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Le Chevalier C. Auguste Dupin and Mr Bucket: Mid- Nineteenth-Century Intimations of the Thought-Police

Maria-Ana Tupan , University of Bucharest, Romania

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Abstract

The detective as a literary character was co-fathered within a brief interval from each other by Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Dickens, but Le Chevalier C. Auguste Dupin , who appears in three stories of the former  – “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841), “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt” (1842), and “The Purloined Letter” (1844) –  and low-born, illiterate Bucket, who wreaks havoc upon an ancient aristocratic family in Bleak House, were hatched within nests of widely different social and cultural provenance. The American boy treated to the long-established traditions of institutionalized education in the Old World, and the English child worker, whose father was imprisoned for debt, were a Victorian version of the Prince and Pauper plot.  Our new-historicist approach to these early samples of detective fiction seeks to throw light on the discursive negotiations which may be invoked in an explanatory narrative of the polar representations of one and the same professional class shortly after the creation of the metropolitan police.

“Murdering the Innocents”: The Dystopian City and the Circus as Corollary in Charles Dickens’ Hard Times and Angela Carter’s Nights at the Circus

Stacey Balkan, Bergen Community College, New Jersey

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Abstract

There is perhaps no novel that offers a more scathing commentary on nineteenth century conceptions of leisure and industry than Charles Dickens’ Hard Times. Dickens’ description of Coketown, nay Preston, is a caricature of utilitarian uniformity and the commodification of workers in post-industrial England. Ostensibly Marxist in its depictions of those men of “facts and calculations”—clearly Jeremy Bentham and Adam Smith—Dickens offers a community of “hands” covered in soot toiling under the vulgar Bounderby.  Counterpoised against these laborers is the whimsical cast of Mr. Sleary’s circus. Using the circus as a corollary to the dystopian city, he anticipates Angela Carter’s Neovictorian romp through London, St. Petersberg, and Siberia wherein the characters of Nights at the Circus likewise offer an antidote to similarly oppressive prescriptions for economic prosperity.

Heart versus Head: Hard Times as a radical critique of Industrial Capitalism

Manjeet Rathee, Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak

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Hard Times, published in 1854, at the time of the initial ‘textile phase’ of the England’s Industrial revolution, is a powerful indictment of the inherent exploitative and repressive character of the emerging industrial system that based itself on the reduction and dehumanization of the factory workers as mere mechanical units of manufacture and production, devoid of any human sentiments and emotions. Rightly described as ‘the socially conscious novel’, or ‘the condition of England’ novel’, Hard Times, offers to present, through its structural principle of ‘the conflict of opposites’, an extremely authentic and radical critique of the class exploitation in a newly industrializing England economy that in its overenthusiastic adoption of industrial capitalist ethos tended to threaten the very existence of human individual into a machine and that of the industrial worker into a mere unit of ‘labor power.’ This was sought to be done at various levels ranging from public life in a factory to private existence in a family affecting crucial decisions of love and marriage and through the role of power in education system affecting the growth and development of children as thinking and imaginative individuals. The novel, through its two chief advocates of industrial capitalism- Gradgrind and Bounderby- provides a socio-economic critique of the times of early phase of capitalism when the processes of production were ideologically privileged over the inhuman existence of the workers and when a uniform monotonous life of facts found supremacy in private as well as public life, institutional structures and value system that guided the middle nineteenth century England. The resultant crisis referring to working class reactions in the form of various militant actions has aptly been described by one of the eminent historians of the Industrial Revolution:

Gender Dialectics of Yoruba Drum Poetry

Azeez Akinwumi SESAN, Al -Hikmah University, Ilorin

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Abstract

The analytical and dialectical nature of Yoruba oral art with the inclusion of drum poetry facilitates its unending discourses. In the past and contemporary African society, gender issues have attracted critical attentions of scholars and researchers using different subject areas. In the past Yoruba societies, women were acknowledged as the performers of oral art, particularly in the genres of poetry and prose but with the exemption of drum poetry. It is on this understanding that this paper examines the impact of gender dialectics on the discourse of Yoruba drum poetry. The paper draws inferences from Ifa literary corpus for mythico-historical origin of Yoruba drums. Data are gathered through primary source (field investigations) and secondary sources (books, journals and periodicals).As a verbal art, Yoruba drum poetry has some masculinity attached to it and until recently, women are passive participants in drum poetry performance. It is established that gender dialectics has made a score as there are now the emergence of female professional drummers.

“I was not certain where I belonged”: Integration and Alienation in Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Avirup Ghosh, Bhairab Ganguly College, Kolkata

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 Abstract

The article will focus on the contrary impulses of alienation and integration in Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist that the central character and narrator Changez goes through in America while working as an employee at Underwood Samson, a “valuation” firm and his subsequent return to his native Pakistan where he assumes what appears to be an ultra-nationalistic political stance. This is to argue that Changez’s desperate attempt at assuming this stance has its roots not only in the cultural alienation and racism that he is subjected to in America, especially in a post-9/11 America, but also in his futile effort to naturally integrate with a Pakistani way of life.  By uncovering certain ambiguities in Changez’s ideological rhetoric, the paper tries show how Changez’s critique of American corporate fundamentalism stems from his lack of a sense of belonging and from a feeling of problematized identity.

On Reading ‘Streer Patra’, Mrinal’s Letter to Her husband

Shyamali Dasgupta, Seth Soorajmull Jalan Girl’s College, India

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Abstract

Tagore’s famous short story, ‘Streer Patra’, highlights the suffering, ignominy and neglect that women have to face in a male dominated society. Although set in late nineteenth century Kolkata, Tagore’s story has relevance for the discerning reader even today. It dwells upon issues like child-marriage, commoditization of women, the appalling state of woman-and-child healthcare, high rates of infant mortality as well as the marginalisation of economically dependent women. The story also exposes the terrible plight of orphaned, homeless girls without any means, like Bindu whose way to survive was to accept servitude and total humiliation, from which death becomes the only form of escape. Mrinal’s final rejection of her marital state and decision of leaving her husband is a lone woman’s act of defiance against the relentless subjugation of women in society.

In the World of Men: Tagore’s Arrival in the Spiritual Domain of Nationalism

Banibrata Goswami, Panchakot Mahavidyalaya, India

Abstract

Rabindranath Tagore was born in a family which, on one hand, inherited a legacy of rich Indian culture, and on the other, did not hesitate to welcome the modernism, freshly arrived from Europe through waves of Enlightenment. He was sent early to England to imbibe the gifts of modern science and rationalism that could lead him to a standard and secured career. But even though the discipline of work, love for liberalism and quest after scientific truth and technological perfection there impressed him much, in its over all effect the West’s efforts of de-humanization disappointed Tagore and disillusioned him as well. This led him finally to the realization and reconstruction of the motherland that is India. He came to meet the common man and his everyday sorrows and tears in rural Bengal, in Silaidaha, Patisar and Sazadpur where he was given the duty to look after the family estate. The raw and rough smell of the soil, the whirl of the waves in river Padma, the play of seasons on the strings of nature lent him a unique insight. He learnt to weave his words offering a perfect slide show of mutual reciprocation of man and nature, accompanied by a hitherto unheard melody of folk tune that glorifies the struggles of that life and thereby consolidating it gradually to a consciousness out of which a nation is born. The present essay intends to seek and understand the secrets of that story, which, though lacking miserably in sound and fury, strives towards a steady self emergence and emancipation paving the way for political freedom.

Thinking about the Mexican Revolution: Philosophy, Culture and Politics in Mexico: 1910-1934

Aureliano Ortega Esquivel

University of Guanajuato, Mexico

Volume 2, Number 3, 2010Download PDF Version

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v2n3.03

 Abstract

The commemoration of the two hundredth anniversary of the War of Independence and the centenary of the Mexican Revolution make this a good moment for some analysis and reflection on the influence that both events have had on the form and the meaning that Mexican intellectual production and cultural institutions have conserved throughout that time.  The aim of this essay, is to examine in how, and by what cultural and institutional means, a process of historical transformation as violent, convulsive, complex and radical as the Revolution ended up producing a remarkably favourable set of conditions for literature, music, the visual arts, education and, in particular, philosophy, whose earliest developments and contributions came between 1910 and 1934.

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.

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