Literary Refractions

No. 1 - Year 5 - 12/2014

University of Zadar | ISSN 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
Marta Brajnović, University of Zagreb, Croatia:

This paper explores the comic devices in "The Overcoat" by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol in accordance with Boris Eichenbaum’s analysis and his claim that skaz (a type of first-person narrative based on verbal play) has the main role in the structure of Gogol’s short story. The thesis of the paper is that skaz is the basis of humour in the short story and that the semantic aspects of the work are realized by means of the possibilities contained in language itself, which is illustrated through a number of examples. At the same time, the interconnection between certain stylistic devices is brought to attention. By emphasizing the expressive features of words and mimicking the style of conversational speech, the features of both prose and poetry are brought together in Gogol’s work. Therefore, the comic devices in this paper are grouped according to the types of figures of speech which reflect the characteristics of prose and poetry respectively. In addition to that, the reader also has a sig...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/1.5.lc.6
Literature and Culture
Katarina Žeravica and Boris Dudaš:

Irony and satire, two complex phenomena, find their respective places in the dramatic works of Max Frisch (1911–1991), a Swiss playwright and novelist and have gone through many changes gaining on different meanings, depending on the socio-cultural context, dominant literary and philosophical theories of a certain period of time in which they were analyzed and recognized as such. The aim of this paper is to show that Max Frisch, a 20th century intellectual who witnessed the major political, cultural and social changes of the second half of the 20th century in Europe and worldwide, uses irony and satire for coping with the reality and challenges of the time he lived in. Keywords: Max Frisch, dramatic work, irony, satire, 20th centuryNeutralna pozicija koju je Švicarska imala za vrijeme Drugoga svjetskog rata, a zbog koje je ostala pošteđena ratnih zbivanja te otvorenost klasičnim, ali i suvremenim europskim i svjetskim književnim te kazališnim utjecajima, stvorili su pozitivno ozračje z...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/1.5.lc.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
Nicola Blake, Stella and Charles Guttman Community College, USA:

“Voys Lessons: Whirling Words in Chaucer’s ‘House of Rumour’” examines the lability of sound and its use in the dissemination, transposition, and authorship of stories within The House of Fame, a text exemplifying the mobility and flexibility of misused or unhinged words, as expressed through sound as opposed to text. By engaging the use and interpretation of sound in contrast to words, this new reading concentrates on the idea of narrative as material artifact with limited stasis. Geffrey’s pseudo-authorship, through his voyeuristic stance, engages the textuality of sounds and shows the related subtlety, elasticity, and democratic sociohistorical aspect of narrative construction. Chaucer’s dreamscape and use of authorial characters allows this argument to reposition the mobility and nature of sound, emphasizing its critical importance in the formation and corruption of stories, both written and oral.Keywords: sound, narrative, medieval, authorship, bricolage, authority, transposition,...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/1.5.lc.7
Literary Translation
Zhu Guangqian and Ron S. Judy:

Everyone knows that each thing has many different ways of being looked at. If you say something is beautiful or ugly, these are just different ways of looking at the thing. Looked at differently, you can say it is true or false; or, to view it still differently, you can say it is good or evil. It’s still the same fact, viewed in different ways, so we say the phenomenon viewed has several different viewpoints. For example, that old pine tree in the garden, whether viewed by you or me or anyone, will still be an old pine tree. Yet you see it from a positive perspective and I see it from a negative one. Your viewpoint is that of a young person, mine is that of a middle-aged person. These differences in mood and personality influence the way we see the old pine tree itself. Although the tree is a fact, the way you see it and the way I see it are two different things. If you and I both take our impressions of the tree and try to paint them or compose a poem about them, even though our respe...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/1.5.lt.4
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