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Volume 14

LANDSCAPE DESIGN AND DRAWING IN THE DRAUGHTSMAN'S CONTRACT:  PEEPHOLES TO AN AGE

Chantal Cornut-Gentille D'Arcy

Universidad de Zaragoza

The basic plot in Peter Greenaway's The Draughtsman's Contract is no more and no less than an ingeniously planned murder and its dramatic consequences for a guest artist. However, the views of Mr. Herbert's house and  property, which the draughtsman is commissioned to reproduce on paper, do not serve merely as a background setting for the story. Close attention to the mise-en-scene, to remarks made by characters about gardens, garden elements or garden produce and to the artist's work-technique  reveal  how much the insight into the times in The Draughtsman's Contract  accords to the period, while it also provides interesting clues that  help the viewer elucidate several, otherwise, obscure or baffling scenes.

 

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THE FOCALISER FOCALISED IN KING VIDOR'S THE CROWD  (1928)

Celestino Deleyto

Universidad de Zaragoza

The concepts of internal and external focalisation, as described by Bal (1985), Rimmon-Kenan (1983) and others, provide, with certain variations, a powerful way to approach, from a rigorous narratological standpoint, some of the most hotly debated issues in film theory in the past twenty years: spectator manipulation and subject positioning in classical and non-classical films through the activation of mechanisms related to the gaze.  This analysis of The Crowd (King Vidor 1928) attempts an interpretation of the film through the exploration of patterns of external and internal focalisation in two key scenes of the film.  This is related to the use of narrative time by the text and the complex network of tensions, parallelisms and contrasts established at several narrative levels.  As a conclusion, it is suggested that the narratively unmotivated disavowal of internal  focalisation in one of these scenes works as a metaphor for the process of deterioration undergone by the protatonist in the course of the film.

 

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METAFICTION AND SOCIAL COMMITMENT IN PYNCHON'S V.  

Luis Miguel García Mainar

Universidad de Zaragoza

The aim of this paper is to analyse Thomas Pynchon's V.  within the tradition of metafictional literature, and to show that it proposes a new view of social commitment for the novel.  The paper studies V.  as a parody of reflexive literature in order to reveal that its reflexive nature emphasises the novel's incapacity to shape its material and bestow a truthful meaning on it.  History, the act of narration, language's relationship with reality, the metaphorical and metonymical functions of language and mises-en-abyme are some of the strategies the novel parodies.  Such reflexive mechanisms are refused the possibility of providing an integrating meaning.  They are inscribed in a linguistic system whose processes of codification entail a trasformation and manipulation of reality.  As a conclusion, the text proposes the absence of language as an alternative to a state of affairs which has been traditionally used by the dominant classes in order to oppress the rest of society.

 

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METAFICTIONAL GAMES IN CHATTERTON   

Susana GONZALEZ ABALOS

Universidad de Zaragoza

"Metafictional Games in Chatterton"   is a study of Ackroyd's Chatterton  as a self-reflexive novel. This paper seeks to analyse the self-conscious narrative methods in Chatterton , focusing on Ackroyd's choice of subject matter and on his rewriting of history. From a narratological approach, we see how the novel questions its own methods of representation, and the issue of representation in works of art, mainly in literature and painting. After a study of the figure of the poet Chatterton, we examine the relevance of his ideas on plagiarism in the present literary society depicted in the novel; plagiarism is a general condition in this poststructuralist society. The last part of the paper is devoted to a study of Chatterton  as a historiographic metafictional novel, and is based on Hutcheon's analysis of this narrative form.

 

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CLOZE TESTING AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE CONVENTIONAL EXAM IN E.B.E.

Honesto Herrera Soler

Universidad Complutense

Much research has been done on cloze tests. Whereas most of the literature is based on General English in this study English for Business and Economics (EBE) is going to be the point of reference. Two 25-item rational deletion and another two 25 fixed-ratio cloze tests were administered to 69 non-native university students at the Faculty of Economics. The aim of this article is to analyse to what extent a battery of cloze tests can be an alternative to a conventional comprehension reading test, to find out whether content words are easier or more difficult than function words and to study if giving the first letter makes any difference. The data analysis reveals that there is a good correlation between the cloze tests and the conventional reading comprehension tests, that there are significant differences as far as the difficulty is concerned, and finally that a cued cloze test is different from the other deletion procedure adopted.     

 

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Variaciones traductoras sobre el humor de The School for Scandal

Marta MATEO MARTINEZ-BARTOLOME

Universidad de Oviedo

Focussing on comedic humour, the paper analyses the different strategies that four translators have used to render Sheridan's The School for Scandal into Spanish. Comedic humour does not simply spring from characters' words but also from the situation, the gesture, the tone, the context and the plot, all of which add to the humourous load that the dialogue may have of its own.  The translation of humour in comedies also differs from that of other literary genres in the fact that it has to pay attention both to the written text and to a potential performance; furthermore, linguistic signs may be translated into kinesic signs with a similar effect.  This special malleability is shown in the paper through the study of the different translations of the elements used by Sheridan to create the humour in his play: the characters' idiolect, intonation, rhythm, tone, alliteration, repetition, reversal of syntactic and situational expectations, proper names, wordplay and contextual references. 

 

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HAL, A PROMPT    

Carmen OLIVARES RIVERA

Universidad de Zaragoza

Hal is the  governing computer in the spaceship Discovery  which appears in Clarke -Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. Hal has the shape and structure of an artifact although it/he exhibits signs of human-like behavior. The computer confronts us with several issues that consistently strike our minds such as the notion of intelligence, mental disorder and moral responsibility. The paper explores Hal's conduct from a psychological and moral perspective stressing his status as an actual character in the story.

 

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THE PASSION: JEANETTE WINTERSON'S UNCANNY MIRROR OF INK

Susana ONEGA  JAEN

Universidad de Zaragoza

In keeping with the contradictory nature of the postmodernist ethos, The Passion  combines three apparently opposed elements: a realism-enhancing interest in history and story-telling, a  heavily parodic and ironic relish in self-referentiality, and the zest for the uncanny epistemological uncertainty characteristic of fantasy literature. The combination of these three elements, the historical, the metafictional and the fantastic, produces an overall effect of fragmentation which is, however counterbalanced by the possibility  of a unitarian reading of the novel that goes through the perception of its unifying myth: the journey or quest, already hinted at in the novel's epigraph and developed in the text at three major levels: the archetypal, the psychological and that of Tarot symbolism.

 

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