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Asghar Wajahat’s Unborn in Lahore and Salman Khurshid’s Sons of Babur: Rehistoricising the Hindu-Muslim Rivalry

Joydeep Bhattacharyya

Assistant Professor of English, Kurseong College, Darjeeling, India. orcid.org/0000-0002-0329-3756. Email: b_joydeep31@rediffmail.com

Volume 9, Number 4, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v9n4.11

Received October 30, 2017; Revised November 20, 2017; Accepted November 30, 2017; Published December 09, 2017.

Abstract

Indian theatre, after Independence, often engages with contentious issues, though squeamishness about communal realities, particularly the Hindu-Muslim relations and politics, seems to persist. Asghar Wajahat’s Unborn in Lahore and Salman Khurshid’s Sons of Babur are two examples where Indian theatre daringly questions the Islamised and the Hinduised characters of Pakistan and India respectively, confronting the communalised Hindu-Muslim identities and relations head-on. In the present study, it remains to be seen how the two plays interrogate the narrative of arch-rivalry between the two communities and, by extension, the two countries, whose present is always haunted by the spectre of past. The study aims to see how the ‘true’ history of communal rivalry has been reread by ‘false’ history in the plays; how the rereading rehistoricises the naturalised rivalry; and how the plays empower the suppressed voices of harmony, enriching a theatrical tradition of critique and plurality.

Keywords: Hindu, Muslim, India, Pakistan, partition, Indian theatre.

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Ivan Bunin and Guy de Maupassant: Ties Across Creative Writing

Vladimir Meskin & Karina Galay

Peoples Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University), Miklukho-Maklaya str., 10/2, 117198 Moscow, Russia. Corresponding author: vlalmeskin@gmail.com

Volume 9, Number 4, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v9n4.10

Received September 20, 2017; Revised November 21, 2017; Accepted November 30, 2017; Published December 09, 2017.

Abstract

If one compares the works of Guy de Maupassant and Bunin I.A., he or she will find that these two writers are related by a subject matter. In particular, attention is drawn to the description of relationship between men and women. It is essential that Russian writer’s attitude toward the works of his French colleague-predecessor – a bright representative of European realism of the XIX century – changes as he develops in creativity. Textual analysis of similar (by plot) works of Maupassant and Bunin was carried out on the back of the experience of many writers, who have studied the legacy of both classics. Bunin is proved to be modernizing the realistic poetics and going a way of neo-realism – realism, enriched by the influence of modernism.

Keywords: Guy de Maupassant; Bunin I.A; realism; modernism; neo-realism; poetics; context; evolvement.

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“Eugene Onegin” in the English-speaking Linguacultural Space

N. M. Nesterova & Y. K. Popova

Perm National Research Polytechnic University, Russia. Email: zemfiera_9@mail.ru

    Volume 9, Number 4, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v9n4.09

Received October 31, 2017; Revised November 25, 2017; Accepted November 30, 2017; Published December 09, 2017.

Abstract

The article is devoted to the study of the way in which A.S. Pushkin’s verse novel “Eugene Onegin” is presented in the modern English-speaking linguacultural space. The most famous English-language verse translations by C. Johnston, J. Falen, D. Hofstadter and S. Mitchell, V. Nabokov’s prose-rhythmized translation and R. Clarke’s prose translation, have been chosen as research materials. In addition to literary (interlingual) translations, the British-American adaptation of the film “Eugene Onegin” directed by Martha Fiennes and the translation of this film into the Russian language became the material for the analysis. The analysis of this film allowed identifying the specifics of three types of translation of Pushkin’s text – intralinguistic, interlingual and inter-semiotic ones. As a result of the conducted study, the authors have come to the conclusion that nowadays the place of the Russian poet and his main work in the English-speaking linguacultural space is becoming more and more noticeable and significant, while the novel “Eugene Onegin” acquires a status of a “powerful text”, which forms the intertextual space around itself.

Keywords: translation, translatability (untranslatability), inter-semiotic translation, domestication, foreignization, stylization.

From the Inferior Other to the Becoming Being: a Reading of Dracula from Haddon’s Frame

Rajni Singh1 & Reema Chakrabarti2  

1Associate Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT (ISM), Dhanbad. Orcid: 0000-0002-1569-8339. Email: rajnisingh18@gmail.com

2Junior Research Fellow, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT (ISM), Dhanbad. Email: chakrabarti.reema2012@gmail.com

    Volume 9, Number 4, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v9n4.08

Received July 04, 2017; Revised November 20, 2017; Accepted November 30, 2017; Published December 09, 2017.

Abstract

The paper aims to analyze the vampiric figure Dracula as portrayed in the television series by Cole Haddon to understand the nature of identity and the socio-political constructions and constrictions that constitute the self. An individual’s characteristics are often typecast by the projection of a ‘singular affiliation view’. Through the character of Dracula, an attempt will be made to demonstrate how ‘singular affiliation view’ can be deconstructed through ‘alternative identification’. In the process, it will also examine the agencies, such as knowledge, power, and relations that make Dracula a functioning individual who lives with the ambition to empower the self.

Keywords: Dracula; Alternate Identity; Knowledge/Power; Inter-relationships; Becoming Being.

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Beyond the Veil of Fantasy: “The Book of Thel” and the Critique of Romantic Ideology

Ghiasuddin Alizadeh1 & Shideh Ahmadzadeh2

1 PhD candidate of English Literature, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

. Orcid.org/0000-0002-4119-2251.  Email: Ghiasuddin.alizadeh@gmail.com

2 Professor of English Literature, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

   Volume 9, Number 4, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v9n4.07

Received August 21, 2017; Revised September 13, 2017; Accepted November 30, 2017; Published December 09, 2017.

Abstract

Romanticism is usually conceived as a return, from the corrupt political and social milieu, to the purity and innocence of Nature. Romantics, it is argued, aspired for liberty and freedom from the yoke of oppressive social institutions, and cherished the ‘fantasy’ of an ideal society built upon ‘true’ humane values. However, the ultimate failure of the French Revolution in realizing the romantic ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity opened the eyes of some of the Romantic poets to the inherent antagonism, constitutive of human existence as such, namely, the impossibility of a return to a prelapsarian sense of innocence, of the prospect of building a society purged from taints of evil and ideological conflict. This research aims to read William Blake’s The Book of Thel as the poet’s critique of Romantic ideology and fantasy. Through a close analysis of the poem, informed by the ideas of Slavoj Žižek, this article tries to reveal Blake’s insight into the ontological perversity of human civilization and the relationship between the Romantic notions of innocence and experience.

Keywords: Romantic ideology; innocence; experience; fantasy; French Revolution.

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Things and Trauma in Joe Sacco’s Safe Area Goražde

Shalini Deepa Srinivasan

PhD Candidate, Dept. Of English, University of Hyderabad. Orcid.org/0000-0001-5744-951X. Email: shalinisrinivasan@gmail.com

  Volume 9, Number 4, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v9n4.06

Received May 01, 2017; Revised November 13, 2017; Accepted November 30, 2017; Published December 09, 2017.

Abstract

In Joe Sacco’s Safe Area Goražde readers find a representational strategy that relies upon dense imagery, teeming with everyday things. In the wake of trauma, things accrue meaning: they generate means of identity, they are invested with emotional and cultural values, and they perform history and space, becoming what Janet Hoskins terms “biographical objects”. War trauma ruptures temporality and narrative, symbolised by the barricade that separates Goražde from the rest of the world, holding it in stasis. This essay argues that two categories of things in Safe Area Goražde come to mediate the effects of trauma: articles of wear, which are imbued with individual identity, and future-oriented; and homes which acquire repositorial significance, tying together familial pasts and futures. Both act as containers of bodies and families, reifying the subject, and gesturing towards a post-traumatic future.

Keywords: comics, trauma, everyday, things, clothes.

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‘Reconfiguring Others’: Negotiating Identity in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah

Niyi  Akingbe1 & Emmanuel Adeniyi2

1Professor, Department of English Studies, University of South Africa (UNISA), City of Tshwane, Pretoria, South Africa. Email: deniakingbe@yahoo.com

2Lecturer, Department of English and Literary Studies, Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Oye-Ekiti,Ekiti State, Nigeria. Email: ayomercy2011@gmail.com

 Volume 9, Number 4, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v9n4.05

Received October 15, 2017; Revised November 20, 2017; Accepted November 30, 2017; Published December 09, 2017.

Abstract

An examination of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah reveals a mapping of exponential growth of obtrusive racial tension which leaves in its wakes prejudice, acrimony and hatred. The article argues that despite its dialogic engagement with the possibility of harmonizing the varied characters’ racial/cultural backgrounds, Adichie’s Americanah’s experimentation with transculturalism faded in a miasma of morbid biases and despair. This failure has a marked impact on the cultural downturn in the lives of African immigrants and other economic migrants from other parts of the world who are trapped in the social contradictions prevalent in America and England. Through concerted efforts, Adichie negotiated interracial harmony among her characters in Americanah; especially among ethnocentric characters cocooned in private world of hate, snobbishness and recherché referenced by the turbulent contemporary world. Invariably, Adichie as a transcultural writer is bounded by the need to illustrate issues which verge on individuals’ intolerance for people outside their ethno-cultural or socio-political backgrounds. Nevertheless, Americanah’s transcultural trope appreciates the fluidity of the present age: the confluence of global cultures, the mobility as well as nomadic nature of the 21st-century man and the need to engender a monolithic cultural outlook in a culturally polyvalent society. The paper concludes that transculturalism could only manifest in a globally differing society if the walls of ethnocentrism and racism insulating it collapse. Curiously, transculturalism in Americanah ostensibly failed due to the obtrusive racial intolerance exhibited by the varied characters who appear to have determined to cling to the divisive racial sentiments identified in their attitude.

Keywords: ‘reconfiguring others’, negotiating identity, Americanah, African immigrants, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

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‘Reconfiguring Others’: Negotiating Identity in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah

Niyi  Akingbe1 & Emmanuel Adeniyi2

1Professor, Department of English Studies, University of South Africa (UNISA), City of Tshwane, Pretoria, South Africa. Email: deniakingbe@yahoo.com

2Lecturer, Department of English and Literary Studies, Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Oye-Ekiti,Ekiti State, Nigeria. Email: ayomercy2011@gmail.com

 Volume 9, Number 4, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v9n4.04

Received October 15, 2017; Revised November 20, 2017; Accepted November 30, 2017; Published December 09, 2017.

Abstract

An examination of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah reveals a mapping of exponential growth of obtrusive racial tension which leaves in its wakes prejudice, acrimony and hatred. The article argues that despite its dialogic engagement with the possibility of harmonizing the varied characters’ racial/cultural backgrounds, Adichie’s Americanah’s experimentation with transculturalism faded in a miasma of morbid biases and despair. This failure has a marked impact on the cultural downturn in the lives of African immigrants and other economic migrants from other parts of the world who are trapped in the social contradictions prevalent in America and England. Through concerted efforts, Adichie negotiated interracial harmony among her characters in Americanah; especially among ethnocentric characters cocooned in private world of hate, snobbishness and recherché referenced by the turbulent contemporary world. Invariably, Adichie as a transcultural writer is bounded by the need to illustrate issues which verge on individuals’ intolerance for people outside their ethno-cultural or socio-political backgrounds. Nevertheless, Americanah’s transcultural trope appreciates the fluidity of the present age: the confluence of global cultures, the mobility as well as nomadic nature of the 21st-century man and the need to engender a monolithic cultural outlook in a culturally polyvalent society. The paper concludes that transculturalism could only manifest in a globally differing society if the walls of ethnocentrism and racism insulating it collapse. Curiously, transculturalism in Americanah ostensibly failed due to the obtrusive racial intolerance exhibited by the varied characters who appear to have determined to cling to the divisive racial sentiments identified in their attitude.

Keywords: ‘reconfiguring others’, negotiating identity, Americanah, African immigrants, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

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Celebration/Subversion of French Assimilation: A Contrapuntal Analysis of Zebda’s Art

Fella Benabed

Badji Mokhtar – Annaba University, Algeria. Email: benabed.fella@gmail.com

Volume 9, Number 4, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v9n4.03

Received October 11, 2017; Revised November 18, 2017; Accepted November 30, 2017; Published December 09, 2017.

Abstract

This article attempts to understand the ambivalent attitude of celebration/subversion towards French immigration and assimilation policies by artists of immigrant descent.  Using Edward Said’s concept of contrapuntal reading, it analyzes the song “J’y suis j’y reste” by Zebda, a music band whose protest songs are a form of militant struggle against discrimination. Such artists, who celebrate the varied cultural landscape and the polyphonic identity of the contemporary French Republic, aspire for a shift from a monocultural melting pot to a multicultural mosaic that honors its values of liberty, equality, and fraternity.

Keywords: immigration, assimilation, celebration, subversion, contrapuntal reading, hybridity.

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The Spirituality of Beheading: Numinous Experience in Headless

Adam Lovasz

PhD Student, Philosophy Department, Eötvös Lóránd University, Budapest. Email: adam.lovasz629@yahoo.com

Volume 9, Number 4, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v9n4.02

Received October 25, 2017; Revised November 17, 2017; Accepted November 30, 2017; Published December 09,  2017.

Abstract

In my article I seek to uncover the spiritual content underlying the 2015 slasher film, Headless. The film in question portrays a psychotic serial killer who beheads his female victims. Working through the disturbing content, I seek to unpack an “atheology”, to use Georges Bataille’s expression and argue that we must see beyond the graphic violence to understand the spirituality of the slasher film. Adapting Cleanth Brooks’ approach to poetics, I take the film itself as the object of my aesthetic study, as distinct from its broader environment. Objects are self-sufficient realities whose autonomy must be respected. Rudolf Otto’s notion of the “numinous” may be of some help in regard to outlining “beheaded” spirituality as it appears in Headless. Violence unveils the flesh, leading to unspeakable revelations that can only be transmitted through darkness and silence. For Otto, experience of the numinous cannot be put into words. Incommunicability pervades Headless, not only because of the unspeakable crimes perpetrated by the killer, but also because of his own muteness. When confronted with the numinous, we are rendered numb by the awe of this vision. This lack of communication serves to build up tension, until the final scene is unleashed upon the viewer. Using Lee Edelman’s theory of negative queerness, I make the case that the mute serial killer is a sinthomosexual, in that he disavows participation in heterosexual reproductive sexuality and indeed does all he can to deconstruct the heterosexual family.

Keywords: experience, numinous, queerness, sacrifice, transgression.

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