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

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 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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Irony and satire, two complex phenomena, find their respective places in the dramatic works of Max Frisch (1911–1991), a Swiss playwright and novelist and have gone through many changes gaining on different meanings, depending on the socio-cultural context, dominant literary and philosophical theories of a certain period of time in which they were analyzed and recognized as such. The aim of this paper is to show that Max Frisch, a 20th century intellectual who witnessed the major political, cultural and social changes of the second half of the 20th century in Europe and worldwide, uses irony and satire for coping with the reality and challenges of the time he lived in. Keywords: Max Frisch, dramatic work, irony, satire, 20th centuryNeutralna pozicija koju je Švicarska imala za vrijeme Drugoga svjetskog rata, a zbog koje je ostala pošteđena ratnih zbivanja te otvorenost klasičnim, ali i suvremenim europskim i svjetskim književnim te kazališnim utjecajima, stvorili su pozitivno ozračje za dobru, aktualnu i suvremenu švicarsku dramsku književnost na njemačkom jeziku nakon 1945. godine čiji predstavnik postaje jedan od najvećih švicarskih književnika, Max Frisch (1911–1991). U svojoj dugogodišnjoj književnoj karijeri Frisch je bio iznimno aktivan kao prozaist, napisavši pet romana, pet pripovijesti te četiri dnevnika, ali i kao dramatičar, ostavivši bogat dramski opus koji broji jedanaest dramskih ostvarenja napisanih između 1945. i 1978. godine. Upravo će Frischove drame biti predmetom ovoga rada, odnosno naglasak će biti na onima koje su se analizom pokazale najreprezentativnijima u cilju dokazivanja postojanja ironije i satire u istima kao mehanizmima suočavanja s izazovima koje je pred čovjeka-intelektualca stavilo 20. stoljeće, ali i kao sredstvima putem kojih Frisch progovara, kritizira i prokazuje besmisao jednog vremena kojemu je i sâm pripadao. ...

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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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