CONTENTS VOLUME 7 (2014)

 
 

 

ARTICLES

PAGE

ABSTRACTS
KEYWORDS

CONTACTS

Maria Holmgren Troy (Karlstad University, Sweden)
The Bereaved Post-9/11 Orphan Boy: Representing (and Relativizing) Crisis and Healing, Tradition and Invention
11
Yuri Stulov (Minsk State Linguistics University, Belarus)
The Sorrowing Child in the “City Too Busy To Hate”: the Atlanta Child Murders in Contemporary American Literature20
20
James I. Deutsch (Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., USA)
The Sorrowing Boy with Green Hair: A Cinematic Allegory against War and Injustice
30
Šárka Bubíková (University of Pardubice, Czech Republic)
“We Were But Property – Not a Mother, and the Children God Had Given Her:” The Figure of a Child in Abolitionist Literature
38
Jarosław Mihułka (Holy Cross University in Kielce, Poland)
Muhammad Was a Punk Rocker: The Depiction of Islam in The Taqwacores by Michael Muhammad Knight
48
David  Václavík (Masaryk University, Czech Republic)
Cultural War – Concept, Myth and Reality: A Clash of Ideas in “Post-Secular” American Society at the Turn of the Millennium
62
Ewa Kowal (Jagiellonian University, Poland)
A pre-9/11 novel: Kapitoil by Teddy Wayne
69
Michaela Weiss (Silesian University, Czech Republic)
Queer Circles: Spiritualism and Role-Playing in Sarah Waters’s Affinity
80
Roman Trušník (Tomas Bata University, Czech Republic)
Dying Protagonists in Two Gay Southern Novels: Randall Kenan’s A Visitation of Spirits and Jim Grimsley’s Dream Boy
90
Lorelei Caraman (Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Romania)
The Urge to Tell vs. the Need to Conceal: Confession as Narrative Desire in Poe’s “The Black Cat,” “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Imp of the Perverse”
98
Joseph W. Pearson (Union College in Barbourville, Kentucky, USA)
Through a Glass, Darkly: Antebellum American Whiggery, Catholicism, and the Ideological Roots of Nativism
108
Tomáš Jajtner (University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic)
A Memorial Address to a Passing Civilisation: Roger Scruton’s Elegy for England
119
Robert Kusek (Jagiellonian University, Poland)
“How Should One Live?” The “Lives” of Henry James and Martha C. Nussbaum’s Conception of Moral Philosophy
133
Ladislav Vít (University of Pardubice, Czech Republic)
Feet on the Ground: W.H. Auden’s Late Landscapes
145
Martina Kastnerová (University of West Bohemia, Czech Republic)
Shakespeare’s Poetry in the context of mimesis and imitatio in Elizabethan Poetics
157
     
STUDENT CONTRIBUTION
Jiří Stárek (Charles University, Czech Republic)
LeRoi Jones to Amiri Baraka: A Philosophical Journey of a Black Author
173
 
BOOK REVIEWS
Šárka Bubíková
The Melting Pot, the Orchestra and American Diversity (Review of Horace M. Kallen a vývoj americké kulturní identity, edited by Josef Jařab, translated by Michaela Weiß)
187
 
Ladislav Vít
Czech Voices in Canada (Review of Migrating Memories: Central Europe in Canada, vol. 1, II, edited by Vesna Lopičić and Rodica Albu)
190  
 
NEWS, CALLS, ANNOUNCEMENTS 194  

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 


 
ABSTRACTS, KEYWORDS AND CONTACT DETAILS
 



 
Author
Maria Holmgren Troy
 
Title of the Article
The Bereaved Post-9/11 Orphan Boy: Representing (and Relativizing) Crisis and Healing, Tradition and Invention
 
Abstract
This article compares the sorrowing child in Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2005) and Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret (2007), which break traditional novelistic frames through their use of visual material. Through their employment of the orphan figure and their inventive, experimental formal aspects, both Foer’s and Selznick’s novels work as interventions in the debate about the role of fiction after 9/11. Steering clear of a never-ending state of orphanhood, or a return to the nuclear family ideal of the 1950s, they Orfee different solutions to the family crisis triggered by the loss of a father in a burning building, and, by extension, to the national crisis triggered by 9/11. The bond between father and son that the novels portray represents an affective masculinity that is in line with the emotional narrative work that the two orphan boys perform in the plot and for the readers, which is similar to that of orphan girls in earlier American fiction. In addition to fulfilling the time-honored function of the orphan healing the adult world in a crisis-laden present, Foer’s Oskar and Selznick’s Hugo are post-9/11 “inventions” that highlight the uses of invention in a post-9/11 world.
 
Keywords
American fiction, 9/11, orphan, invention, Jonathan Safran Foer, Brian Selznick, Extremely
Loud and Incredibly Close, The Invention of Hugo Cabret
 
Contact
Maria Holmgren Troy
Karlstad University
Universitetsgatan 2
Se-651 88 Karlstad
Sweden
E-mail: maria.holmgren.troy@kau.se

Back to the Contents

 
 
 

 
Author
Yuri Stulov
 
Title of the Article
The Sorrowing Child in the “City Too Busy To Hate”: the Atlanta Child Murders in Contemporary American Literature
 
Abstract
The paper deals with the way the Atlanta Child Murders became the focus of books in different literary genres by James Baldwin, Toni Cade Bambara and Taryaki Jones. Baldwin’s The Evidence of Things Not Seen is a long publicist essay; Bambara used the form of a documentary fictionin Those Bones Are Not My Child, and Jones’ Leaving Atlanta is fiction based on individual memory. The figure of the sorrowing child who illuminates the injustices of the world divided by class, race and wealth is in the center of all three works. Thanks to the figure of the child the tensions and complexities of the adult world become conspicuous; the child acquires the role of a moral model that challenges the mores of American society.
 
Keywords
African-American literature, sorrowing child, documentary fiction, essay, individual
memory, trauma, post-traumatic stress.
 
Contact
Yuri Stulov
World Literature Dept.
Minsk State Linguistics University
21 Zakharov Street
220062 Minsk
Republic of Belarus
E-mail: yustulov@mail.ru
 
 
 

 
Author
James I. Deutsch
 
Title of the Article
The Sorrowing Boy with Green Hair: A Cinematic Allegory against War and Injustice
 
Abstract
This paper discusses the film The Boy with Green Hair (1948), directed by Joseph Losey. It focuses on the film’s representation of the war orphan not only as a sorrowing child, but also as someone who has been marked as exceptional in order to raise public awareness on issues of war and racial injustice in the immediate postwar period. Among the sources used are reviews and critiques of the film at the time of its release in 1948; interviews with and memoirs of key personnel at RKO Radio Pictures, as well as Losey; and analyses of the film’s changing reputation. Initially viewed by some as Communist propaganda, The Boy with Green Hair is now admired as a film that boldly promoted international peace at a time when the Cold War was heating up.
 
Keywords
War orphan, racial injustice, sorrowing child, The Boy With Green Hair, Joseph Losey,
RKO Radio Pictures, 1940s Hollywood, Blacklist
 
Contact
James I. Deutsch
Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Smithsonian Institution
600 Maryland Avenue SW, Suite 2001
Washington, D.C.
20024 USA
E-mail: deutschj@si.edu
 
 
 

 
Author
Šárka Bubíková
 
Title of the Article
“We Were But Property – Not a Mother, and the Children God Had Given Her:” The Figure of a Child in Abolitionist Literature
 
Abstract
This article discusses the use of the figure of sorrowing child in slave narratives and in texts by abolitionists and draws attention to the way abolitionist rhetoric employed the sharp kontrast between the period’s idealization of childhood as a state of innocence and purity and the reality of slave childhood. It points to the ways abolitionist literature challenged the “paternalistic” justification of slavery and exposed it as inhibiting the performance of the ideal of childhood.
 
Keywords
Slave childhood, sorrowing child, abolitionist literature, slave narratives, H.B. Stowe
 
Contact
Šárka Bubíková
Department of English and American Studies
Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
University of Pardubice
Studentská 84
532 10 Pardubice
Czech Republic
E-mail: sarka.bubikova@upce.cz
 
 
 

 
Author
Jarosław Mihułka
 
Title of the Article
Muhammad Was a Punk Rocker: The Depiction of Islam in The Taqwacores by Michael Muhammad Knight
 
Abstract
This article aims to portray Islam as practiced by the members of the taqwacore movement that unites Muslim punk rock musicians. Contrary to the usual practice, in which actual events give rise to the creation of fiction, the taqwacore movement was initiated in the early 2000s as a result of the publication of Michael Muhammad Knight’s repeatedly censored and boycotted novel The Taqwacores (2003). This seems to be just the first instance of a reversed order that will be outlined. Various interpretations of the term “taqwacore” (a combination of the words “taqwa” and “hardcore”) serve as a point of departure to a discussion of other controversial juxtapositions present in the text in which is highlighted in an analysis of (pseudo)religious practices of the members of the movement. Two characters, Yusef and Jehangir, who represent two different attitudes towards Islam are the main point of focus. The former is an embodiment of orthodox Islam who temporarily changes his views during the course of the novel, whilst the latter is the leader of the taqwacore movement for whom freedom (understood in various ways) often prevails over principles of orthodox Islam. The presentation of different views on many important (not only religious) issues makes us reflect on whether the taqwacores are “Muslim[s]-gone-wrong” or “Islam-done-[them]-wrong”.
 
Keywords
taqwacore, The Taqwacores, Islam, Muslim American literature, punk rock, Michael Muhammad Knight
 
Contact
Jarosław Mihułka
Faculty of Philology
Opole University
Plac Kopernika 11a
Opole
Poland
E-mail: j_mihulka@op.pl
 
 
 

 
Author
David Václavík
 
Title of the Article
Cultural War – Concept, Myth and Reality: A Clash of Ideas in “Post-Secular” American Society at the Turn of the Millennium
 
Abstract
The idea of culture war has been used in various analyses focused on the transformation of modern society in general and especially regarding America since the 1980’s. This concept underlies the “ideological schism” demonstrated by the polarizing debates in the American public sphere. These disputes have involved a wide spectrum of disagreements about for example the relationship between church and state, multiculturalism, abortion and gay marriage. This paper will analyze the concept of cultural war and the usage of the term in the ideological struggle between liberal and conservative streams in contemporary American politics. It will also consider the sustainability of this concept for scientific reflection, especially with regards to the description and interpretation of the religious situation in American society.
 
Keywords
Cultural war; ideology; fundamentalism; liberalism; religion; politics; American society
 
Contact
David Václavík
Department for the Study of Religions
Faculty of Arts
Masaryk University
Arna Nováka 1
602 00 Brno
Czech Republic
E-mail: vaclav@phil.muni.cz
 
 
 

 
Author
Ewa Kowal
 
Title of the Article
A pre-9/11 novel: Kapitoil by Teddy Wayne
 
Abstract
Kapitoil is a 2010 novel by American writer Teddy Wayne. In accordance with the author’s view that any novel narrated in the first person should be labelled “idiosyncratic,” this work certainly offers such a voice. The novel is narrated by a young Muslim man from Qatar who arrives in New York to work as a computer programmer in a major US corporation. His status of an “ultranerd,” cultural outsider and ESL learner makes for most of the humour of the book. However, at its core are serious questions concerning cultural clash, capitalism, globalisation and morality, as – set in 1999, and depicting a character with a vision which becomes drastically revised – Kapitoil provides a background to the current economic crisis. The author calls it “a pre-9/11 novel.” In the paper I examine this new label by locating the novel against the post-9/11 genre and its emergent “second generation,” the so-called postcolonial post-9/11 novel exemplified by Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007).
 
Keywords
9/11, post-9/11 novel, Teddy Wayne, Kapitoil, Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist,
cultural clash
 
Contact
Ewa Kowal
Institute of English Philology
ul. prof. S.Łojasiewicza 4 (Kampus UJ)
30-348 Kraków
Poland
E-mail: ewa.kowal@uj.edu.pl
 
 
 

 
Author
Michaela Weiss
 
Title of the Article
Queer Circles: Spiritualism and Role-Playing in Sarah Waters’s Affinity
 
Abstract
This paper traces the connection between the rise of the Spiritualist Movement and feminism in the more general context of the ghosting of female identity and sexuality in Sarah Waters’s (b. 1966) lesbian romance Affinity (1999). Spiritualism is presented as a space open for transgression, where women can express their fears, desires and will for power. The role of the medium and the relationship with audience is analysed with regard to the shifting and transgression of Victorian standards of masculinity and femininity.
 
Keywords
Sarah Waters, Affinity, spiritualism, gender identity, role-playing
 
Contact
Michaela Weiss
Department of Foreign Languages
Silesian University in Opava
Masarykova třída 343/37
746 01 Opava
E-mail: michaela.weiss @ fpf.slu.cz
 
 
 

 
Author
Roman Trušník
 
Title of the Article
Dying Protagonists in Two Gay Southern Novels: Randall Kenan’s A Visitation of Spirits and Jim Grimsley’s Dream Boy
 
Abstract
The present article explores two southern novels, Randall Kenan’s A Visitation of Spirits (1989) and Jim Grimsley’s Dream Boy (1995). These two novels are at first sight a deviation from the contemporary tradition of coming-out (i.e., gay coming-of-age) novels, as their teenage protagonists do not successfully develop a proud gay identity but die a violent death, by suicide and murder, respectively. However, a closer exploration of the texts themselves as well as the literary context will also reveal that even though both novels do constitute a departure from the previous tradition of gay coming-of-age novels by their extensive use of Gothic elements, they still contain a plausible story portraying the interplay of the social and psychological facets of growing up.
 
Keywords
American novel; southern literature; gay literature; Gothic elements; Randall Kenan; A Visitation of Spirits; Jim Grimsley; Dream Boy
 
Contact
Roman Trušník
Tomas Bata University in Zlín
Faculty of Humanities
Mostní 5139
760 01 Zlín
Czech Republic
E-mail: trusnik@fhs.utb.cz
 
 
 

 
Author
Lorelei Caraman
 
Title of the Article
The Urge to Tell vs. the Need to Conceal: Confession as Narrative Desire in Poe’s “The Black Cat,” “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Imp of the Perverse”
 
Abstract
Relying on Peter Brooks’ concept of “narrative desire,” the paper seeks to identify and explore its applicability and manifestations in three of Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories: namely, “The Black Cat,” “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Imp of the Perverse.” Focusing on the role and nature of the narrators’ confessions in these three tales, this article seeks to show how the need or the urge to tell, constituting a recurrent preoccupation in Poe, may be further integrated within a framework of psychoanalytic criticism in which the emphasis is shifted from either the author or the text toward critical reading itself. As a result, the paper draws attention to the fundamental ambivalence permeating the construction of these texts, between telling and concealing. These contradictory tendencies are placed within Brooks’ theory of “textual energetics” and discussed in relation to his formulations on initiatory desire as well as the desire for the end, concepts which Brooks further connects to Freud’s model of instinctual drives in the form of Eros and Thanatos.
 
Keywords
E.A. Poe, short story, confession, murders, narrative desire, Peter Brooks, unconscious, ambivalence, instincts, psychoanalytic criticism
 
Contact
Lorelei Caraman
Department of English Language and Literature
Faculty of Letters
Alexandru Ioan Cuza University
Carol I Blvd, Nr.11
700506  Lasi
Romania
E-mail: lorelei.caraman@gmail.com
 
 
 

 
Author
Joseph W. Pearson
 
Title of the Article
Through a Glass, Darkly: Antebellum American Whiggery, Catholicism, and the Ideological Roots of Nativism
 
Abstract
Antebellum American nativism was a choice. This article demonstrates that the sectarian violence and disorder of the 1840s and 1850s was not simply a vague, latent, inevitable anti-Catholic bigotry that sprung forth in reaction to the rising wave of Irish Catholic immigration. Instead, it was one option, dependent upon cultural, social, and moral changes occurring on both sides of the Atlantic. There is a good bit of historical irony in this conclusion because Whigs and Catholics shared many concerns about human nature and public order. However, the poverty and intemperance of many Irish immigrants, as well as their attachment to devout Roman Catholicism, and the bourgeois pretensions of American Whigs, drove many to view the Irish as socially and culturally unacceptable.
 
Keywords
Catholics, Whigs, Intolerance, Nativism, Morality, Bourgeois
 
Contact
Joseph W. Pearson
Department of History, Religious Studies, Languages, Fine & Performing Arts
Union College
310 College St.
Barbourville, KY
40906 USA
E-mail: jwpearson@crimson.ua.edu
 
 
 

 
Author
Tomáš Jajtner
 
Title of the Article
A Memorial Address to a Passing Civilisation: Roger Scruton’s Elegy for England
 
Abstract
The present article deals with the concept of England, its culture and tradition in the work of well-known contemporary British conservative philosopher, Roger Scruton (b. 1944). His idea of English culture develops from the notion of home and belonging: in that sense, the England he mourns over what was once an “enchanted” place radiating a more or less comforting view of the English way of life. The article starts with a discussion of the process of “enchanting” England, then moves onto the physiognomy of Englishness, in particular the unique nature of various English institutions, and finally deals with Scruton’s defence of the nation state and the “situatedness” of English politics. The conclusion aims at evaluating Scruton’s contribution to the current discussion about English identity as well as its future in the EU and in the globalised world.
 
Keywords
Roger Scruton, modern English conservatism, English culture, decline of the British society since World War II
 
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
Robert Kusek
 
Title of the Article
“How Should One Live?” The “Lives” of Henry James and Martha C. Nussbaum’s Conception of Moral Philosophy
 
Abstract
The 21st century has witnessed an unprecedented novelistic attention on Henry James and, consequently, multiple resurrections of the Master in the form of James-based or James-influenced works of fiction. Some of the questions bothering novelists, critics and readers alike have been: How to portray James, his life and genius, when there are as many variants of James as there are critics and biographers writing about him? How to write about a life when the life itself, a hypotext, is veiled in ambiguity and uncertainty? In what way should the gaps be filled or what explanations ought to be provided? Should one follow the Master or rebel against him? The present paper wishes to discuss how Martha C. Nussbaum’s theoretical underpinnings of moral philosophy might prove helpful in performing a critical and comparative reading of the “lives” of Henry James. The Master by Colm Tóibín and Author, Author by David Lodge will be subjected to qualitative analysis within the interpretative framework provided by Nussbaum’s theory postulated in Love’s Knowledge, which applies moral philosophy to the discussion of literary works.
 
Keywords
Henry James, Martha C. Nussbaum, moral philosophy, biographical novel
 
Contact
Robert Kusek
Institute of English Philology
ul. prof. S.Łojasiewicza 4 (Kampus UJ)
30-348 Kraków
Poland
E-mail: robert.kusek@uj.edu.pl
 
 
 

 
Author
Ladislav Vít
 
Title of the Article
Feet on the Ground: W.H. Auden’s Late Landscapes
 
Abstract
This paper focuses on the concept of landscape in the post-war poetry of W.H. Auden. Its aim is to define the nature of changes from Auden’s earlier poetry. By the 1950s the dynamism and vehemence of Auden’s ideological quest had substantially withered. While some of his poetic landscapes from this period refer to particular geographical locations, they remain sites for the poet’s grappling with issues that are placeless, borderless and common to man regardless of his environment and specific culture. What disappears, however, is the desire for escape from one place to another – the hallmark of Auden’s early poetry.
 
Keywords
W.H. Auden, landscape, place, history, nature, culture
 
Contact
Ladislav Vít
Department of English and American Studies
Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
University of Pardubice
Studentská 84
532 10 Pardubice
Czech Republic
E-mail: ladislav.vit@upce.cz
 
 
 

 
Author
Martina Kastnerová
 
Title of the Article
Shakespeare’s Poetry in the context of mimesis and imitatio in Elizabethan Poetics
 
Abstract
The study deals with Elizabethan considerations of the classical concept of mimesis, particularly that of Aristotle and Horace. Shakespeare’s poetics will be examined on the basis of chosen aspects of his poems including a number of his sonnets, Venus and Adonis, Lucrece and The Phoenix and the Turtle. Other Elizabethan considerations of poetics, especially by Philip Sidney and Edmund Spenser will be compared. Unlike Sidney or Spenser, Shakespeare did not compose any theoretic work; nevertheless his poetics can be explored through readings of his poetry. First of all it is obvious that Shakespeare does not surrender to classical aesthetic rules, yet then again Elizabethan poetics in general is not overly rigid and resists “slavish imitatio” of classical examples. In this context we see Shakespeare not as solitary or an anarchist, but as a practical dramatist: an astute observer of the passions and interests of his time working within established rules and themes, yet not endorsing pompous eloquence or quasi-knowledge.
 
Keywords
Shakespeare, William; Elizabethan Poetics; mimesis; imitation; sonnets; Renaissance; Poetics; Literary Theory; Hermeneutics
 
Contact
Martina Kastnerová
Department of of Philosophy
University of West Bohemia
Riegrova 11/217
306 14 Pilsen
Czech Republic
E-mail: kastnerm@kfi.zcu.cz
 
 
 

 
Author
Jiří Stárek
 
Title of the Article
LeRoi Jones to Amiri Baraka: A Philosophical Journey of a Black Author
 
Abstract
This text examines three early writings by LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka, a radical Black intellectual whose stance toward the role of African Americans within American society underwent a significant change in the early 1960s. He belongs to a generation of Black authors who began to publicly advocate the use of violence in the struggle for an overall improvement of the socioeconomic status of African Americans. Heavily influenced early on by the Beat Generation and liberalism of Greenwich Village, Baraka emerged in the sixties as perhaps the most powerful literary voice of Black intellectual circles in the United States. In particular three of his early texts – Blues People: Negro Music in White America, Dutchman and The System of Dante’s Hell – reflect his views of the African American situation in the context of the 1960s and are analyzed in this paper in terms of the intellectual transformation of Baraka from a mere advocate of Black culture to a militant Black Nationalist advocating a revolution against white supremacy.
 
Keywords
Amiri Baraka/LeRoi Jones, Black Arts Movement, 1960s, Black Nationalism, racial segregation, African American culture
 
Contact
Jiří Stárek
Department of Anglophone Literatures and Cultures
Faculty of Arts
Charles University
nám. J. Palacha 2
Praha 1
116 38 Prague
Czech Republic
E-mail: jiri.starek89@gmail.com