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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.

Towards a Postmodern Poetics: Reading Elizabeth Bishop’s Reccy of Realities

Amit Bhattacharya, University of Gour Banga

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Abstract

In this paper, I have tried to analyze a few poems by Elizabeth Bishop to show how she takes up or takes in shifting identities and subject-positions in a clear dialogue with cultural norms and expectations. I have also sought to chart her poetic trajectory from alienation to alterity to show how she started by refusing to accept the ‘otherness’ about her and her various poetic personae based on such determinants as gender, sexuality, class or age, and ultimately accepted those self-same counts of ‘otherness’ in a never-ending melee with the ‘so-called’ metareality of conundrum and contingency that is provisionally called ‘life’.

The Astronomer’s Palace: an Instrument for the Observation of the Sky

Maria Elisa Navarro Morales, McGill University, Canada

Abstract

As a result of the improvement in observational astronomy in the seventeenth century, particularly with the advent of the telescope, astronomical observatories started to be built to house the instruments for the observation of the heavens. With Tycho Brahe’s Uraniborg as precedent in the XVI century, the astronomical observatories of the XVII century were mainly institutional buildings with a political agenda. In contrast, the project for an Astronomical Palace by Juan Caramuel de Lobkowitz (1678-9), was neither a building to contain instruments, nor did it follow an institutional program.  In Caramuel’s project, the building serves as an instrument for the observation and measurement of the celestial movements, integrating the instruments traditionally housed in the building and the building itself into a single structure.  The present paper will look at the Astronomical Palace as an instance of architecture as an instrument to inquire into the natural world. 

Paradise Lost and the Dream of Other Worlds

Hrileena Ghosh, Jadavpur University

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Abstract

The doctrine of plural worlds is an ancient concept which received a new lease on life as a result of developments in astronomy in the sixteenth century. In his epic Paradise Lost, John Milton repeatedly references this idea. Milton uses the concept of plural worlds in two distinct forms: at the literal level, he invokes the possibility of plural worlds within the created universe of the poem, and on a more metaphorical level, he invokes the possibility of the existence of several distinct but overlapping worlds. This paper seeks to consider how and why Milton uses this idea in the ways he does.

The Spectacle of Science: the Art of Illusion in Prints of the French Revolution

Claire Trévien, University of Warwick, UK

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Abstract

In this article, I will discuss prints from the French Revolution that utilize scientific instruments as political metaphors. France’s fascination with science during the Enlightenment has been well documented, notably by Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent and Christine Blondel in their recent investigation of its uses as a popular form of entertainment. Whether it was seen as an ally or a foe, the spectacle of science attracted Revolutionary artists. This pull reveals not only an understanding of scientific material thanks to the groundwork of the Enlightenment, but also a need to reposition science within a Revolutionary context. What the prints have in common is ‘spectacle’ in the sense that they are pre-occupied with the idea of illusion, not just as a negative act of deception but as a creative and potentially empowering process, allowing the viewer to see beyond reality into a brighter future.

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).

The Reconstruction of Identity of the Gentleman in Great Expectations

Madhumita Majumdar, Bhangar Mahavidyalaya, Kolkata

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      When people say that Dickens could not describe a gentleman, what they mean is …that Dickens could not describe a gentleman as gentlemen feel a gentleman. They mean that he could not take that atmosphere easily, accept it as normal atmosphere, or describes that world from the inside….Dickens did not describe gentleman in the way that gentlemen describe gentlemen…He described them…from the outside, as he described any other oddity or special trade.

G. K. Chesterton only put into words what was usually thought of Dickens during his life time. It was usually believed that Dickens could not describe a gentleman because he was himself not one. In 1871, Forster’s The Life of Charles Dickens reported the imprisonment of Dickens’ father on charges of debt non-payment and his own childhood employee status in the blacking factory. This revelation only gave confirmation to Dickens’ detractors that he was not the conventional gentleman. It stood ratified more by the words of Dickens daughter: ‘My father was not a gentleman – he was too mixed to be gentleman.’ (Kate Dickens Perugino, The Dickensian; 1980). When Dickens was writing his contemporary happened to be William Thackeray. Both Dickens and Thackeray were novelists of the middle-class emergence but at opposite ends of the scale. Thackeray’s area was the land between the aristocracy and the middle classes while Dickens was concerned with the lower reaches of the middle class in its most anxious phase of self-definition, struggling out of trade and domestic service.

Dickens the Crime Writer: a Reading of Dickens’ Pioneering Crime Novels

Shukla Chatterjee,  Dr. B. C. Roy College of Pharmacy and AHS, Durgapur, West Bengal, India

 Sanjukta Banerjee, Durgapur Society of Management Science, Durgapur, West Bengal, India

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 Abstract

The context of crime and detection has always produced sensation amidst readers since the dawn of the genre of detective fiction in the eighteenth century. In line with other specific detective fiction authors, elements of suspense, thriller, mystery and crime are often found in the works of Charles Dickens. Though the presence of such literary forms in Dickens’ writings are primarily a result of Victorian obsession towards crime, jail, prison and policing, Dickens is read more as a social novelist rather than a crime writer. A close analysis of Dickens’ great body of work including both fiction and non-fiction marks the evolution of crime fiction from the initial success of the detective story to the height of Holmes’ popularity in the early twentieth century. In spite of this insight, Dickens’ crime writing is perhaps an undervalued aspect. In this paper, therefore, we propose to read Dickens, as a crime writer with reference to his revolutionary crime novels and try to find a reason for undervaluing his aspect of crime writing which in a way would attempt to prove either his success or weakening of his ability as a crime writer.

Revolutionary Roads: Violence versus Non-violence: A comparative study of The Battle of Algiers (1966) and Gandhi (1982)

Vikash Kumar

Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi India

Considered one of the finest realist films ever which reconstitutes perfectly the revolution by the people of Algeria, The Battle of Algiers (Pontecorvo Gillo, La Bataille d’Alger, Igor Film/ Casbah Films, Italy, 1966) presents us an image of a world of anger and agony. The making of The Battle of Algiers possibly heralded the birth of Algerian cinema as it was the first film made just after their independence. In fact, this cinematographic masterpiece reveals to its viewers a plethora of images depicting the Algerian people in their quest for independence. Made in the year 1966, by Gillo Pontecorvo and based on the personal experiences of Yacef Saddi, Military Head of the FLN (Front de liberation National/ National Liberation Front) who also collaborated on the script of the film, The Battle of Algiers, interestingly, was directed with the aim to highlight the invisible aspects and unheard voices of this violent revolution by the people of Algeria as well as the counter measures taken by the colonial power to suppress the movement.

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