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

Na ovim je sjevernim zemljopisnim širinama temperatura od 17 stupnjeva ispod ništice bila pravo ljeto. To je najhladnije nastanjeno mjesto na zemlji. Pričalo se da se jedan starac na trenutak zaustavio jednog popodneva i krv mu se sledila u žilama. Stoga su Eveni, nomadski narod, s razlogom nastavljali svoj put, uostalom, samo su držali korak sa životinjama. Njihov bog Hovki stvorio je sve oko njih, iako su pojedinosti o tome kako je to činio pomalo nejasne. Ipak je to bilo jako davno, no oni znaju da pripadaju svemu ovome, svemu oko sebe i prirodi, kao da im je rođak. Njihova riječ za medvjeda ista je kao ona za djeda. I dovoljno dugo su tu da bi znali da starješine lete prema suncu na leđima sobova. Životinje su se teškim korakom kretale po mahovini, a njen je paperjasti prekrivač upijao svaki zvuk. Kroz nepregledni gustiš breza tanke zrake sunca, poput bambusovih stabljika, pokazivale su smjer, a tajga se činila kao da joj nema kraja. Goniči sobova zgrbili su se od hladnoće, a krhki se led hvatao za slojeve sirove kože i krzna koji su ih poput kukuljica branili od zraka na kojem se sve smrzavalo kao u tekućem dušiku. A tempom od pet milja na dan uz životinje probijao se i Boz koji je na ove ledene sibirske temperature došao kako bi pobjegao od žene. ...

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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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Mamica se opet bavila svojim brkovima, jak miris voska, kovrče pare iznad lonca. Bila je grozno opsjednuta uklanjanjem dlaka; ovo joj je bilo drugi put u tjedan dana. Pribor razbacan po pultu u prednjem dijelu kafea, ljepljive posudice voska među prašnjavim staklenkama za slatkiše, drveni štapići vire iz posude za žličice za kavu. "Uz malo sreće, ti ovo nećeš morati raditi", rekla je nanoseći zlaćanu smjesu iznad gornje usnice. Pogledala se u zrcalu na reklami Coca-Cole koja je visjela na zidu s brodskim podom i pritisnula komad gaze na usta dok se tekućina ne stvrdne. "Vidi me, ja sam Sicilijanka. Prekrivena dlakama koje ne želim, kao Turkinje, kao Grkinje. Ali ti si Irkinja, Majella, i bjelja od toga ne možeš biti. 'Trebaju ti samo dvije generacije da se asimiliraš.' To mi je rekao tvoj stari nono kad si se rodila. 'Sad si Irkinja, Bonfilia. I imaš irsku bambinu kao dokaz.'" Uprla je štapićem u mene. "Ali nisam postala plavuša zbog tebe, je l' da?" Moj je nono sjedio u stražnjem dijelu prostorije, u separeu uz prozor. Ustajao je u četiri svakog jutra, dolazio u gaćama i naopako okrenutom vunenom džemperu i sjedio u kafeu. Nije se micao do osam uvečer, jeo je mliječne kekse i smrdio na pišalinu, kako obično mirišu devedesetogodišnjaci. Ponekad si je umišljao stvari; vikao na ljude kojih nema, bijesno mahao rukama. Mamica je rekla da ponovno proživljava dane u talijanskoj mornarici kada se borio u Španjolskom građanskom ratu. Uopće nije obraćao pažnju na nas jer se u njegovoj šašavoj glavi još nismo ni rodile. Ni mi nismo previše obraćale pažnju na njega, pa zato nismo ni primijetile da je prošli tjedan imao drugi moždani udar. ...

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During the period of their correspondance, the brothers Mihovil and Antun Vrančić would occasionaly write messages in code: Antun in a letter written while on a diplomatic mission in Paris in 1546, and Mihovil in four letters written in Šibenik some twelve years later. While conducting the necessary research required for our investigation, we discovered that one letter had, until now, remained unknown. We succeeded in deciphering Mihovil's system of signs by comparing the frequency of signs in the coded parts of the text with the frequency of signs in those parts of his letter composed in Latin script. The majority of the signs are derived from the Latin script and only their quality has beeen changed. It seems that this was influenced by the Polygraphia, a work by the then contemporary cryptographer Iohannes Trithemius. In addition, a certain number of Arabic signs as well as signs from other scripts have been included.Most of the hidden content deals with investments in real estate and other buisiness ventures, thus the purpose of this secret system of writing was evidently to prevent the competition from gaining a possible advantage over Antun and Mihovil. At the time, after a four-year diplomamtic embassy position in Turkey, Antun had been awarded by the Emperor Ferdinand and his income had increased significantly. The need for caution and discretion is evident in two messages in which we find Mihovil warning his brother to be wary of two other brothers who have a dubious moral reputation....

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