back issues










Volume 2 | Spring 2004


Author Dead. Full Report at Eleven:
The Questioning of the Author Function in City of Glass and The Lizard's Tail

Donald Backman

"Writing unfolds like a game [...] that invariably goes beyond its own rules and transgresses its limits" (Foucault 102). In the postmodern novel, as in the cases of Paul Auster's City of Glass and Luisa Valenzuela's The Lizard's Tail, the participant is the author against him/herself. The author plays a kind of literary solitaire, if you will. These two authors not only go "beyond [writing's] own rules and [transgress] its limits," they go as far as to kill the author in the process of their game playing... Full Article>

Unsettling Fixity and Fantasy:
Langston Hughes, Carl Van Vechten, and The Weary Blues

Katy Chiles

What was the relationship between white patronage and black cultural production during the Harlem Renaissance? Did relationships between white benefactors and black artists compromise and/or distort "black" art? Or, more to the point here, how did the interaction between white patron Carl Van Vechten and poet Langston Hughes affect Hughes's work, specifically his first collection of poetry, The Weary Blues? Full Article>


(Dis)Integrating Canadian Nationalism:
Bearing Witness to Trauma in Eden Robinson's Monkey Beach & Kerri Sakamoto's The Electrical Field

Amber Dean

"If individual and cultural recovery [from trauma] is to be possible," writes Susan Brison, "survivors' testimonies must be heard" (27). In Eden Robinson's Monkey Beach, for example, each of the characters is trying on some level to cope with the ongoing effects of the colonization and near-destruction of the First Nations peoples in Canada. Similarly, the characters in Kerri Sakamoto's The Electrical Field grapple with the internment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War. These traumatic events are a part of the history of the Canadian nation, were sanctioned by the Canadian state, and yet are routinely made invisible, erased in an attempt to (re)present a mythical Canada in which such traumas are insignificant, justifiable, or outright   Full Article>


Melancholic Longing in The Shadow Lines

Greg Esplin

Reading Theodor Adorno against the grain, I suggest that the melancholic sensibility he identifies resonates with recent struggles to articulate emergent configurations of subjectivity in post-colonial studies. Such a sense of yearning fuels continued attempts to locate new forms of collective identification that seek to transcend the exclusivity of nationalism, while nevertheless enabling a sense of social solidarity. This messianic hope for political reconfigurations of identity haunts Amitav Ghosh's novel The Shadow Lines... Full Article>

Now There's Two Heroines in One Kitchen:
Lesbianism and Me(h)tafilmic Discourse in Deepa Mehta's Fire

Irina Negrea

Director Deepa Mehta uses this relatively simple plot to express her views on marriage as an oppressive structure of Indian society. However, the underlying message of this film is what makes it truly subversive of oppressive structures: Mehta proposes lesbianism and relationships between women as active choices that offer a safe alternative to the deep disappointment caused by marriage. She uses metafilmic discourse in order to emphasize the discrepancy between the highly romanticized image of heterosexual love (always validated by marriage) that mainstream Hindi movies are selling to women... Full Article>

Julian of Norwich and the Integration of Divine Parenthood

Christopher Romans

The fourteenth-century mystic Julian of Norwich wrote her Revelations of Divine Love or The Book of Shewings in order to understand a series of fifteen visions she received in May 1371. Her text explores the ways in which the spirit is revealed (and hidden) by the flesh as well as the relationship and unification of the body and soul. Rather than discuss this theological problem in the traditional theological terms of body and soul, however, Julian of Norwich chooses to use the metaphors of Father and Mother to address the Christian's search for spiritual communion... Full Article>

The Mother's Burial, the Daughter's Burden:
Disintegrated and Dismembered Bodies in Faulkner's As I Lay Dying and Wright's Native Son

Christina Stanciu

This paper re-reads the subversive and transgressive bodily manifestations of the "woman as body of the woman" (Wright, Outsider 393) and argues that the corpse -- "the utmost of abjection" (Kristeva 4), "the grotesque body" (Bakhtin 316) -- becomes the only signifier of the female body and voice, both black and white. By discussing the works of two male American writers, William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying and Richard Wright's Native Son, I inquire why the writing of the woman's body becomes possible after that body has entered the realm of abjection and has become a meaningful corpse... Full Article>

Translation of Boris Slutsky's "Key"

Rebecca Gould

... My comrades didn't love their wives.
Girls with supple hands pleased them,
with eyes

in which,

when you find yourself reflected,

You fall,

you fall,

like a rock... Full Article>

Translation of Jaime Gil de Biedma's "El juego de hacer versos"

Yolanda Morata

... Art is a different
Thing. The result
Of much calling
And some work....
Full Article>

Back to top




www portals



home | back issues | blog | store | links | submissions | about | contact

© 2005 Comparative Literature Student Association at San Francisco State University

design: landisdesigns.com