Coded Realities

No. 1 - Year 4 - 12/2013

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

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. ...

Literature and Culture
Aaron Duplantier, Louisiana State University, USA:

In after show interviews, reality television stars often cite the camera and producorial manipulation, like editing, when trying to explain away their conceivably indefensible behavior. And much academic criticism of reality shows hinges on these very same “negative” features of the format: technological mediation, truthiness, their “lack” of reality. However, given the pervasiveness of 21st Century digital communication technology, and our decades worth of exposure to the regulating gaze of CCTV cameras, this rhetorical position is increasingly losing merit, despite its continued deployment—at the start of 2013, A&E’s Storage Wars was met by denouncements of a similar flavor. This paper attempts to draw on technology’s current place in the cultural milieu to challenge, at the very least, the theoretical position that might find reality TV external to our lived reality. Some specific reality TV personalities, ones who have denounced or commented on their on-screen selves, are examined ...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/1.4.lc.2
Literary Translation
Jon Gower and Andrea Rožić:

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...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/1.4.lt.4
Literature and Culture
Milenko Lončar and Diana Sorić:

During the period of their correspondance, the brothers Mihovil and Antun Vrančić would occasionaly write messages in code: Antun in a letter written while on a diplomatic mission in Paris in 1546, and Mihovil in four letters written in Šibenik some twelve years later. While conducting the necessary research required for our investigation, we discovered that one letter had, until now, remained unknown. We succeeded in deciphering Mihovil's system of signs by comparing the frequency of signs in the coded parts of the text with the frequency of signs in those parts of his letter composed in Latin script. The majority of the signs are derived from the Latin script and only their quality has beeen changed. It seems that this was influenced by the Polygraphia, a work by the then contemporary cryptographer Iohannes Trithemius. In addition, a certain number of Arabic signs as well as signs from other scripts have been included.Most of the hidden content deals with investments in real estate a...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/1.4.lc.1
Literature and Culture
Tanja Jurković, University of Stirling, Scotland:

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 atmospher...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/1.4.lc.3
Literary Translation
Adam Marek and Una Krizmanić Ožegović:

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, gu...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/1.4.lt.5
Literature and Culture
Monika Bregović, University of Zadar, Croatia:

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 H...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/1.4.lc.6