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Narratives of Diaspora and Exile in Arabic and Palestinian Poetry

Saddik M. Gohar, United Arab Emirates University

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Abstract

This paper underlines the attitudes of Palestinian / Arab poets toward the issues of exile and identity integral to their traumatic experience of Diaspora and displacement. From a historical context  and within the parameters of colonial / postcolonial theory , the paper  advocates a new critical perspective exploring the dialectics of exile and identity in Palestinian / Arabic poetry in order to argue that  exile , in contemporary world literature ,  becomes  a signifier  not only  of living  outside  one’s homeland but also of  the  condition caused by such physical absence. Aiming to reach a state of reconciliation rather than conflict, the poetic voices, analyzed in the paper, reflect a sense of nostalgia and emotional attachment toward their homeland. The paper  argues that Palestine, for  the Palestinian poets, is not  a paradise or an idealistic utopia that only exists in  their  poetry and  imagination but  a geographical reality caught up in national and religious limbos  and rooted in the trajectories of colonial history and diabolical  power  politics.

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.

The Poetics of John Ashbery

Gargi Bhattacharya, Rabindra Bharati University

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Abstract

John Ashbery (1927- ) takes the postmodernist polysemy of meaning in interpreting a work of art and the polyphony of styles in composing as his forte. He questions the various linguistic codes and makes us aware of the artificiality of the language. All political, ethical and aesthetic imperatives are rhetorical constructs. The writer uses language to persuade the reader to accept the formulated truth and he intervenes in the process of perception by his/her politics of representation. Though his iconoclastic approach towards writing and individuality of style has kept him aloof from mainstream academic syllabi, yet he has now become a prominent figure in Contemporary American Literature. It is interesting to note how Ashbery’s poetry revives the Romantic sensibility while applying the digitalized methods and the postmodern syndromes of immediacy, indeterminacy, disjunctive syntax, open-ended and multiplicity of interpretations. This paper explores the aesthetics of John Ashbery’s poetry.

Bob Dylan’s Folk Poetics in the Later Albums: Telling the Story of America in Ruins in Simple Poetic Language

Matt Shedd, University of Oregon, USA

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Abstract

Bob Dylan’s recent albums have returned to a more basic sense of American vernacular and poetics, employing stock phrases that evoke a rural America of the past. However, the past does not provide any shelter from modern day angst and impending devastation. We see this particularly in the 2001’s Love and Theft, coincidentally released on the day of the Twin Towers attack. By foregoing concepts of radical artistic individuality, Dylan use more traditional folk poetics to provide a historical and communal account of the descent of the United States into what Dylan calls “an empire in ruins.”

Language as Remnant: Survival, Translation and the Poetry of Paul Celan

Dipanjan Maitra, Jadavpur University, Kolkata

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Abstract

This paper is an attempt to explore the relation between poetry and survival taking as a point of focus the poetry of the post-war European poet Paul Celan. By drawing attention to the French thinker Jacques Derrida’s several influential studies of Celan’s poetry on the problems of “witnessing”,  “testimony” and the “idiomatic” this paper finally examines the Italian thinker Giorgio Agamben’s notion of the “remnant” to understand a poetics of survival.

Memory: The ‘Spiral’ in the Poetry of Joy Harjo

Susmita Paul, Independent Scholar

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Abstract

Memory as a narrative is a vindicated thesis in academia. In the article, the author focuses on the nature and the function of ‘memory’ in the poetry of Joy Harjo, an indigenous American poet with tribal affiliations. Instead of using only Eurocentric discourses of performance studies and theoretical studies on memory, the author attempts to assess the distillation of Harjo’s independent ideas on memory in her creative oeuvre – written and performed poetry. Further, the author probes how Harjo’s ‘theory’ of memory connects the past, the present and the future.

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’.

Book Review: In the Heart of the Beat the Poetry of Rap by Alexs Pate

The Scarecrow Press, Inc.

Pub Date: Jan 2010

Hardcover, 176 pages

Price: $24.95

ISBN: 0-8108-6008-2

ISBN-13: 978-0-8108-6008-7

Series:  African American Cultural Theory and Heritage

Review by

Pragna Paramita Mondal, Victoria College, Kolkata

Alexs Pate’s In the Heart of the Beat begins with an anecdote from his childhood days in North Philadelphia. Johnny, a boy in the neighborhood who survived a car accident, was subsequently involved in a conscious process of reorientation of speech as a means to counter his disability. What the ‘Professor’ (Johnny) and rappers share in common, however, is their sense of exigency in speech and their need to articulate and prioritize their distinct worldviews from a position of marginality and oppression. In fact, orality has been one of the defining features in Black cultural history, one that has sustained African American sanity and self-expression. In this book Pate, therefore, makes an attempt at disengaging the poetry of rap from the claims of music and hip hop beats and validates the ‘speech’ of rap by subverting the conventional notions that determine its popular consumption.

Causation as Metaphor–a Catachresis

Robert C Robinson, University of Georgia, USA

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Abstract

The thesis of this paper is that causation, when described and treated as a metaphor, increases in explanatory power, while diminishing the problems associated with standard analysis of it. I  first present a description of the uses of metaphor in scientific and literary language. This is drawn primarily from Max Black’s interaction view of metaphor, as well as the view forwarded by Donald Davidson in his What Metaphors Mean. I then outline some of the standard analyses in the field of causation, followed by some of the standard replies to those analyses. Finally, I show how describing causation in terms of a metaphor will bypass many of these objections, while maintaining or increasing its explanatory power.

Text, Reader and Metaphor: Exploring Links between ‘Disparate Domains’ in Some Novels of Charles Dickens

Ralla Guha Niyogi, Basanti Devi College, Kolkata

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Abstract

One of the literary devices often used in a creative work is the metaphor. In my paper, I aim to analyze the reasons why a novel uses metaphors at all, the importance of the reader’s response to the text and how the use of metaphorical language creates a specific world within the text, thereby imparting a special significance to the novel as an artistic whole. I have referred to a few novels of Charles Dickens, relating them to the phenomenological theory of art and the Reader – Response Theory. I have further attempted to explore linguistic views and theories by Roman Ingarden, Wolfgang Iser, Jauss and Saussure among others, relating their views to the use of metaphor in literary works in general, and to some of Dickens’s novels in particular. I have shown how Dickens relates the metaphor of the machine as signifying mechanical human responses in the ‘disparate domains’ of the school and the home. Indeed, the metaphor serves as a bridge between the text and the reader, linking hitherto unrelated facts and endowing a literary work with an evocative quality that enhances its artistic value.

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