Orbis Litterarum

Description

Orbis Litterarum is an international journal devoted to the study of European and American literature. Concentrating on literary theory and the principles of literary history and criticism Orbis Litterarum publishes articles of a theoretical nature and analyses of specific works genres periods etc.

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  • Website
    Orbis Litterarum website
  • Other titles
    Orbis litterarum (Online)
  • ISSN
    1600-0730
  • OCLC
    47651471
  • Material type
    Document, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publications in this journal

  • Orbis Litterarum 02/2015; 70(1).
  • Orbis Litterarum 02/2015; 70(1).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This article examines the fiction writing of two American authors, James A. Michener and John Oliver Killens, and asks how the American ‘occupation’ of Australia during the Second World War featured, or failed to feature, in their writings. The Second World War arguably remains the watershed moment in which American servicemen and Australians from all walks of life entered into a prolonged awareness of one another, courtesy of the presence of around a million enlisted Americans who passed through Australia on their way to the war against Imperial Japan. In his short story ‘The Jungle’, Michener structured international gender relations in ways that anticipated his novel Sayonara (1954), allowing the reader to draw parallels between the American–Australian and American–Japanese social dynamic but also subordinating the wartime social history of Australia to American current affairs. For his part, Killens was likewise preoccupied with American social history, specifically the rights of enlisted African-American servicemen. His novel And Then We Heard the Thunder (1963) deployed Australian characters in a race war fantasy that had hitherto imagined an alliance between African Americans and Japanese. In summary, Michener and Killens both subordinated Australian wartime history to American current affairs, albeit with different literary objectives in mind.
    Orbis Litterarum 02/2015; 70(1).
  • Orbis Litterarum 02/2015; 70(1).
  • Orbis Litterarum 02/2015; 70(1).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: During half of the twentieth century, the socialist states in Eastern and Central Europe functioned as a political Other that helped shape collective identities in the USA. The collapse of the socialist regimes in the early 1990s opened up a new territory for economic, personal and imaginary investments. This territory was soon explored by a number of American novels: John Beckman's The Winter Zoo (2002), Dave Eggers's You Shall Know Our Velocity (2002), Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything Is Illuminated (2002), Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections (2001), William Gibson's Pattern Recognition (2003), Arthur Phillips's Prague (2002) and Gary Shteyngart's The Russian Debutante's Handbook (2002). This article argues that in these novels post-communist Eastern Europe functions as a region off the symbolic map, a wilderness, often violent, replete with traces of an insistent past. The novels often view the American travellers’ encounters with this landscape through the codes of the American Gothic and Western genres. Thus, the novels frame their investigations of the legacy of authoritarianism, the possibility of cross-cultural encounters and the consequences of globalisation in literary modes that ultimately refer back to an American cultural tradition and give rise to critical reflections on the formation of American identity after the Cold War.
    Orbis Litterarum 02/2015; 70(1).
  • Orbis Litterarum 02/2015; 70(1).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although they are completely different types of works, Giorgione's painting, La tempesta (1508) and Charles Baudelaire's poem “Correspondances” (1857) from his collection Les fleurs du mal seem to provoke a similar sense of mystery in the viewer/reader. If we can clearly see what the two works “represent” in the sense of images, their meaning and/or purpose seem to evade us when we try to close-read them. Using a contrastive method inspired by the lingusitic theory of the same name to compare their effect, we will try to show how this artificial proximity can enable us to analyze works that seem to “resist” our hermeneutical desire and build a critical discourse based precisely on this resisting, following in the foosteps of Arnaud Rykner.1
    Orbis Litterarum 12/2014; 69(6).
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    ABSTRACT: Don Paterson's Orpheus (2006) is an English-language version that transmutes Rilke's original Die Sonette an Orpheus (1922). Abandoning the imperative for prosodic equivalence and claiming instead to locate the ‘spirit of the original’, Paterson's sonnets can be reread as performing peculiar linguistic enactments of poetic truths exigent (philosopher Martin Heidegger claims) in Rilke's sonnets. In the essay ‘Poetically man dwells’, Heidegger claims ‘Poetry is a measuring’ and that the ‘nature of the image is to let something be seen’; elsewhere, the philosopher argues Rilke's work performs an illuminating projection of lexis (words) and logos (order, knowing). In his version, however, Paterson foregrounds variation when ushering the spirit of Rilke's images into English sounds: through a range of creative decisions (poiesis, techné, ekphrasis), the contemporary poet achieves gestural equivalence through his radical rewriting of Rilke's glimpsed truths.1
    Orbis Litterarum 12/2014; 69(6).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This article presents a reading of Gillian Mears's novel Foal's Bread (2011) as a postcolonial counter-pastoral that problematizes conventional mythologies of Australian identity and rethinks the relationships with humans, land, and non-humans. By challenging naturalized ways of telling stories of the relationship between humans and nature, Mears's novel deconstructs the anthropocentric and hierarchical world view promoted in the discourses of modernity and colonialism and underlines the entanglement of humans, animals, and their shared natural world. Horses, in particular, play an important role in the novel both thematically and in terms of its imagery. This essay suggests that Foal's Bread reconstructs the pastoral mode and reworks the connection between humans and the natural world from a perspective that rethinks interspecies relations and the division into human and non-human animals. In so doing the novel inserts humans into the contexts of land and landscape, making them inseparable from it, and also reconstructs the text as a form of nature.1
    Orbis Litterarum 10/2014; 69(5).
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    ABSTRACT: This essay explores how Chesnutt uses gothic strategies to expose the historical contradictions of race and conjure up black-abject, revisiting the American gothic via Kristeva's concept of “the abject.” The Conjure Woman (1899) deploys gothic strategies to speak of the unspeakable experiences associated with slavery and contest the rationalist discourses that enforce and legitimate racism. Chesnutt's conjure stories reverse the “national process of forgetting” in the Reconstruction era to reintegrate the nation through the racially charged abjection process. His use of the gothic decisively reverses racist abjection through the juxtaposition of narratives between the former slave Julius and the Yankee investor John. Chesnutt's stories create a space of struggle between the oppressed and oppressor by summoning the abject that has been thrown off in the institution of Western hegemony. Julius's conjure stories wield the subversive power to challenge John and Annie, disrupt their binary thought, and instigate a form of multiple discourse. The Conjure Woman became a groundwork articulating the African-American presence through inarticulate gothic sounds and imagery, and has paved the road for later generations of African-American literature to continue to summon up the black-abject that has long been silenced and marginalized.1
    Orbis Litterarum 10/2014; 69(5).
  • Orbis Litterarum 10/2014; 69(5).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Die literarische Analyse textueller Vermittlung des Blickes auf Frauen im Kontext von kultureller Aterität, Orientalism und Gender Studies ist keine Seltenheit. Innovativ ist im vorliegenden Beitrag die Erschließung von Repräsentationen persischer Frauen im Kontext der Alteritätsforschung im doppelten Sinne: Zum einen soll die Perspektive auf den Umgang mit kultureller Andersartigkeit und deren Reflexionen in einem persisch-deutschen Kontext und zum anderen auf die geschlechtsspezifische Alterität aus der Perspektive der Gender Studies erweitert werden. Der Beitrag setzt in der frühen Phase kultureller Fremdkonstruktion und im Aufkommen einer Reisebeschreibungskultur an, blickt in die zweite Phase des Wissenserwerbs über fremde Kulturen und möchte die Annahme begründen, dass das Bild persischer Frauen zum einen im Kontext einer dem Beobachter als fremd geltenden Kultur und zum anderen im Kontext eines geschlechtsspezifisch Anderen, d.h. männlichen Blickes entsteht und so einer zweifachen Fremdheit ausgesetzt ist: der gesellschaftlich-kulturellen und der geschlechtsspezifischen.
    Orbis Litterarum 10/2014; 69(5).
  • Orbis Litterarum 08/2014; 69(4).
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    ABSTRACT: Seventeenth-century Spain produced an impressive amount of mythological poetry with virtually every lyrical genre and all poetic registers represented. In this poetic treasure house we find mythological canciones, sonnets and letrillas alongside minor poetic forms, and serious as well as burlesque versions of famous classical myths such as those of Apollo and Daphne, Narcissus, Ganymede, and Venus and Adonis. The present article takes off from the heuristic thesis that the baroque mythological corpus yields interesting insights into seventeenth-century patterns of thought regarding a series of issues that were at odds with contemporary ideology, but could be related to and explored through classical myth. One such issue was sexual desire, whose representation in literature the theologians at Trent had recently prohibited. The period's interrelation of myth and desire is eloquently documented in contemporary art, which explored the amorous adventures of the pagan gods to create a kind of erudite erotica. Similarly, mythological poetry, epic and drama exploited the stories about the loves of the gods related by ancient poets such as, notably, Ovid. However, one genre in particular cultivated the relation between myth and desire: the sonnet.
    Orbis Litterarum 08/2014; 69(4).
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    ABSTRACT: En exploitant un thème tabou pendant la dictature communiste – la déportation des Allemands, dès 1945, dans les camps soviétiques – La bascule du souffle est une démonstration poétique d'une force rare. Conçu comme un livre écrit « à deux mains », en collaboration avec le poète Oskar Pastior, dont l'expérience concentrationnaire inspire l'histoire du protagoniste, le roman porte les empreintes stylistiques des deux auteurs, bien que, suite à la mort du poète, le projet initial n'ait pas pu être finalisé. Critiqué pour la prétendue illégitimité de la reconstitution – à la première personne – d'une histoire qui n'aurait pas affaire à l'expérience personnelle de la romancière, tout comme pour son style « artificiel », jugé inadéquat au sujet traité, le roman superpose deux fictions identitaires, en ayant un enjeu cathartique par rapport à l'expérience traumatique de Herta Müller (fille d'une ancienne déportée) et un autre éthique, en tant qu'hommage rendu à Pastior et à toutes les victimes de l'enfer concentrationnaire. Construit comme une fiction « allo-autobiographique », dans l'absence, donc, de l'appropriation (impossible) du « pacte autobiographique », le roman garantit l'authenticité de l'évocation justement par la « présentification » poématique d'une expérience « indicible », doublée de celle de l'écriture en tant que modalité de survivance1.
    Orbis Litterarum 08/2014; 69(4).
  • Orbis Litterarum 08/2014; 69(4).
  • Orbis Litterarum 08/2014; 69(4).
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    ABSTRACT: E. T. A. Hoffmann's 1817 Gothic novella, Das öde Haus, and Gérard de Nerval's 1853 novella of personal reminiscence, Sylvie, may not at first sight seem obvious choices for comparison. But their presentations of deluded love disclose both the paradoxical approach to ‘marginality’ in the nineteenth century, and the inextricable conjunction of theme and form in narrative more generally. In these stories, the protagonists are given undiluted narrative authority. They are socially and literarily central figures who are drawn to the margins of society. Yet their modes of storytelling belie their pretentions of social ‘normality’. Both narrators transform the dimensions of time and space in their retrospective accounts of deluded infatuation. In so doing, they illustrate their own collusions in the creation of and identification with liminal figures. The novellas depict strikingly similar presentations of voyeurism, narcissism and fetishism, suggesting that ultimately it is the partial nature of the gaze that imbues the women with desirability. ‘Otherness’ becomes appealing as its unknowability allows the projection of the protagonists' own fantasies. As the mysteries are unveiled, desire evaporates. Marginality thus infiltrates theme and form in these novellas, while the narrators occupy an unstable space between centre and periphery.
    Orbis Litterarum 08/2014; 69(4).
  • Orbis Litterarum 08/2014; 69(4).