Rachel McCoppin, University of Minnesota Crookston
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Carl Jung connects the idea that the mask is the persona one presents to the world; “the persona acts…to conceal the true nature of the individual. It is a social role or mask which acts as a mediator between the inner world and the social world, and which constitutes the compromise between the individual and society” (Hudson 54). The concept of the mask as persona is common in literature, and global modernity is no exception. Oftentimes characters are so enveloped within false or unreliable personas that they fool and confuse the reader. The masks they wear serves as a front to society and the characters they interact with, but sometimes characters are so effectively masked that they become unclear of their own realities, and become unreliable narrators.
It should not be out of place for us here to think of giving an outline to a kind of project, which was on our minds till a certain time but which could not be either discussed or implemented for the lack of appropriate opportunities. Could it be possible to think of a center or academy devoted to neuroscience, evolutionary studies, aesthetics, environment and medicine. Perhaps there is no one single institution in which information from such disciplines could be studied with a general redressive purpose. An institute which shall contain interdisciplinary course work intending to develop modules of analysis regarding behavioral functions, or components of human social existence is the call of the day. This call is driven by the very simple notion that what men and women need are scientific insights into the roots of their own existence and being, and a study of the conditions that would be conducive to free, uninhibited livelihood. Perhaps such insights lead to amelioration of health. The connection between neurophysiological realities of the brain and any form of physical exercise, athletics or sports seemed to have been already grasped by ancient systems of religion. Economists are studying the effects of microlevel redressal measures in the context of attempts made in order to bring about radical changes on macroeconomic level. Answer to such questions as how the arts emerge in human societies can explain the nature of aesthetically motivated actions. It is indeed time for us to conceive of the formation of a society that could discuss issues related to our lives and its environment, our culture and the arts that we perform. Please send us your suggestions or proposals for the formation of such a society. We look forward to hearing from you.
Tirtha Prasad Mukhopadhyay, Editor-in-Chief
Xingyue Zhou, Peking University, China
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While Tagore’s literary works are widely praised in China, his political thoughts have undergone a longtime denouncement. The reception history of The Home and the World fully proves this double-standard: acclaimed for its artistic achievements but despised for its nationalistic thoughts. This essay traces the Chinese scholars’ different reviews on this novel in various periods, at the same time it investigates into Tagore’s own meditation and choice in front of the conflict between mild humanism and radical patriotism. As this investigation touches some ideological dichotomies, it intends to uncover the absolutism of these criticisms, in order to refresh the critical views toward Tagore’s effortful request in the complicated reality of nationalism.