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Psyche and Hester, or Apotheosis and Epitome: Natural Grace, la Sagésse Naturale

Anthony Splendora, Independent Scholar, Pennsylvania, USA

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Human interpretation fails, for a turbulent life-situation has arisen that refuses to fit any of the traditional meanings assigned to it. It is a moment of collapse. We sink into a final depth — Apuleius calls it “a kind of voluntary death.” . . . This is the archetype of meaning, just as the anima is the archetype of life itself.

Carl Jung, Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious (1934), p. 66

. . . if it is true that man is capable of everything horrible, it is also true that the horrible always engenders counterforces and that in most epochs of atrocious occurrences the great vital forces of the human soul reveal themselves: love and sacrifice, heroism in the service of conviction, and the ceaseless search for possibilities of a purer existence.

Erich Auerbach, Mimesis (1946), p. 59

Somewhere, if not in the New England of his time, Hawthorne unearthed the image of a goddess supreme in beauty and power.

Mark Van Doren, Nathaniel Hawthorne (1949), p. 154

Overview: Striking Isomorphism

A literary creation of profound cultural significance, the courageous and attractive, healthily libidinous young woman of whom I write is rhetorical to a time and artistic milieu earlier than her author’s and much earlier than ours. Projected novelistically in a tale of waywardness, epic but sublimated love, suffering, exemplary penance, fortitude and triumph, she appears at the end of one epoch and the beginning of another. She is referred to internally as a “destined prophetess” – externally as the “emergent divinity” of that latter, dawning era, and her forbidden love affair with a divine, fair-haired boy of the conservative, male-dominated religious establishment, her engagement in quite specific disobedience to its strictures, has echoes of other famously fallen, transitional women of incalculable cultural-historical sentence. Punishment for the complications arising from her transgression, a hieros gamos, is forthcoming, as it is to those other notorious females, but her godly, complicit lover suffers a grievous wound as well. Imbued by Nature, however, with the earthy, miraculous virtues and resilience of organically natural grace, she endures her initiatory ordeal and eventually prevails. Moreover, her recognition as harbinger of the forthcoming awareness, and her adherence to its mandate, elevate her to fulfillment of her own prophecy: hers is an ascension that heralds the decline and final collapse of the consecrated establishment that sanctioned her. In being doubly mythologized – for ideologically-defined immorality before her ascension and in universal sanctification after, her experience also carries allegorical implications specific to the troubled time of her authorial creation. In addition, her secretive liaison with divinity results in the production of a famous and aptly-named child, a projective symbol of life and fulfillment transcending that superannuating ideology.

Stillness of star-less nights: Afghan Women’s Poetry of Exile

Rumpa Das, Maheshtala College, South 24 Parganas, India

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 Abstract

Contemporary English poetry by Afghan women presents a remarkable reading experience. Critical explorations, at ease with post-colonial conditions, minority solitude and feminist readings, have largely remained inimical to the unique, yet chequered history that women poets such as Zohra Saed, Sahar Muradi, Sara Hakeem, Fatana Jahangir Ahrary, Fevziye Rahzigar Barlas and Donia Gobar document in their works. Most of them write in their native Dari and Pushtun languages as well as in English and often their English compositions have smatterings of their native tongues. Even though individual experiences differ, these women delve into the collective memory of oppression, pain and unrest to give vent to their feelings, and seek to reach out towards a sorority of shared angst. This paper seeks to explore the complex cultural contexts which have given birth to Afghan women’s poetry in exile.

Black Feminist Discourse of Power in For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide

Lamia Khalil Hammad, Yarmouk University, Jordan

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Abstract

This paper discusses black feminist discourse of power in Ntozake Shange’s choreopoem For Colored Girls Who have considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf. The work depicts the struggle of black women through a rainbow of experiences. At the end, the girls arrive at ‘selfhood’ by finding God in themselves. This paper focuses on how the patriarchal discourse lead to their suffereing and how they were able to claim back their identities as black females who only need to be loved and appreciated.

Voicing Colourspaces: Colour-usage and Response as Alternative Narration in Dennis Cooley’s Bloody Jack

Ashes Gupta, Tripura University, India.

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Abstract

Dennis Cooley has attempted to unsettle several complex issues relating to post modernity, intertextuality, mingling of genres, decentering authority et al.  His poetry is rich in complexity and in dealing with the problems of the text. He has published three books of poetry.  Leaving (Turnstone 1980), Fielding (Thistledown 1983) and Bloody Jack (Turnstone 1985).  His poetry reveals his interest in formal departures from the tyranny of orthodox running rhythm, and the left hand margin.  From Leaving to Bloody Jack, Cooley has decentred authority from its traditional formal and ideological strongholds including the author, and placed it in the mind and heart of the reader.  In his books of poetry, especially Bloody Jack, Cooley tends to deal with flexibility, knowledge and tolerance and seeks to voice the sparsely populated and neglected space of the Canadian prairie. This paper is an attempt to read Dennis Cooley’s Bloody Jack from the semiotic perspective of his use of colour as sign-code in it and the other related issues that it voices.

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.”

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’.

Art/Science: Problem-Solving Model as a Unifying Principle of Creativity in Art and Science

Slobodan Dan Paich, Artship Foundation, San Francisco, USA

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 Abstract

Possible procedural similarities between abstract problems mathematically expressed, engineering problems mechanically resolved, collective tensions and yearning expressed as significant poetic, acoustic or visual manifestations in art will be explored through a series of open questions and reflections. We begin with a short analysis and comparison of the methodologies of Nicola Tesla and Leonardo da Vinci, and explore issues raised by examples of imagination in scientific discovery, such as the German chemist Friedrich August Kekulé resolving the riddle of the benzene ring in 1865. The exploration will include reflection on issues of:

   1. Mastery and skill sets

   2. Preparing the field and gathering elements for research

   3. Cognitive modeling in Art and Science

   4. Unexpected connections/discovery

   5. Motivation to complete

Before ending with an open-ended summary, we will include the segment of questions and answers from an ongoing dialogue between the author of this paper and Dr. Paul Pangaro, Board Member of Artship Foundation, Cybernetics practitioner, theorist and the proponent of Conversation Theory.

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.

Revisiting Untraded Paths: Literary Revisions of Eighteenth-Century Exploration Journals

Miriam Fernández-Santiago, University of Granada, Spain

Abstract

The present article proposes a revision of the American imperialistic, scientific, literary and historical origins as they were encoded and re-coded in the writings and rewritings of exploration journals. It theorises on the reciprocal influence that the official and the personal, the scientific and the fictional, the historical and the epical have in the production of a national referent as it is inscribed within the American travel-writing tradition. This article proposes an allegorical and literal reading of “line drawing” in its study of texts by William Byrd, Charles Mason and Thomas Pynchon, which merges experienced and reported realities into a complex multi-text.

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