Critical Literary Studies

Critical Literary Studies

Critical Literary Studies, Vol 6, No 2, Spring 2024 (مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

مقالات

۱.

Framed Memory in Northern Ireland: Unearthing Postmemory Through Pictures in Deirdre Madden’s Time Present and Time Past(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Postmemory Northern Irish Troubles Anti-nostalgia Family Frames Deirdre Madden Time Present and Time Past

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This article investigates Deirdre Madden’s Time Present and Time Past through the lens of Marianne Hirsch’s theory of postmemory, focusing on the role of photographs in bridging gaps between generations and constructing narratives about traumatic events. Despite a societal inclination towards anti-nostalgia and a desire to forget past concerns in favor of newfound prosperity, the main characters deal with a past that intrudes into the present in a quasi-traumatic form. To assay such fractured identity formation in characters, characteristic of post Celtic Tiger Ireland, this article explores memories as one’s inseparable source of identity. As such, Marianne Hirsch’s notion of Postmemory will be used to understand the connection between traumatic memory-formation and identity formation shared among the survivors of catastrophic events. Such an abstract connection invites an examination of photography as a means to transfer meaning, memory, and identity from one generation to another, meditating the relationship between the past and the present. This article concludes by paying special attention to how postmemory works as a healthy means of grappling with unresolved traumas, leading the characters towards an ethical form of remembering the past.
۲.

Ethics of Truths and the Diasporic Novel: Radical Ethics in Ben Okri's The Famished Road(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: diasporic novel ethics of truths non-canonicity liminality dysto-utopianism dialogism

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This study queries into the ethical functions of diasporic fiction through carrying out a textual as well as a contextual study of The Famished Road. As an account of the politically marginal and the socially displaced, the diasporic novel is imbued with a singularity of form and content. Formally speaking, diasporic fiction is non-canonical, since it belongs to the space between nations and cultures. Furthermore, it partakes of a dialogic form which novelizes minor discourses and genres. In terms of content, the diasporic fiction opens up and narrates a liminal space and consists of the search for a utopian alternative to the dystopian status quo. The concurrence of these four qualities turns the diasporic novel into an account of experience at its extremes. However, the diasporic fiction is ethically radical not because it shows how different human experience is at the moment of exception, but because it points toward what Badiou calls an ethics of truths in singular situations. The diasporic experience results in a radical ethical system of truths that, far from succumbing to an overarching ethics of difference and a logic of us versus them, highlights the human truth at the heart of the experience of diaspora.
۳.

Othering Beings and Being’s Other: A Comparative Study of Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis in Terms of Levinasian Ethical Self(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: William Shakespeare Sarah Kane responsibility subjectivity Transcendence

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The renaissance and the postmodern era provide two interesting periods for discussion. The renaissance can be viewed as the early modern period prefiguring the contemporary world. Thus, the two aforesaid periods can be connected to one another. This comparative study discusses two works: one from the early modern period and the other from the postmodern world. Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1603) and Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis (2000) provide the material for a discussion on the treatment of the Other as conceived by the philosophy of Levinas in his Otherwise than Being or Beyond Essence (1978). In the spirit of brevity, the central events of the plays and the most suggestive dialogue are discussed. One of the most pertinent concepts in Levinas’ ideology is responsibility which is required for the transcendence leading to subjectivity. It is concluded that while in Shakespeare the unethical mostly die, thus ending their torment, the fate that awaits Kane’s characters is much more dire; they are left battered and bruised, corporeal shells of Beings, paralyzed in time and unable to transcend Being towards the Other. As such, it is seen that the postmodern treats unethical Beings much harsher compared to the early modern.
۴.

“Suddenly Afraid”: Challenged Identities and Disrupted Meaning in Lydia Davis’s Short Fiction(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Identity Abjection the Abject Short Story the Self

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Implementing Julia Kristeva’s theory of abjection, the present study attempts to demonstrate that the short fiction of Lydia Davis, contemporary American writer, is, first and foremost, about the fragility of identity and the precariousness of its borders. Using a descriptive-analytical approach and Kristeva’s Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection, as the main source in which she delineates her theory, this paper studies four of Lydia Davis’s short stories in depth. Abjection is the process in which the subject casts aside anything foreign to the self, or the ‘abject,’ at an early stage, to safely procure a coherent I. By detecting and interpreting two of the abject’s main manifestations, namely women and corpses, the current article will contend that Davis’s characters/narrators are always already stuck in seemingly bottomless pits of identity crises, both inside and through their use of language. Analyzing Davis’s “The Thirteenth Woman,” “Suddenly Afraid,” “Grammar Questions,” and “Letter to a Funeral Parlor,” this research tries to unravel the intricacies of maintaining shaken identities and endangered subjectivities at the face of unimaginable horror. Although discarded repeatedly by the characters in these stories, the abject never vanishes; it keeps haunting the periphery of selfhood and the solidarity of meaning.
۵.

Georgiy Daneliya’s Hopelessly Lost (1973): A Narrative of the Cold War in a Film Adaptation of Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Adaptation Studies The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Cold War Cultural Materialism Hopelessly Lost Theatre of war

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In the twenty-first century, film adaptation studies shifted to the reworking of the literary text within the new sociopolitical situation of the time. Such literary theories as cultural materialism can explicate the film adaptation. Here, Daneliya’s Hopelessly Lost (1973) is investigated focusing on the political orientations of the Soviet-American Cold War. Hence, through cultural materialism a window is opened unto the past literary text of Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to be read within the political presence of the Cold War. Per se, Sinfield’s practice of reading known as a ‘theater of war’ is applied to show the cracks and the faultlines that the director has used to depict his narrative of the Cold War. Therefore, it is demonstrated that Hopelessly Lost (1973) is a film adaptation that has focused on those parts of the novel that contain the dark images of the United States and attempts to develop the types of mutations that are in line with this orientation. Altogether the narrative of the film adaptation promulgates a grim reality that implicates the inevitable downfall of the United States amidst the political alignment of the Cold War through the character of Uncle Sam.
۶.

The Personal Becomes the Political: Womanist Resilience and Butlerian Agency in Possessing the Secret of Joy(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Agency fragmentation Wholeness Identity Reformation womanism

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The present paper explores Alice Walker’s Possessing the Secret of Joy in an attempt to highlight the importance of the establishment of a well-defined identity as the crucial step in the life of Tashi, a victim of genital mutilation. She becomes whole and healthy once she finds a voice and remakes her severed ties with the black community. Her individual acts of rebellion are complemented with collective political action against genital mutilation. Butler’s view, agency is a restorative energy which works against fragmentation and opens a new possibility for psychic healing as the essential path to the formation of an individual identity. The paper explores the path taken by the novel’s female protagonist to validate her right as an active agent and defy the objectifying assumptions which deprive women of the right to be treated as human subjects. The long-held womanist aspirations shared by Tashi and her fellow sufferers matched by the desire to restore the lost agency is the only hope given to black women to establish their own voice. The protagonist’s final healing is thus achieved through the healthy interaction between individual as well as collective acts of rebellion: individual agency accompanied by political and social transformation.
۷.

Love and Redemption of Modern Man: Deleuzian and Sadraian “Becoming in Love”(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: love Becoming Substantial Motion Identity Unity

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Modern Man, engaging the predicament of “identity” and “self”, seeks “love” as a redeeming power to reach affirmation of life and reconciliation. To discuss the issue, the concept of “becoming” as an innate motion and transformation in the process of love has been scrutinized from Gilles Deleuze and Molla Sadra Shirazi”s perspective. The concept of “becoming” in Deleuze corresponds with Molla Sadra”s “substantial motion” in the notion of “love”, both carrying out the phenomenon of perception and transformation. The concept of “love” in Deleuze”s theory appears as a rhizomatic experience of “expression of the other” and different possibilities with no message and centrality, just to reach a kind of individual and unique “affect”, and this singular affect is sufficient to generate transformation. Sadra, on the other hand, presents love as the seed corn of all being, leading to a hierarchical motion through “systematic ambiguity of existence” towards a kind of cosmic unity and reconciliation. The theories of Deleuzian “becoming in love” and Sadraian “substantial motion and love” have been applied to scrutinize the practicality and confrontation of the notions in the case of redeeming modern man from nihilism, sense of alienation, distress, and bewilderment.
۸.

Literary Disability Studies in John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Rosemarie Garland-Thomson Cultural Criticism stigma Marginalization Docility-Utility Structure

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Disability has an omnipresence in our daily lives, from our encounters with people with disabilities in real-life experiences to encountering them in novels, movies, and video games. After the Vietnam War was pursued by movements like Civil Rights and social discourses revolving around race, gender, and sexuality gained momentum in the 1970s, there was an urge for a civil rights-based model for disability. Previously, disability was considered a physical or mental deviance in the individual, an affliction to be cured or eliminated. This medical model gave its place to a social model, in which the social, political, and cultural environment rendered people with impairments disabled. Recently, some theorists have denounced drawing lines between the social and medical models and instead propose a liminal cultural model, believing that this mixed paradigm is the only model that does justice to the lived experiences of people with disabilities. The present study aims at analyzing John Steinbeck’s novella, Of Mice and Men. It investigates how Lennie, a person with a cognitive disability, is treated and the challenges he faces, grounded on Garland-Thomson’s cultural theorization of disability through three concepts of feminism, otherness, and disability.
۹.

Julian Barnes’s Flaubert’s Parrot and the Writerly Text(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Barthes Writerly Text The Five Semiotic Codes S/Z Julian Barnes Flaubert’s Parrot

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This paper examines Julian Barnes’s Flaubert’s Parrot by the five semiotic codes of the French literary critic Roland Barthes introduced in his renowned work S/Z, to show that the novel is a ‘writerly’ rather than a ‘readerly’ text. The paper defines what Barthes means by the text of the writerly and then attempts to see if the selected novel yields to this sort of interpretation. Since the novel has been categorized as both modernist and postmodernist by prominent literary critics, it can be a proper case to be examined as a writerly text. The paper shows that the codes of semantic, symbolic and cultural which produce the writerly text are at work in this novel whereas the codes of the hermeneutic and proairetic which are concerned with the conventional realist novels are marginalized or even absent. The article examines the writerly text makers of the author role, the theme of biography, the notion of literary criticism and the narration of the novel, referring to the codes creating the writerly text. The paper finally concludes that the semiotic sophistication and innovations in the narrative act of the novel stem from the categories discussed in the essay, ending in the construction of a highly sophisticated writerly text.
۱۰.

Representation of War-Stricken Communities Dilemma: Reading The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts and I Stared at the Night of the City through Faris’s Features of Magical Realism(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: phenomenal world unsettling doubts merging-realms irreducible element disruptions of time disruptions of space

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This article sketches the application of Wendy B. Faris’s primary features of narrative techniques in magical realist fiction in the selected novels The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts (1990) by the British novelist Louis de Bernières and I Stared at the Night of the City (2008) by Kurdish novelist Bakhtiyar Ali, while keeping an eye on Chanady’s and Hegerfeldt’s perspectives where relevant. The focus is on the authors' use of Faris's features; namely the phenomenal world, unsettling doubts, merging-realms, irreducible elements and disruptions of time, space and identity, to depict their war-torn communities. These novelists have manipulated these characteristics from their diverse viewpoints. Despite their different cultural backgrounds and intellectual perspectives, both novelists attempt to convey a sense of reality by exploring the enigmatic nature of human behaviour and psychology, politics, and life in general. In this study, the researchers aim to elucidate the significance of these features in the selected novels to demonstrate the dilemma of war-stricken communities. Essentially, the researchers seek to unravel how these literary elements help in representing the complex and multifaceted nature of societies grappling with the impacts of conflict. The authors' manipulation of Faris's features becomes a lens through which they examine and articulate the intricate realities of war-stricken communities in their respective works.
۱۱.

Translators' Agency in Persian Fansubbed Movies: A Paratextual Analysis(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: paratext Paratextual Agency Translator’s agency Fansubbing Fansubbers

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Drawing upon the notion of ‘paratextual agency’ (Paloposki, “Limits of Freedom” 191), the current study investigated the agency of the Iranian fansubbers. To do so, a corpus of 20 Persian fansubs of Hollywood movies released during the last decade was selected randomly. The study was carried out in two steps. Firstly, translators’ notes were categorized based on their content, frequency, and percentage of each category. Secondly, these notes were analyzed to scrutinize the agency of the Iranian fansubbers. The findings of the study reveal that notes added on the part of the Iranian fansubbers can be categorized into narrative-related notes, locations, famous figures, organizations, medical information, allusions, and transliteration. The study illustrates that by providing such notes to the audience, Iranian fansubbers move beyond the conventional role of subtitler and a mere linguistic conveyor of the movies and take the responsibility of teachers, researchers, cultural representatives, and intermediary agents. The study concludes that fansubbing in Iran is concerned with elucidating culture-bound items of the movies to make them more understandable for the audience. The conclusions of this study can open up prospective avenues for the sociologically-oriented approaches to audiovisual translation, with an eye on the agency and status of fansubbers
۱۲.

Iranian EFL Teachers’ Familiarity with Critical Literacy Practices in their Online Classes: A Transcendental Phenomenological Study(مقاله علمی وزارت علوم)

کلید واژه ها: Critical literacy Teachers’ Familiarity Online EFL Classes Iranian students

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The incentive behind conducting the present study was initially ignited by the curiosity to examine the extent of Iranian EFL teachers’ familiarity with the concept of “critical literacy”. This qualitative contribution was carried out in two phases. In the first phase, an open questionnaire was developed and compiled after reviewing the literature, analysing existing questionnaires and gathering feedback from academics in the field. Qualitative data was then collected from 29 EFL teachers and analysed using an open questionnaire followed by an interview. The obtained data allowed the development of 23 questions for the interview part, which was accompanied by observing the online courses of all teachers by the researchers throughout the semester. It was concluded that the participants displayed very low levels of knowledge of Critical Literacy along with little, if any, application or incorporation of it. These findings may assist stakeholders in education, including second/foreign language (L2) policy makers, teacher educators, teacher recruitment institutes and material developers. They need to take appropriate action to enhance the critical literacy of L2 teachers before and during employment, thus promoting the implementation of this key concept in the pedagogical context of the process.