Literary Refractions

No. 1 - Year 5 - 12/2014

Editorial

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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Featuring

Padam unatrag u vrisak. Oštrice kosilice zazuje zrakom jedanput, dvaput, zariju se u meso, mišići se kidaju, kost puca i raskoli se, nebo se zabijeli. Motor reži, oštri čelični zubi deru tetive, paraju kuglice masti i glođu tkivo. Krv, meso, trava i zemlja u luku se dižu u beskrajno izbijeljeno zrakoprazno ništavilo. Sunovrati nečujno kimnu. Uz škripu metala, motor zabrunda, a zatim se zaustavi. Tišina.Povratak u zatvor.Prozorčići na vratima ćelija čvrsto se stisnu. Nevoljko se otvaraju, naglo, svaki na svojim vratima, kako bi oko pogledalo unutra, potom četiri koraka do sljedeće ćelije, klik, pogled, zatvoreno. Moja je ćelija broj 736a. Ležim na krevetu na kat i čitam članak o bolnici u Zimbabweu koja se zove Impilo, što na jeziku ndebele znači život. Tata moje Ame je iz Zimbabwea. Ali nije važno, ionako ga nikad nije upoznala.„Amadika“, rekla je kad smo se upoznale, nudeći mi svoje ime poput slatkiša umotanog u škotski naglasak. Amadika znači voljena. Opet se usredotočim na članak. Bolničko osoblje pali amputirane udove na lomačama. Šesnaest se tijela već u potpunosti raspalo, još šezdeset je u naprednim stadijima raspadanja. Generator više ne radi. Čitam svaku riječ. Ne usudim se ovdje predugo razmišljati o Ami. Izdržala sam deset godina bez nje u svom krevetu. Sada znam kako ubiti vrijeme. Znam kako ne poludjeti. No i dalje umirem, malo po malo, i ona je jedina koja će me spasiti. Jedina osoba zbog koje sam nešto osjetila, moja Ama, moja Amadika. Moja cimerica hrče na krevetu ispod mene. Sutra prvi put izlazim van bez pratnje, to je nagrada za dobro vladanje. Lijepo sam se ponašala cijelo jedno desetljeće. Vjeruju mi da ću se vratiti. Prozorčić na vratima naglo se otvori, oko pogleda i prozorčić se naglo zatvori. Moja je cimerica visokorizična, stigla je iz ćelije u kojoj je sedam žena počinilo samoubojstvo pa nas osoblje provjerava svakih dvadeset minuta. Zabrinuti su da neće izdržati pa su je stavili k meni. Ja sam stabilizirajući utjecaj. Slušač. Mentor. Uzoran zatvorenik. Lagano prdne na krevetu ispod mene. Njezina se djeca smješe sa stare fotografije. Svih troje sad je pod socijalnom skrbi, jedno je u domu u kojem sam i ja bila. ...

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Mental disorders have become the topic of numerous contemporary American novels. Attesting to the ongoing fascination with the workings and the sciences of the human mind, many of these texts turn to neuroscientific questions. This paper offers a close reading of one of these ‘neuronarratives’ – Joshua Ferris’s acclaimed 2010 novel The Unnamed, a story in which the protagonist is afflicted with an utterly mysterious condition that disrupts his sense of self as his mind appears to be separated from his body. In this paper, I aim to show how such a dualist conception problematizes not only the concepts of self and agency as the unnamed disease is linked to contemporary lifestyles in corporate America, but also helps to craft a counternarrative that challenges recent materialist conceptions and neuroscientific theories. Keywords: illness narrative, mental illness in fiction, (in)coherence, neuronarrative, body, mind, Philosophy of Mind, dualism...

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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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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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