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. ...

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
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
Jane Mattisson, Kristianstad University, Sweden:

Wordsmiths & Warriors relates a real journey of thousands of miles undertaken by David and Hilary Crystal. The result is a fascinating combination of English-language history and travelogue (the study gives detailed instructions on how to find each place mentioned). David is responsible for the descriptions, and Hilary, for the full-colour photographs. The book comprises a guide for those wishing to follow in their footsteps; at the same time, it reflects the chronology of the language. The Crystals visit places associated with such well-known writers as Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Wordsworth; dictionary compilers such as Johnson and Murray; and a number of well-known and lesser-known dialect writers, elocutionists, and grammarians. Warrior wordsmiths such as King Alfred are also mentioned.Wordsmiths & Warriors emphasises the centrality of the Anglo-Saxon, medieval and early modern periods in the development of the English language as it is known today. A progressive view of language cha...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/1.5.lc.12
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
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
Stephanie Jug and Sonja Novak:

Ivana Sajko is a young Croatian author (1975) whose theatre work is ascribed by contemporary anthologists to the so-called new Croatian drama (Rafolt 9). Leo Rafolt observes that, if such a notion can be recognized at all, its main features would include the authors’ experimental and destructive attitude towards conventional modes, as well as an increasing thematic occurrence of violence in written texts and on stage (9), thus making the new Croatian drama similar to the in-yer-face dramaturgy. The paper provides an overview of ideas which seem to prevail throughout Ivana Sajko’s theoretical and dramatic work, some of which represent an original and very personal approach to theatre and playwriting. In addition to this, the analysis of Sajko’s trilogy Archetype: Medea, Bomb-Woman, Europe in this paper will show Sajko’s perception and understanding of madness, revolution and limits of art, more precisely, writing through the female characters in these three monodramas.

DOI: 10.15291/sic/1.5.lc.9