Between the Acts

No. 1 - Year 7 - 12/2016

Editorial

The papers collected within this entr'acte issue use different perspectives and standpoints to explore what happens between the acts – regardless of whether these are acts of a play, acts of speech or some other kind of social intercourse, or – broadly speaking – various acts/actions/activities that pertain to fictional worlds. It could arguably be expected that between the acts there is nothing of significance – utter silence and empty rows of seats in a theatre hall – or some form of light entertainment at best. These spatiotemporal lacunae, vacancies left gaping for however short a time, still possess the power, as all the papers in this issue seem to indicate, to construct and project new meanings of their own, or at the very least create potential for re-interpreting the adjacent ideas and contents, as well as exploring the problems of context, causality and sequence. ..

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Featuring

Critics have widely explored John Fowles’ The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Graham Swift’s Waterland, and A. S. Byatt’s Possession. These novels are generally treated as outstanding historiographic metafictions since they self-consciously adopt the notion of history and simultaneously problematize historical understanding. For Hayden White, the historian is inevitably impositional and every narrativized history is relative. Following White, Linda Hutcheon defines postmodern historical fiction as the type of fiction that self-reflexively and paradoxically makes use of the notion of history and simultaneously denies its truthfulness. The present article attempts to analyze, compare, and contrast John Fowles’ The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Graham Swift’s Waterland and A. S. Byatt’s Possession: A Romance in light of the theories of White and Hutcheon to show that in spite of problematization of the possibility of recovering the past as it actually was, these novels treat the concept of history differently. ...

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This December it will be ninety years since Agatha Christie disappeared for eleven days and despite the fact that there are many biographical books about her life and work, nobody knows for sure what provoked her to vanish, sending shockwaves in British society in 1926. Whatever the cause may be, this disappearance has remained a mystery and inspired French authors Anne Martinetti and Guillaume Lebeau, along with the illustrator Alexandre Franc, to create a graphic novel: Agatha: The Real Life of Agatha Christie. Marinetti has also written a cookbook inspired by Agatha Christie, entitled Creams and Punishments, while together with Lebeau, she has co-authored the encyclopedia Agatha Christie from A to Z.Agatha: The Real Life of Agatha Christie was originally released in 2014 as a French-language Kindle edition and was first published in English in May, 2016 by the UK press SelfMadeHero, which specializes in graphic novels and manga adaptations of classic literature, like those of Shakespeare, Poe and Kafka. The story is told through 112 illustrated pages and concludes with a thorough timeline of key events in Agatha Christie’s life, as well as a complete bibliography. It is noticeable that novels and story collections featuring Hercule Poirot take up the greater part of her bibliography. The authors of this biography assume a similar approach in showing the significance of this fictional character in Christie's career (and life), representing Poirot throughout the text as her companion and advisor without using any graphic techniques to stress the fictionality of his character. The authors make strong attempts to convey the close relationship that Christie built with her most prominent character, one who always seems to appear in this biography during her moments of extreme loneliness, and one to whom Christie owed a great deal – as she admited herself when she decided to buy the Greenway House in December 1938 (Martinetti, Lebeau, and Franc 80). ...

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Not just another dictionary in the well-known Rowman & Littlefield “Historical Dictionaries” series – South American Cinema is a special kind of book for anyone delving into the broad field of national and regional cinema encompassed by the term South American. Author Peter H. Rist is a professor at Concordia University in Montreal and his PhD thesis dealt with the early films of John Ford. Rist is better known within film circles as the author of several papers on experimental Japanese cinema, so his solo venture into South American cinema is quite unexpected. It is even more surprising that he has produced a 701 page book of this stature on his own – definitely a huge task.What is quite different about this book is evident right from the title – South American – not Latin American, Hispano-American, or any other expected paradigm based on the language or the hyper-cultural context. Rist, as he notes in the preface, tried to envision a book bordered by the notion of the whole continent of South America. This rather unusual approach (where almost all other titles on the subject focus on Latin or Hispanic) broadens the horizon with an exotic array that includes Surinamese, French Guianese, and Guyanese cinema. Rarely are these nations even noted in serious books, so entries with their names, brief as they are, make a difference. This is also discussion on the cinema of small Hispanic nations such as Ecuador and Paraguay. On another level, the South American context includes French, English and Dutch language cinema alongside prevailing Spanish and Portuguese, albeit the output of these films is negligible in comparison with the bigger and traditionally more important films of Brazil or Argentina. ...

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Između ponoći i jednog sata oživi sve ono za što glupi ljudi vjeruju da oživjeti ne može. Ali zaista, mnogobrojne stvari koje inače samo ukočeno i mirno leže, kao da ne mogu reći ni „dobar dan“, sve one u to vrijeme ožive. I ne brinu mnogo o tome vjeruju li glupi ljudi u to ili ne. Tako i u tom starom gradiću oživje sve kada sat sa zvonika crkve Presvete Djevice Marije s dvanaest muklih, teških udaraca otkuca ponoć. Kamenje na pločniku počelo je razgovarati s vlatima trave koja je među njim rasla i pitalo je koliko još misli ostati. Zabati i erkeri kuća u uskim zamršenim uličicama kimali su jedni drugima, a ulične svjetiljke žalile su se na vjetar; prehladile su se jer on tako bezobzirno mijenja smjer.Također oživje sve i u starom vinskom podrumu staroga gradića. Mnogobrojne bačve koje stajahu jedne pokraj drugih, velike i male, zijevnuše i protegnuše se i ispružiše se, a kad bi jedna drugu pritom gurnula, rekla bi: „Oh, tisuću puta oprostite!“ Jer bačve su vrlo pristojne i znaju se lijepo ponašati. Tada bi sve uspravno stale na svoje debele nožice – naime, bačve imaju nožice, ako glupi ljudi ne znaju ni to – i sve bi se klanjale jedne drugima i kimale si i pozdravljale se na sve stane....

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