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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.

Cooking as Performance: Negotiating Art and Authenticity in Ratatouille

Poushali Chakraborty, Rabindra Bharati University, India

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Abstract

 Be it quotidian or haute cuisine, ‘Caviar’ or ‘Quesadillas’, cooking has always been a performance, in its experimentation to create an “appetite appeal” (Carafoli 146). This paper, through an analysis of Brad Bird and Jan Pinkava’s directed, Disney animation Ratatouille, explores the engaging analogies and correlations between the processes in cooking and performance. The stage is being replaced by a single performative site – the kitchen, which becomes the theatre of action, producing the ultimate ‘orgy of olfaction’ (Kirshenblatt-Gimblett 7). A direct communication is shown to be re-established between the spectator and the spectacle, between the actor and the spectator, from the fact that the spectator is invited to share the secret of the kitchen, and ultimately, is, not only affected by the sight, feel, taste, or smell of the final performative outcome – the food, but also impacted upon by the identity of the performer – Remy, the ‘tiny chef’ – nothing but a provincial rat.

“Acrobating between Tradition and Modern”: The Roots Movement and Theatre’s Negotiation with Modernity in India

Anuparna Mukherjee, English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad

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Abstract

When playwrights like Girish Karnad joined the stage after the nation’s independence in 1947, the Indian theatre was suffering from acute identity crises being torn between its ancient cultural past and its more recent colonial legacy, which gave birth to hybrid dramatic forms. Several theatre personalities at that time articulated the aspirations of a newly independent nation through their attempts to decolonize the aesthetics of modern Indian theatre by retracing its roots in the repository of India’s classical and folk traditions.  In the light of these developments my paper aims to look at some of the diverse indigenous forms that had been deployed with much success in plays like Karnad’s Hayavadana or Tanvir’s Charandas Chor, thereby significantly contributing to the larger project of decolonization after independence. At the same time the paper also wishes to interrogate whether this ambivalent process of Indianization, sometimes loosely brought under the umbrella of ‘Roots Movement’, is quintessentially ‘anti-modern’, or whether it is actually an attempt to evolve a discourse of an ‘alternate modernity’ by subverting some of the paradigms of its European counterpart which are actually a by-product of both capitalism and imperialism in the West.

From New Elocution to New Criticism and the Dismissal of Vachel Lindsay

Brian McAllister, Albany State University, Georgia, USA

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Abstract

Vachel Lindsay’s fame was made, and ultimately ruined, by his performances of his “Higher Vaudeville” poems.  This essay discusses the performance of the Higher Vaudeville in light of ideas of the New Elocution movement of the early twentieth century which influenced Lindsay’s technique.  Lindsay conceived these poems as elements of a performance medium.  Ironically, some of the New Elocution ideas were indurated by the New Criticism, which discounted performance as constitutive of poetic meaning and led to Lindsay’s critical dismissal. A consideration of the Higher Vaudeville as performance argues that Lindsay’s achievement warrants critical reassessment.

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.

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.

Language Allergy: Seduction and Second Languages in How the García Girls Lost Their Accents

Juan Pablo Rivera
Westfield State College, USA

Volume 2, Number 1, 2010 I Download PDF Version

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v2n2.03

Abstract

This paper explores the construction of a bilingual, female, heterosexual subjectivity in Dominican-American author Julia Alvarez’s How the García Girls Lost Their Accents. The paper argues that the theoretical excesses in the narrative revolve around a bilingual difference that problematizes heterosexuality’s efforts to become a hegemonic discourse.

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