Issues

Journal & Issues

Volume 21 (2021): Issue 2 (December 2021)

Volume 21 (2021): Issue 1 (June 2021)

Volume 20 (2020): Issue 2 (December 2020)

Volume 20 (2020): Issue 1 (June 2020)

Volume 19 (2019): Issue 2 (December 2019)

Volume 19 (2019): Issue 1 (June 2019)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2067-5712
First Published
30 Aug 2019
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English

Search

Volume 20 (2020): Issue 1 (June 2020)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2067-5712
First Published
30 Aug 2019
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English

Search

8 Articles
Open Access

From the Ottoman Empire to pre-Islamic Central Asia: Theatre as an Ideological Tool

Published Online: 29 Jan 2021
Page range: 7 - 29

Abstract

Abstract

After Mustafa Kemal Atatürk founded the new Turkish Republic in 1923, the country went through a swift and radical transformation. The ruling elite made use of all possible tools to impose the ideals of the new Republic. Their main objective was to break the bonds with the Islamic Ottoman past to establish a new secular national identity. The essence of the new Turkish nation was found in pre-Islamic Central Asia. This view was supported with the help of the Turkish History Thesis, which asserted that the Turks are a supreme race, and their origins are from Central Asia. The state tried to propagate this thesis by various means. The most effective tool that could reach the illiterate people during that period was the theatre. Accordingly, the aim of this article is to explore how the state disseminated the Turkish History Thesis and the values of the new Republic through theatre. The emergence of this new narrative coincided with the tenth anniversary of the Turkish Republic. The plays, written in 1933, especially for this occasion, will be analyzed to determine how they support the Turkish History Thesis and the values of the new nation. Two plays, Akın (The Raid) and its sequel Özyurt (Homeland), will be explored in detail to give an elaborate account of the ideology behind such plays written during that period.

Keywords

  • Turkish theatre
  • political theatre
  • Turkish History Thesis
Open Access

Understanding Arab American Identity through Orientalist Stereotypes and Representations in Mohja Kahf’s The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf (2006)

Published Online: 29 Jan 2021
Page range: 30 - 52

Abstract

Abstract

Arab-American women’s literature has emerged noticeably in the early years of the 21st century. The social and political atmosphere in post-9/11 America encouraged the growth of such literature and brought it to international attention. This diasporic literature functions as a means of discussing the Orientalist discourse that circumscribes Arab American identity and its effects in determining their position in the wider American society. As such, this article investigates the extent to which Edward Said’s discourse of Orientalism is employed by Mohja Kahf in her novel The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf (2006) to project the stereotypes and misrepresentations that confine the identity of Arab and Muslim characters in the US society. This article suggests that post-9/11 Arab American fiction serves as a literary reference to such stereotype-based discourse in the contemporary era. The arguments in this article, while employing an analytical and critical approach to the novel, are outlined within postcolonial and Orientalist theoretical frameworks based on arguments of prominent critics and scholars such as Peter Morey, Edward Said, and Jack Shaheen, to name just a few.

Keywords

  • Arab American
  • Edward Said
  • Mohja Kahf
  • identity
  • Orientalism
  • stereotypes
Open Access

Ali Smith’s There But For The: Identity, Hospitality and Transcendence in the Age of Surveillance

Published Online: 29 Jan 2021
Page range: 53 - 74

Abstract

Abstract

The aim of this essay is to prove that, throughout Ali Smith’s There But For The (2011), the “narrative” subjective identity (Alphen 83) accessed via the face-to-face relation (Levinas and Hand 42), as well as through storytelling itself, is liable to be turned into archivable information under the pressures of a surveillance state in which its citizens are complicit. I will use this archival/narrative identity dyad as articulated by theorist Ernst van Alphen in order to investigate at length the novel’s staging of hospitality as corrupted by surveillance. I will oppose the notion of identity as information against Emmanuel Levinas’s conception of the face-to-face relation (Levinas and Hand 42), whereby true hospitality depends upon the mutual respect one person has for the absolute singularity of the other, which involves personal information and the right to privacy. As it will become apparent, these identities lose or gain agency according to the engagement of the self with a newly arrived foreign alterity. Thus, the arrival of strangers throughout Smith’s novel thematizes the scenario of hospitality in tension with the stranger as surveyor or as surveyed. The doubling of language, the self-editing of one’s discourse and the risky openness towards the Other are modes of resistance that eschew the artificial categorizations upon which the archival identity is contingent. However, the bridge from interiority to exteriority is mediation. Smith therefore develops a conception of secularized Grace that works by exploring the revolutionary potential of this very mediation and can disrupt the logic of tyrannical surveillance. Part of this approach to history and language is informed by the witnessing of the traces left on the bodies of martyrized dissidents by unjust systems at their apex.

There But For The is narrated by four characters in the mediatic aftermath of a bourgeois dinner party in an affluent suburb of London that witnessed the sudden and unexplainable reclusion of Miles Garth into the spare room of his stunned hosts. The event, as well as those leading up to and following it, is recounted by a grieving nature photographer in his sixties named Mark; May, a rebellious old woman suffering from dementia; an unemployed, middle-aged Anna; and Brooke, a ten-year old girl and voracious reader. The essay will approach these characters’ meditations upon the nature of identity as split between its narrative and archival forms.

Keywords

  • surveillance
  • archive
  • narrative
  • identity
  • hospitality
  • Levinas
  • grace
  • mediation
  • transcendence
  • revolution
Open Access

Gandhian Fasting and Cultural Indigestion in Jeffrey Eugenides’ “Air Mail”

Published Online: 29 Jan 2021
Page range: 75 - 83

Abstract

Abstract

“Air Mail” is one of the ten stories included in Jeffrey Eugenides’ latest collection of stories, Fresh Complaint. Drawing on one of the characters in his third novel, The Marriage Plot, as well as on his own experiences in India working as a volunteer alongside Mother Theresa, “Air Mail” tells the story of young (and idealistic) Mitchell Grammaticus, who leaves the West in order to explore India, Bangkok, and a tropical island in the Gulf of Siam, where he finally succumbs to dysentery (as well as to thoughts regarding the futility of existence). Ripe in irony and biting sarcasm, coupled with a surprising tenderness and empathy, which are the landmarks of Eugenides’ writing, the story is a tongue-in-cheek debate on the East-West cultural conflict, as well as on the numerous (false) conceptions Westerners harbor regarding foreign cultures, paradigms and ideologies.

Keywords

  • food
  • fasting
  • foreign
  • East
  • West
  • ideologies
  • asceticism
  • the spirit
  • sarcasm
Open Access

Echoes of Sapphic Gods and Goddesses, Immortality, Eros and Thanatos in the Work of Modernist Women Poets

Published Online: 29 Jan 2021
Page range: 84 - 109

Abstract

Abstract

In the context of Modernism’s constant return to the past that results in self-knowledge and innovation, certain women writers found Sappho’s writings relevant for their own poetic endeavours. My article will mainly focus on the mythological aspects of both Sappho’s and the modernist women’s poetry. Invocations of and allusions to gods and goddesses and other mythical figures, which involve introspection and expressing certain erotic concerns in stylised ways, will be discussed in order to show how all these women poets innovated. and, in many different ways, significantly enriched the literature of their times. Critics have mainly focused on H.-D.’s poetry in relation to Sappho’s, most likely because the modernist poet had also translated (or adapted, according to most scholars) a number of Sappho’s poems. As regards other modernist women poets, such as, for instance, Amy Lowell or Marianne Moore, critics have refrained, for various reasons, from analysing their work in relation to Sappho’s. There are very few critical accounts of Sappho’s influence on their (and even H.-D.’s) poetry, and this article will, perforce, draw on these, but aims, all the while, to provide new and relevant insights.

Keywords

  • Sappho’s poetry
  • Ancient Greek poetry
  • Modernism
  • modernist women poets
  • stylized and interiorized mythological concerns
  • literature as palimpsest
Open Access

On Telling the Truth: A Cognitive Stylistic Reading of Philip Larkin’s “Talking in Bed”

Published Online: 29 Jan 2021
Page range: 110 - 123

Abstract

Abstract

This essay presents a cognitive stylistic analysis of Philip Larkin’s “Talking in Bed,” highlighting the linguistic functions that aid the reader in the meaning-making process. In the poem, the realization of truth dawns upon the persona in the final moments of a lingering introspection, shedding light on the reason for which he is lying in bed beside his partner, profoundly incapable of uttering a word. It seems to him, in the end, that truth is indispensable to human relationships. This essay represents a thorough attempt at textually analyzing the poem, broaching snippets of knowledge from multiple fields – philosophy, psychology, linguistics, and literature – all in an attempt to present a comprehensive interpretation of Larkin’s poem. The aim is to further evidence the speaker’s realization, that the articulation of truth is a vital element in a healthy relationship, and to provide an understanding of the stylistic technique most utilized by Larkin, namely, the linguistic deviation he usually deploys by the end of his poems. I argue that the ambiguity he instills at the end of this poem makes for a cognitive attempt at empathically communicating to the reader the sense of meaninglessness the persona suffers from throughout the poem.

Keywords

  • Philip Larkin
  • “Talking in Bed”
  • poetry
  • stylistics
  • linguistics
  • cognitive stylistics
  • truth
  • philosophy
  • analysis
  • Jordan Peterson
  • telling the truth
  • relationships
  • deviation
  • ambiguity
  • defamiliarization
Open Access

A Comparative Analysis of Translations of Lucian Blaga’s Poetry into English

Published Online: 29 Jan 2021
Page range: 124 - 144

Abstract

Abstract

The complexity of Lucian Blaga’s poetry is a matter of common knowledge. Part of this complexity is related to the elements of prosody that Blaga skilfully employs, to say nothing of the philosophical vein which infuses his writings, and which derives, understandably, from his philosophical work. Mention should also be made of the lyrical character of Blaga’s dramatic works, which adds significantly to the effort of translating his writings into English, or any other language for that matter. In what follows, we intend to offer a bird’s eye view of the volumes that have been translated into English and to analyse a selection of poems comparatively, in order to signal challenges and discrepancies, born in the process of transferring literary material from Romanian to English, and to point out what has been lost, and, if that be the case, what has been gained in the translation process.

Keywords

  • comparative analysis
  • Lucian Blaga’s poetry
  • challenges
  • unbalance
  • fidelity
  • figures of speech
  • ambiguity
  • lyricism
  • rhyme
  • rhythm
  • polysemy
Open Access

Speech Acts across Cultures: Teaching Compliment Exchanges

Published Online: 29 Jan 2021
Page range: 145 - 163

Abstract

Abstract

Speaking a foreign language implies more than knowing its vocabulary and grammar. As such, teachers of foreign languages should keep this in mind and consider also other aspects than the ones mentioned. Attention should be paid to pragmatics and cultural issues, among others. The present essay aims to highlight the importance of raising foreign language students’ awareness of national and international linguistic and cultural behaviours. It describes briefly the field of cross-cultural pragmatics, focusing on speech acts and their culture-sensitive features. Then, it turns to one of the most important types of speech acts, namely compliment exchanges. Taking into consideration the key role played in cross-cultural communication by the appropriateness of compliments and their expected answers, the article proposes several activities to do in class in order to (1) raise students’ awareness regarding the importance of compliments for successful communication, (2) present them the usual patterns, topics, and cultural particularities of compliments, (3) familiarise students with possible communication threats, and (4) provide them with possible strategies to answer compliments. The activities are not restricted to students of foreign languages in general but are recommended also to those studying specialised subjects in foreign languages, such as communication, translation and interpreting.

Keywords

  • cross-cultural communication
  • cross-cultural pragmatics
  • speech acts
  • compliments
  • compliment exchanges
  • didactics
  • interlanguage pragmatics
  • successful communication
  • communication threats
8 Articles
Open Access

From the Ottoman Empire to pre-Islamic Central Asia: Theatre as an Ideological Tool

Published Online: 29 Jan 2021
Page range: 7 - 29

Abstract

Abstract

After Mustafa Kemal Atatürk founded the new Turkish Republic in 1923, the country went through a swift and radical transformation. The ruling elite made use of all possible tools to impose the ideals of the new Republic. Their main objective was to break the bonds with the Islamic Ottoman past to establish a new secular national identity. The essence of the new Turkish nation was found in pre-Islamic Central Asia. This view was supported with the help of the Turkish History Thesis, which asserted that the Turks are a supreme race, and their origins are from Central Asia. The state tried to propagate this thesis by various means. The most effective tool that could reach the illiterate people during that period was the theatre. Accordingly, the aim of this article is to explore how the state disseminated the Turkish History Thesis and the values of the new Republic through theatre. The emergence of this new narrative coincided with the tenth anniversary of the Turkish Republic. The plays, written in 1933, especially for this occasion, will be analyzed to determine how they support the Turkish History Thesis and the values of the new nation. Two plays, Akın (The Raid) and its sequel Özyurt (Homeland), will be explored in detail to give an elaborate account of the ideology behind such plays written during that period.

Keywords

  • Turkish theatre
  • political theatre
  • Turkish History Thesis
Open Access

Understanding Arab American Identity through Orientalist Stereotypes and Representations in Mohja Kahf’s The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf (2006)

Published Online: 29 Jan 2021
Page range: 30 - 52

Abstract

Abstract

Arab-American women’s literature has emerged noticeably in the early years of the 21st century. The social and political atmosphere in post-9/11 America encouraged the growth of such literature and brought it to international attention. This diasporic literature functions as a means of discussing the Orientalist discourse that circumscribes Arab American identity and its effects in determining their position in the wider American society. As such, this article investigates the extent to which Edward Said’s discourse of Orientalism is employed by Mohja Kahf in her novel The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf (2006) to project the stereotypes and misrepresentations that confine the identity of Arab and Muslim characters in the US society. This article suggests that post-9/11 Arab American fiction serves as a literary reference to such stereotype-based discourse in the contemporary era. The arguments in this article, while employing an analytical and critical approach to the novel, are outlined within postcolonial and Orientalist theoretical frameworks based on arguments of prominent critics and scholars such as Peter Morey, Edward Said, and Jack Shaheen, to name just a few.

Keywords

  • Arab American
  • Edward Said
  • Mohja Kahf
  • identity
  • Orientalism
  • stereotypes
Open Access

Ali Smith’s There But For The: Identity, Hospitality and Transcendence in the Age of Surveillance

Published Online: 29 Jan 2021
Page range: 53 - 74

Abstract

Abstract

The aim of this essay is to prove that, throughout Ali Smith’s There But For The (2011), the “narrative” subjective identity (Alphen 83) accessed via the face-to-face relation (Levinas and Hand 42), as well as through storytelling itself, is liable to be turned into archivable information under the pressures of a surveillance state in which its citizens are complicit. I will use this archival/narrative identity dyad as articulated by theorist Ernst van Alphen in order to investigate at length the novel’s staging of hospitality as corrupted by surveillance. I will oppose the notion of identity as information against Emmanuel Levinas’s conception of the face-to-face relation (Levinas and Hand 42), whereby true hospitality depends upon the mutual respect one person has for the absolute singularity of the other, which involves personal information and the right to privacy. As it will become apparent, these identities lose or gain agency according to the engagement of the self with a newly arrived foreign alterity. Thus, the arrival of strangers throughout Smith’s novel thematizes the scenario of hospitality in tension with the stranger as surveyor or as surveyed. The doubling of language, the self-editing of one’s discourse and the risky openness towards the Other are modes of resistance that eschew the artificial categorizations upon which the archival identity is contingent. However, the bridge from interiority to exteriority is mediation. Smith therefore develops a conception of secularized Grace that works by exploring the revolutionary potential of this very mediation and can disrupt the logic of tyrannical surveillance. Part of this approach to history and language is informed by the witnessing of the traces left on the bodies of martyrized dissidents by unjust systems at their apex.

There But For The is narrated by four characters in the mediatic aftermath of a bourgeois dinner party in an affluent suburb of London that witnessed the sudden and unexplainable reclusion of Miles Garth into the spare room of his stunned hosts. The event, as well as those leading up to and following it, is recounted by a grieving nature photographer in his sixties named Mark; May, a rebellious old woman suffering from dementia; an unemployed, middle-aged Anna; and Brooke, a ten-year old girl and voracious reader. The essay will approach these characters’ meditations upon the nature of identity as split between its narrative and archival forms.

Keywords

  • surveillance
  • archive
  • narrative
  • identity
  • hospitality
  • Levinas
  • grace
  • mediation
  • transcendence
  • revolution
Open Access

Gandhian Fasting and Cultural Indigestion in Jeffrey Eugenides’ “Air Mail”

Published Online: 29 Jan 2021
Page range: 75 - 83

Abstract

Abstract

“Air Mail” is one of the ten stories included in Jeffrey Eugenides’ latest collection of stories, Fresh Complaint. Drawing on one of the characters in his third novel, The Marriage Plot, as well as on his own experiences in India working as a volunteer alongside Mother Theresa, “Air Mail” tells the story of young (and idealistic) Mitchell Grammaticus, who leaves the West in order to explore India, Bangkok, and a tropical island in the Gulf of Siam, where he finally succumbs to dysentery (as well as to thoughts regarding the futility of existence). Ripe in irony and biting sarcasm, coupled with a surprising tenderness and empathy, which are the landmarks of Eugenides’ writing, the story is a tongue-in-cheek debate on the East-West cultural conflict, as well as on the numerous (false) conceptions Westerners harbor regarding foreign cultures, paradigms and ideologies.

Keywords

  • food
  • fasting
  • foreign
  • East
  • West
  • ideologies
  • asceticism
  • the spirit
  • sarcasm
Open Access

Echoes of Sapphic Gods and Goddesses, Immortality, Eros and Thanatos in the Work of Modernist Women Poets

Published Online: 29 Jan 2021
Page range: 84 - 109

Abstract

Abstract

In the context of Modernism’s constant return to the past that results in self-knowledge and innovation, certain women writers found Sappho’s writings relevant for their own poetic endeavours. My article will mainly focus on the mythological aspects of both Sappho’s and the modernist women’s poetry. Invocations of and allusions to gods and goddesses and other mythical figures, which involve introspection and expressing certain erotic concerns in stylised ways, will be discussed in order to show how all these women poets innovated. and, in many different ways, significantly enriched the literature of their times. Critics have mainly focused on H.-D.’s poetry in relation to Sappho’s, most likely because the modernist poet had also translated (or adapted, according to most scholars) a number of Sappho’s poems. As regards other modernist women poets, such as, for instance, Amy Lowell or Marianne Moore, critics have refrained, for various reasons, from analysing their work in relation to Sappho’s. There are very few critical accounts of Sappho’s influence on their (and even H.-D.’s) poetry, and this article will, perforce, draw on these, but aims, all the while, to provide new and relevant insights.

Keywords

  • Sappho’s poetry
  • Ancient Greek poetry
  • Modernism
  • modernist women poets
  • stylized and interiorized mythological concerns
  • literature as palimpsest
Open Access

On Telling the Truth: A Cognitive Stylistic Reading of Philip Larkin’s “Talking in Bed”

Published Online: 29 Jan 2021
Page range: 110 - 123

Abstract

Abstract

This essay presents a cognitive stylistic analysis of Philip Larkin’s “Talking in Bed,” highlighting the linguistic functions that aid the reader in the meaning-making process. In the poem, the realization of truth dawns upon the persona in the final moments of a lingering introspection, shedding light on the reason for which he is lying in bed beside his partner, profoundly incapable of uttering a word. It seems to him, in the end, that truth is indispensable to human relationships. This essay represents a thorough attempt at textually analyzing the poem, broaching snippets of knowledge from multiple fields – philosophy, psychology, linguistics, and literature – all in an attempt to present a comprehensive interpretation of Larkin’s poem. The aim is to further evidence the speaker’s realization, that the articulation of truth is a vital element in a healthy relationship, and to provide an understanding of the stylistic technique most utilized by Larkin, namely, the linguistic deviation he usually deploys by the end of his poems. I argue that the ambiguity he instills at the end of this poem makes for a cognitive attempt at empathically communicating to the reader the sense of meaninglessness the persona suffers from throughout the poem.

Keywords

  • Philip Larkin
  • “Talking in Bed”
  • poetry
  • stylistics
  • linguistics
  • cognitive stylistics
  • truth
  • philosophy
  • analysis
  • Jordan Peterson
  • telling the truth
  • relationships
  • deviation
  • ambiguity
  • defamiliarization
Open Access

A Comparative Analysis of Translations of Lucian Blaga’s Poetry into English

Published Online: 29 Jan 2021
Page range: 124 - 144

Abstract

Abstract

The complexity of Lucian Blaga’s poetry is a matter of common knowledge. Part of this complexity is related to the elements of prosody that Blaga skilfully employs, to say nothing of the philosophical vein which infuses his writings, and which derives, understandably, from his philosophical work. Mention should also be made of the lyrical character of Blaga’s dramatic works, which adds significantly to the effort of translating his writings into English, or any other language for that matter. In what follows, we intend to offer a bird’s eye view of the volumes that have been translated into English and to analyse a selection of poems comparatively, in order to signal challenges and discrepancies, born in the process of transferring literary material from Romanian to English, and to point out what has been lost, and, if that be the case, what has been gained in the translation process.

Keywords

  • comparative analysis
  • Lucian Blaga’s poetry
  • challenges
  • unbalance
  • fidelity
  • figures of speech
  • ambiguity
  • lyricism
  • rhyme
  • rhythm
  • polysemy
Open Access

Speech Acts across Cultures: Teaching Compliment Exchanges

Published Online: 29 Jan 2021
Page range: 145 - 163

Abstract

Abstract

Speaking a foreign language implies more than knowing its vocabulary and grammar. As such, teachers of foreign languages should keep this in mind and consider also other aspects than the ones mentioned. Attention should be paid to pragmatics and cultural issues, among others. The present essay aims to highlight the importance of raising foreign language students’ awareness of national and international linguistic and cultural behaviours. It describes briefly the field of cross-cultural pragmatics, focusing on speech acts and their culture-sensitive features. Then, it turns to one of the most important types of speech acts, namely compliment exchanges. Taking into consideration the key role played in cross-cultural communication by the appropriateness of compliments and their expected answers, the article proposes several activities to do in class in order to (1) raise students’ awareness regarding the importance of compliments for successful communication, (2) present them the usual patterns, topics, and cultural particularities of compliments, (3) familiarise students with possible communication threats, and (4) provide them with possible strategies to answer compliments. The activities are not restricted to students of foreign languages in general but are recommended also to those studying specialised subjects in foreign languages, such as communication, translation and interpreting.

Keywords

  • cross-cultural communication
  • cross-cultural pragmatics
  • speech acts
  • compliments
  • compliment exchanges
  • didactics
  • interlanguage pragmatics
  • successful communication
  • communication threats

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