Literary Refractions

No. 1 - Year 5 - 12/2014

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

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. ...

Literature and Culture
Jane Mattisson, Kristianstad University, Sweden:

This article discusses Downton Abbey, the most popular series in the history of British television. The series is a means of bringing history to the many and thus an important feature of collective cultural memory. Based on the premise that television series such as Downton Abbey are the primary means by which people learn about history today and that they play a major part in determining how the heritage and identity of England and Englishness have been understood, this article discusses why Downton Abbey is so popular, identifying seven primary reasons: the coherence of the historical setting and the characters; the current interest in country estates; the accessibility of the series to all generations; the modern tempo; the equal focus on the aristocratic members of the Crawley family and their servants; the attention to historical detail; and the prominence given to World War One as a catalyst for social and intellectual change. Special focus is placed on the historical context and...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/1.5.lc.4
Literary Translation
Jenni Fagan and Lana Filipin:

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. B...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/1.5.lt.5
Literary Translation
Tommy Wieringa and Željka Hrg:

Ujutro je pred kuću stigao rasklimani kamionet. U njemu su sjedila dvojica muškaraca. Jedan se zvao Johan, drugi je bio stari crnac kojega nisam poznavao. U prikolici je stajala svinja, gadno stvorenje medvjeđe veličine, zlih očica. Jedva je čekala da provali i razbije nas. Spustili su vratašca prikolice i istjerali je van. Svinje koje sam viđao u divljini bile su crne, ova je bila ružičasta. Uvoz. Baš kao i mi. Našli su je kod seljaka u Tamarijnu.Muškarci su odveli svinju do drveta iza kuće, prebacili uže preko grane, jednim joj krajem zavezali stražnje noge i, podigavši je, objesili je naglavačke. Skvičala je iz petnih žila. Drvo se treslo od siline kojom se trzala na užetu. Kad je bila pola metra nad zemljom, crnac joj je jednim potezom prerezao grlo. Vrela je krv šikljala iz rane. Na tlu je stajala limenka od ulja u koju je krv istjecala. Zvijer se grčevito koprcala, oblijetale su je muhe. Zatim je još par puta zadrhtala i onda je bilo gotovo.Mesari su iscijeđenu mrcinu položili na...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/1.5.lt.6
Literature and Culture
Libby Bagno-Simon, University of Haifa, Israel:

Flannery O'Connor's short fiction is overrun with female characters that embody the lost and corrupted ideal of the Southern Belle. O'Connor's method of shocking her characters into belief seems to take a harsher and uglier turn when it comes to women and this is particularly relevant to characters that not only renounce their femininity but also lack true spirituality. In this essay I examine three of O'Connor's female protagonists and it is my contention that these three women are emblematic of the decaying myth of the Southern Belle and of its treacherous nature. All three abandon – to some extent – the foundations on which this feminine ideal is based and by doing so essentially reject patriarchal authority. It is important to take into account the fact that their overstated assertiveness is often a result of an inescapable and harsh reality. However, I argue that O'Connor denies these women even a shred of sympathy because for her, rejecting the patriarchal scheme of life is, to a...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/1.5.lc.3
Literary Translation
Aristenet and Sabira Hajdarević:

Ova malo poznata Aristenetova zbirka sastoji se od 50 pisama erotske tematike, podijeljenih u dvije knjige: prva sadrži njih 28, a druga 22, s tim da je posljednje nepotpuno. Korespondenti su navedeni imenom i riječ je većinom o fiktivnim likovima, ali pojavljuju se i poznate osobe, poput pisaca (Alkifron, Elijan, Lukijan) ili slavnih hetera. Uz tituluse (preskripte) koji navode korespondente pojavili su se s vremenom i svojevrsni naslovi koji sažimaju fabulu pisma koje slijedi. Prijevod je načinjen prema izdanju Mazal, O. (1971): Aristaeneti epistularum libri II, Stutgardiae, in aedibus B. G. Teubneri. Prijevod cjelovite zbirke na hrvatski jezik još ne postoji; tri je pisma preveo D. Novaković i objavljena su u časopisu Latina et Graeca, 20 (1982).U predgrađu se odvijala općenarodna svetkovina s obilnom gozbom, pa je Haridem sazvao prijatelje k sebi na slavlje. Bila je tamo i neka žena (ne trebam je imenovati) koju je sâm Haridem (znaš kako je mladić zaljubljive naravi) upecao; ugleda...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/1.5.lt.1
Literature and Culture
Zachary Tavlin, University of Washington, USA:

In his seminal Existence and Existents, Emmanuel Levinas linked the impersonal event of the il y a, the “there is” of inert, factical existence, to a condition of insomnia. His analysis of insomnia holds a unique place in his oeuvre where a thorough ambivalence toward 'being' manifests itself: to be-for-the-Other (before the self, or before all neglected Others) is the highest moment of existential and ethical transcendence, though to be 'awake' in order to encounter the Other is also to be pulled in a diametrically opposed direction, toward the factical and purely immanent experience of the world and of my own existence. In this essay I will read Shakespeare's Henry IV (Parts I and II) with an eye toward reading the relationship(s) between sleep, insomnia, and ethics anew. I will develop a Levinasian reading of Shakespeare: sleep as a transcendence of the factical, everyday situation is at the same time a passage toward the ethical situation.Keywords: Levinas, Shakespeare, ethics, ins...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/1.5.lc.8