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War on Terror: On Re-reading Dracula and Waiting for the Barbarians

Abstract

Framed by the emerging emphasis in postcolonialism on terror and narratives of terror, this paper argues that Waiting for Barbarians (1980; hereafter Barbarians) can be read as a counter-discourse of resistance to Dracula’s (1898) representation of “war on terror” which revolves around the relationship between empire and its embattled subjects. To demonstrate this the paper examines how Barbarians deconstructs Dracula’s trope of barbarian invasion, resists the techniques of liquidating Dracula, and reimagines Dracula’s the notion of the end of history and the last man. The paper concludes that Dracula and Barbarians offer us radically different conceptualisations of the war on terror and contending visions of the future that cunningly reflect contemporary attitudes since the 9/11 attacks.  

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.

Revolutionary Roads: Violence versus Non-violence: A comparative study of The Battle of Algiers (1966) and Gandhi (1982)

Vikash Kumar

Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi India

Considered one of the finest realist films ever which reconstitutes perfectly the revolution by the people of Algeria, The Battle of Algiers (Pontecorvo Gillo, La Bataille d’Alger, Igor Film/ Casbah Films, Italy, 1966) presents us an image of a world of anger and agony. The making of The Battle of Algiers possibly heralded the birth of Algerian cinema as it was the first film made just after their independence. In fact, this cinematographic masterpiece reveals to its viewers a plethora of images depicting the Algerian people in their quest for independence. Made in the year 1966, by Gillo Pontecorvo and based on the personal experiences of Yacef Saddi, Military Head of the FLN (Front de liberation National/ National Liberation Front) who also collaborated on the script of the film, The Battle of Algiers, interestingly, was directed with the aim to highlight the invisible aspects and unheard voices of this violent revolution by the people of Algeria as well as the counter measures taken by the colonial power to suppress the movement.

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.

México de afuera in Northern Missouri: The Creation of Porfiriato Society in America’s Heartland

Craig Dennison

Westminster College, USA

Volume 2, Number 3, 2010Download PDF Version

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v2n3.04

Abstract

This essay examines the ideology of México de afuera in the novel La patria perdida by Teodoro Torres.  Torres, who fled Mexico after the onset of the Mexican Revolution, found a job as lead editor of La Prensa, the successful Spanish-language newspaper owned by Ignacio Lozano.  Living in San Antonio during the 1910s, Torres became familiar with the ideology of México de afuera before returning to Mexico.  His novel, which begins in northern Missouri, follows the return of Luis Alfaro to his homeland only to discover that he feels more at home, more in Mexico, on his farm north of Kansas City.  When studying the work and the life of Torres, the plot of this novel become problematic.  A man who lived in the United States for nine years before returning to Mexico, Torres certainly had the insight to provide psychological and emotional analyses of the immigrants and the understanding to write about the thoughts and feelings that many had experienced upon their return to the homeland.  Yet, why does Torres, who had returned to Mexico and done well for himself for over a decade before he penned this novel, invent an immigrant utopia on a farm in Missouri?  It is not a question that is easily answered, but after examining Torres’s life, the basic tenets of México de afuera and the novel itself, a conclusion can be reached.  Torres idolized Porfiriato society and Luis Alfaro’s farm is an idealized version of fin-de-siècle Mexico.

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.

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