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Voicing Colourspaces: Colour-usage and Response as Alternative Narration in Dennis Cooley’s Bloody Jack

Ashes Gupta, Tripura University, India.

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Abstract

Dennis Cooley has attempted to unsettle several complex issues relating to post modernity, intertextuality, mingling of genres, decentering authority et al.  His poetry is rich in complexity and in dealing with the problems of the text. He has published three books of poetry.  Leaving (Turnstone 1980), Fielding (Thistledown 1983) and Bloody Jack (Turnstone 1985).  His poetry reveals his interest in formal departures from the tyranny of orthodox running rhythm, and the left hand margin.  From Leaving to Bloody Jack, Cooley has decentred authority from its traditional formal and ideological strongholds including the author, and placed it in the mind and heart of the reader.  In his books of poetry, especially Bloody Jack, Cooley tends to deal with flexibility, knowledge and tolerance and seeks to voice the sparsely populated and neglected space of the Canadian prairie. This paper is an attempt to read Dennis Cooley’s Bloody Jack from the semiotic perspective of his use of colour as sign-code in it and the other related issues that it voices.

The Function of Scientific Metaphor in Thoreau’s Walden

Robert Tindol, Shantou University

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Abstract

Henry David Thoreau’s Walden has often been lauded for its philosophical advice “to simplify” and for its energetic response to the question of how human beings fit into the natural world. In terms of language, the very manner in which the author describes and metaphorizes nature in the microcosm of Walden Pond furthers the theme of simplification, and further contributes a novel approach to the very concept of seeing and understanding. Walden is not simply about reducing life to the barest common denominator of existence, but also about understanding how to debride just enough of the superfluities to provide insights into how amalgamating nature with human language can lead to a new humanistic vision of renewal. Thus, the employment of scientific metaphor in Walden is linked to the humanistic quest for guidance in the conduct of life.

Autopoiesis and Cummings’ Cat

Aaron M. Moe, Washington State University

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Abstract

Cummings shattered language, but he did so with precision. The result is a visual poem marked by extreme linguistic upheaval permeated with mathematical and pictorial order—a poem, in other words, that epitomizes linguistic chaos.  One such poem explores the acrobatics of a falling cat, “(im)c-a-t(mo).”  Because of the tension between order and disorder in the poem, the concepts of autopoiesis and fractals from chaos theory provide helpful language to illuminate the poem’s textual dynamics, which then provides a foundation to look deeper into the ideas Cummings explores. 

“Murdering the Innocents”: The Dystopian City and the Circus as Corollary in Charles Dickens’ Hard Times and Angela Carter’s Nights at the Circus

Stacey Balkan, Bergen Community College, New Jersey

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Abstract

There is perhaps no novel that offers a more scathing commentary on nineteenth century conceptions of leisure and industry than Charles Dickens’ Hard Times. Dickens’ description of Coketown, nay Preston, is a caricature of utilitarian uniformity and the commodification of workers in post-industrial England. Ostensibly Marxist in its depictions of those men of “facts and calculations”—clearly Jeremy Bentham and Adam Smith—Dickens offers a community of “hands” covered in soot toiling under the vulgar Bounderby.  Counterpoised against these laborers is the whimsical cast of Mr. Sleary’s circus. Using the circus as a corollary to the dystopian city, he anticipates Angela Carter’s Neovictorian romp through London, St. Petersberg, and Siberia wherein the characters of Nights at the Circus likewise offer an antidote to similarly oppressive prescriptions for economic prosperity.

Text, Reader and Metaphor: Exploring Links between ‘Disparate Domains’ in Some Novels of Charles Dickens

Ralla Guha Niyogi, Basanti Devi College, Kolkata

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Abstract

One of the literary devices often used in a creative work is the metaphor. In my paper, I aim to analyze the reasons why a novel uses metaphors at all, the importance of the reader’s response to the text and how the use of metaphorical language creates a specific world within the text, thereby imparting a special significance to the novel as an artistic whole. I have referred to a few novels of Charles Dickens, relating them to the phenomenological theory of art and the Reader – Response Theory. I have further attempted to explore linguistic views and theories by Roman Ingarden, Wolfgang Iser, Jauss and Saussure among others, relating their views to the use of metaphor in literary works in general, and to some of Dickens’s novels in particular. I have shown how Dickens relates the metaphor of the machine as signifying mechanical human responses in the ‘disparate domains’ of the school and the home. Indeed, the metaphor serves as a bridge between the text and the reader, linking hitherto unrelated facts and endowing a literary work with an evocative quality that enhances its artistic value.

Dark Side of the Moon: Dickens and the Supernatural

Soumya Chakraborty, Jadavpur University

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Abstract

Quite overshadowed by Dickens the social reformer and Victorian England’s most popular and prolific author, lay Dickens a man fascinated with the occult and the supernatural, a practitioner of mesmerism, a believer in the pseudo-science of phrenology, a man so obsessed with the Gothic that time and again he registered a covert, symbolic re-emergence of it throughout his works. Dickens harboured a lifelong attraction towards the supernatural, evidenced in his childhood fondness for the weekly magazine The Terrific Register, dealing with themes of ghosts, murder, incest and cannibalism, and in the several ghost-stories interspersed throughout the corpus of his work. Deeply involved in the 19th Century debates over the existence of spirits and the veracity of ghost sightings, Dickens oscillated between faith in the existence of the other-worldly and scepticism. Always concerned with the psychological aspect of the supernatural, Dickens’ work shows a constant engagement with the eerie, the uncanny and the grotesque. This paper attempts to explore not only the evolution of the theme of the supernatural in Dickens’ works but also his changing attitudes towards it.

Hard Times as a Dickensian Dystopia

P. Prayer Elmo Raj, Karunya University Coimbatore

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Abstract

Hard Times is a dystopia. Hard Times investigates and launches the deplorable Victorian industrial society through the presentation of its setting and characters. The society which the Hard Times explores is one characterized by poverty, denial and oppression. Freedom and happiness were established by the political and economic elites. Right to think and right to fancy was determined by the dominant. The prevalent Utilitarian educational philosophy created havoc in the lives of pupils who were prepared to work in the factories. This paper is an attempt to map the dystopian account of Victorian industrial society as portrayed by Charles Dickens in the Hard Times.

The Therapeutic Value of Indian Classical, Folk and Innovative Dance Forms

Arpita Chatterjee, Barasat College, West Bengal State University, India

Dance provides an active, non-competitive form of exercise that has potential positive effects for physical health as well as mental and emotional wellbeing. Dance therapy is based on the idea that body and mind are co-relational. The therapeutic approaches with various forms of Indian dances are a new entrant to dance literature. Ayurveda held dance as a power of healing (therapy) and inner awareness (psychology). Indian philosophy also supports the facts of Sangeet (song, dance and music) for benefit of human health physically as well as mentally. The powerful dance form of Bhangra (Punjab), Karagam (Tamilnadu), Chou, Rayabese, Dhali (West Bengal) gives good health and strength. The fast footwork of Kathak dance helps to release anger and tension. Manipuri dancers make rounded movements and avoid any jerks, sharp edges or straight lines. It gives them undulating and soft appearance, proper body control and peace of mind. All these body movements, body balancing, expression, muscle movement, muscle constriction and relaxation have a strong effect on therapeutic movements. In India today the dance therapists are conscious about this matter and in therapeutic sessions they actually improvise different dance movements according to the need.

Rabindrasangeet Today: a Sociological Approach

Saurav Dasthakur, Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan, India

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 Abstract

Through a cursory discussion of the history of production, dissemination and reception of Rabindrasangeet since the early twentieth century till date, this article tries to question the dominant (middle class) notion of traditional wide Bengali “popularity” of Rabindrasangeet and a gradual “decline” in its culture in recent times. In the process it attempts a brief exploration of the complex relationship of Tagore’s music with the tradition of north Indian classical music and local “folk” musical traditions on the one hand and the larger logic of aggressive, Eurocentric, hegemonic and homogenising colonial modernity on the other. The dual role of technological modernity in strengthening as well as weakening the tradition of rendition and reception of Rabindrasangeet in this context makes any simplistic perception of the relationship of music and modernity banal. Tagore’s music, thus, the article argues, constructs a space of “alternative modernity” that has conspicuous affinity with his “non-modern” ideas of education and social development. So far as Rabindrasangeet holds an element of critique of and “protest” against the cultural logic of capitalism, despite its unavoidable participation in the market-dynamics today, it will remain close to the heart of those still on the lookout for a cultural space outside the Hollywood-spawned “culture industry.”

Thinking about the Mexican Revolution: Philosophy, Culture and Politics in Mexico: 1910-1934

Aureliano Ortega Esquivel

University of Guanajuato, Mexico

Volume 2, Number 3, 2010Download PDF Version

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v2n3.03

 Abstract

The commemoration of the two hundredth anniversary of the War of Independence and the centenary of the Mexican Revolution make this a good moment for some analysis and reflection on the influence that both events have had on the form and the meaning that Mexican intellectual production and cultural institutions have conserved throughout that time.  The aim of this essay, is to examine in how, and by what cultural and institutional means, a process of historical transformation as violent, convulsive, complex and radical as the Revolution ended up producing a remarkably favourable set of conditions for literature, music, the visual arts, education and, in particular, philosophy, whose earliest developments and contributions came between 1910 and 1934.

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