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This paper considers a little-studied play, Los empeños de un engaño by Juan Ruíz de Alarcón, as a possible source text for both Calderón de la Barca’s Los empeños de un acaso and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz’s Los empeños de una casa. The phonetic similarities of the latter two titles have relegated Ruíz de Alarcón’s unique drama to obscurity. However, the unusual details of both the Alarcón and Sor Juana pieces demonstrate the relative freedom the two New World authors had in composing unique versions of the capa y espada genre, particularly when compared to their peninsular counterpart. Although all three plays are similar in title, plot, and even character names, they are ultimately unique pieces that speak to the specific conditions under which each of their authors composed and staged their work. It is also the author’s wish that this paper, along with the recent discovery that the play La monja alferez was penned by Alarcón and not Pérez de Montalbán (Vega García-Luengos, in: Cañal, González (eds) Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz y el teatro novohispano, Ediciones de la Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, 2021), will inspire more scholars to consider the Mexican dramaturg’s oeuvre beyond his better-known pieces such as La verdad sospechosa or Las paredes oyen.
The Old English poem known as The Wanderer has long been said to rely on the device of ‘pathetic fallacy’ in its descriptions of stormy and frozen land- and seascapes. This piece of literary-critical terminology has strong ties to both Romantic and realist aesthetic ideals of the nineteenth century, and this paper outlines the assumptions which underpin the term and questions our continued use of it when discussing The Wanderer. By pointing us towards the external world as a projection of the interior psychological world of the ‘wanderer’ figure, the term obscures two key features of the text. Firstly, the label sweeps to the side the literal significance of the material world to which the poem’s central speaker responds, despite the fact that this landscape bears marks of divine anger and potency and seems to participate in the Augustinian tradition of the degraded Sixth Age of the World. Secondly, the term points us towards a dramatic characterisation of a single heroic-age nobleman in a manner that the text is itself relatively uninterested in pursuing, instead emphasising conditions of exile, isolation, and despair as universalised spiritual problems. Seeing this poem as governed by pathetic fallacy distracts us from such facets, when other interpretive frameworks have more to offer.
The location of the battle of Brunanburh in 937 remains a source of disagreement among investigators. In recent years many places have been identified as Brunanburh. This article interrogates the claims of Andrew Breeze, in several works, to have securely located the battle at Lanchester in County Durham. The methods by which Breeze reaches his conclusion are analyzed, and the arguments he cites for it are examined. Breeze’s main proposals are discussed: that Brunanburh refers to the River Browney in County Durham; that the name We(o)ndun recorded by Symeon of Durham refers to a wen-shaped hill; and that dinges- in the Old English poem on the battle should be emended to dingles- . Alternative interpretations of the material are given, some based on hitherto unexamined evidence, including a new suggestion for the etymology of Dingley in Northamptonshire. It is argued that the Lanchester hypothesis does not stand linguistic and critical analysis.
The article studies the narrative poem by Patricio de la Escosura El bulto vestido del negro capuz (1835), relating it to the European romantic literature of his time, which the author knew well from his stays as an emigrant in France. The work analyzes the themes and the form of a composition that is always cited but scarcely studied by contemporary and current critics. The analysis shows the connection of themes, motives and resources between this work and various productions by authors such as Byron, Schiller, Hugo and Vigni.
This essay argues that the use of conscience as a justification for dissent has an even longer history than has often been assumed by intellectual historians of the Reformation. Through a close examination of the English Wycliffite Sermons ( c. 1380s–1390s) and the Testimony of William Thorpe (1407), it offers the first extended consideration of the use of the word “conscience” in Wycliffite texts, using this as the point of departure for an assessment of Lollard characterisations of human interiority more generally. Wycliffite writers repeatedly emphasise the opacity of the inner life and its consequent authority, a rhetorical tendency inherited and adapted from Wyclif’s own writings and other Latinate discourses. This not only provides Lollards with a helpful strategy in their attempts to avoid prosecution for heresy, but also provides the somewhat shaky ground upon which a number of their doctrinal convictions rest—especially those pertaining to oral confession and membership of the Church. Conscience also provides an obvious connection between religious dissent and political rebellion, which is why it must be central to any future account of Lollardy’s relationship to class struggle or sedition more generally conceived. When writers like Thorpe refer to the soul as invisible, or to God as their only judge, they invoke a fundamental, if unstable, aspect of Wycliffite belief: an incipient but dynamic account of the relationship between individual conscience, interiority, and authority that was to find even greater expression in figures such as Martin Luther, Jan Huss, and Henry VIII.
As a second-generation immigrant author Caryl Phillips often depicts the distress of black British people of Afro-Caribbean descent in Britain in his works. His novel In the Falling Snow, published in 2009, illustrates the evolution of the notion of black Britishness through the memory of the post-war generation and more recent transcultural connections. A network of transcultural connections involving the black diaspora and the immigrants from Eastern Europe characterize contemporary England described in the novel. This article argues that the novel gestures towards a more inclusive society through transcultural memory that moves across generations and different immigrant communities. The experience of Eastern Europeans as immigrants echoes the memories of the post-war generation and opens up a space to discuss post-racial possibilities. Thus, the novel provides a perspective to observe the transmission of memory over a couple of decades and the role of migration as a site of transcultural memory.
The fifteenth century Catalan chivalric romances, Tirant lo Blanc and Curial e Güelfa, constitute two literary landmarks in the evolution of the early modern novel. The use of Bahktin’s concepts of the carnivalesque and the grotesque deepen our understanding of the two texts by helping us understand both the subversion of traditional social order and its ultimate restoration. We explore the theoretical construct of the carnivalesque and its particular manifestations in medieval and early-modern Catalonia. We then explore uses of sexual misalliance, subversion of temporal and spiritual authority, masking and unmasking, games of mirrors, gender bending, temporal distortion, and other components of the construct as manifest in each of the two texts. While the construct of the carnivalesque has sometimes been overused and misapplied, as a manifestation of early modern culture in Western Europe, the carnivalesque becomes a powerful tool for understanding humor, parody and comedy in two important, if understudied, Catalan romances.
The topic of the ‘woman at the window’ has never been thoroughly studied in nineteenth-century English literature despite the attention that related issues of the separation between the public and private spheres and the gendered usages of space during this period have received. In order to present how the window may constitute a space of its ‘own’, i.e. neither belonging to public nor private spaces, this article will approach the signification of windows in literary texts produced by women throughout this century. Addressing the recurrent presence of windows in woman-authored writings, on the one hand, and the way that middle- and upper-class female characters are depicted in relation to windows, on the other, might shed new light on how English modern women writers conceived space as well as their place in society. This implies to question what is unique and distinctive about the ‘woman at the window’ in the English modern literature and whether it presents any differences from the other ‘window women’ from the past. Following the approach to the window motif by art historians Eitner (1955), Shefer (1983) and Bastida de la Calle (1996), it will be seen how the ‘woman at the window’ to be found in these novels differs from the deep-rooted ideas associated with this figure. Indeed, a comparative analysis of the selected novels will attest that the space produced by windows is not physical. Rather, windows are employed as a mental, reflective retreat where female characters go to when they feel desolation, disappointment, restlessness, but also when they daydream about a different life to the one they have, a life beyond the confines of their home.
In the sixteenth century, a partial Spanish translation of Boccaccio's Filocolo was published with a double title: Laberinto de amor and Trece cuestiones muy graciosas. This change has to do with an interesting editorial plot, since the translation was published first in Seville (1541) "a hurtadas" (on the sly) and then in Toledo (1546), in an edition authorized by its translator. The complete collation of both editions reveals, on the one hand, that the Sevillian printer made all kinds of imbalances in the translation prepared by López de Ayala to adjust the account of the original to the mold; on the other hand, some variants show that the translator again revised his translation in the new edition of the Trece cuestiones muy graciosas, published in the same press 3 years later.
This article explores a gradual shift towards metrical and linguistic imprecision in the four major commentaries on the Old Norse Eddic poems produced from the 1930s to today. This trend both affects and reflects the state of Eddic scholarship at large. Many scholars today do not avail themselves of metrical and linguistic criteria in the dating and textual restitution of Eddic poems but approach these issues either with agnosticism or by presenting vague arguments in favour of particular dates or variants. During the last three decades, however, testing along many parameters has placed the essentials of Eduard Sievers’ metrical analysis (1893) beyond reasonable doubt, which means that the gradual abandonment of precise description has taken place in a context where the preconditions for such description were improving. These analytical advances and mainstream Eddic scholarship have yet to meet, and the present article aims to facilitate such a convergence. Furthermore, since the Eddic commentaries will remain indispensable heuristic tools for the foreseeable future, the field of Old Norse philology stands to gain from a concise description of the implicit metrical and linguistic assumptions guiding their analysis.
In 1680 Pedro Calderón de la Barca wrote a sonnet for Gaspar Agustín de Lara’s Equilibrio cristiano político y moral. This paper edits the sonnet, completely unknown in Calderonian studies, and also analyzes the figure and the work of Lara.
The organizing principle of The Canterbury Tales is a carnivalesque dynamic akin to that which is formulated by the theories of Mikhail Bakhtin. In this storytelling bacchanal, the tales themselves function as carnivalesque masks which create a performative union of fleshly narrator, historical composite characterizations, and institutionally generic features, out of which the textual pilgrims are constructed, including the textual Chaucer. As such, “The Tale of Sir Thopas,” operating as a doggerel amalgamation of features taken from the other pilgrims’ stories, represents a reignition of the carnivalesque fire after the sobering effects of the Prioress’s hierarchy-reinforcing tale, which operates as a religious and moral authority, the central purpose of which is to be dismantled according to the dictates of carnival.
The tempest is a conventional figure in epic tradition. This essay examines the narrative position of weather phenomena in Middle High German courtly romances and their relation to the adventures of the active characters–most of them knights. In particular, storms, as severe meteorological perturbations, seem to excite heroic exploits as they mark the difference between the space of origin and a space of danger. To return to safety, the heroes undergo adventures, but also expose themselves to perilous situations in which they lose their agency. This (in some ways paradoxical) constellation between passivity and activity is processed through various narrative possibilities in which agency alternates between the prescient characters and meteorological ‘entities’. The essay is concerned mainly with the Eneas Romance (Heinrich von Veldeke), the anonymous Herzog Ernst (B), and the Arthurian Romances Parzival (Wolfram von Eschenbach), Iwein (Hartmann von Aue) and DiuCrône (Heinrich von dem Türlin).
This paper tries to read What Where as Beckett’s realistic and pessimistic presentation of the ontological conditions of the human history, which the play defines as investigation, exploitation and quest for the ultimate truth. Its analysis finds that this presentation has important threads in common with the criticism of civilization in the later Freud’s metapsychology, which formulated “an all-embracing, grand theory of the psyche” in terms of the development of the individual as well as the evolution of the entire species on the basis of the maxim that “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” What Where enacts this Freudian vision in theatrical terms as its theater version foregrounds the phylogenetic scale with the physical subjections happening among the characters and its television version the interior depth of the mind with the maneuvering of the television images. Another important commonality is that the character Bam is presented as a figure pertaining to Freud’s concept of the death drive. The resulting theatrical picture is a sobering and realistic testimony to the individual and collective human existence that has always survived on questionings about, exploitation of and quest for a different object. This strikes a chord with how Beckett’s characters embody his poetics of ‘senility,’ and leads to the political implications of freedom without hope or meaning, which is the infinite task of Beckett’s senile characters.
Interpretation of Grendel’s mother, one of the most complex and enigmatic figures of Beowulf, is especially fraught with difficulty. The search for analogues to Grendel’s mother has traditionally focused on the trolls of the Old Norse sagas, emphasising her non-human qualities. This article argues that the Germanic heroic women of the Völsung-Nibelung tradition are the key to understanding Grendel’s mother. The introduction of Sigemund and Fitela in the interval between the first two fights (ll. 874–902) invites the reader to consider the women of the Germanic legends, specifically the figures of Signy and Brynhild in the late thirteenth-century Icelandic Völsunga saga, and Brunhild in the early thirteenth-century German poem the Nibelungenlied, as possible analogues to Grendel’s mother. This article further proposes that reconsidering Grendel’s mother within this interpretive framework shifts the view of the other women of Beowulf as reflexes of the Germanic heroic women of the Völsung-Nibelung tradition.
Queens were important figures within the court communities of pre-Norman Eng-land, their status defined by their relationship to the king, whether as queen-consort, queen-mother, queen-regent, or queen-dowager. These were positions with an attendant degree of prestige and authority, but a vulnerability to the vicissitudes of the king's fortunes. Often this would lead to periods of exile from the court community. Such exiled queens could find refuge on their own lands or other communities , such as abbeys and foreign courts. This removal from the centre of power allowed the king to minimise or control any vestigial queenly status or authority, and guard against the exiled queen becoming a locus for alternative political factions. These queens-in-exile form the focus of this article, which seeks to establish not only the patterns and contexts that allowed such social isolation to occur, but queens' emotional responses to it. Here there are four interlinked concepts: social isolation (exile), emotional isolation (loneliness), social loneliness (the absence of community), and emotional loneliness (the absence of a close individual). These are observable across the experiences of an array of literary and historical pre-Norman queens, from Beowulf and Elene through to royal women, such as AEthelflaed (d. 918), Eadgifu (d. c.966), and Emma of Normandy (d. 1052). Through the analysis of such experiences, it is possible to construct cultural perspectives on the exercise of queenly authority, on queenly vulnerability, and on queenly affect.
For most people alive today, the COVID-19 pandemic was our first experience of widespread isolation. However, among medieval cultures, with low population density and limited urbanisation, isolation, especially through exile, was common as a political expedient or even, as now, as a method of controlling the spread of illness. This is reflected across myriad aspects of medieval culture, from pilgrim badges to legal codes. Stories and tropes of isolation are common in medieval literature. From the immrama which often include depictions of the isolation of voyages, to images of homesickness in romances or Crusade narratives to descriptions of isolation in exile in Old English elegies and Old Norse sagas. In many instances, the literature reveals a greater fear of loneliness than death, so much so that isolation was used both as a form of punishment considered as severe as mutilation in some parts of medieval Europe, and as an important religious practice, since many people willingly distanced themselves from society in pursuit of salvation through hardship. This introductory essay introduces a dossier on medieval experiences of isolation.
The purpose of this article is to analyse and discuss a seventeenth-century University play, Paris’s choice by Charles Davenant, and provide bibliographical information about the only manuscript copy extant. The piece has been preserved in a miscellany of poems and songs, MS Rawlinson poetical 84, held at the Bodleian Library, Oxford University. Based on its contents, the miscellany seems to have been compiled at New College, Oxford, and it may have been originated by a member of the Paulet family. The manuscript then came into the possession of an Oxford student named Giles Frampton, who was at Balliol College at the same time as Charles Davenant. The manuscript play is preceded by a sort of title-page, featuring a cast of actors and the date 1670, which might be the date of the original performance. Whereas the MS Rawlinson poet. 84 has drawn the interest of some scholars, Paris’s choice has hitherto received minor attention. Thus, this paper contains a detailed description of the miscellany, a discussion of its compilation and ownership, the play’s context of composition and stage history and a semi-diplomatic transcription of the play-text. My study is intended to contribute to our knowledge of Charles Davenant’s literary production and will also be relevant to scholars working on the contents of the miscellany or on university amateur drama.
Alejo Carpentier is a writer who handles a huge volume of intellectual and cultural nature, due to his exquisite competence in subjects as different as music, architecture, history, philosophy, anthropology, art and literature. Thanks to his polished education from childhood and the endless curiosity and capacity to wonder about the cultural phenomena that affect the transatlantic field, his novels are constantly nourished by intertextualities, quotes, reflections on history, art or music, which are combined adequately with its critical, social, political and formal purposes. But this erudition, typical of the presence of the baroque in his work, also causes the author to intrude on many occasions in the narrative, undoubtedly marking his presence in some characters, almost always protagonists, and in the narrators of his works, for what the distance between author and narrator or characters is sometimes narrowed to almost imperceptible limits. This occurs especially when certain historical figures combine negative attitudes that are the object of criticism, with admirable characteristics, related to knowledge, culture and sensitivity for art, such as the dictator of El recurso del método, who is rejected for his tyrannical tendencies while being admired for his musical, historical and artistic knowledge.
Genealogical summary of FN and HNB (with dynasts unique to the latter in bold)
Examples of the “table of nations” origin-myth structure
Transmission of the Magnús episode extrapolated from Finnbogi Guðmundsson’s model
Transmission of the Magnús episode according to the present hypothesis
The Old Norse origin myth known as Frá Fornjóti ok hans ættmönnum , which claims that Norway was founded by a pair of brothers named Nórr and Górr, is preserved in two distinct variants in the late fourteenth-century Icelandic manuscript known as Flateyjarbók . One variant, Fundinn Noregr , forms the preface to Orkneyinga saga and had therefore come into existence by c. 1230, whereas the other, Hversu Noregr byggðist , is not attested before c. 1290. Most scholars have argued that Hversu Noregr byggðist is a derivative of Fundinn Noregr , which was created to preface Orkneyinga saga by the Icelandic scholar Snorri Sturluson. This article draws attention to hitherto-undocumented parallels between both variants of Frá Fornjóti and a twelfth-century Latin text known as the Chronicon Lethrense or Lejre Chronicle . To explain these parallels, a new hypothesis for the pre-history of Frá Fornjóti is formulated: that both variants are independent witnesses to an earlier version of the myth which drew upon the Chronicon Lethrense or a shared model. This hypothesis is tested against arguments supporting the consensus that regards Fundinn Noregr as the original, taking the myth’s ideological underpinnings and analogues in Old Norse literature into account. It is suggested that the hypothesis best explains patterns of shared wording revealed by close comparative readings of passages in both variants, Orkneyinga saga , and other contemporary Old Norse texts. The article concludes with speculation about the context in which a previous version of the myth might have been composed.
Drawing on theories of nationalism and memory studies, this paper undertakes an analysis of Robert Menasse’s Die Hauptstadt, which grapples with the complex relationship between Europe’s memory, and future, personal identity and national priority. The novel depicts a multitude of characters with different nationalities, life experiences and personal pursuits as well as political standpoints as they face the twenty-first century, which brings both opportunities and threats to the European Union. Auschwitz is described in this novel as a place of collective memory for the historical lesson of extreme nationalism. Unfortunately, this place, together with the Union’s mission and the collective European memory, mainly of the Holocaust, has been so de-politicised and over-institutionalised that it can no longer arouse empathy when individuals’ ambition and nationalist interests override that of the Union. The internal Commission conflicts between member states criticised in this novel remind its readers about the urgent necessity of upholding the common interest of Europe and building a more united Europe that will not forget the detrimental consequences of nationalism.
This article studies from a philological point of view the textual tradition of the riddles of the Adevineaux amoureux , a collection of verbal games published in Bruges by Colard Mansion in the last decades of the fifteenth century. The investigation provides two results. On the one hand, it is possible to retrace the genealogy of the witnesses of the Adevineaux (two printed editions and the manuscript Torino, BNU, L V 1) and to describe their relations with two comparable collections of riddles (Chantilly, Mus. Condé, 654; Wolfenbüttel, HAB, Cod. Guelf. 84.7 Aug. 2°). On the other hand, some hypotheses can be formulated on the strategies employed by the compiler of the Adevineaux to adapt these popular texts to the expectations of the public. Macro-structural interventions—such as the introduction of prologues—and micro-structural ones—such as repetitions, lexical substitutions, and omissions—aim at building a new socio-narrative architecture in which the aggressive dynamics of oral performances are replaced by the search for a textual coherence intended to ensure the active participation of the readers in the construction of meaning.
Early Modern Spanish literature, also known as Golden Age Spanish literature, is a well-established period in the History of Spanish literary tradition, covering from the beginning of the sixteenth century to the end of the seventeenth century, from Renaissance to Baroque works. In the case of poetry, the stylistic change from one aesthetic to the other has been examined from a historical point of view, with some scholars considering a transitional group of poets between both stylistic movements, and many pointing to the writer Fernando de Herrera (1534–1597) as a bridge between the Renaissance style of Garcilaso de la Vega (1501–1536) and the Baroque of Luis de Góngora (1561–1627). This paper examines the stylistic change from Renaissance to Baroque in Spanish poetry and Herrera’s place on it from a quantitative, computational point of view, applying a methodology which combines Stylometry and Network Analysis to a big corpus of poems and authors writing in this period. The resulting stylometric network for Renaissance and Baroque poetry proves there is a computationally measurable chronological evolution in the texts of this period, as well as a change of style from Renaissance to Baroque, and supports the existence of a transitional group of poets between these two literary movements, one of which is Fernando de Herrera.
Although most scholars characterize the anonymous Middle English Patience as sustained biblical translation or paraphrase, few have examined the work in relation to ongoing concerns about the nature and status of vernacular religious writing in later medieval England. This essay argues that the poem evidences and responds to such concerns through its complex treatment of the commonplace association of vernacular writing with speech. Like a number of other, more explicit vernacular prologues, the opening of Patience uses references to speech to position vernacular writing between the authority of scriptural texts and the immediacy and broad reach of the liturgy and storytelling. The poet further explores the relation between authority and immediacy in his subsequent retelling of the story of Jonah, the disobedient but ultimately effective prophet to the Gentiles. By underscoring qualitative differences between divine and human speech, and between Jonah as penitential witness and inspired prophet, the poet presents vernacular religious writing as foremost hortatory and affective–a means of moving–rather than a medium for theological speculation. Jonah's varied roles as speaker, and his juxtaposition with the prophet Daniel in Cleanness, reveal a poet exploring, rather than narrowly defining, the work and nature of vernacular religious writing.
This article attempts to explain the special place that Sylvie occupies in both Nerval’s œuvre and the general context of nineteenth-century French prose. The structure of the nouvelle is examined through a close reading of two key motifs: vines intertwined with roses, and flowing water. The different iterations of these motifs are interpreted as expressing the impossibility of recovering the symbolical and sentimental values that the author-narrator cherished in the past. This structure is identified as one of the factors that allowed Sylvie to be well received in neoclassical circles. It is suggested that this construction is also what caused Proust’s fascination with, and scepticism towards, the nouvelle. The article concludes that Sylvie should be considered a unique text which opens the way for a new type of writing, whilst also closing it down. The nouvelle’s referential logic is different from that of Romantic, neoclassical or realist works. Indeed, the reason why it cannot be taken as a model is that it presents the reader with a particular kind of réel, which is inseparable from the crisis of Romanticism.
Alonso de Castillo Solórzano, prolific cultivator of the novelistic genre, gathered and published his work in miscellaneous volumes or colectáneas all along the XVII century. In these volumes, mainly formed by novels assembled in a narrative framework, dramatic pieces appear from time to time. This is the case of Fiestas del Jardín (1634), which alternates four plays written in prose and three comedies. We know about the last ones that they were brought to the stage by renowned authors of the time. However, the date of their composition remains unknown as well as the circumstances in which they were staged. It is our goal to shed light on these questions following the study of La fantasma de Valencia , one of the three aforementioned comedies.
This article explores the phenomenon of form-meaning mapping in Old English alliterative verse and presents a new account of its conceptual systematicity. It aims to find instances of regular correlation between the alliterative onsets and the lexical semantics of the words. The data include the alliterative /w/- and /s/-datasets, extracted from Beowulf. Despite a long tradition of analyzing alliteration as a poetic device foregrounding marked elements for aesthetic effect, the question relating to correlation between word-initial onset and “alliterative” semantics is far from resolved. I show that the relationship between the onset-related alliterative units and their meanings is not only iconicity—the resemblance between perceptual properties of sound and referent within localized groups—but also systematicity—regular similarity in form and conceptual relatedness of words within the entire lexicon. Form-meaning correlation between the onset of alliterative units and their semantics is determined by the processes of relational analogy, conceptual associativity, and metaphorical extension.
This article argues against the notion that Hygelac is characterized negatively in Beowulf. It reassesses the historical and legendary traditions concerning his final raid and contends that the Beowulf poet represented Hygelac not as a foolish or arrogant king, but as an admirable figure imbued with a sense of tragic grandeur.
Daniel Kehlmann’s novel Mahlers Zeit questions the role of time as a fundamental tool through which humans access the world. While the novel’s protagonist believes that he can debunk the linearity of time, the narration of the text remains ambiguous about whether or not he is right. As the text oscillates between different conceptions of time—each presented as plausible only to be denied again—it develops an image of the world as an inscrutable place where humans cannot transcend the sphere of phenomena because they are always thrown back to their sensorium. The unmediated juxtaposition of the incompatible that prevents obtaining metaphysical certainty implies a rejection of the concepts of Magical Realism as well as Surrealism, both of which presuppose a knowledge of the metaphysical structure of the narrated world. Therefore, Mahlers Zeit requires a different classification: Gebrochener Realismus (Broken Realism). Moreover, because of the strict functionality of the moments of uncertainty, the category of Gebrochener Realismus is even more appropriate than Todorov’s fantastic.
Although Wang Shifu’s Xixiang ji (The Story of the Western Wing) and Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s Minna von Barnhelm were written against different lingual, cultural, and social backgrounds, a comparative reading of these two dramas casts new light upon subjects that have up to now received scant attention. Wang Shifu’s solemn temple and Lessing’s secular inn are similarly spaces for temporary accommodation and are witnesses of political penetration. Both depict young ladies and their maids who are adept at argument and are brave to resist authority. By contrast, the male protagonists are more susceptible to traditional norms. Political crises play vital roles in demonstrating gender differences, re-formulating the male protagonists’ conceptions about honor and love, and most importantly in revealing the dishonest behavior of authority.
This paper addresses the issue of cross-racial desire in Doris Lessing’s 1950 novel, The Grass Is Singing. It draws upon Rene Girard’s theory of mimetic desire and combines it with Fanon’s insights into the nature of interracial intimacies in racist societies to argue Lessing’s novel depicts a mimetic situation where the black man’s attraction to the white woman cannot be spontaneous and is in essence a desire for the power and privilege of the white mediator. Girardian analysis proves fruitful in explaining Moses’ conduct and his eventual murder of his white mistress. In this mimetic situation, Moses is mimetically carried away, and the white woman for him represents a means to an end, and when she decides to leave the farm and become, in Girardian terms, an inaccessible object, he murders her. The novel, then, this paper suggests, becomes an indictment of racist structures as it renders evident the distorting effects of structural racism on interracial and inter-human relationships.
Throughout time, alcohol has been used by people all over the world, and its negative effects have commonly been the subject of many comments by critics and poets. Medieval literature is actually filled with references to wine and its excessive consumption. This paper examines the evidence we can find primarily in medieval German literature, but it also includes parallel remarks by didactic and religious writers, along with those by some English, French, and Italian contemporaries who addressed the same issue. While the criticism voiced is loud and clear, the literary treatment of drinking of wine ‒ rarely of beer, mead, or ale ‒ allows us to gain a deeper insight into the basic everyday-life conditions at that time. Reports about excess only reflect the common consumption of wine especially among aristocrats.
Voyant Tools loaded with the text of Andreas. Top row: word cloud; reader; word trends. Bottom row: corpus information; concordance for wundor and its inflected forms. The word cloud displays words sized in proportion to their number of occurrences, with common words such as ond (and) and þæt (that) prominent. The reader view displays the beginning of Andreas. The word trends display line graphs tracking the occurrence of user-selected words in the text; in this case, the rise and fall in the frequencies of wundor/wundr* and cyðde (“proclaimed”) are closely aligned). (When not using DOE Corpus searches, the computational approach of this paper still relies on the Dictionary of Old English Corpus in Electronic Form (DOEC) data (Oxford Text Archive: The University of Oxford, 2000).)
The word cloud displays words sized in proportion to their number of occurrences. The words wundor, wordum, dryhten, wundra, cyðde, and wuldres are especially prominent
From religious lyrics to homilies, Old English texts evoke wonder through mystery, inexpressibility, and unknowing; wonders are declared unknowable or unspeakable. But within this tradition, individual poems have their own thematic fingerprints. This paper focuses on the poetics of wonder during two miraculous episodes in the Old English poem Andreas. Through augmented computational concordancing, I examine the wonder vocabulary of Andreas and argue that in contrast to the wider Old English tradition, the wonders of Andreas emphatically speak and are spoken. Andreas’s insistence on the expressibility of wonder fits the Vercelli Book poems’ pedagogical focus. Their wonders are mysteries, but do not remain so. Instead, wonders are teaching moments. Their poetics is that of signs, beacons, illumination—a poetics of miraculous speech.
This article examines the use of autobiography and adaption to shape reader reception in the Middle English poem Patience. Eleanor Johnson has shown the importance of autobiography in the practice of Middle English authors seeking ethical transformation in their audiences. The exemplar for this approach, The Consolation of Philosophy, serves as a model for the didactic aims of Patience. The poem’s prologue features a suffering narrator who has resigned himself to “pacience” as an inescapable “poynt” (l. 1). He hears a sermon, however, on the Beatitudes that describes patience as a happy state of emotional control where one “con her hert stere” (l. 27). The narrator then compares his situation to Jonah, whose story he proceeds to tell. Through the comparison, the poet makes the story of Jonah more immediate for his audience. Similarly, the poem adapts the Vulgate’s depiction of God to make him a familiar and accessible character. God speaks about his relationship to Nineveh in the language of craft, pregnancy, and child-raising. Although the depiction is at odds with scholastic theology, the God of Patience is a passible figure who suffers the existence of evil and describes his emotions in bodily language. God’s practice of patience not only makes it a “nobel poynt” (l. 531), but one that is accessible to passible humans. Happiness, which in medieval ethics is achieved by aligning one’s perspective with universal truths and with God, is now possible in patience. The epilogue shows the narrator embracing patience, modeling ideal ethical transformation for the reader.
This article offers a proxemic interpretation of Dido y Eneas , a Spanish Golden Age play written by Cristóbal de Morales Guerrero. It is a mythological work of which the plot is based on the protagonist’s psychological confrontation between desire, staying in Carthage with queen Dido, and duty, heading to Italy to begin the Roman lineage. Such forces are represented by two supernatural characters, goddess Venus and Creusa, Aeneas’ murdered wife transformed into a hellish spirit, respectively, who enter and exit the stage by spectacular means and employing special machinery. The use of these devices creates a strongly semanticised opposition according to which the top of the stage acquires a positive meaning and the bottom a negative one. In this context, it is perceived that Creusa tends to move upwards, whereas Venus does so downwards. These dynamics can be understood from both an axiological and dramatic view in the sense that the duty of sailing to Italy is the only reliable force since it is decreed by gods and, because of this, it will end up prevailing over desire, for Aeneas will indeed abandon Dido.
Dieser Beitrag nimmt die heutige Empfindlichkeit für soziale Regression, Prekarität, das Erodieren von sozialen Sicherheitssystemen und Fragen der Klassenformierung als Anregung, einen neuen Blick auf die Literatur der Arbeiterbewegung der 1860er und 1870er Jahre zu werfen, als von einer vollständig organisierten Arbeiterklasse sowie von sozialer Sicherung und dem Wohlfahrtsstaat nicht bzw. nur ansatzweise die Rede war. Eine Llektüre von August Otto-Walsters Roman Am Webstuhl der Zeit (Social-politscher Roman, 1873) im Licht der damaligen Debatten über die Vorzüge von Literatur im Klassenkampf unter Sozialisten zeigt das politisch-ästhetische Projekt eines aktivistischen Schriftstellers, der seine Leser sich selbst als solidarisch und demokratisch wahrnehmen lassen wollte. Otto-Walsters Roman präfiguriert eine sozial(istisch)e Gesellschaftsform, indem der Plot beschreibt, wie eine Gesellschaft durch Beratung und allgemein zugestimmte Kompromisse erfolgreich von innen her verändert werden kann. Der Roman, der sein politisch-ästhetisches Projekt auf Meta-Ebene zur Schau trägt, ist somit als eine Lektion in demokratischer Haltung konzipiert, die eine solche zentrifugale Reform bedingt. Dass sich dieses politisch-ästhetische Projekt zudem auch in dem sprachkritischen, (raum-)symbolischen und affektiven Entwurf abzeichnet, deckt dieser Beitrag in einer explorierenden Lektüre auf.
Recently new attention has been paid to the presence and use of French outside of France in multilingual regions, one of them being the Southern Low Countries. Scholarship focusing on this area has emphasized the presence of French within the Dutch literary culture as well as studied the language attitude of Dutch authors towards French. This article adds a third focus to this scholarship, namely that of the use of French found within multilingual texts from the Southern Low Countries. Through an analysis of a selection of bilingual and trilingual texts, it is determined how French is incorporated in these texts, what functionality it serves and to what extent this function reflects or contradicts findings from the other two views on French in medieval Dutch literary culture.
Taking as reference the literary criticism from the English-speaking world, this essay attempts to explain the correlations between science and secularization as shown in Las fuerzas extrañas , a collection of short stories by Argentinian modernista author Leopoldo Lugones. By analyzing the intertextual connections between Lugones’ book and The Secret Doctrine , the ambitious theosophical treatise authored by Helena P. Blavatsky, and using also the concept of “scientific paradigm” proposed by Thomas Kuhn, the conclusion is reached that Lugones is both, a firm opponent of the materialistic scientific positivism of the nineteenth century, and a proponent of a new syncretic spiritualism that simultaneously coincides with and distances from the Christian Weltanschauung.
This article investigates Irene Vallejo’s 2015 novel El silbido del arquero , a narrative in the Virgilian tradition mostly inspired by Book IV of the Aeneid . We show how Vallejo reinterprets Dido and Aeneas’s tragic love story by foregrounding minor characters, developing the setting, integrating popular subgenres and exploring communicative anxieties and gender issues. It is argued that patterns of dissatisfaction, self-delusion and disillusionment with human affairs ultimately collide with a message of hope voiced by the fictionalised Virgil.
In the 1920s, during his émigré life in interbellum Berlin, Vladimir Nabokov wrote a number of Christmas stories. These stories—“Christmas,” “The Christmas Story,” and “A Reunion”—were all composed and published at Christmastime and set on the eve of Russian Christmas (first week of January). While involving the traditional motifs of the Christmas-story genre, such as the combination of joy and sorrow as well as the motifs of epiphany, gift, care, and forgiveness, these narratives expand the scope of the genre to represent not communal religious values but a private ethical stance. The purity of commitments emerges as a criterion for successful inner life. The gifts are usually the gifts of the memory, cherished in “Christmas” and “A Reunion,” and forfeited in “The Christmas Story,” as well as in a counter-story, “A Matter of Chance,” which was also written at Christmas time but set August and published with half a year’s delay.
The concept of the human beast is assigned to the French novelist, Émile Zola, who is the first to codify principles of Naturalism, against which all future naturalist works would be compared. In his novels, especially in the saga Les Rougon-Macquart, the human beast, «la bête humaine», appears as a literary character embedded in the lower social strata, who, due to harsh working and living conditions in the French capital during the Second Empire, acts according to its most basic instincts. The actions of a human beast are violent and brutal and its behavior conditioned by limited education. In his novels, Zola applies the doctrines of biological determinism as well as the laws of heredity attained from scientific readings that were very popular among the intellectuals of the period. However, the theoretical principles recollected in Le roman expérimental (G. Charpentier et Cie Éditeurs, 1880) were not equally applied in other countries due to different literary precedents as well as diverse socio-historical and philosophical backgrounds. This paper aims to examine the nuances in the aesthetic representation of the human beast in Zola’s L’Assommoir (1877), Galdós’ La Desheredada (1881) and Crane’s Maggie, a Girl of the Streets (1843), delving into the behavioral patterns which shape the unique characteristics of their human beasts.
This article studies the ways in which animals are represented as both “real” and “symbolic” figures in Patrick Deville’s Peste & Choléra (2012). The novel focuses not only on the scientific and medical developments in which its principal subject, the scientist Alexandre Yersin, was involved, but also presents the corresponding dark underside of this progress and the violence that accompanied the lifesaving and lifechanging innovations. Deville is known for exploring the complicated repercussions of historical events that continue to be felt to the present-day. I argue that throughout Peste & Choléra, scenes with animals serve as particularly sharp reminders that human advancement does not come without a cost. Although the animals appear primarily confined to scientific laboratories or relegated to the edges of human settlements, Deville writes about them in an expansive style, constructing a complex web of layered biblical and literary references. I contend that, through these passages, Deville encourages a multiplicity of ways of reading animals and refuses to let them be carelessly cast as simply scientific elements, forgotten victims of modernity.
This article considers Chaucer’s treatment of the British past in the Canterbury Tales and other works, considering in turn each of his references to Brittany, Britons, and British literary sources. It argues that Chaucer leans lightly on Geoffrey of Monmouth’s De gestis Britonum (Historia regum Britanniae) as a source, though he certainly knew the text, because he preferred a popular idea of Brittonic literature as orally composed and recited by bards, in juxtaposition to Latin written texts and auctoritas. His depiction of the British past as a fanciful, romantic site of encounter, in contrast to other Canterbury Tales set in the historical past, creates a reassuring sense of distance between England’s contemporary present and the complexities of Britain’s past, and avoids the politics of Welsh colonization and conquest in the era of Owain Glyndŵr. It argues that Chaucer’s preferred method of recalling England’s classical inheritance is through references to Latin authorities and classical culture rather than through the Trojan heritage of the Britons, which would uncomfortably set English national history against the Welsh and Trojan past it had usurped.
The essay introduces a new and important source for the Old English glossing of Aldhelm's De virginitate in the manuscript Brussels, Royal Library 1650, namely the Grammar/Glossary of the Anglo-Saxon writer Ælfric. The glossators' cooperative working methods are analyzed, and identities are suggested for the two most productive scribes, one of whom is shown to be a native speaker of the French language.
A una flor nacida en una calavera: En torno al concepto de propagación contextual Abstract This study deals with the way in which the literary motif of the flower born in a skull was transmitted. In particular, it is analyzed the textual formulation that emerged in baroque poetry and how it was projected later in several cultural contexts. In addition , this analysis tries to illustrate the concept of contextual propagation, which refers to a process of literary transmission that explains the survival and evolution of certain texts through new channels of expression involving a change in literary genre and even expressive medium. Variantes de un motivo universal y delimitación de objetivos La imagen de la planta que germina de los restos mortales, con variantes como las flores que nacen de la sangre o de las lágrimas vertidas por la muerte de la persona amada, es un tópico recreado en tradiciones tan diversas como la mitología egip-cia y la griega, las leyendas alemanas o los cuentos de la Bretaña. 1 Baste recordar como ejemplo, dentro del ámbito hispánico, la metamorfosis triunfal del amor en el conocido desenlace del romance del Conde Niño, expresada así en esta versión oral registrada en Los pozuelos de Calatrava (Ciudad Real): A ella, como hija de reyes, la entierran en el altar, a él, como hijo de conde, unos pasos más atrás. De ella nace un rosal blanco, de él, un espino fugaz; las ramitas que se alcanzan fuertes abrazos se dan. (CLO, 857r)
This article studies the representation of atomic power stations in contemporary French novel, by questioning the relationship they have to the place in which they are located. Through the analysis of a corpus formed by Le Pays de Marie Darrieussecq (2005), La Centrale by Élisabeth Filhol (2010) and La Traversée de la France à la nage (2012) by Pierre Patrolin, the article shows that the presence of the power plant in the natural environment generates a feeling of "uncanny” in the characters. As a consequence, in these texts a defamiliarization technique allows the authors both to problematize the anthropization of the landscape and to thematize the question of nuclear risk, without always evoking it in a direct way. The article, by adding to the reference corpus L’Aménagement du territoire (2014) by Aurélien Bellanger and Nature humaine (2020) by Serge Joncour, addresses then the dialectics between political and scientific discourse, which makes possible the narrativization of an ecological reflection on atomic energy. Résumé Cet article analyse, par une méthode écopoétique, la représentation des centrales atomiques dans le roman français de l’extrême contemporain, en soulignant la dimension fondatrice de la relation au lieu dans lequel elles sont situées. Par l’étude d’un corpus formé par Le Pays de Marie Darrieussecq (2005), La Centrale d’Élisabeth Filhol (2010) et La Traversée de la France à la nage (2012) de Pierre Patrolin, il montre que la description de la centrale dans le milieu naturel peut engendrer, dans le ressenti subjectif des personnages, un sentiment d’«inquiétante étrangeté» et un mécanisme de défamiliarisation qui permet à la fois de problématiser l’anthropisation du paysage et de thématiser la question du risque nucléaire sans toujours l’évoquer de manière directe. L’article aborde ensuite la question de l’entrelacement entre discours politique et discours scientifique, qui rend possible l’élaboration d’une réflexion écologique sur l’énergie atomique, en ajoutant au corpus de référence L’Aménagement du territoire (2014) d’Aurélien Bellanger et Nature humaine (2020) de Serge Joncour.
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