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Miscelánea

A Journal of English and American Studies
Vol. 28 (2003)

Literature, Film and Cultural Studies

 Articles / Artículos 

 

 Catherine Bernard
Forgery, Dis/possession, Vertriloquism in the works of A.S. Byatt and Peter Ackroyd.

 

 Chantal Cornut-Gentille D'Arcy
Everything You Always Hated about Thatcher's Britain: A Cultural Analysis of Mike Leigh's High Hopes (1988).  

 

  Chelva Kanaganayakam
The Anxiety of Being Postcolonial: Ideology and the Contemporary Postcolonial Novel.

 

 Elena Oliete Pascual
Making Visible the Invisible: Reversing the Codes of Dominat Culture in Madonna's Videoclip Don't Tell Me.

 Paula María Rodríguez Gómez
Dylan Thomas's Animal Symbology in Celtic Tradition: The Inner Voice of a Poet.

 

 Luc Verrier
Sentimental Comedy in Martin Amis's "State of England" and "The Coincidence of the Arts.

 Download abstracts / Descargar Resúmenes 

 

Reviews / Reseñas 

 

 
W. Flannery O'Connor: A Life.
Jean Cash.
(Reviewed by Gretchen Dobrott Bernard)

 

La experiencia platónica en la Inglaterra decimonónica. 
Patricia Cruzalegui Sotelo. 
 (Reviewed by Pau Gilabert Barberá)

 


Streetwalking the Metropolis. Women, the City and Modernity.
Deborah L. Parsons
(Reviewed by Teresa Gómez Reus)


 

FORGERY, DIS/POSSESSION, VENTRILOQUISM IN THE WORKS OF A.S. BYATT AND PETER ACKROYD.
Catherine Bernard.

Most studies of ventriloquism and intertextuality in contemporary fiction have chosen to lay emphasis on the playfulness and metafictional quality of parody and, as often as not, have stressed its absence of ideological agenda. This article takes an opposite stance and highlights the hidden agenda of intertextuality, its inherent link with such questions as the death of the author, the exhaustion of literature and of culture, or postmodernist impersonality. Focusing more specifically on the works of A.S. Byatt and Peter Ackroyd, it shows how deeply ambiguous the logic of intertextuality may be. While literature seems irremediably condemned to experience creation as a form of aesthetic haunting, while it is caught up in an endless work of mourning and can only harp on its own depletion, it may alternatively be seen as retaining some paradoxical critical purchase on our contemporary condition. By exposing its own depletion, it also gestures to a possible ideological and poetic renewal. Fiction indeed recovers here some of its critical intent since it allows the reader to reflect on his/her own position in a culture of surfaces, echoes and mirror effects, but also explores the hidden logic of literary history.
Key words: English fiction, literary history, intertextuality, parody, forgery.

Full Text / Texto completo

 


EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS HATED ABOUT THATCHER'S BRITAIN: A CULTURAL ANALYSIS OF MIKE LEIGH'S HIGH HOPES (1988).
Chantal Cornut-Gentille D'Arcy

This paper starts from a definition of culture that is set in the realm of cultural studies. Broadly speaking, cultural critics see Culture as both lived experience (i.e. meaning making of individuals) and social construction. Hence the deduction that we cannot live social reality outside of the cultural forms through which we make sense of it. Along with and as a consequence of this assumption, no text, practice or event can be severed off from its contextual connections since, as Stuart Hall claims (1997: 25-46), the meaning of a cultural form is always the product of the text's "articulations", of the web connections and codes into which it is inserted. Such a view is essential to a productive understanding of Mike Leigh's High Hopes (1988) ?a film which, at first sight, appears to be no more than a weird comedy about ordinary people doing ordinary things. For this reason, only a "radical contextualising" of both Thatcher's years in power and of the (visual) text itself will help apprehend Leigh's film as a real-life, political and ideological manifestation of what it felt to be alive at a particular time and place, i.e. Britain in the eighties. My analysis of the film will show how the social tone and class tensions developed during the period are conveyed through the humorous portrayal of the actions, interactions and intimacy of three different couples.
 
Key words: Cultural studies, British contemporary film, genre, text/context, articulation, radical contextualism, ideology, Thatcherism, Stuart Hall, Lawrence Grossberg.

Full Text / Texto completo

 


THE ANXIETY OF BEING POSTCOLONIAL: IDEOLOGY AND THE CONTEMPORARY POSTCOLONIAL NOVEL.
Chelva Kanaganyakam   

This paper draws attentions to the notion of "anxiety" as a significant aspect of contemporary postcolonial literature. Postcolonial authorship has become, in recent years, a far more contested area as writers locate themselves in ways that do not necessarily reflect majoritarian perspectives. The old binaries that characterized postcolonial studies are not always applicable in the present context. The marginality of authors is compounded by shifting cultural and political situations in nations that are configuring themselves in new ways. The resulting ambivalence had led to a new sub genre of post colonial writing: a literature of anxiety. Nichael Ondaatje, Romesh Gunesekera and J.M. Coetzee are among the major authors whose recent work demonstrates the preoccupations and formal strategies of this body of writing.
 
Key words: Anxiety, postcolonial, experiment, politics, decolonisation, ambivalence.

Full Text / Texto completo


MAKING VISIBLE THE INVISIBLE: REVERSING THE CODES OF DOMINANT CULTURE IN MADONNA'S VIDEOCLIP DON'T TELL ME.
Elena Oliete Pascual.

In 2001, Madonna startled the public with a new image, that of the mixture of techno music with country aesthetics in the video-clip Don't Tell Me, from her album Music. In many of her former clips, Madonna paid attention to marginal groups, bringing them to the centre. Basing my analysis on the theories of Laura Mulvey, Richard Dyer and Stuart Hall, among others, I will try to demonstrate that, in the music video Don't Tell Me, Madonna takes the mythical figure of the cowboy as a cultural manifestation of the dominant group and relegates it to the status of 'the other', whicle she proposes a world of freedom in which cultural hierarchies based on gender and race issues no longer exist.

Key words: Madonna, video-clip, identity, gender, American culture.

Full Text / Texto completo


DYLAN THOMAS'S ANIMAL SYMBOLOGY IN CELTIC TRADITION: THE INNER VOICE OF A POET.
Paula María Rodríguez Gómez    

By means of a mythic journey into the collective unconscious, Dylan Thomas transforms this Welsh cultural values into a symbolic synthesis that explains the poet's presence in Cosmos as a link between nature and man. Native Welsh tradition is ever present in the outstanding number of animal symbols that Dylan Thomas enlivens his poetry with. His readers become thus initiated into the mysteries of his classical concerns about evolution and the nature of man. Animal symbols play an all important role in a system of opposites that Thomas weaves in his poems. This scheme becomes the core of poetic significance as an expression of mythological wisdom, and its symbols represent clues that disentangle the way into inner human truth within the chaos depicted by Thomas's own Modernist universe.
 
Key words: Archetype, animal, symbols, tradition, evolution.

Full Text / Texto completo

 


 SENTIMENTAL COMEDY IN MARTIN AMIS'S "STATE OF ENGLAND" AND "THE COINCIDENCE OF THE ARTS".
Luc Verrier    

This article examines the analogies that "State of England" and " The Coincidence of the Arts" ?two short stories extracted from Martin Amis's Heavy Water and Other Stories (1998)? bear to the conventions of sentimental comedy in order to shed light on Amis's aesthetic and ethical choices. Relying on tools such as "flyting", these stories comically rework the "pity for the poor" typical of sentimental works while borrowing from the genre of "condition of England" fiction. Yet, this comic veneer cannot conceal the apocalyptic instances of child abuse and domestic violence, topoi of sentimental works. Impending doom is nevertheless undermined by ironic patterns of reconciliation which tally with the cosmic optimism ultimately promoted by sentimental works. Since these dénouements are attained via rhetorical negativity, Amis's texts are also indebted to sentimental rhetoric, a heritage that betrays a resurgence of sentimentality in the work of an author wrongfully stereotyped as an effete prophet of doom. 
 
Key words: Sentimental comedy, condition-of-England fiction, flyting, apocalyptic violence, agonist reconciliation.

Full Text / Texto completo

 
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