shadow

Poems and Paintings by Rob Harle

POTENTIAL

the potential,
for creating digital autonomy;
an insistence,
directed by a Gabriel clone
about the inequity of reality;
and then sadly,
transmitted orally to one person (a life);
this dying is about a postmodern body
a lonely body, alone;
the situation becomes more impersonal
and still yet?
Transhuman potential,

Paradise Lost and the Dream of Other Worlds

Hrileena Ghosh, Jadavpur University

Download PDF Version

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.

‘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

Download PDF Version

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.

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

Saddik M.Gohar, UAE University, UAE

Download PDF  Version

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 Sexologist and the Poet: On Magnus Hirschfeld, Rabindranath Tagore, and the Critique of Sexual Binarity

J. Edgar Bauer, Researcher and Author                 

 Download PDF Version

Abstract

Between 1930 and 1932, German-Jewish sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld (1868-1935) undertook a world journey that he eventually reported in Die Weltreise eines Sexualforschers (1933), arguably the first non-Eurocentric, anti-colonialist critique of Asian cultures from a sexological perspective.  Saluted as “the modern Vatsyayana of the West,” Hirschfeld met during his stay in India personalities such as Jawaharlal Nehru, Jagadish Chandra Bose, and Radindranath Tagore, whom he visited at his family residence in Calcutta.  Against the backdrop of Hirschfeld’s “doctrine of sexual intermediaries” and his general postulate that truly creative artists have mostly “united in themselves both sexes in especially pronounced form,” the study analyzes and assesses his reference to Tagore’s femininity. While acknowledging the correspondences between the sexologist’s universalization of sexual intermediariness and the poet’s premise that “[t]he Creator must be conscious of both the male and female principles without which there can be no Creation,” the elaborations focus on their divergent conceptualizations of sexual difference, womanhood, and the erotic life.

Representation of the ‘National Self’— Novelistic Portrayal of a New Cultural Identity in Gora

Dipankar Roy,Visva-Bharati, India

 Abstract

Any colonial rule involves a systematic and ruthless attack on the culture and heritage of the colonized race. This often results in a total loss or at least maiming of the sense of ‘self’ for the colonized people. The masculinist self of the colonizer labels the self of the colonized as ‘effeminate’. In reaction to this, the nationalist consciousness of the colonized people often tries to replicate the macho virility of the colonial masters in an act of fashioning a ‘nationalist self.’ In the context of Indian colonial history we see development in similar lines. But, the codification of the dominant strand of the nationalist consciousness in overt masculinist terms often have strange reverberations. This paper is about such an act of fashionning selves and its after-effects. To study the issue in the Indian colonial contexts I have chosen Rabindranath Tagore’s novel Gora as a case-study. The conception of this novel’s central character is largely modelled on the issue of an ‘ideal’ national self.  The author, however, by observing the dialogic principle consistently in the text, problematises the dominant ideas connected with the figure of ‘nationalist self’. How he does it will be my main concern in this article. Whether it is possible to arrive at a general tendency of the nature of India’s colonial encounter with the British in relation to the issue of the development of the national character will be dealt with in the concluding section of this essay.

Subjectivity in Art History and Art Criticism

Eleni Gemtou,University of Athens, Greece

Download PDF Version

Abstract

Art history and art criticism belong in a wider sense to the humanities, whose aim is the interpretation and comprehension of human actions and intellectual work.  Both fields draw their basic methodological tools from the hermeneutical tradition.  Their central analytic category is comprehension (verstehen) that seeks to ascribe meaning to the spirit of these actions, or to works of art.  The intention of the art historian is to analyse and integrate artistic works in a wider intellectual and social frame, while the aim of the art critic is to examine the values connected with artistic creations.  Their roles are not always distinguishable, as analysis, comprehension, interpretation and evaluation often co-exist in the studies of both fields.  However, the approach of the art historian should have a scientific character, aiming at objectively valid formulations, while the critic should give equal consideration to subjective factors, acknowledging international artistic values, often taking on the additional role of philosopher or theorist of art. In my paper I examine the varying degrees of subjectivity in the approaches of art historians and art critics.  I give emphasis to the methods and language both use, while I approach the categories of artistic values (aesthetic, moral, cognitive) according to their subjective usage, but also to their role in the comprehension and evaluation of art.  My conviction is that art history and art criticism are complementary activities, as the former creates fertile conditions for the latter’s complete and essential evaluations.

Perspective: Exile Literature and the Diasporic Indian Writer

Amit Shankar Saha, Calcutta University, West Bengal, India

Abstract
The essay takes a holistic view of the word “exile” to encompass a range of displaced existence. It illustrates through John Simpson’s The Oxford Book of Exile the various forms of exiles. The essay then goes on to show that diasporic Indian writing is in some sense also a part of exile literature. By exemplifying writers both from the old Indian diaspora of indentured labourers and the modern Indian diaspora of IT technocrats, it shows that despite peculiarities there is an inherent exilic state in all dislocated lives whether it be voluntary or involuntary migration. More importantly, a broad survey of the contributions of the second generation of the modern Indian diaspora in the field of Indian writing in English depict certain shift in concerns in comparison to the previous generation and thereby it widens the field of exile literature.

Translate »