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A Science Fiction in a Gothic Scaffold: a Reading of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Zinia Mitra, Nakshalbari College, Darjeeling, India

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Abstract

Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus is a unique blend of two genres: Gothic and science fiction. While it follows the gothic convention of tale within tales, its epistolary framework and keeps intact its unrestrained lengthy articulations, it explores at the same time the innovative marvels of modern science. The fire that Prometheus stole form Zeus to help mankind is ingeniously   replaced in the novel by the spark of electricity. The novel also puts to question some traditional social assumptions.

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.

Poetry and Technology in Marinetti’s Futurist Manifestos

Daniela Petro?el, University of Suceava, Romania

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Abstract

The Avant-garde literary movements accomplished a wide combination of artistic and scientific principles, exploiting aesthetically the aspects of technological world. Thus, the Futurist manifestos are landmarks for a new model of technophilic sensibility. The aim of this study is to demonstrate the way in which elements of the technological universe are comprised in the discourse of Marinetti’s futurist manifestos, implicitly giving rise to a new aesthetics. The new means of transportations (the automobile, the dirigible, the airplane) and the means for transmitting information (the telegraph, the radio) radically modify the perception of time and space, creating an aesthetics of simultaneity.    

Healing through Hip Hop in the Slums of Phnom Penh Cambodia

Romi Grossberg, Independent Researcher and Performance Activist , Australia

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Abstract

Local non-government organisation ‘Tiny Toones’ is the first and only of its kind in Cambodia, to use hip hop to engage with, and empower the most disadvantaged children and youth in Phnom Penh. Working with young people from backgrounds of drug and alcohol abuse, prostitution, gang life, family violence and extreme poverty, it offers creative arts alongside education and life skills. Teaching life lessons through break-dance, hip hop dance, lyric writing, rapping, and art, Tiny Toones ‘speaks street’ to those that need it most, empowering them to believe in themselves, trust themselves and make better choices about their futures. The staff and students of Tiny Toones are living proof of how the creative arts can be used to change lives and free young people from their past.

Drama and the Politics of Climate Change in Nigeria: A Critical Appraisal of Greg Mbajiorgu’s Wake Up Everyone

Norbert Oyibo Eze, University Of Nigeria, Nsukka

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 Abstract

Johnny Igbonekwu observes that ‘an obvious primal instinctive human quest” is to “conquer the world” but he equally notes that man has not been able to achieve this goal, in spite of his “formidable intellectual assaults on the multifarious stupendous mysteries of the world” (Talk About Man 1). The quest for all manner of domination-economic, political, territorial, and spatial, etc, has driven man into invention and mindless application of technology which in choking nature, cause it to frequently retaliate through global warming, tsunami, landslide, erosion, and flooding of different dimensions. The constant decimation of human lives, businesses, buildings, and municipal services as well as the emergence of perturbing diseases owing to these palpable effects of natural disaster, force the issue of climate change to occupy a significant place in the world of environmental studies and research. This paper seeks to explain the place of drama in tackling the problem of climate change through a detailed analysis and interpretation of Greg Mbajiorgu’s Wake Up Everyone considered to be a giant impact assessment study and provocative wake-up call.

Cities of Struggle and Resistance: The Image of the Palestinian City in Modern Arabic Poetry

Saddik M.Gohar, UAE University, UAE

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Abstract

This paper aesthetically articulates the representation of the Palestinian city in modern Arabic poetry in order to argue that while Arab -and non-Arab poets-incorporate  variety of attitudes toward the city ,  the presentation of the Palestinian city reveals a radical difference from the rest of Arabic and non-Arabic poetry  due to the peculiar history of struggle, resistance and victimization characterizing life in the Palestinian metropolis.  To the Palestinian poets, in particular, the city is part of a homeland they have lost or a refugee camp that has been resisting the invaders for decades.  Contrary to western cities  inhabited by alien residents such as Eliot’s Prufrock, or Arab cities populated by strangers, outsiders, whores, outcasts and political prisoners  as in the literary  cities of Badr Shaker Al-Sayyab  and Ahmed Abdul-Muti  Hejazi , the Palestinian city is inhabited by heroes and martyrs.  These heroes who appear in contemporary Palestinian poetry and take different shapes personify the struggle and resistance of a nation that has frequently refused to surrender at times of crisis.  Representing the spirit of the Palestinian people confronting  a world replete with  treachery and hypocrisy,  the Palestinian city and its nameless heroes , in contemporary Arabic  poetry, is an embodiment of  an eternal and unlimited Palestinian dream , the dream of return, rebirth and liberation.  In this context, the paper affirms that unlike Arab cities which are associated with decadence, corruption, exploitation and moral bankruptcy, the Palestinian city,  due to the Palestinian history of exile, resistance, victimization and pain, is viewed in Arabic/Palestinian poetry as a location of heroism,  struggle, defiance and martyrdom.

The Scientist and the Poet: Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose and Rabindranath Tagore

Biswanath Banerjee, Visva-Bharati, India

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Abstract

This article attempts to explore the scientific discourses of Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose and Rabindranath Tagore, to whom science did not signify a mechanistic analysis of facts, but rather a broader interpretation, a wider perception of the universe. Having their beliefs firmly rooted to the preachings of the ancient Hindu Upanishads and the Vedas, they conceived Nature not merely as a physical phenomenon, but a living spirit, which could help man to realize the essential Truth of Life.

In the World of Men: Tagore’s Arrival in the Spiritual Domain of Nationalism

Banibrata Goswami, Panchakot Mahavidyalaya, India

Abstract

Rabindranath Tagore was born in a family which, on one hand, inherited a legacy of rich Indian culture, and on the other, did not hesitate to welcome the modernism, freshly arrived from Europe through waves of Enlightenment. He was sent early to England to imbibe the gifts of modern science and rationalism that could lead him to a standard and secured career. But even though the discipline of work, love for liberalism and quest after scientific truth and technological perfection there impressed him much, in its over all effect the West’s efforts of de-humanization disappointed Tagore and disillusioned him as well. This led him finally to the realization and reconstruction of the motherland that is India. He came to meet the common man and his everyday sorrows and tears in rural Bengal, in Silaidaha, Patisar and Sazadpur where he was given the duty to look after the family estate. The raw and rough smell of the soil, the whirl of the waves in river Padma, the play of seasons on the strings of nature lent him a unique insight. He learnt to weave his words offering a perfect slide show of mutual reciprocation of man and nature, accompanied by a hitherto unheard melody of folk tune that glorifies the struggles of that life and thereby consolidating it gradually to a consciousness out of which a nation is born. The present essay intends to seek and understand the secrets of that story, which, though lacking miserably in sound and fury, strives towards a steady self emergence and emancipation paving the way for political freedom.

Open Texture of Nationalism: Tagore as Nationalist

Gangeya Mukherji, Mahamati Prannath Mahavidyalaya, Mau–Chitrakoot, India

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Abstract

“The attempt to evaluate the relationship of Tagore with the phenomenon of nationalism is hardly uncomplicated and defeats easy categorisation, naturally drawing attention as it must, to the porosity of the concept of nationalism. Although it is the received wisdom in many quarters that Tagore unlike Gandhi was opposed to nationalism, a close analysis may reveal why in his obituary of Tagore Gandhi chose to say: ‘In the death of Rabindranath Tagore, we have not only lost the greatest poet of the age, but an ardent nationalist who was also a humanitarian’.  Was there a nationalist hidden in Tagore which appealed to Gandhi’s nationalism? This paper will try to examine Tagore’s nationalism and his different understanding of the constituents of the nation – culture, language, history, idea of nationhood, memory, non violence – which led him to occasionally take stances that appeared to strike at the roots of the conventional notion of nation, exploring in parallel the extent to which the category of nationalism can be stretched without becoming something of its opposite. Waismann’s idea of open texture, more generally used in the philosophy of language, indicates that notwithstanding definitions there still remain possibilities of a definition being inadequate, although being different from vagueness insofar as the definition may be fairly accurate. This paper on the nation of Tagore will look at the open texture of nationalism.”

Performing and Dying in the name of World Peace: From Metaphor to Real Life in Feminist Performance

 Ahu Antmen

Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey

Volume 2, Number 1, 2010 I Download PDF Version

 DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v2n1.07

Abstract

The paper presents an analysis of “Brides on Tour” undertaken by the Italian performance artists Pippa Bacca and Silvia Moro on International Women’s Day (8th March) in 2008  and considers it as much as a symbolic act of sacrifice, performing for global politics as potent subject and woman as victimized object of local ‘petty crime’.  A very important aspect of the performance is the way it blurs certain boundaries, as with feminist activity in general. In the performance, the writer detects a sense of solidarity by women for women on a global level, where the sacrifice reflected in the risk-taking aspect of hitchhiking symbolizes the past efforts of feminist activists who have at times put their lives in danger to better the living conditions of women through the ages and across nations.

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