Coded Realities

No. 1 - Year 4 - 12/2013

Editorial

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. ..

Continue reading →
Featuring

Idemo do plaže spasiti ptiće da se ne udave. Obučem traperice i debelu vestu preko pidžame. Dok piškim u hladnoj kupaonici, mokraća mi isparava. Tata svojim koracima prodrma i razbudi cijelu kuću. Idemo, kaže s prstom u uhu. Kad izađemo van, lice mi se stisne od hladnoće. Jučer sam izgubio rukavicu, tako da golu ruku trpam duboko u džep, zajedno sa šmrkavim maramicama i fosilima. Na vrhu litice izraslo je novo cvijeće. Tata ga očeše potplatom čizme. Nisam siguran zašto to radi, ali čini se da je zadovoljan.Na pjeskovitoj nizbrdici nema drugih tragova osim naših. Jednom sam ovdje pao, davno, porezao lice na travu, koja u čupercima raste poput zakopanih jastučića za pribadače. Imam blijedosrebrni ožiljak na licu. U obliku ptičjeg stopala. Tata juri dugim korakom, a ja se izmičem pijesku koji zabacuje iza sebe dok trči. Već je ugledao ptića morske laste na plaži pri dnu litice. Isprva, riba koja mu je zapela u grlu izgleda kao dugi jezik. Ptić baca glavu u stranu, onda ponire naprijed, gušeći se. Par koraka naprijed, zatetura pod težinom ribe pa se uspravi....

Continue reading →

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. ...

Continue reading →

Alan Bennett’s play The History Boys provides different perspectives of the educational system, which are reflected in different teaching techniques used by the fictional teachers. The play reflects the clash between two ways of producing legitimacy for education – the modern that relies on grand narratives, and the postmodern that relies on performativity and profitability. The issues raised by Bennett concern the changes in the educational system triggered by reforms introduced in the 1980s that were perceived as a gradual commodification of education. Changes in educational policy governed by neoliberal logic continue to have great impact on contemporary education with the introduction of the Bologna process. The only female teacher in Bennett’s play Mrs Lintott, offers a feminist critique of the system of education as well.Keywords: Alan Bennett, The History Boys, neoliberalism, education, commodificationSet during the rule of Margaret Thatcher in England, Alan Bennett’s play The History Boys reflects the changes in educational policy and strategies at that period (Jacobi, 76), and raises many issues about the nature of education and knowledge that remain important even today. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate two ways of producing legitimacy for knowledge that can be detected in Bennett’s work: the modern that relies on grand narratives and the postmodern that uses performativity as the crucial criterion of legitimacy. In the play, the clash of the two ways of producing legitimacy is represented as the clash of teaching methods employed by different teachers and is most evident in opposing ideas about knowledge espoused by the teacher of general studies Hector and the history teacher Irwin. New ways of producing legitimacy need to be analyzed in the context of the changes in social and political reality that started in the 1980s and continue to have great impact on contemporary education with the introduction of the Bologna process. Irwin’s teaching ethics and his approach to history go hand in hand with the changing perspectives on education supported by the school headmaster who embraces educational reforms that seek to adapt systems of education to the new economic climate governed by neoliberal logic that subjects all aspects of life to demands of the market. In addition, the history teacher Mrs Lintott, whose teaching method is not suitable for the new political and economic context either, offers a critique of the educational system from a feminist perspective....

Continue reading →

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. ...

Continue reading →