even the perpetrator of violent acts represented (faked!) on a stage in order to seem real. Questions of (in)authenticity and the construction of personal or cultural identity also contribute to our sense of our life, our very existence being coded intentionally and unintentionally in a myriad of ways. ..

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Izdvojeno

During the sixty-year period of its existence, Grand-Guignol, the French theatre of horror, gained a status of a legendary theatre which dealt with horrors and terrors of human mind, successfully connecting faits divers (common, everyday facts) with the erotic and titillating scenes of violence on stage. The performance style, the writing, the special effects, and the directorship over the course of years, made this theatre a legendary place where blood flowed in streams and people fainted during performances, in this way making its indelible mark in horror genre today. In this paper, the author is trying to focus the attention on the theatre of Grand-Guignol as a form of violent entertainment and the way the representations of violence and horror enacted on its stage affected the audience, through Goldstein’s theory of the importance of visual imagery in different media today. Furthermore, through comparison of violent acts presented on the stage of the Grand-Guignol and the atmosphere they create in the viewer’s mind with some of the aspects of Artaud’s vision of his theatre of cruelty, the author attempts to show how this form of violent entertainment in the theatrical media influences the vision of that same violence within the audience, with the sense of security as the main idea in which the viewers feel safe to enjoy, envision and in a way become the participants in the performances enacted on the small stage of the Grand-Guignol. ...

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In after show interviews, reality television stars often cite the camera and producorial manipulation, like editing, when trying to explain away their conceivably indefensible behavior. And much academic criticism of reality shows hinges on these very same “negative” features of the format: technological mediation, truthiness, their “lack” of reality. However, given the pervasiveness of 21st Century digital communication technology, and our decades worth of exposure to the regulating gaze of CCTV cameras, this rhetorical position is increasingly losing merit, despite its continued deployment—at the start of 2013, A&E’s Storage Wars was met by denouncements of a similar flavor. This paper attempts to draw on technology’s current place in the cultural milieu to challenge, at the very least, the theoretical position that might find reality TV external to our lived reality. Some specific reality TV personalities, ones who have denounced or commented on their on-screen selves, are examined in order to open up a conversation worried less about the contrivance of reality TV and more about the contrivance of contemporary living. MTV’s Jersey Shore, Teen Mom, The Hills, and ABC’s The Bachelor are some of the televisual texts sampled for the content of this paper....

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Taking (in)authenticity as his subject and intertextuality as the structuring principle, Peter Carey brings together Australian literary and social history, literary theory and a self-reflexive probe into the issues of identity, authenticity and cultural insecurity of a postcolonial society. The novel is interpreted as an allegorical account of national history and an allegorical narrative on the theoretical matters of originality and authorship.Keywords: Carey, identity, (in)authenticity, intertextuality, text, postcolonialism. The most well-known Australian author today, Peter Carey, has more than once found inspiration for his novels in already existing texts of British and Australian cultures. The most notable examples are his sixth novel titled Jack Maggs, his seventh novel titled True History of the Kelly Gang and the one explored in this paper, his eighth novel titled My Life as a Fake. Carey’s Jack Maggs (1997) retells the story of Dickens’ Great Expectations and in a postcolonial fashion of re-writing imperial texts gives voice to the previously marginalised point of view so that the story is told from the perspective of the runaway convict, Magwitch. The Booker Prize winning True History of the Kelly Gang (2001) is inspired by the so-called “Jerilderie letter,” which was written by Australia’s most famous outlaw, Ned Kelly, after a bank robbery in 1879. The fifty-six page long original letter is expanded in Carey’s version into thirteen parcels which actually make up this epistolary novel. My Life as a Fake (2003) is a roman a clef based on the literary hoax which took place in Melbourne in 1944 and assumed an Ossianic significance in the Australian literary establishment. Wishing to explore the depths of degradation which, in their opinion, Australian modernist poetry had reached, two young disgruntled poets, Harold Stewart and James McAuley, conjured up a fictitious poet, Ern Malley, a mechanic and the author of The Darkening Ecliptic, a collection of about fifteen poems, whose verses were actually put together by Stewart and McAuley in a patchwork manner. They borrowed lines randomly from various books of poetry and military manuals at hand to assemble a manuscript which was “found” by Malley’s equally fictitious sister after Ern Malley’s untimely tragic death and sent to Max Harris, the editor of the literary magazine Angry Penguins. Unsuspecting Harris was immediately taken in and published the poems. However, the praise he expressed for Malley’s poetry in his admiring preface was shortly after matched by the disgrace he suffered after the hoax had been revealed, ruining his career and making him the butt of all jokes in Australian literary circles. Moreover, as some prudish readers found those poems to express unacceptable homoerotic content, Harris faced charges for publishing obscene materials. ...

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Otkako je u selu ostalo još samo jedanaest učenika i četiri učitelja, koji zajedno čine osnovnu školu, nastavnik tjelesnog odgoja predaje prirodu i društvo. Otada se na satovima prirode i društva uvježbava skok u dalj preko jedne vječito mokre pješčare i igra graničar, ljeti s loptama, zimi s grudama. U ovoj igri učenici se dijele na narode. Koga lopta pogodi, mora se povući iza linije paljbe jer je mrtav i gledati dok svi iz njegova naroda ne budu pogođeni, gledati dok, kako to selo zove, ne padnu. Nastavniku tjelesnog teško je podijeliti učenike. Zato nakon svakog sata zapisuje kojem je narodu koji pripadao. Tko je na prošlom satu bio Nijemac, na sljedećem mora biti Rus, a tko je na prošlom satu bio Rus, taj smije na sljedećem biti Nijemac. Događa se da nastavnik ne uspije nagovoriti dovoljan broj učenika da budu Rusi. Kad više ne zna kako dalje, samo kaže, Budite onda svi Nijemci. Idemo! Budući da u ovom slučaju učenici više ne shvaćaju za što bi se borili, dijele se na Sase i Švabe. ...

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