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Volume22:
Article

The End of History. or, is it? Circularity versus Progress in Caryl Phillips' "The Nature of Blood"

Angeles de la Concha Muñoz

In the wake of the revisionist thinking of the Enlightenment and its self-legitimising narratives, history is no longer accepted as linear time projected into a future ever open to gradual progress and freedom. This breakdown of linearity together with the acknowledgement of the discipline's textual fabric and discursive nature are accountable for a new, apocalyptic version of the ultimate stage of historical development termed the end of history, in which circularity and bleak repetition are now rampant.

 

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Article

Post-Baroque sublime? The Case of Peter Ackroyd

Jean-Michel Ganteau

This paper focuses on Peter Ackroyd's English Music as a landmark in contemporary manifestations of the baroque tradition in British literature. It is based on contemporary approaches to the baroque as an aesthetic constant or strain -more than on a periodization-theory of the baroque. The demonstration is tripartite in structure. I first concentrate on the ingredients of what may be called a "baroque diction" (flux, hyperbole, overflowing of the frame, etc.). I then move on to the representation of artifice and the artifice of representation, by concentrating on the baroque topos of the world as a stage, tge examination of metaleptic ploys and their implications in terms of ontological or transcendent potentialities. The last part addresses the question of the baroque as a way to probe at the boundaries of traditional, phenomenonal realism, as a force meant to extend the province of traditional mimesis by replacing representation with presentation. I conclude with some reflections on the expressionist functions of the baroque as an avatar of romanticism.

 

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Article

Caribbean women Poets -Disarming Tradition

Christine Harris

This article sets out to explore the way in which women writers of Caribbean origin express various concerns relating to their heritage through poetry which encompasses not only their position as women seen from a feminist perspective but also from historical and contemporary positions in contrasting societies. It argues that an overall need to find an identity linked to the past is paramount for establishing a position for women in the future, and that the poetry achieves this through breaking with the traditional notions of women and poets. The article focuses particularly on the work by Grace Nichols and Lorna Goodison.

 

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Article

May Sinclair's "The Three Sisters" as an early example of Modernist Fiction

María Francisca Llantada Díaz

This paper analyses May Sinclair's novel The Three Sisters as an early example of the transition from the classic realist text to modernist fiction in English literature. The Three Sisters is here charactetized as a lyrical and psychological novel, influenced by Imagism and structured around epiphanical moments, images and symbols. In addition, Sinclair's first psychological novel is considered here in the light of some of the formal and thematic principles and of the prototypes of female heroine that she was to use in her later more fully modernist novels. Thus, her later novels Mary Oliver and Harriett Frean can be understood as variations of The Three Sisters, where the representation of the unconscious feelings of the characters points to Sinclair's deep knowledge of psychoanalysis and the relevance of internal reality, a typical modernist trait.

 

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Article

Raving about things that won't solve: Marylee Hadley in "Written on the Wind"

Vicky Luzón

The contemporary feminist vindication of classical Hollywood melodrama has attempted to identify the conflicting views on gender and the family that constituted the raw material for this genre. The aim of this paper is to identify these clashing discourses on femininity and female sexuality within the framework provided by Douglas Sirk's popular film Written on the Wind (1956). I will try to demonstrate how the workings of ideology, which usually culminate in the ideologically correct traditional "happy ending", are subverted through the imposition of an arbitrary and quite implausible resolution. From here, I shall attempt to read the ending of the film against the grain of received "ideological correctness" in order to vindicate the role of the marginal characters in the story, and that of Marylee Hadley in particular.

 

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Article

Meeting the Civilised Barbarian: Bram Stoker's "Dracula" and Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness"

Sara Martín

Even though there was no direct relationship between Bram Stoker and Joseph Conrad, there are sufficient grounds for a comparison between their two masterpieces, Dracula and Heart of Darkness, respectively. Both text were first published in the same year, 1898, and both voice similar concerns regarding the onset of the crisis of masculinity still making itself felt today and the position of Europe regarding the margins of the colonial world. Both Conrad and Stoker were aliens living in England, which lent an intriguing dimension to their views of the colonial and imperial question. These links have been recently stressed by the filming of Apocalypse Now (an adaptation of Heart of Darkness) and Bram Stoker's Dracula by the American director Francis Ford Coppola. Coppola has re-read the crisis of masculinity and the imperial question, transforming them into a valediction to the death of a form of patriarchal masculinity that he romanticises.

 

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Article

Effects of Garden-Pathing in Martin amis's novels "Time Arrow" and "Night Train"

Daniel Oertel

Critics often describe the novels of British writer Martin Amis as prankish artifacts that neglect story and plot for a highly misleading set of postmodern pyrotechnics. In this article I attempt to explore a literary phenomenon that is often paraphrased as "teasing the reader", arguing that one of the chief glories of Amis's prose lies quite paradoxically, in the ambiguous narrative sctructures and in the ways readers are "led up a garden path" in the course of his fictional worlds. Drawing on a selection of recent criticism from Artificial Intelligence (Minsky), cognitive narratology (Jahn) and general reader reception theory, I will analyse Amis's novels Time's Arrow and Night Trains and propose that the narrative traps employed are highly functional. Rather than just Hanoi readers, they actually lead "somewhere", producing various aesthetical effects and ultimately turning the novels into what Roland Barthes has termed "writerly" texts.

 

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Article

The African Past in America as a Bakhtinian and Levinasian other: 'Rememory' as Solution in Tony Morrison's "Beloved"

Angel Otero Blanco

A relational linguistic explanation of alterity and otherness in terms of reciprocity or interchangeability of subject and object positions constitutes the starting-point for an application of Levinas and Bakhtin's approaches to the theme of Time as other, to Toni Morrison's Beloved. The writer's neologism rememory implies physical and material designations which turn out to be con-fused with close-to-metaphysical claims about identity and coincidence. Consequently, the need, thirst or hunger, for a contingent and provisional sense of subjective and objective reality is reinforced by another re(a)lative distinction, to wit, the apparent opposition in the binomial presence/absence, eventually amounting to the same. I also examine Levinas's metaphysical and common desire applied to beloved the character, storytelling as a way to enrich the characters' selves and the blues as a musical form that has evolved out of the African's terrible experience in America.

 

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Article

Fashioning the Self from the Chasm: "De profundis" and the Chronotrope of Post-Prison Time

David Walton

This paper focuses on Wilde's letter, De Profundis, with relation to various forms of debt (economic and moral-metaphorical), which, it is argued, function within an economy of symbolic exchange and desire. The Bakhtinian concept of the chronotope is merged with semiotics. Lac(k)anian psychoanalysis, and Greenblatt's notion of self-fashioning to explore hos Wilde negotiates time and space as a means to narrate the self and the other. Counter to claims that De Profundis is a confession, it is suggested here that it may be seen as a pedagogical tract in epistolary form: one which constructs the letter's addressee as a negative "other" in order to preserve the integrity of the writing itself.

 

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Article

India's Cultural Commissars Worship 'Indianness' instead of Art

Vikram Chandra

 

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