Utopia and Political Theology

No. 2 - Year 5 - 06/2015

University of Zadar | ISSN 1847-7755 | SIC.JOURNAL.CONTACT@GMAIL.COM


Although utopias of different kinds have always stirred people’s imagination, it seems that the twentieth century rise of political theology brought about a particularly intense proliferation of utopian narratives. On the other hand, catastrophic failures such as that of the communist project gave rise to various subsequent reconsiderations of the utopian dream, dystopian nightmare and the thin line dividing the two. ...

Literature and Culture
Matthew Smith, University of Alabama, USA:

King Lear as a product of evolutionary progressions is logical because the play is framed around two ideas of society and generation in direct confrontation. The sociopolitical ramifications of King Lear are clarified when viewed as an evolutionary progression because societal causality is mirrored in nature. The connection between Lear’s madness and nature’s role in determining societal evolution is demonstrated in the evolutionary notion that “everybody is what he typically is because his progenitors were what they were . . . [i]n the molecular structure of the minute germ of him,” (Maudsley 4) and that and social events are connected with the mechanistic march of nature. When Lear bellows “Crack nature’s molds, all germens spill at once,” (3.2.8) he is requesting the impossible, that the laws of causation be terminated and evolution be put on hold.Keywords: Evolutionary Criticism, reason, philosophy, Shakespeare, King Lear, consilience, evolution, mechanism, madness, nature

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.5.lc.1
Literature and Culture
Maja Ćuk, Alfa BK University, Serbia:

The aim of this paper is to show how Atwood’s reformulations of myths contain hidden political messages from ancient and modern history and can be interpreted from Fredric Jameson’s views on ‘symbolic acts,’ discourse and the ideology of form. Several scholars have explored the symbolic relationship between the three major protagonists in The Robber Bride and fragments of the omnipotent image of the Neolithic deity the White Goddess. As the symbolic counterparts of Diana, Venus and Hecate in the novel, Tony, Roz and Charis demonstrate how women’s integrity has been crippled and how the restoration of female principle is just a utopian idea. However, our analysis has revealed that the younger generation of “goddesses” does not bring hope to the female gender in either the present or the future. Augusta, Paula and Erin symbolize oversimplified and parodied versions of the destructive Hecate in an unpromising world and “the not-good place” that resembles a dystopia. Keywords: Margaret Atw...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.5.lc.4
Literature and Culture
Jack Reilly, University College London, United Kingdom:

In attempting to represent political transformations, we often encounter a moment that seems to resist narrativisation, a moment of obstinate inconsistency which various theoretical, historical and fictional accounts cannot properly absorb except by way of indicating the parameters of a rupture. Here, I present a position which views these unrepresentable moments as structurally necessary features of revolutionary events. It is not simply that, at such historical junctures, we are faced with an abundance of information and that the unrepresentability or narrative deficit is the consequence of this surplus; on the contrary, the founding act that accompanies any radical transformation necessarily involves a certain temporal contraction. To the extent that narrative relies on a linear chronology, it fails to capture this moment of contraction. Indeed, this is why works of political philosophy associated with a founding contract (for example Hobbes’s Leviathan and Rousseau’s Social Contrac...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.5.lc.2
Literary Translation
Zoran Ferić and Tomislav Kuzmanović:

1.At first the island is just a sign on a yellow board with a drawing of a vessel and the letters saying “Car Ferry,” then it is a grayish silhouette in the blue of the sea, and then, later still, an acquaintance working on the ferry, who just nods briefly in greeting. Jablanac, ferry port, its pleasant lobby, and then, from the upper deck, a giant rock approaching. That is the object of a year-long desire: the moment of stepping off the boat and smelling the rosemary, diesel and sheep droppings, seeing the sharp rocks looking at the Strait of Senj, coarse limestone in sharp opposition to the signs that say: Benvenuti, Welcome, Willkommen!At home, on the terrace, in the shade of the oleander, there’s no wish to eat. Only swimming trunks are put on and then, barefoot, without a towel or sun-tanning lotion, off to the beach.“Why won’t you eat something?” grandma asks.She knows that there’s an exciting world waiting out there, but she knows nothing of the details. All friends went on a bo...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.5.lt.6
Literature and Culture
Camelia Raghinaru, Concordia University, Irvine, USA:

This essay starts from the premise that André Breton’s First Manifesto of Surrealism constitutes the ‘event’ of that movement (i.e., ‘event’ as defined in Alain Badiou’s Ethics), an event subsequently betrayed by its subject, André Breton, in his encounter with Nadja. Situated between rupture and repetition, the opportunity of the event returns in the Second Manifesto of Surrealism. Taking as its target Breton’s novel Nadja, the essay addresses the issue of event as repetition and explores the ramifications of the ‘failure’ to ‘imagine’ one’s continued fidelity to the event. Consequently, this article reads Nadja as a ‘failure’: the failure posed by representation itself, but also the failure of representation to completely annihilate the promise of a “beyond” encrypted in the project of surrealist imagination. Thus, I would like to play off the idea of failure in two complementary ways. First, I look at the ‘failure’ that is more significant than any achievement. Second, I address the...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.5.lc.3
Literature and Culture
Dunja Opatić, University of Zagreb, Croatia:

Preokupacija gotičkog žanra uvijek je bila liminalnost, kako prostora dodira između civilizacije i divljine tako i likova koji titraju između definiranih fizičkih i društvenih okvira. I sam je žanr obilježen svojom liminalnosti u odnosu na "visoku" književnost, književna ga je kritika marginalizirala smatrajući ga formulaičnim i trivijalnim izrazom "nižega" književnog oblika. U bilo kakvu ozbiljnijem prikazu razvojnog procesa američke književne produkcije zauzimanje takve devalorizirajuće pozicije spram žanra koji je uvelike utjecao na formiranje američke književnosti te čiji elementi prožimaju djela kanoniziranih američkih pisaca može se u najmanju ruku smatrati velikim propustom. Knjiga Marka Lukića U sjeni američkog sna: od C. B. Browna do Stephena Kinga upisuje u taj konradovski prazan prostor na hrvatskoj "karti" književne teorije pregled razvojnih etapa gotičkog žanra od trenutka njegova "preseljenja" na novi kontinent. S obzirom na autorov dosadašnji opus, koji obuhvaća teme suv...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.5.lc.7