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Miscelánea

A Journal of English and American Studies
Vol. 26 (2002)

Literature, Film and Cultural Studies

Christian Gutleben
 
 
Luis Miguel García Mainar
 
 
Lourdes López Ropero
 
 
Mónica Calvo Pascual
 
Sonia Baelo Allué
 
 
Anupam Nagar
 
 
  
 
Reviews / Reseñas 
 
Christian Gutleben.
 
 
Anne MacCarthy.
 
 
Susana Onega and John A. Stotesbury (eds.)
 
 
 
 
 
 

 


PALINODES, PALINDROMES AND PALIMPSESTS: STRATEGIES OF DELIBERATE SELF-CONTRADICTION IN POSTMODERN BRITISH FICTION.
Christian Gutleben.

This paper sets out to argue that contemporary British fiction, by using palinodes, palindromes and palimpsests both on the micro- and macro-structural levels, favours a logic of association of contraries which ipso facto deconstructs any monologic reflexion and conception of the world. To combine and superimpose contrary ideas means to eschew the monolithic. It also expresses the composite, heterogeneous, and yes eclectic, nature of postmodernism and its influential incredulity towards any singular ideology and aesthetic tradition. Ultimately, if contemporary fiction flaunts its contradictory syncretism, it is to claim the right to simultaneously and oxymoronically defend opposed tendencies, beliefs and influences.
Key words: Postmodernism, palinode, palindrome, palimpsest, G. Swift, J. Barnes, M. Amis, A. Carter, D.M. Thomas, A.S. Byatt.

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GENRE, AUTEUR AND IDENTITY IN CONTEMPORARY HOLLYWOOD CINEMA: CLINT EASTWOOD'S WHITE HUNTER, BLACK HEART.
Luis Miguel García Mainar

The essay is an attempte firstly to look into the persistence of forms of auterism in contemporary Hollywood cinema and, secondly, to prove the relevance of a joint genre-auteur analysis. Its starting point is the assumption that auteurs survive in, among other forms, the work of those directors who also act in their films, and whose film career has invested them with cultural connotations. Clint Eastwood is a case in point: his White Hunter, Black Heart (1990) illustrates how its generic configuration, as well as its representation of male identity, are inflected by the meaning associated with the auteur. The essay concludes that the complexity of meanings provided by the star-auteur lends the film an ambivalence that reveals its status as transition piece within the turmoil of gender and genre changes that affected the Hollywood cinema of the early 1990s.
Key words: Authorship, genre, identity, masculinity, reflexivity.

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'SOME OF ALL OF US IN YOU': INTRA-RACIAL RELATIONS, PAN-AFRICANISM AND DIASPORA IN PAULE MARSHALL'S THE FISHER KING.
Lourdes López Ropero    

Although it is the rise and fall of jazz in the African-american and black expatriate French scenes that shapes The Fisher King (2000), what really draws the reader's attention in Caribbean-American Paule Marshall's latest novel is her revisiting of her old Brooklyn neighbourhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant, the setting of her first novel, Brown Girl, Brownstones (1959). After recreating an ambience her readers are familiar with, Marshall engages in a much close study of the long-standing rifts still breaching Brooklyn's multi-ethnic black community - in the mid-1980s. Furthermore, for the first time in her writing career, Marshall touches upon black communities living in European, particularly French ghettoes. Thus, I argue that in focusing on diversity and conflict within black communities in US ghettoes and dwelling on their European counterparts, The Fisher King completes Marshall's trajectory of widening and problematising the notion of the black subject and its community. I relate Marshall's positioning to the recent debates over Pan-Africanism and diaspora led by cultural critics such as Paul Gilroy or Stuart Hall. Bringing into my discussion other novels by the author, I claim The Fisher King as an excellent companion to Brown Girl, Brownstones, through which Paule Marshall's writing career comes full circle.
 
Key words: Pan-Africanism, diaspora, ethnicity, migration, Caribeean.
 

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MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE: HYBRID "IDENTITY", OR THE PARADOX OF CONFLICTING IDENTIFICATIONS IN "THIRD SPACE" ASIAN-BRITISH CINEMA OF THE 1980S.
Mónica Calvo Pascual.

This essay will attempt to define Kureishi and Frears' 1985 film as a mid-1980s British-Asian film that escapes the "burden of representation" that characterised earlier Black British cinema in two main ways. Firstly, through the representation of entrepreneurial drive, the film subverses the notion of the Black community as the homogeneous entity which the "cinema of duty" set out to portray. And then, the film's generic and technical hybridity breaks with the "realism" of those earlier films and, through its representation of "reality" as fragmentary, relative and contradictory, creates a space for the questioning of received notions of "identity". Thus, the British-Asian protagonist is represented in his individualistic struggle as reconstruction his sense of "identity" out of the traces he finds most convenient from each of the different cultures that inform his ethnic hybridity, a process that is revealed as being essentially paradoxical.
 

Key words: Ethnic hybridity, third space, in-betweenness, "new realism".

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SERIAL MURDER, SERIAL CONSUMERISM: BRET EASTON ELLIS'S AMERICAN PSYCHO (1991).
Sonia Baelo Allué    

 
Brest Easton Ellis is a representative blank fiction writer whose novels deal with violence, indulgence, sexual excess, decadence, consumerism and commerce. In American Psycho (1991) he focuses on the phenomenon of the serial killer. The aim of this paper is to look into the ways in which the seriality of the serial killer's murders is linked to the seriality provided by different forms of mass culture: talk shows, daily news, advertisements, pop music, magazines and consumerism in general. Our society's never-ending serial consumerism is mirrored by the serial killer's never-ending killings. Taken to its ultimate consequences, consumerism includes everything, which dehumanises people and blurs the difference between consuming objects and consuming human beings. The concept of seriality is deeply embedded in our culture, and is shared by serial killer fiction, mass cultural productions, and by consumerism, which may account for the current popularity of the serial killer.
 
 
Key words: Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho, blank fiction, consumerism, serial killers.
 

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 THE TWO SIDES OF A SINGLE COIN: KARUN RASA AND TRAGIC FEELING.
Anupam Nagar    

The paper begins by discussing the Indian idea of Karun Rasa as interpreted by Abhinavgupta, Nagendra, Visvanath, Bhattnayak, Gunchandra and Raja Bhoja, and then compares it with the Western concept of Tragic Feeling as explained by Aristotle, Hume, Leavis, Schopheneur, Hegel, Nietzsche, Faguet, Butcher, Langer, Dickson, Thorndike, and Murry. Finally it is concluded that the extraordinary opinions of Abhinavgupta, Bhattnayak and Leavis are of outstanding importance in the present context. 
 

Key words: Karun Rasa, tragic feeling, death, mataphysics, Eastern thought vs. Western thought.
 

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