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Volume 7 | Spring 2009

 

Jumal Juma: Iraqi Memory in Three Poems

Nahrain Al-Mousawi

Born in Baghdad, Iraqi poet Jamal Juma lives and writes in Copenhagen and has done so ever since he immigrated in 1984. His work has been translated into Danish, English, Swedish, French, German, Persian, Turkish, and Tamil. As part of a larger Arabic–English translation project, three poems from the forth coming book Moments with Miro are translated into English in this article.... Full Article>

 

Unspeakable Reflections: The Other and its Invasion of the Culturally Constructed Identity in J. Sheridan Le Fanu's In a Glass Darkly and Yuan Mei's Zi buyu

Nathan Cranford

Though existing half a world away from each other, authors Yuan Mei and J. Sheridan Le Fanu shared a similar goal when composing their respective series of short stories: to help lead their readers to understand and question their place in society. Both authors were distinctly aware of the pressures placed upon them and others by the tenets of their respective societies—the strict moral codes of neo–Confucian fundamentalists in Qing Dynasty China for Yuan, and that of mid–Victorian Britain for Le Fanu.... Full Article>

 

Literary Wonder and Its Exemplars: The Works of Bruno Schulz and Juan Rulfo

Lony Haley–Nelson

The purpose of this project is to demonstrate how literature contributes to the construction and the expansion of the human understanding of existence, i.e., how we incorporate the new into our realm of possibility. I propose that one catalyst for this expansion is the experience of literary wonder. In a receptive reader, literature produces literary wonder, which makes that reader's realm of possibility permeable by forcing her to reconsider the boundaries of the possible and the impossible. To simplify, one valuable function of literature is to generate literary wonder in a receptive reader and aid the construction of her realm of possibility. This project will both put forward an explanation and present exemplars of this process.... Full Article>

 

Waiting For Heroes

Janice Mabry

When the written word was imposed upon African storytellers, their voices became distant echoes in the emergent textual representation of their histories. Like a Trojan horse, the printed page brought with it an invincible enemy: the Eurocentric point of view. The African oral tradition was muted in this reincarnation. A dignified, noble African Self was written into exile, and thus was born a European Other—defeated and diminished by a war on spoken words. First imposed, this Adam–like being born of binaries would, over time, be internalized by the African. In effect, the written word not only served to justify the plunder of an entire continent for centuries to come, it created a psychological noose around the African psyche—one that would help him to hang himself. In this article, I explore the demise of the African epic hero by examining three texts that work to show the course of his de–evolution and seek to understand whether he can be resurrected despite the move from oral tradition to textual representation.... Full Article>

 

Translation of Selections from Osip Mandelstam's Second Voronezh Notebook (1937)

Leeore Schnairsohn

Osip Mandelstam broke a long poetic silence after attending a violin concert in the city of Voronezh, some 300 miles south of Moscow, where he had been exiled after his first arrest in 1934. It is unclear exactly what happened, but the torrent of poetry that followed—all composed in the face of literary disrepute, social isolation, and extreme poverty—is some of his most original and commanding verse. This selection represents the latest stage in a work of about six years, which began with a blind attempt to translate the poems surrounding Mandelstam's Ode to Stalin, all composed around January to March of 1937.... Full Article>

 

The Nature of Nurture: Reflected Postmodernism in Dhuoda's Liber Manualis and Heldris de Cornuälle's Roman de Silence

Karen Yang

From the postmodern view, texts no longer represent absolute revelations of the author's intentions. Another way of looking at this concept is acknowledging the inevitable constructiveness of written texts and the multiplicity of interpretative perspectives. However, for authors that emphasize their presence in the text, how might their self-conscious teachings also work to illustrate notions of a text's indeterminacy? It is through this issue of nurture that I bring into comparison the ninth century Latin text Liber Manualis and the thirteenth century French romance Roman de Silence. By examining the two texts together, I argue that by creating the multiplicity of voices and acknowledging their constructiveness and instability, both medieval texts come to show how the nature of a work can only speak through its nurtured image, which being composed of multiple mirror reflections that proliferate through their inter–reflectiveness, eventually come to present the postmodern view of how a literary text's indeterminacy sustains its identity and potential through the very constructiveness of its multiple interpretations and images.... Full Article>

 

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