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
Moira Baker, Radford University, USA:

Timely, provocative, and theoretically sophisticated, the essays comprising In the Face of Crises: Anglophone Literature in the Postmodern World situate their work amid several critical global concerns: the devastation wreaked by global capitalism following the worldwide financial crash, the financial sector’s totalizing grip upon the world economy, the challenge to traditional definitions of “human nature” and identity posed by technologies of the body and of warfare, the quest of indigenous communities for healing from the continuing traumatic effects of colonization, and the increasing corporatization of the academy as an apparatus of the neo-liberal state – to specify only a few. Edited by Professors Ljubica Matek and Jasna Poljak Rehlicki, these essays deploy a broad range of contemporary theories, representing recent developments in cultural studies, the new economic criticism, postcolonial film studies, feminism and gender studies, and the new historicism. The eleven essays sele...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/1.5.lc.13
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
Tihana Bertek, Central European University, Budapest:

In this paper I look at the sci-fi film Blade Runner and the ways in which it tackles the question of defining the human and posthuman. The film examines the ability of technology to change our understanding of what is specifically “human” and raises some important bioethical, biopolitical, and epistemological issues pertaining to the accelerating development of technology and its imbrication in the medico-juridical system. I argue that “humanness” in the film is defined through the conceptual and spatial exclusion of replicants, who are not deemed worthy of ethical consideration and are thus not seen as subjects in the proper sense. However, the film ultimately subverts this distinction by showing not only that the other is produced in order to define the self, but also that the self qua human is not as authentic as one might think.Keywords: posthumanism, film, subjectivity, performativity, authenticity

DOI: 10.15291/sic/1.5.lc.2
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
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