rss_2.0Ars Aeterna FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Ars Aeterna Aeterna 's Cover in current Slovak literature for children and youth<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Within the solution of the project APVV-17-0071 Support of Reading Literacy in the Mother Tongue and Foreign Language, it is also important to reflect on outsidership as a certain ambivalent phenomenon, which appears after 1989 in contemporary Slovak literature for children and youth in various analogies. One of the aims of the study is to define the initial concept of outsider from various professional perspectives. We will also focus on the methodological basis of research of outsiders (social status, otherness, disadvantage, bullying, rebellion), not only in contemporary artistic texts but also in working exercises with regard to the learning language style.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-27T00:00:00.000+00:00Black, White, Colourful, Gray: Visual Effects in the Children’s Book<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The study presents the reader with an intermedial interpretation of the storybook Mimi &amp; Liza written by Katarína Kerekesová – Katarína Moláková – Alexandra Salmela (2013). The storybook follows the story of the friendship of two little girls, Mimi, who sees the world proliferating in mad colours, and the blind Liza, who is immersed in inner seeing. The two girls are presented as each other’s opposites through the semiotics of two counterpointing colour schemes. The analysis is based on Mitchell’s conception of media (Mitchell, 1994), that is, it sets out by acknowledging the intermedial state of the culture of children’s books, and then it follows the unfolding of the visual elements up through the investigation of expressive visual effects created by the text’s rhetoric. The visualization happening with the help of language is the condition of the common worldview of the blind and seeing characters as well as the guiding principle and goal of the volume; therefore besides the visual representation characteristic of children’s books, an emphasized role is given to the validation of the ekphrastic perspective in the analyzed work. The ekphrases of the text are presented as intermedial references (Rajewsky, 2010) based on Irina O. Rajewsky’s interpretation of intermediality. A unique feature of the interpretation is that the ekphrases of the volume read as sort of imaginary/imagination ekphrases which create the special, children’s book version of ekphrasis. It is characteristic for this imagination ekphrases that the order of the imaginary image and its linguistic description create an undecidable symbiosis. These images, however, can also be interpreted as inverted ekphrases, since they function not merely as descriptions of imagination ekphrases, but also as the visual world representations of linguistic imagination. Through several examples the study introduces and analyzes the mechanisms of the visualization happening with the help of language as well as the scenery painted with words.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-27T00:00:00.000+00:00A Critical Inquiry into the Character Strengths of Alexandra Bergman in Willa Cather’s<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The paper focuses on the strengths and virtues of Alexandra Bergson, the central character of Willa Cather’s novel <italic>O Pioneers</italic>! (1913). The novel deals with the harsh life of immigrants in America at the turn of the 20<sup>th</sup> century and describes the ways by which the pioneers sought to establish their existence and cope with their life’s tragedies. Using the VIA-IS (Values in Action Inventory of Strengths) classification, the paper attempts to show how Alexandra Bergson’s character strengths contribute to the value-based paradigm represented in the novel.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-27T00:00:00.000+00:00Animal symbolism in works of H. P. Lovecraft<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Howard Phillips Lovecraft is widely considered to be one of the most influential writers of modern horror fiction and one of the main pioneers of the genre in its current form. One of the less discussed attributes of his work is his use of animal symbolism, despite how common it is, and serves several important functions. We will examine the different forms of animal symbolism in Lovecraft’s writing, their use and their respective functions. Our main goal will be to examine how animal symbolism in Lovecraft’s work was influenced by cultural and mythological sources and his own opinions towards different creatures and what they represent, in which case we will examine how his knowledge and beliefs may have influenced his depiction of animals. Our focus will be on the depiction of cats, dogs, snakes, aquatic, and amphibious animals as these play a significant role Lovecraftian fiction. We will also examine how animal symbolism connects to the key themes in cosmic horror, such as its negation of anthropocentrism.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-27T00:00:00.000+00:00The figure of the martyr in Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s short fiction<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In many ways, Ngũgĩ‘s collection Secret Lives and Other Stories (1975) foreshadows his latternovels and their thematic preoccupations as it portrays colonial encounters and social and political upheavals in (post)colonial Kenya. The paper focuses primarily on selected stories included in the second section of the collection which revolve around the theme of fighters and martyrs. Ngũgĩ‘s adoption of Christian imagery, on which he relies quite heavily in his novels as well, enables him to articulate the ambivalent position and conflicts of his characters, both African and European. The motif of martyrdom is associated both with the clashing worlds of Christianity and the Gikuyu religion (addressing primarily the subject of conversion), and the Mau Mau revolt which inevitably required communal sacrifices. The paper ponders on the various modifications of the motif and its potential functions.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-27T00:00:00.000+00:00Female Island: Jean Rhys’s<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Two leading articles of feminist hue – “The Laugh of the Medusa” (1976) and “Feminist Criticism in the Wilderness” (1981) – by two seminal figures, Hélène Cixous and Elaine Showalter respectively, grant a new look at Jean Rhys’s novel Wide Sargasso Sea. Two main themes that come to the fore from these two articles with reference to Rhys’s novel are the male-dominated female zone and the importance of female writing for women. Both critics mention the strong hold of patriarchy on women, which is quite obvious in Antoinette’s condition in Rhys’s novel. Next, both Cixous and Showalter claim that while men see the female domain as a dark space, women should stick to their female domain and express themselves through writing. And this is what Rhys does in her novel; she gives a voice to the mad woman in the attic, Antoinette, who has been put there and tagged mad by her husband. By exploring the similarities between feminist criticism in Cixous’s and Showalter’s articles and Rhys’s novel, this study aims to show that although Wide Sargasso Sea is a revolutionary novel with its ability to give the mad woman back her individuality, it is not strong enough to create a world where this woman can experience her individuality.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-30T00:00:00.000+00:00Text, context, affect and effect: Fairy tales in the UNICEF advertising campaign against paedophilia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>By conveying traditions and moral values fairy tales constitute an important part of our lives and cultural identities. Fairy tale motifs and allusions have been repeatedly employed for commercial and non-commercial purposes by advertisers around the world. This paper looks at the UNICEF anti-sexting advertising campaign that features two classic fairy tales, <italic>Hansel and Gretel</italic> and <italic>Little Red Riding Hood</italic>. Sexting is a growing problem among young people these days. According to the recent EU Kids Online 2020 survey carried out in 19 European countries, 22 percent of children aged 12-16, on average, have had some experience with receiving sexual messages or pictures. Through an analysis of the visual and verbal content of selected advertisements, the present study investigates how the advertisers creatively make use of the famous fairy tales to raise public awareness of the issue.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-30T00:00:00.000+00:00Never mind the city guides: The topos of a city in urban fantasy (with interpretative emphasis on Neil Gaiman’s novel )<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The paper focuses on the phenomenon of urban fantasy with a particular interest in the topos of a city, which assumes great significance as a thematic and motivic element in the subgenre. The authors touch upon the relation between (sub)genre and topos/topoi in general, but also more specifically, between urban fantasy and the city, regarding the urban area as a distinct setting with a specific atmosphere, character or genius loci. Within this frame, the paper seeks to exemplify the aforementioned relations through an interpretative study of Neil Gaiman’s novel <italic>Neverwhere</italic>, which breathes life into the London underground scene. London Below comes to personify, literally, the vices of London Above via the use of anthropomorphic strategies. Moreover, the spatial peculiarities of the novel not only contribute to the creation of the fantastical atmosphere but they also function as a vehicle of social critique and a constitutive element of the protagonist’s transformation.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-30T00:00:00.000+00:00Neo-Victorian felony – Crime narratives in Graeme Macrae Burnet’s and Ian McGuire’s<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The neo-Victorian novel has been one of the most significant branches of contemporary British historical fiction for the past three decades. Thanks to works like A. S. Byatt’s Possession, Sarah Waters’ trilogy Tipping the Velvet, Affinity and Fingersmith and Michel Faber’s The Crimson Petal and the White, the genre has gained not only considerable popularity among readers, but also almost a canonical literary status. Although recent neo-Victorian fiction has been trying to find some new ways in which the genre could avoid stereotypical narratives, it still retains its most determining idiosyncrasies. One of them is an interest in the undersides of Victorian society, including the themes of violence and criminality, which is why these novels often resort to the genre of crime and detective fiction. This is also the case of Graeme Macrae Burnet’s His Bloody Project (2015) and Ian McGuire’s The North Water (2016), both historical novels set in Victorian Britain which were, respectively, shortlisted and longlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize. This paper attempts to show the different manners in which these two novels employ various forms of crime narratives so as to achieve their goal of presenting convincing and seemingly authentic insights into the more obscure aspects of the Victorian era.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-30T00:00:00.000+00:00Motifs of homosexuality in Virginia Woolf’s Orlando<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>To avoid the stigma of societal dissaproval, love for somebody of the same sex has often been hidden from the declinatory views of the public; however, it has also been secretively transcribed into a broad spectrum of art. Virginia Woolf embroidered her homosexuality into the grotesque lines of Orlando. At the time, Woolf was engaged in an intense lesbian relationship with author Vita Sackville-West, who served as a model for the work’s main character. Woolf proclaimed her masterpiece “A Biography”, mirroring the duality of her own and Vita’s character, the perpetual beauty of the book’s hero, enduring for centuries, and his subtle gender transition. In the paper, we discuss some of the homosexual motifs in Orlando, which were formed by different influences, including the queer movement, ancient Greek literature and feminism.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-30T00:00:00.000+00:00The women of N. K. Jemisin: Representations of women and gender roles in the science-fantasy<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The following paper deals with representations of women and gender roles in science-fiction and fantasy. It briefly discusses the issue in these genres in general, but it is primarily concerned with one specific example, i.e. N. K. Jemisin’s science-fantasy novel The Fifth Season. The paper’s main aim is to highlight the changing nature of representations of women in science fiction and fantasy and pay tribute to a literary work depicting women from a modern perspective. Thus, it presents the analysis of said novel from the perspective of feminist criticism and gender studies, focusing on how the novel explores through its main and side women characters, ideas of representation, biological sex versus “gendering”, and related notions of femininity, gender roles and gender stereotypes and myths.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-12-30T00:00:00.000+00:00The destruction of the idyll: Linda Castillo’s and Jodi Picoult’s Amish crime fiction<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The present article discusses recent developments in American crime fiction, namely the so-called Amish mysteries by Linda Castillo and Jodi Picoult. The aim is to show that although Castillo’s and Picoult’s fiction has been termed ethnic crime writing, the way these writers make use of the Amish setting does not serve the primarily educational purpose of raising awareness of a specific ethnic group as was the case with the older generation of ethnic crime writers (such as Tony Hillerman and P.L. Gaus). Employing Bakhtin’s idyllic chronotope (a concept most often critically applied to classic works<sup>1</sup> but shown here as a versatile instrument for discussing genre literature as well) as a point of reference, the paper further analyses how the narratives invoke this familiar spatial model and initiate its violation. It is argued that the writers’ narrative strategies serve to achieve the sharpest contrast between the idyllic place of love, family and labour and the hideous crimes committed there, implying that idyllic rurality is either too fragile to be attainable or that its existence is a mere deception.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-07-01T00:00:00.000+00:00Back to Nature and Ireland: Morgan Llywelyn’s<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Written by the Irish author Morgan Llywelyn in 1993, <italic>The Elementals</italic> focuses on the four powerful elements of nature that are essential to life: namely Water, Fire, Earth and Air. Consisting of four parts divided in accordance to these elements, the novel connects four stories which raise universal ecological awareness and present the danger of a future collapse in nature. Depicting the adventures of Irish-origin characters and the striking realization of their deep connection to nature at the end of each part, the novel awakens the reader to their inner relation to other humans, animals, plants, rocks and all parts of nature. Of Irish origins herself, through her novel Llywelyn displays the agency of nonhuman bodies in relation to human bodies, or in other words, Irish-origin human bodies, and the innate connection of all humans to the natural elements. Hence, this study aims to analyse <italic>The Elementals</italic> from the perspective of the new materialism theory underlining the interaction of all beings in the universe through the constant recalling of Ireland as a significant part of the natural culture.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-07-01T00:00:00.000+00:00Hawthorne’s Miriam – a female enigma: A seductive or a victim of abuse?<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In his last published novel, <italic>The Marble Faun (Hawthorne, 1974)</italic>, in spite of his seeming sympathy for Miriam’s plea for friendship, Hawthorne’s narrator relates to Miriam as a “guilty” and “bloodstained” woman, who similarly to the female Jewish models portrayed in her paintings, carries misery, vice and death into the world. The narrator’s ambiguity vis-àvis Miriam’s moral fibre, on the one hand, and his infatuation with the beautiful and talented female artist, on the other, stands at the heart of the novel. The goal of this paper is mainly addressed at examining Miriam’s position in Hawthorne’s fiction, through an analysis of his treatment of his other “dark” and “light” women. Furthermore, I enquire whether Miriam is to be perceived in terms of the popular stereotypical representations of Jewish women (usually, Madonnas or whores), or whether she is granted more original and idiosyncratic characteristics. Next, I discuss Hawthorne’s treatment of Miriam’s artistic vocation, discerning her distinctiveness as a female Jewish 19th-century artist. Finally, Hawthorne’s unconventional choice of Rome as the setting for his novel unquestionably entails reference to the societal, cultural and political forces at play.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-07-01T00:00:00.000+00:00The weather as a storyteller in Lalami’s<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This study explores the self-nature relationship through tracing the key role that the weather conditions in Arab American Laila Lalami’s novel <italic>The Other Americans</italic> (2019) play in narrating the protagonist’s story. It highlights how the weather conditions echo Nora’s deep emotions and reflect her inner thoughts and feelings in the light of her relationships with other characters. The study focuses on Nora’s journey of becomingness and reveals that through depicting the changes in the weather, the story of Nora’s self-actualization and settlement can be narrated. It considers presenting how reading the weather conditions informs the reader about Nora’s self-perception, love affairs, career development and aspirations. It also explores how Lalami employs weather description to show the ways in which Nora ends up achieving self-reconciliation. As the events unfold, Nora is transformed from a person who comments on the clouds and winds and describes the fogs and rains to a fully-fledged character who, figuratively, is able to conjure up thunderstorms and hurricanes. Hence, by paying closer attention to the weather conditions, one can arguably witness Nora’s metamorphosis. In other words, Lalami’s novel is a site in which discourses on identity, ethnicity, multiculturalism and environment converge.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-07-01T00:00:00.000+00:00A postcolonial feminist dystopia: Margaret Atwood’s<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Postcolonial criticism offers a radically new platform for the interpretation of science fiction texts. Mostly preoccupied with the themes of alien other and interstellar colonization, the genre of sci-fi breaths with colonial discourse and postcolonial tropes and imagery. Although Margaret Atwood rejects the label of science fiction writer, her dystopian novel <italic>The Handmaid’s Tale</italic> (1985) explores similar ethical concerns to the anti-conquest narratives of postcolonial authors. Atwood’s identification of Canadian identity as a victim of the former British Empire is challenged by her introduction of a female character rejecting their postcolonial subjugated identity in a patriarchal society. Her variation on dystopian concerns is motivated by sexuality, and her characters are reduced to objects of colonial desire with no agency. The protagonist, Offred, endures double colonization from the feminist perspective; yet, in terms of postcolonial criticism, Attwood’s character of Offred is allowed to reconstruct her subaltern identity through her fragmented narration of the past and speak in an authoritative voice. The orality of her narration only confirms the predisposition of the text to interpretation in the same terms as postcolonial fiction.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-07-01T00:00:00.000+00:00Political violence and re-victimization in<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman (2017) is a play about the Carney family living in 1980s Ireland during the period of insurgency of the Irish Republican Army (IRA – also known as the Provisional IRA) and its efforts to end British rule in Northern Ireland, a period known as “the Troubles”. This paper focuses on Jez Butterworth, one of the most distinctive voices of the contemporary British theatre scene and a typical representative of the 1990s cultural trend, and his tragedy <italic>The Ferryman</italic>, which portrays the struggle and conflicts between Catholic nationalists and Protestant loyalists in Northern Ireland in the last decades of the 20th century. The second major point of the study is that the power of the Irish Republican Party has a heavy impact on the play. The paper also discovers how Sean Carney and other members of his family both embody and apply the story of Eugene Simons and other members of “the Disappeared”. Like other young men, Seamus Carney became a victim during the Troubles and the campaign of political violence. The discovery of his body symbolizes how political violence created the Disappeared and shows that re-victimization and retraumatisation continue in the aftermath of the Troubles.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-07-01T00:00:00.000+00:00Under (Re)Construction – Belfast in the Poetry and Prose of Ciaran Carson<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p> Ciaran Carson’s poetry is deeply concerned with the city of Belfast, as many of the poems unfold their twisting itinerary against the active background of this northern urban location. In addition to the poems Carson has published a fair number of prose pieces and a tentative autobiography, which also resurrects the city in its dynamism, though on a different timescale. The poems and the prose pieces together constitute a narrative of the changing city with the conclusion that the most apparent element of permanence in the context of the city is change itself, which leads to a strained relationship between the city and the map representing it.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2014-07-10T00:00:00.000+00:00Speculative Cultural Constructs of the Human Condition in John Fowles’s Mantissa<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p> In Mantissa, Miles Green is deprived of his identity, and his Muse(s) attempt to help him reforget it through different (sub)cultural impersonations. This privately coded novel presents the process, which results in what could be termed a culturally determined variant of the postmodern human condition. My paper discusses some aspects of the way in which John Fowles reformulates his interpretations of the postmodern human condition, while demonstrating the capacity of art in general and of the novel in particular to adjust its rhetoric, narrative and technical solutions to the expectations generated by this extremely complex and difficult task.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2014-07-10T00:00:00.000+00:00Humanisation of the Subject in David Foster Wallace’s Fiction: From Postmodernism, Avant Pop to New Sensicerity? (Tri-Stan: I Sold Sissee Nar to Ecko, 1999)<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p> David Foster Wallace’s fiction is often considered to be an expression of the new American fiction emerging in the late 1980s, the authors of which expressed a certain distance from the dehumanised and linguistically constructed subject of postmodern fiction, and which depicted individuals influenced by mass media, pop culture and technology in technologically advanced American society. David Foster Wallace’s short story Tri-Stan: I Sold Sissee Nar to Ecko (1999), however, was also included in the Avant-Pop Anthology (Larry McCaffery, L., eds. After Yesterday’s Crash: The Avant-Pop Anthology. London, New York: Penguin, 1995). Some other critics (Adam Kelly, for example) consider him to be an author who expresses New Sincerity in his depiction of reality, which is a tendency in fiction trying to depict human experience and emotions through the use of language and which does not emphasise the human subject and experience to be a product of the interplay of signifiers as understood by Deconstruction criticism and many postmodern authors. This paper will analyse David Foster Wallace’s use of narrative strategies that are connected with postmodern narrative techniques and, at the same time, the way they express a distance from them through a depiction of human experience as interactive communication between human subjects. In addition, the paper will analyse the poetics of the new sincerity as part of contemporary postpostmodern sensibility. That is why I use the term sensicerity to express a combination of the new sensibility and sincerity.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2014-07-10T00:00:00.000+00:00en-us-1