CONTENTS VOLUME 2 (2009)

ARTICLES
PAGE
ABSTRACTS
KEYWORDS
CONTACTS
Antonella Cagnolati (University of Foggia, Italy)
“Not too Little to go to Hell”: Literary Representations of Childhood in Seventeenth Century England
1
Petr Chalupský (Charles University, Czech Republic)
You Only Have to Wish High Enough – Gifts in Hanif Kureishi’s Gabriel’s Gift
13
Robert Kusek (Jagiellonian University, Poland)
Arguing for that Unheard. In Search of Friday in J.M. Coetzee’s Foe
25
Ewa Rychter (The Angelus Silesius State School of Higher Vocational Education in Wałbrzych, Poland)
The Fall(ing) Made Gentler: Nostalgia and Christianity in Julian Barnes's England, England
47
Daniel Sampey (University of Pardubice, Czech Republic)
The Playing of O’Neill’s Misbegotten
64
Petra Smažilová (University of Pardubice, Czech Republic)
G. M. Hopkins´ “The Windhover” as an Ambiguous Symbol
81
Vít Vaníček (Charles University, Czech Republic)
Expanding the Kingdom of Death: Paradigms of Perception and Space in Works of Thomas Pynchon
89
Klára Matuchová (Charles University, Czech Republic)
A Remark on Social Semiotic Value of Personal Names in Selected Fiction Samples
101
 
STUDENT CONTRIBUTION
Magdaléna Klečková (University of Pardubice, Czech Republic)
The Magic of the Word
125
 
BOOK REVIEWS
Christopher Koy
Cult Fiction and Cult Film: Multiple Perspectives
141
 
Šárka Bubíková
Reclaiming an Undervalued Writer
145
 
 
NEWS, CALLS, ANNOUNCEMENTS
147
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
ABSTRACTS, KEYWORDS AND CONTACT DETAILS
 
 


 
Author
Antonella Cagnolati
 
Title of the Article
“Not too Little to go to Hell”: Literary Representations of Childhood in Seventeenth Century England        
 
Abstract
The paper aims at analyzing the representations of childhood as they were proposed in children’s books written by Puritan authors and preachers, and published in the second half of the XVIIth century. This literature can be considered as a mirror reflecting the different opinions about children English society worked out in this period. So the biographies of “little visible saints” portrayed in books well widespread amongst Puritans reveal us some interesting characteristics, such as the precocity these children showed in reading the Bible, in listening to the sermons, or the constant praying and meditating about religious matters. The different parts of their lives (birth, infancy, sickness and precocious death) are well narrated and investigated in order to detect the so called “marks of election”, an important sign in Calvinist doctrine giving way to salvation in the afterlife. At the same time, their lives are testimonies of extraordinary virtues such as humility, obedience to parents and preachers, perseverance in attending the congregation, respect for the Holy Sabbath, and endurance of pain before death.
 
Keywords
Childhood, children’s books, Puritan, James Janeway, A Token for Children, A Little Book for Children and Youth, Robert Russell, the Bible
 
Contact
Faculty of Education
University of Foggia
Via Napoli, 25
71122 Foggia
Italy
E-mail: a.cagnolati@unifg.it
 

 
Author
Petr Chalupský
 
Title of the Article
You Only Have to Wish High Enough – Gifts in Hanif Kureishi’s Gabriel’s Gift                                                          
 
Abstract
Hanif Kureishi, whose works frequently explore the psychology and intimate life of his predominantly male protagonists, is one of the most acclaimed contemporary British writers of multiethnic origin. This article deals with his fourth novel, Gabriel’s Gift (2001), which, to a certain degree, reassumes the thematic tradition of his earliest works, namely his first novel, The Buddha of Suburbia (1990). It attempts to show that Gabriel’s Gift can be read as a kind of sequel to its more acknowledged predecessor, though its main focus has shifted from racial and political issues to a more private, and also more light-hearted, exploration of the state of humanity. The last section focuses on one of the central characteristics of Kureishi’s oeuvre, his celebration of London as a city of countless opportunities and a positive social and cultural diversity.
 
Keywords
Hanif Kureishi, Gabriel’s Gift, The Buddha of Suburbia, racial and political issues, British multi-ethnic literature, cultural diversity, London
 
Contact
Petr Chalupský
Department of English Language and Literature
Faculty of Education
Charles University in Prague
Celetná 13
110 00, Praha 1
Czech Republic
E-mail: petr.chalupsky@pedf.cuni.cz
 

 
Author
Robert Kusek
 
Title of the Article
Arguing for that Unheard. In Search of Friday in J.M. Coetzee’s Foe
 
Abstract
The paper follows a famous question of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak – i.e., ‘Can the Subaltern Speak? – and attempts to find an answer to it by a careful scrutiny of the John Maxwell Coetzee’s Foe which address the issue of writing the subaltern back into history – the subject to the hegemony of the Empire being Friday, the character created by Daniel Defoe in his acclaimed novel Robinson Crusoe. The emancipatory drive of postcolonial discourse, the drive to re-empower the disenfranchised, has resulted in the undertaking of the number of projects which aim at giving voice to the subaltern who had been written out of the record by conventional accounts. With the collapse of the Empire, the subaltern announced the arrival of new literature characterized by the rejection of colonial system of knowledge, imperialism’s signifying system and even the language of the invaders. The paper discusses the politics of resistance based on the deliberate denial to give voice to the subaltern, as exemplified by John Maxwell Coetzee’s Foe. A careful analysis of the novel shows the whole enterprise of giving voice to the native as unachievable and totally objectionable and argues in favour of the subaltern’s silence being perceived in terms of triumph and victory over the dialectics of power.
 
Keywords
postcolonial studies, J.M. Coetzee, Foe, Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, the subaltern, the disenfranchised, voice and silence
 
Contact
Robert Kusek
Institute of English Philology
Jagiellonian University
ul. prof. S.Łojasiewicza 4 (Kampus UJ)
30-348 Kraków
Poland
E-mail: robert.kusek@uj.edu.pl
 

 
Author
Ewa Rychter
 
Title of the Article
The Fall(ing) Made Gentler: Nostalgia and Christianity in Julian Barnes's England, England   
 
Abstract
The article focuses on ways Julian Barnes's England, England presents the complexity of postmodern nostalgia, and explores the role nostalgic evocations of Christianity play in the novel's problematisation of the relation between the present and the past. It is argued that contemporary nostalgia – also depicted in the Barnes's novel - is heterogeneous, i.e., (1) it shows features of both a retreat from the present as well as reflection on the impossibility of such escape; (2) it allows for the ironisation of its desire to restore the lost thing or condition; (3) it maintains the interplay between irony and yearning, preventing irony from dominating the structure of contemporary nostalgia. In the article, the heterogeneous nostalgia in Barnes's England, England is studied with the help of the concept of the Fall (and the related concepts of the pre- and postlapsarian) and of the metaphor of the arrested falling, crucial for one of Barnes's characters. The article makes the ironically Christian colouring of the dynamics of nostalgia the basis for its reading of the Barnes's novel.
 
Keywords
Julian Barnes, postmodern, nostalgia, irony, prelapsarian, postlapsarian, England, England
 
Contact
Ewa Rychter
The Angelus Silesius State School of Higher Vocational Education in Wałbrzych
Zamkowa St. 4
58-300 Wałbrzych
Poland
E-mail: rje@wp.pl
 

 
Author
Daniel Sampey
 
Title of the Article
The Playing of O’Neill’s Misbegotten
 
Abstract
In A Moon for the Misbegotten, Eugene O’Neill’s last completed work, the characters’ emotional struggles are depicted in a psychologically realistic manner.  The first two acts of the play are broadly comic, relying on stereotypical, even hackneyed formulae, harking back to vaudeville. The second two acts move the drama toward confessional tragedy. Within these seemingly conventional contexts, however, characters plainly calculate their own performativity and otherwise overtly call attention to multiple levels of theatrical representation and illusion.  Audiences are sporadically pulled out of the text and reminded that what they are participating in has been composed and is being performed.  This paper will attempt to use definitions of what has been termed metadrama to characterize layers of playing therein.
 
Keywords
Eugene O’Neill, A Moon for the Misbegotten, staging, metadrama, performativity, theatrical representation
 
Contact
Daniel Paul Sampey
Department of English and American Studies
Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
University of Pardubice
Studentská 84
532 10 Pardubice
Czech Republic
E-mail: danielpaul.sampey@upce.cz
 

 
Author
Petra Smažilová
 
Title of the Article
G. M. Hopkins´ “The Windhover” as an Ambiguous Symbol
 
Abstract
Gerard Manley Hopkins himself called The Windhover “the best thing he ever wrote” (Peters, 81). This could be the main motive for adding “To Christ our Lord” under the title six years after the sonnet had been written. The implied ambiguities of “The Windhover,” evoking different kinds of explanation, constitute one of the reasons why it “is probably the most written about short poem in the English language” (Pick, 1). The phrase “To Christ our Lord” accompanying the title was made central to the discussion, as it was believed to form the key ambiguity that utterly influences the meaning of the whole work. This essay concentrates on the line “To Christ our Lord” and on two different approaches to and interpretations of “The Windhover.”
 
Keywords
Gerard Manley Hopkins, sonnet, poetic ambiguity, symbol, “The Windhover”
 
Contact
Petra Smažilová
Department of English and American Studies
Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
University of Pardubice
Studentská 84
532 10 Pardubice
Czech Republic
E-mail: petra.smazilova@upce.cz
 

 
Author
Vít Vaníček
 
Title of the Article
Expanding the Kingdom of Death: Paradigms of Perception and Space in Works of Thomas Pynchon        
 
Abstract
Thomas Pynchon’s works have been identified as prime examples of postmodern American prose fiction. As such, their language, narrative techniques and content, often dissonant with employed genres, have been labeled as postmodern in their dismissal of any reliable authorial message. This article argues that while Pynchon’s novels mirror paradigms of thought and of a perception of reality, they also show a consistency in re-presenting literary and geographic space, as well as history as narrative. Using three of Pynchon’s novels, the article concludes that an authorial message can be discerned both in the change and in the consistency: a message of the need for humane interaction quite different from stereotypes of the cynicism of postmodernism.
 
Keywords
Thomas Pynchon,  postmodern American fiction, narrative technique, literary space, Gravity´s Rainbow, Against the Day, Mason & Dixon

Contact
Vít Vaníček
Indiana University
107 S. Indiana Ave.
Bloomington, IN
USA
E-mail: vitvanicek@hotmail.com
 

 
Author
Klára Matuchová
 
Title of the Article
A Remark on Social Semiotic Value of Personal Names in Selected Fiction Samples   
 
Abstract
This paper is intended as a comment on an area of sociolinguistic studies that is closely related to the topic of personal and social identity. It is based on an analysis of corpus comprising three 20th century British novels and on a subsequent field research. The main focus is on the symbolism that personal names and forms of address may carry in the current context of British society and, consequently, on the reflection of social hierarchy in general, and social class in particular on the way some personal names are perceived and used. From the theoretical perspective, this paper draws on Roger Fowler’s (1996) concept of text as discourse, and Mikhail Bakhtin’s (2008) heteroglossia, also incorporating the textual-functional perspective represented by the Prague Linguistic Circle as well as the work of M.A.K. Halliday. The ensuing analysis attempts to support the view that social indexicals as highly relevant agents in constructing our social reality can be successfully re-signified in reflexive acts of communication (cf Agha 2007).
 
Keywords
Personal names,  social semiotic value,  personal and social identity, Mikhail Bakhtin, heteroglossia, Roger Fowler, text as discourse, textual-functional perspective, Prague Linguistic Circle, M.A.K. Halliday

Contact
Klára Matuchová
Department of English Language and Literature
Faculty of Education
Charles University in Prague
Celetná 13
110 00, Praha 1
Czech Republic
E-mail: klara.matuchova@pedf.cuni.cz
 

 
Author
Magdaléna Klečková
 
Title of the Article
The Magic of the Word                   
 
Abstract
The novels Ceremony, House made of Dawn and Love Medicine are chosen to demonstrate the function and importance of orality, myths, words and rituals. The investigation of storytelling tradition should be helpful to a meaningful analysis of how literature relates to the world. There is an attempt to draw a line between the Euramerican (”white”) and the Indian side, emphasizing the emotionality of the Indians and the comeback to old traditions. The ceremonies, stories and words are a demonstration of life and liveliness. Storytelling and song singing takes on the form of a ceremony, and brings relief and healing of soul.
 
Keywords
Native American Literature, orality, storytelling, myth, ritual, Ceremony, House Made of Dawn, Love Medicine
 
Contact
Magdaléna Klečková
Department of English and American Studies
Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
University of Pardubice
Studentská 84
532 10 Pardubice
Czech Republic
E-mail: magdalena.kleckova@student.upce.cz