CONTENTS VOLUME 5 (2012)

 
 
ARTICLES     PAGE        
ABSTRACTS
KEYWORDS
CONTACTS
Malgorzata Łuczyńska-Hołdys   (Warsaw University, Poland)
The Discourse of Infatuation in John Keats’s Letters and Poems to Fanny Brawne
9
Pavlína Flajšarová   (Palacky University, Czech Republic)
No Matter How Long the Night, the Day is Sure to Come: Differences, Diversity and Identities in Caribbean-British Poetry since 1945
18
Richard Stock  (University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic)
Strategies in Ulysses: Reading and Re-reading the Novel
37
Bożena Kucała  (Jagiellonian University, Poland)
The Demise of Rural Life in Graham Swift’s Wish You Were Here
49
Petr Chalupský  (Charles University, Czech Republic)
"Reality is the invention of unimaginative people” – the Counterfeiting and Imaginative London of Peter Ackroyd’s Chatterton
56
Tomáš Jajtner  (University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic, and Metropolitan University)
Rage, Delusion and Abolitionism: Contemporary British Society in the Eyes of Peter Hitchens
69
Tomáš Bubík  (University of Pardubice, Czech Republic)
Robert Bellah’s Concept of Civil Religion in America and the Idea of New Religion in Czech Thinking of the Twentieth Century
83
Tereza Jiroutová Kynčlová  (Charles University, Czech Republic)
Interpreter, interlocutor, intermediary, traitress: An exemplary figure in chicana literature and culture
95
Barbora Rumbinas  (Jagiellonian University, Poland)
Reverberations of Native American Oratory in James Fenimore Cooper’s The Pioneers
112
Petr Kopecký (University of Ostrava, Czech Republic)
Not Man Apart: Ecocentric Personification in the Works of Robinson Jeffers and John Steinbeck
124
 
STUDENT CONTRIBUTION
Michaela Jirsová (University of Pardubice, Czech Republic)
“Red Rage” in Sherman Alexie’s Indian Killer
139
 
BOOK REVIEW 
Šárka Bubíková
Faces of the American Gay Novel after 1945 (Review of Podoby amerického homosexuální románu po roce 1945 by Roman Trušník)
151  
                                              
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


ABSTRACTS, KEYWORDS AND CONTACT DETAILS

 



Author
Malgorzata Łuczyńska-Hołdys   
 
Title of the Article
The Discourse of Infatuation in John Keats’s Letters and Poems to Fanny Brawne
 
Abstract
Seen from the vantage point of the Victorian sensibility, John Keats’s letters to Fanny Brawne transgress the norms of respectability, being too personal, too passionate and too direct.  Moreover, they define Keats as a sensuous, therefore effeminate poet who allows himself to be flooded by emotions and passion. After the publication of the letters in 1878, the perception of Keats as “feminine” became standard during the Victorian era. This paper proposes to look at chosen letters and poems which Keats wrote to Fanny Brawne in order to see how the problematic discourse of infatuation can account for the charges of effeminacy brought against the poet. Strikingly, although Keats expresses love and devotion in his letters and love poetry, at the same time he articulates much more ambivalent attitudes to femininity in general. Therefore, it can be suggested that the problematic relations between male and female characters in Keats’s verse (where the woman is frequently figured as either the threatening femme fatale or the indifferent muse) can be better understood in the context of his conflicted views on gender matters. Finally, my interpretation facilitates the understanding of the “camelion Poet” concept, one of the chief ideas concerning Keats’s poetic theory. 
 
Keywords
John Keats, Fanny Brawne, women, letters, infatuation, fear
 
Contact
Malgorzata Łuczyńska-Hołdys 
Department of British Literature
Institute of English Studies
Warsaw University
ul. Hoża 69
00-681 Warszawa
Poland
E-mail: m.holdys@uw.edu.pl
 
 

Author
Pavlína Flajšarová   
 
Title of the Article
No Matter How Long the Night, the Day is Sure to Come: Differences, Diversity and Identities in Caribbean-British Poetry since 1945
 
Abstract
English poets of ethnic origin have traditionally responded to their social condition with greater immediacy than the politicians of their time. This article focuses on the process of exclusion and inclusion of English poets with an ethnic background into the canon of English literature. It demonstrates the ways poets search and fight for their ethnic and/or English identity. Special attention is paid to Claude McKay, Louise Bennett, James Berry, John Agard, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Benjamin Zephaniah, Levi Tafari, Grace Nichols, and Jean Binta Breeze, whose works are examined in order to explore the notion of "otherness." The concepts discussed also include social prejudice, conflicting identities, social hierarchy, multicultural diversity of Englishness, and mainstream attitudes and images in contrast with ethnic imagery. The poetry of these poets is analysed in relation to the Empire Windrush generation of Caribbean-British poets, the post-war immigration policy of the UK, and in the context of diasporic literature.
 
Keywords
ethnic poetry, Empire Windrush, British literature, British-Caribbean, postcolonial, multicultural, Claude McKay, Louise Bennett, James Berry, John Agard, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Benjamin Zephaniah, Levi Tafari, Grace Nichols, Jean Binta Breeze
 
Contact
Pavlína Flajšarová   
Department of English and American Studies
Palacký University
Křížkovského 10
771 80 Olomouc 
Czech Republic
E-mail: pavlina.flajsarova@upol.cz
 
Author
Richard Stock  
 
Title of the Article
Strategies in Ulysses: Reading and Re-reading the Novel
 
Abstract
Taking Leo Bersani’s proposal for a “ruseful naïveté” in reading James Joyce’s Ulysses, this study considers how a theoretical “naïve reader” would read and re-read Ulysses. Such a reader would journey through a first stage of identifying the core story of the novel, which requires resolving narrative complications, and also a second stage of constructing the life stories of the main characters, which requires integrating the huge amount of information not needed to tell the core story. Ulysses is a good example of a novel that demands to be re-read, and as such this study turns to the early novel theorists György Lukács and Mikhail Bakhtin to consider how the reading experience of Ulysses compares with the theory of the novel. Within this structure, and from today’s perspective, Ulysses can be seen to be relatively coherent in that the naïve reader can eventually gain mastery over the preponderance of the text. However, Ulysses certainly changed our concept of reading and re-reading a novel.
 
Keywords
James Joyce, Ulysses, naïve reader, Leo Bersani, re-reading, narrative strategy
 
Contact
Richard Stock  
Department of English Studies
Faculty of Education
University of South Bohemia
Jeronýmova 10
371 15 České Budějovice
Czech Republic
E-mail: stockr@gmail.com
 
Author
Bożena Kucała  
 
Title of the Article
The Demise of Rural Life in Graham Swift’s Wish You Were Here
 
Abstract
This article argues that Graham Swift’s recent novel Wish You Were Here, which depicts the erosion of rural life in contemporary England, may be treated as a post-rural novel; it both overtly alludes to the tradition of rural fiction and the pastoral convention in literature as well as suggests that the lifestyle that sustained this type of literature is currently disintegrating. Although focused on the limited experience of a particular family, the novel forges connections between a series of recent personal disasters and national and international events whose impact may be felt even in rural Devon. The narrative is overshadowed by the protagonist’s traumatic memories, and above all by his current mission to bury his brother, a soldier killed in Iraq. The burial that ends the story is a bitterly ironic return to the family farm, which, however, will never again serve the function for which it was once built.
 
Keywords
Graham Swift, Wish You Were Here, rural fiction, pastoral tradition, retrospection
 
Contact
Bożena Kucała  
Institute of English Philology
ul. prof. S.Łojasiewicza 4 (Kampus UJ)
30-348 Kraków
Poland
E-mail: bkucala@o2.pl
 
 

Author
Petr Chalupský  
 
Title of the Article
"Reality is the invention of unimaginative people” – the Counterfeiting and Imaginative London of Peter Ackroyd’s Chatterton
 
Abstract
Peter Ackroyd’s most ambitious literary-historical project is to compose a biography of London, to reconstruct the city through the texts it has created, allowed to be created, incited or inspired. His fictional London, though always diverse and heterogeneous, has several idiosyncratic features such as intertextuality, metafiction, irrationality, supra-temporality and a focus on the unofficial or marginal aspects of its history. This article tries to explore the various roles of the city within the narrative and meaning structure of Chatterton (1987), arguably the author’s most metafictional novel to date. The article is especially interested in how the city is used to develop the novel’s arguments concerning the theme of the authenticity, originality, and ethical limits of artistic creation.
 
Keywords
London, the city, metafiction, intertextuality, forgery, imitation, imagination
 
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
Tomáš Jajtner 
 
Title of the Article
Rage, Delusion and Abolitionism: Contemporary British Society in the Eyes of Peter Hitchens
 
Abstract
The present article focuses on the work of contemporary British journalist and public intellectual, Peter Hitchens (b. 1951). Hitchens represents one of the most vocal voices of modern British conservatism, his works included into syllabi of British Studies at several universities. The paper starts with a discussion of his specific “anti-conversion” in the context of his generation from a Trotskyite to a Tory, then concentrates on the major issues of his critique: the slow decline of traditional British values since the 1960s, failure of British politics, problematic developments in relation to law and order, cultural revolution and, finally, his views on new atheism, so aptly represented by his recently deceased brother Christopher (1949-2011). The article concludes with a short discussion of the significance of the use of his ideas in teaching courses on British society since the 1960s.
 
Keywords
Peter Hitchens, British society since the 1960s, conservatism, contemporary British politics, new atheism
 
Contact
Tomáš Jajtner
Department of English Studies
University of South Bohemia
Branišovská 31a
370 05 České Budějovice
Czech Republic
E-mail: tjajtner@ff.jcu.cz
 
 
 
 

Author
Tomáš Bubík  
 
Title of the Article
Robert Bellah’s Concept of Civil Religion in America and the Idea of New Religion in Czech Thinking of the Twentieth Century
 
Abstract
At the end of the 1960s sociologist Robert Bellah formulated his concept of American civil religion, a concept which has since then provoked considerable reaction among scholars and intellectuals. It identified specific religious features in American public life and traditions, rejected by some, enthusiastically accepted by others. Bellah claims that since the seventeenth century the idea of the promised land, of a new age and a new nation with a mission in the world closely connected with Biblical symbolism has been emphasized by, among others, the Puritans. Since that time this first American Republic was gradually abandoned during the twentieth century, America having according to Bellah betrayed its original ideals. In this paper, features of Bellah are The Broken Covenant: American Civil Religion in Time of Trial (1975, 1992) are paralleled with similar tendencies in Czech culture in connection with the founding of Czechoslovakia in 1918. The first Czechoslovak President Tomáš G. Masaryk as well as other intellectuals of the time propagated the idea of a new religion, one for a new era. Certain parallels can be drawn between an American civil religion and the Czech idea of the new religion, despite the fact that unlike the American puritans, the Czech interwar situation was formed by the spirit of Enlightenment, romanticism, and anti-clericalism. Both versions of civil religion embrace the principle that the stability of a democratic, republican nation state and its politics requires more than just external norms and rules. The idea of a non-ecclesiastical, secularly understood religiosity in democratic society can therefore be seen as their shared vision.
                                                                                             
Keywords
American civil religion, Robert Bellah, American culture, Czech philosophy, new religion, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk
 
Contact
Tomáš Bubík
Dept. of Religious Studies
Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
University of Pardubice
Studentská 97
532 10 Pardubice
Czech Republic
E-mail: tomas.bubik@upce.cz
 

Author
Tereza Jiroutová Kynčlová 
 
Title of the Article
Interpreter, interlocutor, intermediary, traitress: An exemplary figure in chicana literature and culture
 
Abstract
La Malinche, Cortés’ interpreter and both real and symbolic mother of the mestizo race, is a paradigmatic figure in Mexican and Chicano/a cultures, in which she comes to represent an embodiment of national and linguistic betrayal. By employing postcolonial and gender studies perspectives, this article analyzes La Malinche’s liminal position within discourses of silence and speaking. It further shows how La Malinche’s hybrid identity undermines hierarchical binary oppositions implied by the process of colonization. On the other hand the article also argues that her victimization is already present in the language she speaks and is spoken about.
 
Keywords
hybrid identity, Chicano/a culture, conquest of Mexico, La Malinche, liminality, mestizo race.
 
Contact
Tereza Jiroutová Kynčlová
Department of Gender Studies
School of Humanities
Charles University
José Martího 31
162 52 Prague 6
Czech Republic
E-mail: terezka@gebbeth.cz
 
 
 
 

Author
Barbora Rumbinas 
 
Title of the Article
Reverberations of Native American Oratory in James Fenimore Cooper’s The Pioneers
 
Abstract
James Fenimore Cooper’s The Pioneers (1823) is the first of five novels known as The Leatherstocking Tales. Cooper began writing in an effort to meet mounting financial obligations created after poor business decisions made by his brothers, unresolved legal claims against the estate of his father Judge William Cooper and the radical devaluation in land values brought on by the War of 1812. All of this left Cooper wholly financially dependent upon his pen to support himself, his wife and their four young children. Storytelling was an integral link in the spreading of news, the triumphs, and terrors of living on the frontier. Cooper casts his tale against the backdrop of the French and Indian Wars during which Native Peoples experienced repeated land dispossessions as the French and English fought their war. The story of Chingachgook/John Mohegan is one of resistance to intruders, a narrative which involves bloody conflict in the region where the town Templeton was established.
 
Keywords
Native Americans, Indians, French and Indian War, Land Dispossession, Oratory, Canassatego, Little Turtle, Logan, Pontiac, Red Jacket, James Fenimore Cooper, The Spy, The Pioneers.
 
Contact
Barbora Rumbinas 
Institute of English Philology
ul. prof. S.Łojasiewicza 4 (Kampus UJ)
30-348 Kraków
Poland
E-mail: barbara.rumbinas@uj.edu.pl
 
Author
Petr Kopecký 
 
Title of the Article
Not Man Apart: Ecocentric Personification in the Works of Robinson Jeffers and John Steinbeck
 
Abstract
This essay probes the ecocentric dimension of the works of two quintessential California writers, Robinson Jeffers and John Steinbeck. While the representation of the Californian landscape in their writing has received much attention from critics, the non-anthropocentric vision often expressed in their works remained unnoticed for a long time. The primary objective of this essay is to examine the ways in which the authors use ecocentric personification to express their unconventional and sometimes even subversive views on the relationship between the human and the nonhuman world. The essay discusses different metaphors whose purpose is to affirm the unity and equality of all life forms. The representation of the earth as woman and woman as the earth is explored in particular depth, together with the (eco)philosophical implications of this strategy. It is also argued that ecocentric personification as a literary trope is used more competently by these two authors than by many other writers with Romantic leanings. It is the authors’ erudition in biology and ecology that enables them to imaginatively express ideas that are deeply grounded in holistic science. Jeffers and Steinbeck can thus be legitimately described as literary precursors of the influential Gaia theory that was postulated by James Lovelock as late as the 1970s.
 
Keywords
Robinson Jeffers, John Steinbeck, ecology, environmentalism, ecocentrism, ecofeminism, ecocentric personification.  
 
Contact
Department of English and American Studies
Faculty of Arts
University of Ostrava
Reální 5
701 03 Ostrava
Czech Republic
E-mail: petr.kopecky@osu.cz
 
 
 

Author
Michaela Jirsová 
 
Title of the Article
“Red Rage” in Sherman Alexie’s Indian Killer
 
Abstract
This article provides a brief analysis of Sherman Alexie’s novel Indian Killer (1996). This work is unique in the way it reflects Native Americans. They are not portrayed as merely the victims of horrific crimes that remain unanswered. On the contrary, the decades of hardships that Indians suffered have resulted in a “red rage” – a bloodthirsty response by Native Americans to racism, violence and oppression. To highlight Alexie’s Indian Killer as a groundbreaking piece of literary work, this article also presents a brief history of Native American literature.
 
Keywords
Native American literature, Native Americans, red rage, racism, violence, assimilation, Indian Killer, Sherman Alexie, identity
 
Contact
Michaela Jirsová 
Department of English and American Studies
Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
University of Pardubice
Studentská 84
532 10 Pardubice
Czech Republic
E-mail: michaela.jirsova@student.upce.cz