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Language as Remnant: Survival, Translation and the Poetry of Paul Celan

Dipanjan Maitra, Jadavpur University, Kolkata

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Abstract

This paper is an attempt to explore the relation between poetry and survival taking as a point of focus the poetry of the post-war European poet Paul Celan. By drawing attention to the French thinker Jacques Derrida’s several influential studies of Celan’s poetry on the problems of “witnessing”,  “testimony” and the “idiomatic” this paper finally examines the Italian thinker Giorgio Agamben’s notion of the “remnant” to understand a poetics of survival.

Léo Marchutz – a Painter in the Centre of Early Cézanne Research

Agnes Blaha, University of Vienna

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Abstract

From around 1933 onwards, painter Léo Marchutz, in cooperation with art historians John Rewald and Fritz Novotny, began to catalogue and photograph the landscapes painted by Paul Cézanne. The important role Léo Marchutz played for their attempts to use photography for the scholarly purposes of art history and in the development of a network of Cézanne researchers interested in this methodological approach can be reconstructed in detail from their correspondence. In addition to the possibilities these documents offer for a historiographic study of the development of early research in modern art, Marchutz’ work can also be seen as an example for the often underestimated reciprocal influences between creative practice and art historic research.

The Aesthetics of Race and Relativity in A. Van Jordan’s Quantum Lyrics

Paula Hayes, Strayer University, Tennessee, USA

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Abstract

Van Jordan uses physics in his poetry to explore many sub-texts—such as, race in American society, gender, autobiographical memories of youth,as well as the story of Albert Einstein’s marriage to his first wife.  Van Jordan examines the possibility that Einstein’s wife may have helped in discovering the theory of relativity despite the fact that Einstein failed to give her any credit for doing so. The poet’s stories of his personal memories of experiencing youthful love and disillusionment, along with the poet’s unfortunate encounters with racism in America, are juxtaposed in the Quantum Lyrics beside the story of Albert Einstein’s personal life.  The poet moves back and forth in the volume between the language of music and the language of science as a means of exploring how far either one can penetrate to the core of the human experience. 

Charles Dickens’s A Child’s History of England and Spain

José Ruiz Mas, University of Granada, Spain

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Abstract

In this article I endeavour to analyse the image of relevant Spanish historical figures such as King Pedro I, Catherine of Aragon, Christopher Columbus, Philip II, the Spanish Armada and other pro-Spanish English characters such as Mary I, as depicted in Charles Dickens’ A Child’s History of England (1851-53). In his overtly didactic attempt to convey a specific image of the legendary antagonism existing between Spain and England to his contemporary English children and youngsters through this peculiar history book, Dickens amply shows his prejudiced view of Spanish history and his overtly patriotic description of England’s history. Proof of the relevance and the persistence of Dickens’ anti-Spanish and anti-Catholic attitude that prevailed in English society throughout the second half of the 19th century is that C. R. L. Fletcher and Rudyard Kipling insist on similar ideas of Anglo-Spanish relations in A School History of England (1911).

Heart versus Head: Hard Times as a radical critique of Industrial Capitalism

Manjeet Rathee, Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak

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Hard Times, published in 1854, at the time of the initial ‘textile phase’ of the England’s Industrial revolution, is a powerful indictment of the inherent exploitative and repressive character of the emerging industrial system that based itself on the reduction and dehumanization of the factory workers as mere mechanical units of manufacture and production, devoid of any human sentiments and emotions. Rightly described as ‘the socially conscious novel’, or ‘the condition of England’ novel’, Hard Times, offers to present, through its structural principle of ‘the conflict of opposites’, an extremely authentic and radical critique of the class exploitation in a newly industrializing England economy that in its overenthusiastic adoption of industrial capitalist ethos tended to threaten the very existence of human individual into a machine and that of the industrial worker into a mere unit of ‘labor power.’ This was sought to be done at various levels ranging from public life in a factory to private existence in a family affecting crucial decisions of love and marriage and through the role of power in education system affecting the growth and development of children as thinking and imaginative individuals. The novel, through its two chief advocates of industrial capitalism- Gradgrind and Bounderby- provides a socio-economic critique of the times of early phase of capitalism when the processes of production were ideologically privileged over the inhuman existence of the workers and when a uniform monotonous life of facts found supremacy in private as well as public life, institutional structures and value system that guided the middle nineteenth century England. The resultant crisis referring to working class reactions in the form of various militant actions has aptly been described by one of the eminent historians of the Industrial Revolution:

Mary Magdalene or Virgin Mary: Nationalism and the Concept of Woman in Bessie Head’s A Question of Power

Sayyed Rahim Moosavinia, Seyyede Maryam Hosseini & Shahid Chamran

University of Ahvaz, Iran

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Abstract

Foucault believes that people live in systems of power different from one era to another. He applies the term “power archives” to demonstrate that those inside an institute cannot be aware of the subtle ways of power imposed on them. Likewise, it would be oversimplification to think that with the apparent end of colonialism, the colonized subjects will be free from subjugating contexts. In the case of women, the situation is even worse since they are repressed by both the colonialist and the post-colonial nationalist. “Under the anxiety of the influence” of the former colonial father, the once-belittled colonial men turn to support their females in terms of their body and soul, and in this way define them inside a strictly demarcated roles of good wives, mothers, and households or vicious prostitutes. Bessie Head in her semi-autobiographical masterpiece subtly examines this idea and through her coloured protagonist, Elizabeth, attempts to re-deconstruct this notion.

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