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

Everyone knows that each thing has many different ways of being looked at. If you say something is beautiful or ugly, these are just different ways of looking at the thing. Looked at differently, you can say it is true or false; or, to view it still differently, you can say it is good or evil. It’s still the same fact, viewed in different ways, so we say the phenomenon viewed has several different viewpoints. For example, that old pine tree in the garden, whether viewed by you or me or anyone, will still be an old pine tree. Yet you see it from a positive perspective and I see it from a negative one. Your viewpoint is that of a young person, mine is that of a middle-aged person. These differences in mood and personality influence the way we see the old pine tree itself. Although the tree is a fact, the way you see it and the way I see it are two different things. If you and I both take our impressions of the tree and try to paint them or compose a poem about them, even though our respective skills may be the same, your painting or poem will have many important differences from mine. What is the reason for this? It is simply that consciousness is not totally objective and which forms one sees has many different subjective aspects....

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Timely, provocative, and theoretically sophisticated, the essays comprising In the Face of Crises: Anglophone Literature in the Postmodern World situate their work amid several critical global concerns: the devastation wreaked by global capitalism following the worldwide financial crash, the financial sector’s totalizing grip upon the world economy, the challenge to traditional definitions of “human nature” and identity posed by technologies of the body and of warfare, the quest of indigenous communities for healing from the continuing traumatic effects of colonization, and the increasing corporatization of the academy as an apparatus of the neo-liberal state – to specify only a few. Edited by Professors Ljubica Matek and Jasna Poljak Rehlicki, these essays deploy a broad range of contemporary theories, representing recent developments in cultural studies, the new economic criticism, postcolonial film studies, feminism and gender studies, and the new historicism. The eleven essays selected by Matek and Rehlicki offer convincing support for their claim that humanistic research delving into Anglophone literature, far from being a “non-profitable” pursuit in an increasingly technologized society, affords clarifying insights into contemporary “economic, cultural, and social processes in the globalizing and globalized culture of the West” (ix). ...

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Ivana Sajko is a young Croatian author (1975) whose theatre work is ascribed by contemporary anthologists to the so-called new Croatian drama (Rafolt 9). Leo Rafolt observes that, if such a notion can be recognized at all, its main features would include the authors’ experimental and destructive attitude towards conventional modes, as well as an increasing thematic occurrence of violence in written texts and on stage (9), thus making the new Croatian drama similar to the in-yer-face dramaturgy. The paper provides an overview of ideas which seem to prevail throughout Ivana Sajko’s theoretical and dramatic work, some of which represent an original and very personal approach to theatre and playwriting. In addition to this, the analysis of Sajko’s trilogy Archetype: Medea, Bomb-Woman, Europe in this paper will show Sajko’s perception and understanding of madness, revolution and limits of art, more precisely, writing through the female characters in these three monodramas....

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In his dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange (1962), Anthony Burgess focuses on the phenomenon of adolescent violence in order to investigate the nature of the relationship between the individual and the societal body as a whole. While doing so, Burgess depicts the society of A Clockwork Orange precisely as he sees the modern society – as striving to achieve a predictable functioning of the societal life. In order to achieve the set goal, the society will resort to any means necessary, including a systematic disciplining of the individuals, who are in return expected to accept whichever the role the authority instances have intended for them. The individual who refuses to do so is labelled as “abnormal”, as Michael Foucault would say, and is to be corrected and shaped into an exemplar citizen.Foucault’s insights into the subject matter prove to be valuable for offering a possible interpretation of the issues at stake in Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange. Foucault’s reflections on the terms of power and discourse in their mutual correlation, and the role that they play in the process of an individual’s identity construction can serve to reinforce Burgess’ pessimistic outlook on the modern society as being fundamentally disciplinary and as aspiring to achieve societal obedience at the cost of individual freedom....

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