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 21 (2021): Issue 2 (December 2021)

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

New York City on Stage: (De)Constructing Urban Space in John Guare’s Plays: 1

Published Online: 10 Apr 2022
Page range: 7 - 25

Abstract

Abstract

John Guare distinguishes himself as a playwright who has represented New York City’s various neighborhoods and has fought realist conventions throughout his work. By relying on considerations advanced by Robert Bennett in his study of the literature, art, jazz and architecture of New York City after World War II, the current analysis shows that Guare approaches the discourse of the global capital of the world deconstructively, just like the post-war avant-garde he is probably familiar with. Moreover, Guare’s own search for experimental strategies reflects that of his predecessors and of the shape-shifting city itself. Included in a volume which is part of the Contemporary Dramatists series published by Methuen Drama, the four plays under discussion are: “The House of Blue Leaves” (1971), “Landscape of the Body” (1977), “Bosoms and Neglect” (1979, 1986) and “Six Degrees of Separation” (1990). Exploring the main characters’ experiences in New York City and their encounters with recognizable (or easily legible) sites of this quintessentially American metropolis, such as Greenwich Village and Central Park, the essay examines how Guare deconstructs urban space, advancing a most original and coherent reading of the city.

Keywords

  • urban space
  • urban legibility
  • New York City
  • Twentieth-Century American Drama
  • John Guare
  • theater and the city
  • deconstruction
  • celebrity status
  • neglect
  • Central Park
Open Access

A Gay New York City in Mart Crowley’s “The Boys in the Band”

Published Online: 10 Apr 2022
Page range: 26 - 52

Abstract

Abstract

“The Boys in the Band,” a play by American playwright Mart Crowley (1935-2020), represents a milestone in the representation of urban gay men in theater. By exploring on stage the lives of a group of male gay friends in the late 1960s, Crowley challenged social and dramaturgical norms and conventions. As an integral part of the narrative, New York City, specifically Manhattan Island, makes itself present in the text through direct and indirect references, whether on the level of plot, character construction, or the setting of the play itself. As a paradigmatic play in a moment of special prominence of the Gay Movement in the United States, soon after its premiere in 1968 and before the release of its first film adaptation, “The Boys in the Band” came to be seen differently by critics and activists under the influence of a historical event that also occurred in Manhattan, the Stonewall Riots. This article explores the various instances in which the play, especially in its first Off-Broadway staging, represents not only a gay New York City, but also how this same place made possible the existence of this story and these characters.

Keywords

  • “The Boys in the Band
  • ” Mart Crowley
  • representation
  • New York City
  • Off-Broadway
  • drama
  • Stonewall
  • Gay Movement
  • homosexuality
  • AIDS
Open Access

The Great Gatsby Avant la Lettre: New York City as a Place of Damnation in Willa Sibert Cather’s “Paul’s Case”

Published Online: 10 Apr 2022
Page range: 53 - 64

Abstract

Abstract

“Paul’s Case,” suggestively subtitled “A Study in Temperament,” by Willa Sibert Cather, thematizes some of the main concerns regarding the moral decay of American society and the disillusionment with the American Dream that would be addressed twenty years later by F. Scott Fitzgerald in his iconic novel The Great Gatsby. The story provides ample proof of the presence of such skeptical views regarding American society way before the onset of the orgiastic, almost Babylonian, roaring twenties. Published in 1905, Cather’s story is simultaneously an individual and a societal x-ray of the deepest scars, and the darkest demons, of the world’s most iconic capitalist space, New York City. The city becomes a place of personal, as well as collective, damnation, which fails to offer a solution to Paul’s perceived placelessness. Even though it lacks The Great Gatsby’s ethical and narrative complexity, the story can be seen as a brilliant precursor to the feeling of imminent downfall which pervades the literature of the Jazz Age.

Keywords

  • New York City
  • placelessness
  • moral decay
  • Jazz Age
  • “Paul’s Case”
  • capitalism
Open Access

Cricket Playing in America: Real and Imagined Places of New York in Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland

Published Online: 10 Apr 2022
Page range: 65 - 86

Abstract

Abstract

In his novel Netherland, Joseph O’Neill discusses several issues that arise for a contemporary wanderer or immigrant, namely, issues of adjustment, cultural transition, becoming visible, etc. The search for a new home is accompanied by the idea of a new place and the memory of the native place. Immigrants provide a particular perspective of the city from the position of an outsider. New York is the city that allows seeing the correlation between a geographic perception and the idea of a place that is formed by an immigrant. Real places of New York and their fictional representations in O’Neill’s novel become the focus of this study. The geocritical approach is employed as a productive tool for the analysis of New York spatiality and myth-making.

Keywords

  • space
  • place
  • placeness
  • spatiality
  • geocriticism
  • transgressivity
  • spatiotemporality
  • polisensoriality
  • multi-focalization
  • immigration narrative
Open Access

Representations of Pre- and Post-9/11 New York City in Colum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin

Published Online: 10 Apr 2022
Page range: 87 - 104

Abstract

Abstract

The article sets out to investigate the way in which Colum McCann depicts New York City in his 2009 novel, Let the Great World Spin. While starting from the idea that the novel falls in the category of 9/11 fiction, the article will argue that it makes clever use of the technique of deterritorialization in order to look at the USA from an external point of view, interrogating in this way American international relations and extraterritorial citizenship, both before and after 9/11. The article will also argue that by starting from the trauma of 9/11, which is, however, circuitously tackled in the novel, McCann questions the myth of American exceptionalism, pointing at unresolved US domestic affairs, as well as harrowing external affairs, which have resulted in countless traumas.

Keywords

  • 9/11 fiction
  • American exceptionalism
  • deterritorialization
  • Philippe Petit
  • “flying”
  • “falling”
  • trauma
  • healing
  • the Other
Open Access

Bridging the Gap between Cultures: The Translation of Cockney and Slang in G. B. Shaw’s “Pygmalion”

Published Online: 10 Apr 2022
Page range: 105 - 132

Abstract

Abstract

This article analyses the main drama translation strategies pertaining to the rendering of dialect and slang from English into Romanian with practical emphasis on “Pygmalion” (1914; 1941) by George Bernard Shaw. Moreover, it aims to review translation techniques and strategies which facilitate the translation of slang and dialect, more precisely Cockney, from English into Romanian. Amongst the strategies discussed here are: the application of a cultural filter and of local adaptation, the use of dialect compilation, pseudo-dialect translation, parallel dialect translation, dialect localization, and standardisation. The second half of this article scrutinises a selection of lines extracted from G. B. Shaw’s “Pygmalion,” comparing and contrasting the existing Romanian translations and suggesting new solutions to rendering culture-specific terms into Romanian.

Keywords

  • Cockney
  • slang
  • dialect translation
  • translation strategies
  • domestication
  • adaptation
Open Access

Precarious Geography: Landscape, Memory, Identity and Ethno-regional Nationalism in Niger Delta Poetry

Published Online: 10 Apr 2022
Page range: 133 - 166

Abstract

Abstract

Like most conflicts across the world, the Niger Delta crisis has generated a body of works now labelled Niger Delta literature. These cultural art forms, which are not only programmatic in thrust but also carry a dissenting temper that is laden with counter hegemonic rhetoric, are primarily geared towards underpinning a brutish kind of colonization and corporate greed which has become the stamp of toxic dreaming and dubious progress in Nigeria. This literature draws attention to the debility of the Niger Delta people and to the fact that they are trapped under double hegemons – the Nigerian government and transnational oil firms – that have strategically transformed or reduced this precarious geography and its inhabitants to mere commodities. A close reading of texts on the Niger Delta makes one aware of the politics and structure of the Nigerian economy and the corporate cost of petroculture; moreover, issues of ethno-regional identity, the inequity in the distribution of resources, the near absence of government presence in the Niger Delta and the continuous decay of state infrastructures provide a fertile ground for explaining the resentment expressed by these heavily marginalized people. By protesting their marginality, these poets frame a kind of identity that “others” the Niger Delta people, thereby holding the state accountable for its deplorable conditions and the abysmal underdevelopment of the region considering the quantity of wealth it generates for the Nigerian federation. Paying significant attention to the relationship between the representations of landscape and processes of political and economic transformation and how the landscape becomes the defining index for identity formation in the poetry of Tanure Ojaide and Ibiware Ikiriko, I argue that these poets point to the way in which colonialism and environmental devastation are interlocking systems of domination within the Nigerian nation.

Keywords

  • landscape
  • Niger Delta poetry
  • minority
  • environment
  • oil
  • militancy
Open Access

“Always Symmetrize!: Forging Bonds in Heart of Darkness

Published Online: 10 Apr 2022
Page range: 167 - 187

Abstract

Abstract

“Always Symmetrize!,” the title of this essay – which echoes Fredric Jameson’s better-known admonition to “always historicize” – alludes to a type of literary analysis, inspired by the Chilean psychoanalyst Ignacio Matte Blanco’s concept of “symmetric logic,” which I have been working on for several years. Briefly, it treats the makers of literary monuments as engaged – like the alchemists discussed by Mircea Eliade in The Forge and The Crucible – in the task of perfecting the work of nature, a project that they pursue under the guidance of what I call the “symmetrical imperative.” The “unsurpassable horizon” of this literary endeavor is Homer’s Iliad, whose perfectly achieved, albeit covert, bilateral symmetry (magisterially detailed by Cedric Whitman in his classic Homer and The Heroic Tradition) is made overt in the undisputed masterpiece of Greek geometrical pottery – Exekias’s amphora, “Achilles and Ajax Playing Dice,” which I discuss briefly at the outset of my essay.

The greater part of this essay is devoted to an analysis of the similarly covert workings of the symmetrical imperative in Joseph Conrad’s modernist masterpiece Heart of Darkness. In the initial phases of this “alchemical process,” Conrad treats as symmetrical the two otherwise asymmetrical stages of Marlow’s journey (first to the Central Station and then to the Inner Station). In its second phase, he creates a container within which to contain this pairing of symmetrized episodes in the form of a narrative whose covert bilateral symmetry achieves, as Fernando Pessoa recommends in The Book of Disquiet, “a realization freed from the taint of reality” (30). Having completed my analysis of this twofold alchemical process in Heart of Darkness, I then devote a few concluding pages to its return in “The Secret Sharer,” a short-story which Conrad wrote several years after publishing Heart of Darkness, and in which he may well have “perfected the work of nature” even more impressively.

Keywords

  • Symmetric logic
  • the symmetrical imperative
  • bilateral symmetry
  • symmetrical inversion
  • approximate perfection
  • alchemical craft of the writer
  • realization vs. reality
  • the Exekias Complex
  • involuntary vs. voluntary servitude
  • container and contained
  • “contrapasso.”
8 Articles
Open Access

New York City on Stage: (De)Constructing Urban Space in John Guare’s Plays: 1

Published Online: 10 Apr 2022
Page range: 7 - 25

Abstract

Abstract

John Guare distinguishes himself as a playwright who has represented New York City’s various neighborhoods and has fought realist conventions throughout his work. By relying on considerations advanced by Robert Bennett in his study of the literature, art, jazz and architecture of New York City after World War II, the current analysis shows that Guare approaches the discourse of the global capital of the world deconstructively, just like the post-war avant-garde he is probably familiar with. Moreover, Guare’s own search for experimental strategies reflects that of his predecessors and of the shape-shifting city itself. Included in a volume which is part of the Contemporary Dramatists series published by Methuen Drama, the four plays under discussion are: “The House of Blue Leaves” (1971), “Landscape of the Body” (1977), “Bosoms and Neglect” (1979, 1986) and “Six Degrees of Separation” (1990). Exploring the main characters’ experiences in New York City and their encounters with recognizable (or easily legible) sites of this quintessentially American metropolis, such as Greenwich Village and Central Park, the essay examines how Guare deconstructs urban space, advancing a most original and coherent reading of the city.

Keywords

  • urban space
  • urban legibility
  • New York City
  • Twentieth-Century American Drama
  • John Guare
  • theater and the city
  • deconstruction
  • celebrity status
  • neglect
  • Central Park
Open Access

A Gay New York City in Mart Crowley’s “The Boys in the Band”

Published Online: 10 Apr 2022
Page range: 26 - 52

Abstract

Abstract

“The Boys in the Band,” a play by American playwright Mart Crowley (1935-2020), represents a milestone in the representation of urban gay men in theater. By exploring on stage the lives of a group of male gay friends in the late 1960s, Crowley challenged social and dramaturgical norms and conventions. As an integral part of the narrative, New York City, specifically Manhattan Island, makes itself present in the text through direct and indirect references, whether on the level of plot, character construction, or the setting of the play itself. As a paradigmatic play in a moment of special prominence of the Gay Movement in the United States, soon after its premiere in 1968 and before the release of its first film adaptation, “The Boys in the Band” came to be seen differently by critics and activists under the influence of a historical event that also occurred in Manhattan, the Stonewall Riots. This article explores the various instances in which the play, especially in its first Off-Broadway staging, represents not only a gay New York City, but also how this same place made possible the existence of this story and these characters.

Keywords

  • “The Boys in the Band
  • ” Mart Crowley
  • representation
  • New York City
  • Off-Broadway
  • drama
  • Stonewall
  • Gay Movement
  • homosexuality
  • AIDS
Open Access

The Great Gatsby Avant la Lettre: New York City as a Place of Damnation in Willa Sibert Cather’s “Paul’s Case”

Published Online: 10 Apr 2022
Page range: 53 - 64

Abstract

Abstract

“Paul’s Case,” suggestively subtitled “A Study in Temperament,” by Willa Sibert Cather, thematizes some of the main concerns regarding the moral decay of American society and the disillusionment with the American Dream that would be addressed twenty years later by F. Scott Fitzgerald in his iconic novel The Great Gatsby. The story provides ample proof of the presence of such skeptical views regarding American society way before the onset of the orgiastic, almost Babylonian, roaring twenties. Published in 1905, Cather’s story is simultaneously an individual and a societal x-ray of the deepest scars, and the darkest demons, of the world’s most iconic capitalist space, New York City. The city becomes a place of personal, as well as collective, damnation, which fails to offer a solution to Paul’s perceived placelessness. Even though it lacks The Great Gatsby’s ethical and narrative complexity, the story can be seen as a brilliant precursor to the feeling of imminent downfall which pervades the literature of the Jazz Age.

Keywords

  • New York City
  • placelessness
  • moral decay
  • Jazz Age
  • “Paul’s Case”
  • capitalism
Open Access

Cricket Playing in America: Real and Imagined Places of New York in Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland

Published Online: 10 Apr 2022
Page range: 65 - 86

Abstract

Abstract

In his novel Netherland, Joseph O’Neill discusses several issues that arise for a contemporary wanderer or immigrant, namely, issues of adjustment, cultural transition, becoming visible, etc. The search for a new home is accompanied by the idea of a new place and the memory of the native place. Immigrants provide a particular perspective of the city from the position of an outsider. New York is the city that allows seeing the correlation between a geographic perception and the idea of a place that is formed by an immigrant. Real places of New York and their fictional representations in O’Neill’s novel become the focus of this study. The geocritical approach is employed as a productive tool for the analysis of New York spatiality and myth-making.

Keywords

  • space
  • place
  • placeness
  • spatiality
  • geocriticism
  • transgressivity
  • spatiotemporality
  • polisensoriality
  • multi-focalization
  • immigration narrative
Open Access

Representations of Pre- and Post-9/11 New York City in Colum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin

Published Online: 10 Apr 2022
Page range: 87 - 104

Abstract

Abstract

The article sets out to investigate the way in which Colum McCann depicts New York City in his 2009 novel, Let the Great World Spin. While starting from the idea that the novel falls in the category of 9/11 fiction, the article will argue that it makes clever use of the technique of deterritorialization in order to look at the USA from an external point of view, interrogating in this way American international relations and extraterritorial citizenship, both before and after 9/11. The article will also argue that by starting from the trauma of 9/11, which is, however, circuitously tackled in the novel, McCann questions the myth of American exceptionalism, pointing at unresolved US domestic affairs, as well as harrowing external affairs, which have resulted in countless traumas.

Keywords

  • 9/11 fiction
  • American exceptionalism
  • deterritorialization
  • Philippe Petit
  • “flying”
  • “falling”
  • trauma
  • healing
  • the Other
Open Access

Bridging the Gap between Cultures: The Translation of Cockney and Slang in G. B. Shaw’s “Pygmalion”

Published Online: 10 Apr 2022
Page range: 105 - 132

Abstract

Abstract

This article analyses the main drama translation strategies pertaining to the rendering of dialect and slang from English into Romanian with practical emphasis on “Pygmalion” (1914; 1941) by George Bernard Shaw. Moreover, it aims to review translation techniques and strategies which facilitate the translation of slang and dialect, more precisely Cockney, from English into Romanian. Amongst the strategies discussed here are: the application of a cultural filter and of local adaptation, the use of dialect compilation, pseudo-dialect translation, parallel dialect translation, dialect localization, and standardisation. The second half of this article scrutinises a selection of lines extracted from G. B. Shaw’s “Pygmalion,” comparing and contrasting the existing Romanian translations and suggesting new solutions to rendering culture-specific terms into Romanian.

Keywords

  • Cockney
  • slang
  • dialect translation
  • translation strategies
  • domestication
  • adaptation
Open Access

Precarious Geography: Landscape, Memory, Identity and Ethno-regional Nationalism in Niger Delta Poetry

Published Online: 10 Apr 2022
Page range: 133 - 166

Abstract

Abstract

Like most conflicts across the world, the Niger Delta crisis has generated a body of works now labelled Niger Delta literature. These cultural art forms, which are not only programmatic in thrust but also carry a dissenting temper that is laden with counter hegemonic rhetoric, are primarily geared towards underpinning a brutish kind of colonization and corporate greed which has become the stamp of toxic dreaming and dubious progress in Nigeria. This literature draws attention to the debility of the Niger Delta people and to the fact that they are trapped under double hegemons – the Nigerian government and transnational oil firms – that have strategically transformed or reduced this precarious geography and its inhabitants to mere commodities. A close reading of texts on the Niger Delta makes one aware of the politics and structure of the Nigerian economy and the corporate cost of petroculture; moreover, issues of ethno-regional identity, the inequity in the distribution of resources, the near absence of government presence in the Niger Delta and the continuous decay of state infrastructures provide a fertile ground for explaining the resentment expressed by these heavily marginalized people. By protesting their marginality, these poets frame a kind of identity that “others” the Niger Delta people, thereby holding the state accountable for its deplorable conditions and the abysmal underdevelopment of the region considering the quantity of wealth it generates for the Nigerian federation. Paying significant attention to the relationship between the representations of landscape and processes of political and economic transformation and how the landscape becomes the defining index for identity formation in the poetry of Tanure Ojaide and Ibiware Ikiriko, I argue that these poets point to the way in which colonialism and environmental devastation are interlocking systems of domination within the Nigerian nation.

Keywords

  • landscape
  • Niger Delta poetry
  • minority
  • environment
  • oil
  • militancy
Open Access

“Always Symmetrize!: Forging Bonds in Heart of Darkness

Published Online: 10 Apr 2022
Page range: 167 - 187

Abstract

Abstract

“Always Symmetrize!,” the title of this essay – which echoes Fredric Jameson’s better-known admonition to “always historicize” – alludes to a type of literary analysis, inspired by the Chilean psychoanalyst Ignacio Matte Blanco’s concept of “symmetric logic,” which I have been working on for several years. Briefly, it treats the makers of literary monuments as engaged – like the alchemists discussed by Mircea Eliade in The Forge and The Crucible – in the task of perfecting the work of nature, a project that they pursue under the guidance of what I call the “symmetrical imperative.” The “unsurpassable horizon” of this literary endeavor is Homer’s Iliad, whose perfectly achieved, albeit covert, bilateral symmetry (magisterially detailed by Cedric Whitman in his classic Homer and The Heroic Tradition) is made overt in the undisputed masterpiece of Greek geometrical pottery – Exekias’s amphora, “Achilles and Ajax Playing Dice,” which I discuss briefly at the outset of my essay.

The greater part of this essay is devoted to an analysis of the similarly covert workings of the symmetrical imperative in Joseph Conrad’s modernist masterpiece Heart of Darkness. In the initial phases of this “alchemical process,” Conrad treats as symmetrical the two otherwise asymmetrical stages of Marlow’s journey (first to the Central Station and then to the Inner Station). In its second phase, he creates a container within which to contain this pairing of symmetrized episodes in the form of a narrative whose covert bilateral symmetry achieves, as Fernando Pessoa recommends in The Book of Disquiet, “a realization freed from the taint of reality” (30). Having completed my analysis of this twofold alchemical process in Heart of Darkness, I then devote a few concluding pages to its return in “The Secret Sharer,” a short-story which Conrad wrote several years after publishing Heart of Darkness, and in which he may well have “perfected the work of nature” even more impressively.

Keywords

  • Symmetric logic
  • the symmetrical imperative
  • bilateral symmetry
  • symmetrical inversion
  • approximate perfection
  • alchemical craft of the writer
  • realization vs. reality
  • the Exekias Complex
  • involuntary vs. voluntary servitude
  • container and contained
  • “contrapasso.”

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