Borders and Crossings

No. 2 - Year 10 - 04/2020

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

Editorial

This special issue contains selected papers presented during the Borders and Crossings International and Multidisciplinary Conference on Travel Writing in Pula and on the Brijuni Islands in September 2018 (https://www.unipu.hr/borders2018). The event, organized by the Juraj Dobrila University of Pula, marked a special occasion: the 20th anniversary of the “Borders and Crossings” conference was celebrated, and the conference itself was an opportunity for all scholars interested in the issues of travel, travel writing, and tourism to meet in the unique historical environment of Pula and the Brijuni Islands National Park. The 120 papers presented at the conference by scholars and researchers from universities, institutes, research centers, and libraries from around the globe included a wide variety of topics related to transnational mobility, literature, culture, and literary translation in a historical and global perspective. ...

Literature and Culture
Petra Žagar-Šoštarić and Natalia Kaloh Vid:

The White Guard, an epic narrative on the Russian Civil War, is also an urban novel based on the author’s personal experiences in Kiev during the tumultuous years of the Revolution and Civil War. Following the traditions established by F. Dostojevsky and I. Bunin, Bulgakov introduces the City, Kiev, not only as the setting of the novel, but as one of the main protagonists – one that changes, develops and takes part in the lives of the other protagonists. The city is thus transformed into a psychological dimension where the violence of war and the mental world of the characters are reflected onto the city itself. As intertextuality is one of the main characteristics of Bulgakov’s style, he employs numerous allusions to the Book of Revelation when describing the events in the novel and when constructing the image of the city. Following his typical ambivalence, Bulgakov depicts Kiev as a place of beauty, light, and happiness, similar to the New Jerusalem from the Revelation, and as a plac...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.10.lc.3
Literature and Culture
Agnieszka Kaczmarek, University of Applied Sciences in Nysa, Poland:

The article aims to compare and contrast two autobiographical stories, Wanda Rutkiewicz's Na jednej linie [On One Rope] (1986), co-authored with Ewa Matuszewska, and Arlene Blum's Breaking Trail, published in 2005. Unfolding the experiences of the female mountaineers from two different cultural backgrounds, it analyzes how their mutual encounters are narrated by Blum, the American icon of climbing, and by Rutkiewicz, the first Polish high-altitude mountaineer to scale Mount Everest. The article also examines the personal narratives by applying to the text analysis Edward Hall's division into high-context and low-context cultures and Geert Hofstede's cultural individualism-collectivism dimension.Keywords: autobiography, Blum, Hall, Hofstede, mountain, RutkiewiczA computer engineer by profession, Wanda Rutkiewicz (1943–1992) made history when she became the first Polish high-altitude mountaineer and the first European woman to scale Mount Everest. Thus, it is not surprising that upon her...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.10.lc.8
Literature and Culture
Tim Hannigan, Athlone Institute of Technology, Ireland:

Scholarship of travel writing has seldom paid proper attention to questions of how and why readers engage with the genre – an oversight which, as Robin Jarvis (2016) has noted, at times leads to negative generalizations about travel writing’s presumed audience. This article examines this issue, and considers ways of recovering actual reader responses – through surveys of online reviews, and qualitative interviews. The article outlines findings from a structured group discussion with six regular readers of travel writing. Particular attention is paid to the way these readers respond to the possible inclusion of fictional elements in notionally non-fictional travel books, with the discussion revealing a broad conservatism on this point, and a general rejection of fictionalisation as a travel writing practice. This finding is contrasted with ideas voiced during the author’s interviews with notable travel writing practitioners, revealing a significant tension between the production and rec...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.10.lc.9
Literature and Culture
Mirna Šolić, University of Glasgow, UK:

In this paper, I examine representations of Croatian identity in contemporary Croatian film through their links with the theme of travel. In particular, I look at practices of displacement as a specific element of travel writing, which “emerge as constitutive of cultural meanings rather than as their simple transfer of extension (Clifford 3; emphasis in the original). I argue that, following the emergence of physical borders after the break-up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, Croatianness may be defined through the encounters with different types of travelers within the “complex and pervasive spectrum of human experiences” (Clifford 3). Their presence highlights not only “the discovery of places but also … their creation” (Bishop 143), demonstrates that the imaginative geography of the country becomes “less a matter of physical geography than a qualitative assessment” (Bracewell and Drace-Francis 343), and turns its territory into a field for articulation of “different imaginative practices...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.10.lc.5
Literature and Culture
Ellen Patat, University of Milan/University of Insubria/SSML “P.M. Loria” Milano, Italy:

In the first half of the 20th century, the Sicilian Princess Topazia Alliata di Salaparuta kept a diary (1938–1941) of her voyage and stay in Japan with her husband, Fosco Maraini, and her three daughters. This journal intime was then passed on to her eldest daughter, Dacia Maraini, the renowned Italian writer, who created a multilayered narrative account entitled La Nave per Kobe: Diari giapponesi di mia madre (The Ship to Kobe: My Mother’s Japanese Diaries), which was published in 2001. The female-voiced factual text explores, through two sets of eyes and two people’s experiences, the transcontinental contacts from several perspectives. From the physical voyage on board of the Italian ocean liner Conte Verde to their very first days and daily life in Japan – first in Hokkaido and then in Kyoto, before the family’s deportation to a concentration camp in Nagoya – Maraini focuses on the subtle plots of interpersonal dynamics, enriching the account with her own childhood memories and her...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.10.lc.7
Literature and Culture
Igor Grbić, Juraj Dobrila University of Pula, Croatia:

Invisible Cities, Calvino's novel, or rather antinovel, is about very many things. It is actually one of the few literary attempts that have managed to palpably approach the realization of Mallarmé's ideal Book, into which the entire world would collapse. Consequently, it has attracted all kinds of interpretation, including sociological, urbanist, even political. Such practices have contributed to bypassing what Invisible Cities is in the first place: a linguistic artifact. Once appreciated as such, the (anti)novel starts opening up as language on language, and as literature on literature, which, according to the author of the article, is the novel's prime concern. Its self-referentiality is presented so condensedly and thoroughly (despite the modest size of the book) that the initiated reader will have made his journey through the fifty-five cities, woven together (precisely as a textus!) by the narrator's voice and the conversations between a fictional Marco Polo and an equally such ...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.10.lc.2