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Miscelánea

A Journal of English and American Studies
Vol. 24 (2001)

Literature, Film and Cultural Studies

 Articles / Artículos

 

 

 

 Helmut Bonheim
THE 200 GENRES OF THE SHORT STORY

 

  Mónica Calvo Pascual
KURT VONNEGUT'S THE SIRENS OF TITAN: HUMAN WILL IN A NEWTONIAN NARRATIVE GONE CHAOTIC

 

 Laura Mª Lojo Rodríguez
"SELVES INTO RELATION": VIRGINIA WOLF AND THE CONVERSATIONAL ESSAY

 Mª Jesús Martínez Alfaro
MYSTERY AND PERFORMANCE IN BARRY UNSWORTH'S MORALITY PLAY

 

 Laura Tosi
SMART PRINCESSES, CLEVER CHOICES. THE DECONSTRUCTION OF THE CINDERELLA PARADIGM AND THE SHAPING OF FEMALE CULTURAL IDENTITY IN ADULT AND CHILDREN'S CONTEMPORARY REWRITINGS OF FAIRY TALES


  Petra Tournay
INTO THE HEART OF THE LABYRINTH. THE PURSUIT OF MANNERIST TRADITIONS IN JOHN BANVILLE'S "ATHENA"

 

 

 Download abstracts / Descargar Resúmenes 

 

Reviews / Reseñas 

 
The Fantastic Anatomist. A Psychoanalytic Study of Henry James
Ronnie Bailie
(Reviewed by Marita Nadal Blasco. University of Zaragoza)

 

Tracing the round: The Astrological Framework of Moby Dick 
John F. Birk 
 (Reviewed by Juan A. Tarancón. Univeristy of Zaragoza)


Antigone's Claim. Kinship Between Life and Death
Judith Butler
(Reviewed by Maite Escudero Alías. University of Zaragoza)

 

Shifting Continents/Colliding Cultures. Diaspora Writing of the Indian Subcontinent 
Ralph J. Crane and Radhica Mohanram (eds.)
(Reviewed by Dora Sales Salvador. University of Jaume I of Castellón)

 

Trick with a Glass: Writing Ethnicity in Canada
Rocio G. Davis and Rosalía Baena (eds.) 
(Reviewed by Beatriz Penas Ibáñez. University of Zaragoza)

 

One Hundred Years of Masochism: Literary Texts, Social and Cultural Contexts
Michael C. Finke and Carl Niekerk (eds.)
(Reviewed by Maite Escudero Alías. Univeristy of Zaragoza)

 

The Souther Inheritors of Don Quixote
Monterrat Ginés
(Reviewed by Marita Nadal Blasco. University of Zaragoza)

 

African Literature in English. East and West
Gareth Griffiths
(Reviewed by Klaus Stierstorfer. University of Duesseldorf, Germany)

 

Paradigms Found: Feminist, Gay and New Historicist Readings of Shakespeare
Pilar Hildalgo
(Reviewed by Celestino Deleyto Alcalá. University of Zaragoza)

 

Torpid Smoke: The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov
 Steven G. Kellman and Irving Malin (eds.)
(Reviewed by José A. García Landa. University of Zaragoza)

 

"New" Exoticisms. changing Patterns in the construction of Otherness
 
Isabel Santaolalla (ed.)
(Reviewed by Mónica Calvo Pascual. University of Zaragoza)

 

Translating Kali's Feast. The Goddess in Indo-Carribean Ritual and Fiction
Stephanos Stephanides and Karna Singh
(Reviewed by dora Sales Salvador. University Jaume I of Castellón)  

 


Abstracts / Resúmenes

UNRELIABLE NARRATION AND (DIS-)ORIENTATION IN THE POSTMODERN NEO-GOTHIC NOVEL: REFLECTIONS ON PATRICK MCGRATH'S "THE GROTESQUE" (1989)

Heinz Antor

This article analyses the forms and functions of unreliable narration in a postmodern neogothic novel and thus tries to view the phenomenon of the unreliable narrator not merely from the point of view of the narratologist intending to devise a watertight descriptive definition of the technique and to place it consistently within a conceptual framwork. Rather, narratology and cultural studies are to be brought together here in an attempt at determining the cultural functions of a special form of narrative in a historical situation often described as plural, fragmented and devoid of a centre, i.e. one creating problems of orientation. Unreliable narration thus turns out to be a useful tool in the artistic process of coping with the postmodern condition.

Keywords: narratology, neogothic novel, cultural studies, postmodernism

Full Text / Texto completo

 


 

THE 200 GENRES OF THE SHORT STORY

Helmut Bonheim

This paper aims at questioning, among other things, Charles E. May's well-known "unified theory of the short story". As Bonheim sees it, May's theory would deserve to have added to it a unified theory of short story sub-genres, for the concept of a "unified theory" may suggest that varieties of story invite varieties of theory, and indeed, differences between types of story can be as revealing as their similarities. Detailed criticism presupposes the discovery of a great variety of sub-genres, together with a great variety of search-engines that might allow the critic to unearth relevant differentiations. An all-embracing theory of subgenres will have, in addition to an explanatory power, an exploratory power as well, and will make it possible for the critic, not only to assign a story to a sub-category or subgenre, but also to a category such as analytic vs. synthetic, thus taking into consideration technique as well as content. On the assumption that the genres have in fact emerged by chance rather tahn through scholarly analysis, students taling part in a University of Cologne seminar were asked to write down half a dozen short story types that they had not seen labelled. The feedback proved to be quite overwhelming, for the resulting master list included well over 200 entries, which would be eventually reduced to the round number of 200. These short story types would in turn be arranged in alphabetical order and carefully analysed and considered in order to reach some final and revealing hypotheses, which proved to be much more revealing than the original list itself.

KEYWORDS: Genre theory, short story theory, short story genres and sub-genres

 Full Text / Texto completo


 

KURT VONNEGUT'S "THE SIRENS OF TITAN": HUMAN WILL IN A NEWTONIAN NARRATIVE GONE CHAOTIC

Mónica Calvo Pascual

The paper "Kurt Vonnegut's The Sirens of Titan: Human Will in a Newtonian Narrative Gone Chaotic" explores the notion of human identity in its relation with the issue of free will as portrayed by Vonnegut's 1959 novel the Sirens of Titan. Written at the very threshold of the postmodernist period, Vonnegut's npvel invites a shift of perspective in the interpretation of 'reality' ¿namely, a transition from the modern chaotic scientific paradigm. The novel suggests an implicit counter-message parallel to and subtly undermining its apparent affirmation of determinism. For this purpose, the paper focuses on the way in which some passages in the novel reflect some of the major theories about the chaotic behavior molecular systems, basically temporal irreversitbility and the combination of chance and necessity in molecular creative processes. Finally, the paper analyzes the metaphysical macrocosmic implications of these theories as depicted in Vonnegut's novel ¿firstly, as an answer to the individuals' felt inability to find their identity through decision-making; and secondly, as a way out of constraining, totalizing explanations of the world and the collective paranoia which the search for those explanations may bring about.

Keywords: Science fiction vs. scientific fiction, human will vs. determinism, chaos theory, temporal irreversibility.

Full Text / Texto completo


"SELVES INTO RELATION": VIRGINIA WOLF AND THE CONVERSATIONAL ESSAY

Laura María Lojo Rodríguez

Although better known as a novelist, Virigina Woolf started her professional life as a woman critic; as a woman, she strove to overcome initial suspicions that her sex, youth and inexperience could arouse in the editing and publishing worlds; as a critic she encountered the opposition of her male contemporaries for subverting in her essays established critical values which Woolf did not wish to perpetuate. Within Woolf's critical work, there stand ¿most often neglected by scholars¿ her "conversational essays", a literary form that emphasises the spontaneity of oral speech as well as dialogic plurality, reaching back in a long tradition from Plato to William Hazlitt, Michel de Montaigne and Oscar Wilde. The use of conversation, itself a hybrid poised between written and oral discourse, allows the voices of outsiders and raiders to emerge: Woolf proposed the conversational essay as a countercanon to what she defined as the "massive masculine achievement". It is from this process of exchange and collision that truth bursts forth, knowledge is developed and inclusion and insularity finally overcome.

Key words: Cognitive semantics, cross-linguistic metaphor, perception verbs.

Full Text / Texto completo


MYSTERY AND PERFORMANCE IN BARRY UNSWORTH'S "MORALITY PLAY"

María Jesús Martínez Alfaro

The aim of this paper is to analyse Barry Unsworth's Morality Play (1995) in the light of the patterns that make up the formula of classical detective fiction. Unsworth's novel is approached as a tale of mystery and detection that advances through a series of performances devised as a morality play. The motif of performance is thus used to relate the patterns of detective story with those of the medieval moralities, while simultaneously questioning in the end the grounds on which both of them were based.

Key words: Moralities, detective fiction, performance, metaphysics, grand plot

Full Text / Texto completo


SMART PRINCESSES, CLEVER CHOICES. THE DESCONSTRUCTION OF THE CINDERELLA PARADIGM AND THE SHAPING OF FEMALE CULTURAL IDENTITY IN ADULT AND CHILDREN'S CONTEMPORARY REWRITINGS OR FAIRY TALES

Laura Tosi

As a Hybrid or transitional genre, intended for children and adults alike, the fairy tale has been the object of investigation of several critical approaches. Feminist critics and writers, for example, have collaborated in the critical exposure of fairy tales as narratives voicing mainly patriarchal values by providing critical readings which investigate the social construction of gender involving power relations, as well as by writing adult and children's versions of traditional fairy tales in an attempt to express a non-sexist view of the world. Postmodernist rewritings by Carter, Atwood and others challenge accepted cultural paradigms which posit passivity, endurance and jealousey as essential qualities for women to be assimilated into the adult community. A similar process is currently taking place in children's literature, where a growing tendency to re-tell princess stories which dispense with marriage-dominated plots and the traditional equation between beauty and goodness, can be detected. In these rewritings fairy-tale discourse becomes emancipatory and innovative, rather than a reinforcement of patriarchal culture.


Key words: Fairy tales, Cinderella, gender studies, children's literature, parody.

 


 

INTO THE HEART OF THE LABYRINTH. THE PURSUIT OF MANNERIST TRADITIONS IN JOHN BANVILLE'S "ATHENA"

Petra Tournay

John Banville's Athena (1995) which is generally referred to as the last part of the trilogy comprising The Book of Evidence (1989) and Ghosts (1993) shows most of the characteristics frequently attributed to postmodern fiction. This study follows a direction in literary criticism which has identified striking typological analogies between contemporary postmodern fiction and metahistorical mannerist traditions in literature and argues than Banville consciously and deliberately has recourse to mannerist/postmodern techniques. More specifically, I attempt to show that Banville functionalizes mannerist themes and stylistic devices in reaction to the petrification and deterioration of postmodern discourse, a "way of operating" (Eco) that indeed highlights the writer's awareness that postmodernism has "run its course" (Banville). The paper concludes with a close poetological/metafictional reading of the title Athena and the function(s) of the letter A. to illustrate how the fiction-making process per se is the central concern in the novel.


Key words: Mannerism, postmodernism, metaficion(al)/poetological, fiction-making process.