On Violence

Broj 2 - Godina 4 - 06/2014

Uvodnik

The eighth issue of [sic] – a Journal of Literature, Culture and Literary Translation is upon us, offering once again a myriad of texts, analyses, approaches and thoughts, all “hiding” behind a name borrowed from the Re-Thinking Humanities and Social Sciences conference. The conference was titled “On Violence”, and it presented a plethora of trans-disciplinary discursive multiverses, all focusing on the issue, the appeal and/or the abhorrence of violence. The current issue of our journal strongly reflects this ambivalent appeal as it tries to bring forth some of the issues problematized during the conference. ..

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Izdvojeno

In “The Order,” Matthew Barney transforms the Guggenheim Museum into a space reminding of a computer game or sports-arena. The protagonist struggles his way through different ‘levels’ and at the heart of the setting, he is confronted with the para-athlete Aimee Mullins, a cyborg embodying the Deleuzian notion of the ani/omalous. To complete his final task, the protagonist kills the creature. The question arises, why the ani/omalous has to be violently eliminated. In this respect, it is important to know that the DVD offers two viewing options: a film version structured according to a fixed narrative order and an interactive version where one can switch between the levels simultaneously. Thus, Barney’s film also raises the question of the aesthetic order at work and invites to consider how what is shown relates to the way in which it is shown.Keywords: Matthew Barney, becoming ani/omalous, Deleuze & Guattari, violence in artMatthew Barney’s hybrid monumental aesthetic work the Cremaster Cycle, consisting of film material, but also integrating drawings, sculpture, photography and performance elements can as such be considered as a multiplicity in Gilles Deleuze’s and Félix Guattari’s terms. In A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze and Guattari argue against Art (with a capital A) as a nominal concept and in favour of “the possibility of a simultaneous usage of the various arts within a determinable multiplicity” (331). That Barney’s work is indebted to Deleuze’s and Guattari’s philosophy seems unquestionable. What interests me in this paper is the relation between Deleuze’s and Guattari’s thinking and Barney’s own theoretical conceptions of art as well as how an example of Barney’s artistic work locates itself against the background of these frameworks. To do so, I want to concentrate on a so-called “choric interlude” in Cremaster 3 titled “The Order,” “which rehearses the initiation rites of the Masonic fraternity through allegorical representations of the five-part Cremaster cycle” (Barney 2004, par 5), and thus constitutes a microcosm of Barney’s film project (Spector 54). Comprising a self-contained narrative, the sequence is also available independently on DVD. In the context of the Cremaster Cycle, it is located almost at the very end – that Cremaster 3 is the last part of the five films already shows that a linear sequence, a conventional order of numbers is subverted. Rather than following the numerical order from 1 to 5, the Cremaster Cycle is organized rhizomatically, in the very words of Deleuze and Guattari generating “an acentered, non-hierarchical, non-signifying system without […] an organizing memory […] defined solely by a circulation of states” (23). ...

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In the last years, Serbia has witnessed coming into being of various media forms that all provide social, political and cultural criticism through acrid comedy, parody and satire. The paper centers on sarcasm as one of the key aggressive rhetorical devices used in the language of popular satirical portal Njuz.net, with an overview of the structural and functional characteristics of sarcasm in contemporary communication. The paper explores how language aggressiveness manages to create an affirmative context in which the domineering structures of the official discourse are undermined by marginalized alternative discourses, as well as how such content, disseminated mainly through social networks and blogs and charged with verbal aggression and intertextual allusiveness stemming from deeper political, historical and social issues, succeeds in providing a narrative of kinship among those who often see it as the last recourse to sanity.Keywords: sarcasm, violence, language, popular culture, Njuz.net ...

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Historian Mark Noll’s magisterial America’s God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln was an immediate sensation when it appeared in 2002. Jon Butler, the Howard R. Lamar Professor of American Studies, History, and Religious Studies at Yale University, declared “America’s God delineates the Americanization of an Old World Protestantism with a breadth, learning, and sophistication unmatched by any other historian.” Noll describes this process of “Americanization” as consisting of a “shift away from European theological traditions, descended directly from the Protestant Reformation, toward a Protestant evangelical theology decisively shaped by its engagement with Revolutionary and post-Revolutionary America.” And Noll concludes that this American “Protestant evangelicalism differed from the religion of the Protestant Reformation as much as sixteenth-century Reformation Protestantism differed from the Roman Catholic theology from which it emerged.”This paper will argue that, notwithstanding Noll’s considerable achievement, his identification of an “American” synthesis minimizes (although it never denies) the profound sectional variations of that synthesis. In doing so, Noll downplays the ways in which two competing social formations, grounded in fundamentally different systems of social relations, prevented the synthesis from fully uniting “Americans.” The different understandings of the synthesis, like the different understandings of its central texts – the Bible, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution – reflected the chasm that separated white Northerners and white Southerners and made both groups see themselves as the true defenders of “America’s God.” Noll’s work thus both enriches our understanding of the how most white Americans differed from their European contemporaries, and simultaneously demonstrates the fundamental divide within American national identity, a divide so pronounced that only a long and bloody war could settle the question of which of the two competing national projects was “God’s America.”...

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The texts before you were, in their shorter version, originally presented at the inaugural symposium of the Croatian Association for American Studies (Hrvatsko udruženje za američke studije), established in 2010 with the aim of bringing together researchers and academics in Croatian institutions of higher education that teach, research and are working towards their degrees in different fields comprising American Studies. The first and hopefully not the last symposium showcased a considerable number of Croatian Americanists, while hosting also a few guests from abroad, among them one of the keynote speakers, Professor Douglas Ambrose of Hamilton College, USA. The other plenary address was delivered by Professor Stipe Grgas of the University of Zagreb whose work has been a mainstay of American Studies in Croatia and beyond. While Ambrose, as a historian of the early America and the antebellum society, revisits the importance of religion for the fateful conflict between the North and the South, especially as it is presented by some more recent views, Grgas delves deep into the very core of the disciplinary rationale finding there an interesting, even if unselfconscious, occlusion and evasion pertaining to the role of capitalism and the capitalist economy in the installment and development of American Studies. Thus both scholars, each tackling a different aspect of America, show how older approaches are continuously reinvigorated by the influx of new ideas and new interdisciplinary interventions. This gives the feel of a discipline constantly on the move and in the mood of reshaping itself. In this section, the reshaping is done by means of two major socio-cultural phenomena of long duration, religion and capitalism....

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