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Rules of Language in Rules of the House: Study of Tsering Wangmo Dhompa’s Tibetan English Poetry

Shelly Bhoil, Research Scholar, Barzil

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Abstract

The displacement of Tibetans in exile has also displaced the Tibetan language to some extent among the new generation of Tibetans who are born or educated in exile. However, with the new languages and forms of expression in exile, they are negotiating their culture, identity and aspirations. Tsering Wangmo Dhompa, the first Tibetan woman poet in English to be published in the West, is one of the representative voices of New Tibetan Literature in English (NTLE). Her first book of poems Rules of the House was a finalist for the Asian American Literary Awards in 2003, and brought NTLE to academic attention. This paper is a thematic study of the philosophical and the social aspects of language in the poems from Rules of the House.

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).

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.

Cultural Outlook of Literary Dialect in Hard Times and Silas Marner

Serir-Mortad Ilhem, Abu Bekr Belkaid University, Tlemcen, Algeria

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Abstract 

This paper is an attempt to help plug the oral utterance as it occurs in dialogue with the cultural impact in a given society, i.e. to explain the cultural significance of the variants and indicate how the use of dialect by humble characters can interpret a whole system of society mapped by Dickens and Eliot in Hard Times and Silas Marner respectively. Otherwise, the paper is designed to provide the type of speech community in Hard Times and Silas Marner besides the different cultural components of such communities that could the dialectal variables, used by the different characters in the novels, amply reflect through their speech. Hard Times and Silas Marner offer interesting raw material for literary dialect analysis, since each of dialect characters denotes a linguistic strategy to reflect cultural interpretation.

Charles Dickens: a Reformist or a Compromiser

Abdollah Keshavarzi, Firoozabad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Iran

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Abstract

Charles Dickens’s fame as a reformer of his society has been discussed by a lot of his critics. However, his novels and letters as well as his own words point out that he tries to strengthen the dominant ideologies of his age and to be in the mainstream of the ruling middle class. Through Althusser’s notion of Ideological State Apparatuses, this paper concludes that Dickens can be considered a compromiser and a real Subject of his society who transforms the individuals of his society to docile subjects. As such, he cannot be considered a reformer of his age.

‘All the world’s a stage and I’m a genius in it’: Creative Benefits of Writers’ Identification with the Figure of Artistic Genius

Claudia Chibici-Revneanu, ENES, UNAM León in Mexico

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Abstract

This paper focuses on the romantic notion of artistic genius and its operations as a kind of theatrical script functionally guiding many writers’ lives and approaches to their creations. In recent years, the concept has been justly deconstructed as heavily gendered and providing an inadequate representation of actual creative processes. Nevertheless, what these studies of genius have often overlooked are the manifold functions the genius ideology has traditionally fulfilled for artists and society at large. To illustrate this, the article focuses specifically on the complex and often beneficial interaction arising from authors’ self-identification with the genius role and their negotiation of the creative process. A plea will be made for taking seriously the limitations of the genius script while at the same time trying to save-guard its valuable influence on creative writers’ artistic performance.

Tipu Sultan and the Politics of Representation in Three 19th Century English novels

Ayusman Chakraborty, Jadavpur University, India

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 Abstract

Tipu Sultan was the ruler of the native state of Mysore. His fierce opposition to British rule in India earned him unrivalled notoriety in England. Colonial writings usually portray him as a cruel tyrant who tortured Indians and Englishmen alike. This article studies the representation of Tipu Sultan in three nineteenth century English novels – The Surgeon’s Daughter by Sir Walter Scott, Tippoo Sultaun: A Tale of the Mysore Wars by Captain Meadows Taylor, and The Tiger of Mysore by G. A. Henty . In these works, Tipu is painted in an extremely unfavourable light. Arguing that the politics of imperialism influences such representations, this article tries to show how the depiction of Tipu as a monstrous villain served to justify British rule in India. These novels seem to suggest that the British deserve credit for rescuing Indians from such egregious villain. The article also focuses on politicization of Tipu’s dead body. Colonial art and literature constantly return to the scene where Tipu’s body is discovered by his enemies. This article argues that colonial imagination converts Tipu’s corpse to a ‘grisly trophy’ which becomes a sign of British triumph over Oriental despotism.

Jatiyo Itihaas vis-à-vis Manab Itihaas: Tagore the Historiographer

Sajalkumar Bhattacharya, Ramakrishna Mission Residential College, West Bengal, India

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Abstract

Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay wrote Krishnacaritra (1858) with an aim to counter the bias of the western scholars in the history of India recorded by them. But Rabindranath Tagore’s review article of Krishnacaritra is even more interesting, for it provides us with fascinating insights into Tagore’s views on history and historiography. These views are not only more modern and rational than those of Bankim, but they also appear to anticipate the takes of many sociologists, historians and novelists of today. This article attempts to analyse some of Tagore’s review articles as well as some of his essays to examine this alternative method of historiography proposed by him.

“The Noble Savage and the Civilised Brute: Nature and the Subaltern Angst in Swarup Dutta’s Machh Master (The Expert Angler)

Sajalkumar Bhattacharya, Ramakrishna Mission Residential College, West Bengal, India

Abstract

Parallel reading of history from the subaltern point of view is not only possible, but it also often proves to be revealing. It often unearths a new discourse, which challenges the canonized history or even subverts it. This paper offers a reading of a recent Bhasa (Bangla) novel Machh Master (The Expert Angler) where the Naxalite Movement that rocked Bengal in the sixties, has been narrated and analysed from the viewpoint of one dalit subaltern. The novel attempts to create a binary between this ‘uncorrupted’ world/mode of existence and the civilized, sophisticated, intellectual, but essentially ‘corrupted’ urban world. In this natural savage world and its eco-system, the urban, elitist Naxalite movement turns out to be nothing but an imposition and an intrusion. At the end, disillusioned Neul detaches himself from this movement, goes back to, and embraces Nature in a desperate bid to get back his pre-lapserian mode of existence. Neel, chief agent of the Naxalite movement, too is influenced by these children of Mother Nature, and undergoes a transformation. This paper explores this interesting role of Nature in this new reading of the history of mankind.

Finding the voice of the Peasant: Agriculture, Neocolonialism and Mulk Raj Anand’s Punjab trilogy

Jonathan Highfield, Rhode Island School of Design, Rhode Island, USA

 Abstract

Mulk Raj Anand’s Punjab trilogy–The Village (1939), Across the Black Waters (1940), and The Sword and the Sickle (1942)–speaks directly to the destruction of traditional agricultural systems under colonial rule and the absorption of the agricultural goods and human labor of India into a global economic system. The Punjab trilogy traces the life of a character searching for another India, an India free of oppression, misery, and classism. Lalu Singh looks at the situation in the Punjab from an ever-widening orbit, only to recognize that global movements devalue the very people they purport to help. In the end he rejects theory for action, returning to the peasant society he fled as a youth. His decision has resonance in the twenty-first century as formerly colonized regions face the neocolonial onslaught of biopiracy and genetic trait control technologies.

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