Literary Refractions

Broj 1 - Godina 5 - 12/2014

Uvodnik

As a ray of light, sound, or heat changes direction in passing obliquely from one medium into another changing thus its wave velocity, so changes a literary text with every new reading as the reader adds a new layer of meaning to it or, depending on your perspective, peels off the intricate fabric of words that the writer wove around the text's hidden meaning(s) to access its richness. The ninth issue of [sic] brings you a selection of papers in Croatian and English language that represent the result of such refractions. They discuss matters of literary subversion by means of comic effects, irony, satire, and anti-poetics, or social subversion by revealing modern society as being fundamentally disciplinary and averse to individual freedom. Interpreting texts written by Shakespeare and Levinas to those by Joshua Ferris, our authors cover a vast period of literary creativity only to show that what always and forever tickles the imagination of writers is the human condition. To write about the dreams and the human mind, or direct films that question the authenticity of life, means to employ different motifs and stories with the aim to return to ourselves and our daily existence refracted first by the creative genius of writers and then again by the curiosity of scholars. ..

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Izdvojeno

Ova malo poznata Aristenetova zbirka sastoji se od 50 pisama erotske tematike, podijeljenih u dvije knjige: prva sadrži njih 28, a druga 22, s tim da je posljednje nepotpuno. Korespondenti su navedeni imenom i riječ je većinom o fiktivnim likovima, ali pojavljuju se i poznate osobe, poput pisaca (Alkifron, Elijan, Lukijan) ili slavnih hetera. Uz tituluse (preskripte) koji navode korespondente pojavili su se s vremenom i svojevrsni naslovi koji sažimaju fabulu pisma koje slijedi. Prijevod je načinjen prema izdanju Mazal, O. (1971): Aristaeneti epistularum libri II, Stutgardiae, in aedibus B. G. Teubneri. Prijevod cjelovite zbirke na hrvatski jezik još ne postoji; tri je pisma preveo D. Novaković i objavljena su u časopisu Latina et Graeca, 20 (1982).U predgrađu se odvijala općenarodna svetkovina s obilnom gozbom, pa je Haridem sazvao prijatelje k sebi na slavlje. Bila je tamo i neka žena (ne trebam je imenovati) koju je sâm Haridem (znaš kako je mladić zaljubljive naravi) upecao; ugledao ju je dok je šetala trgom i nagovorio je da nam se pridruži na objedu. Svi su se gosti već bili okupili kad je naš vrli domaćin ušao s nekim starcem koji je očito bio pozvan kao i mi. ...

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This paper explores the comic devices in "The Overcoat" by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol in accordance with Boris Eichenbaum’s analysis and his claim that skaz (a type of first-person narrative based on verbal play) has the main role in the structure of Gogol’s short story. The thesis of the paper is that skaz is the basis of humour in the short story and that the semantic aspects of the work are realized by means of the possibilities contained in language itself, which is illustrated through a number of examples. At the same time, the interconnection between certain stylistic devices is brought to attention. By emphasizing the expressive features of words and mimicking the style of conversational speech, the features of both prose and poetry are brought together in Gogol’s work. Therefore, the comic devices in this paper are grouped according to the types of figures of speech which reflect the characteristics of prose and poetry respectively. In addition to that, the reader also has a significant role in creating the illusion of conversational speech and Gogol encourages them to participate actively. The paper concludes that the artistic value and the significance of "The Overcoat" to a greater extent stem from Gogol’s mastery of language use, rather than his intention to create "an illusion of reality" in the fictional world of "The Overcoat"....

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In his seminal Existence and Existents, Emmanuel Levinas linked the impersonal event of the il y a, the “there is” of inert, factical existence, to a condition of insomnia. His analysis of insomnia holds a unique place in his oeuvre where a thorough ambivalence toward 'being' manifests itself: to be-for-the-Other (before the self, or before all neglected Others) is the highest moment of existential and ethical transcendence, though to be 'awake' in order to encounter the Other is also to be pulled in a diametrically opposed direction, toward the factical and purely immanent experience of the world and of my own existence. In this essay I will read Shakespeare's Henry IV (Parts I and II) with an eye toward reading the relationship(s) between sleep, insomnia, and ethics anew. I will develop a Levinasian reading of Shakespeare: sleep as a transcendence of the factical, everyday situation is at the same time a passage toward the ethical situation.Keywords: Levinas, Shakespeare, ethics, insomnia...

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In this paper I look at the sci-fi film Blade Runner and the ways in which it tackles the question of defining the human and posthuman. The film examines the ability of technology to change our understanding of what is specifically “human” and raises some important bioethical, biopolitical, and epistemological issues pertaining to the accelerating development of technology and its imbrication in the medico-juridical system. I argue that “humanness” in the film is defined through the conceptual and spatial exclusion of replicants, who are not deemed worthy of ethical consideration and are thus not seen as subjects in the proper sense. However, the film ultimately subverts this distinction by showing not only that the other is produced in order to define the self, but also that the self qua human is not as authentic as one might think.Keywords: posthumanism, film, subjectivity, performativity, authenticity

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