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
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
Literature and Culture
Vedrana Čerina, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Croatia:

In his dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange (1962), Anthony Burgess focuses on the phenomenon of adolescent violence in order to investigate the nature of the relationship between the individual and the societal body as a whole. While doing so, Burgess depicts the society of A Clockwork Orange precisely as he sees the modern society – as striving to achieve a predictable functioning of the societal life. In order to achieve the set goal, the society will resort to any means necessary, including a systematic disciplining of the individuals, who are in return expected to accept whichever the role the authority instances have intended for them. The individual who refuses to do so is labelled as “abnormal”, as Michael Foucault would say, and is to be corrected and shaped into an exemplar citizen.Foucault’s insights into the subject matter prove to be valuable for offering a possible interpretation of the issues at stake in Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange. Foucault’s reflections on the terms of p...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/1.5.lc.11
Literature and Culture
Tanja Reiffenrath, University of Paderborn, Germany:

Mental disorders have become the topic of numerous contemporary American novels. Attesting to the ongoing fascination with the workings and the sciences of the human mind, many of these texts turn to neuroscientific questions. This paper offers a close reading of one of these ‘neuronarratives’ – Joshua Ferris’s acclaimed 2010 novel The Unnamed, a story in which the protagonist is afflicted with an utterly mysterious condition that disrupts his sense of self as his mind appears to be separated from his body. In this paper, I aim to show how such a dualist conception problematizes not only the concepts of self and agency as the unnamed disease is linked to contemporary lifestyles in corporate America, but also helps to craft a counternarrative that challenges recent materialist conceptions and neuroscientific theories. Keywords: illness narrative, mental illness in fiction, (in)coherence, neuronarrative, body, mind, Philosophy of Mind, dualism

DOI: 10.15291/sic/1.5.lc.10
Literature and Culture
Antonio Sanna, independent researcher, Italy:

In this article I argue that the Harry Potter novels constitute a Gothic narrative about homoerotic child abuse. The various confrontations between Harry and the Dark Lord are interpreted as representing the unavoidable encounter with what Ruth Bienstock Anolik has defined as ‘the sexual Other’ infiltrating the Self in Gothic texts. Specifically, I examine the re-enactment of trauma in the narrative as a typical trope of the Gothic. Harry’s progressive acquisition of knowledge on his adversary is therefore interpreted as a metaphor for the gradual re-assertion of repressed traumatic memories on consciousness.Keywords: Harry Potter, trauma, repression, Gothic, abuseThe critical readings on J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels hitherto published have mainly focused on the commercially-successful and worldwide consumerist phenomenon of the series and have specifically considered it as belonging to the literary genre of children literature (Carey 159; Rangwala 140; Nafici 209; Nikolajeva 24...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/1.5.lc.1
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
Jon McGregor and Una Krizmanić Ožegović:

Prije svega, dozvolite mi da kažem da svi osjećamo najiskreniju sućut zbog onoga što se dogodilo gospodinu Davidsonu. Naravno, nitko od nas nije mogao ni pomisliti da će sve tako završiti. To ne treba ni napominjati. Mislim, doista ne vjerujem da je bilo tko mogao predvidjeti posljedice onoga što se dogodilo. Daleko od toga da smo sjeli i proveli detaljnu analizu rizika kad smo odlučili djelovati u tome smjeru. Naravno da ne. Riječ je o spontanoj odluci, jednostavno nas je ponio trenutak. No, unatoč nedostatku podrobnije analize, mogu sa sigurnošću reći kako ovakav ishod nitko od nas nije mogao ni zamisliti. Mislim, očito da nije. Jednostavno, mi nismo takvi ljudi, nitko od nas. Mislim da se to podrazumijeva. Mislim da sa sigurnošću mogu reći kako se to uvriježilo među nekim ljudima koje je ovo pogodilo, u odnosu na kasniji tijek događaja. Uključujući i samoga gospodina Davidsona. S obzirom na sve što smo uspjeli zaključiti. Mislim, znate, neki od ljudi kojima se okružio bili su s prav...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/1.5.lt.2