CONTENTS VOLUME 8 (2015)

 
 
ARTICLES

PAGE

ABSTRACTS
KEYWORDS

CONTACTS

Shahed Ahmed (Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Bangladesh)
Eugene O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones: An Overview of White Imprints and Desire
11
Lorelei Caraman (Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Romania)
Poe’s Strategies of Seduction: Transference, Incongruity and the Undecidability of Meaning
22
Christopher E. Koy (University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic)
Applying Strategies of the Snobographer: Charles W. Chesnutt’s Use of Thackeray in Two “Blue Vein Society” Stories
31
Petr Anténe (Palacký University, Czech Republic)
The Abuses of Political Correctness in American Academia: Reading Philip Roth’s The Human Stain in Light of Mary McCarthy’s The Groves of Academe
49
Roman Trušník (Tomáš Baťa University, Czech Republic)
It’s Not All That Money: Class in Jim Grimsley’s Comfort & Joy
57
Jan Suk (University of Hradec Králové, Czech Republic)
Becoming Deterritorialized: Reading Tim Etchells’ The BRoKen WoRLD after Gilles Deleuze
65
Bożena Kucała (Jagiellonian University, Poland)
Ignorance Is Strength: Kazuo Ishiguro’s and Graham Swift’s Argument against Knowledge
74
Tomáš Jajtner (University of South Bohemia)
The Triumph of Post-Democratic Values: Blairism and British Political Culture in the Eyes of Peter Oborne
84
Alice Sukdolová (University of South Bohemia)
Multiplicity of Spaces in Daniel Deronda
96
Vladimíra Fonfárová (Tomáš Baťa University, Czech Republic)
Unheard Playful Voices
 109
 
 
STUDENT CONTRIBUTIONS
Alexandra Michaličková (University of Ostrava, Czech Republic)
California Dreams and Nightmares
123
Bohdan Vysloužil (University of Pardubice, Czech Republic)
Dogmatism, Materialism and Faith in Graham Greene’s Prose
133
 
BOOK REVIEWS
   
Šárka Bubíková
Literary Engagement with the (Traumatic) Past (Review of History, Memory, Trauma in Contemporary British and Irish Fiction by Beata Piątek)
149
 
Michal Kleprlík
Where Is Here? Literary Strivings of „Little Brother“ (Review of Chapters in Contemporary Canadian Literature by Jiří Flajšar, Pavlína Flajšarová, and Vladimíra Fonfárová)
155  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
ABSTRACTS, KEYWORDS AND CONTACT DETAILS
 
 



 
Author
Shahed Ahmed
 
Title of the Article
Eugene O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones: An Overview of White Imprints and Desire
 
Abstract
Eugene O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones (1920) is the first ever projection of a black protagonist on Broadway who carries the imprints of white ideals. While the playwright presents the title character Brutus Jones as a kleptocrat, he seems to corroborate the fact that the streetwise black Jones’ growing up in New York has a lot to do with his rule as a despot on the island. This paper explores O’Neill’s projection of the American mercantile psyche as seen on the island’s experience of colonial capitalism and the enactment of original sin in America by a journey through Brutus’ personal and racial memory lanes. This article also investigates to what extent Jones is a by-product of the American capitalist system which considers greed as good and money as the bottom line of success.
 
Keywords
Eugene O’Neill, American Drama, Race, Capitalism, Kleptocracy, Blackface
 
Contact
 

Back to the Contents

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
Author
Lorelei Caraman
 
Title of the Article
Poe’s Strategies of Seduction: Transference, Incongruity and the Undecidability of Meaning
 
Abstract
What makes readers, particularly critics, revisit Poe? One of the objections that can be brought against most psychoanalytic interpretations of his life or work is its omission of “the why.” Why write about Poe? What compels us to return to an author already surrounded by, to use Susan Sontag’s words, “thick encrustations” of criticism and theory? There seems to be an undefined “something,” a certain element “X” in Poe that irresistibly attracts (our) critical commentary. Designating this elusive quality “X” as textual “seduction,” the following article attempts, in a sense, to define the undefinable: that is, to identify and describe some of the Poe-esque characteristics that continue to keep readers and critics glued to his work. Drawing principally from Jacques Lacan’s model of transference, Roland Barthes’ “erotics of reading” and Pierre Bayard’s theory of “applied literature,” this paper posits that some of Poe’s strategies of literary seduction include, on the one hand, anticipated textual effects that operate similarly to transference in their double fulfillment of the analyst’s role of S.s.S and S.s.R and, on the other, carefully constructed thematic incongruities that result in an ultimate “undecidability” of meaning.
 
Keywords
Poe, transference, psychoanalysis, literary seduction, interpretation
 
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Author
Christopher E. Koy
 
Title of the Article
Applying Strategies of the Snobographer: Charles W. Chesnutt’s Use of Thackeray in Two “Blue Vein Society” Stories
 
Abstract
No fiction writer wrote substantively about intra-racial snobs among African Americans before Charles W. Chesnutt. In his “Blue Vein Society” stories, this snobbery is acutely expressed through moneyed cultural edification in “The Wife of His Youth” as well as in blatantly racial terms in “A Matter of Principle.” Long an admirer of Vanity Fair, Charles W. Chesnutt shared with the early Thackeray a keen interest in satirically exposing the hypocrisy of the haughty “higher” society. In this contribution, I attempt to demonstrate the impact of Thackeray’s works on the strategies of Chesnutt’s depictions of the African American snob.
 
Keywords
Chesnutt, Thackeray, intertextual studies, snobs, signifying, Vanity Fair, American short Story
 
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Author
Petr Anténe
 
Title of the Article
The Abuses of Political Correctness in American Academia: Reading Philip Roth’s The Human Stain in Light of Mary McCarthy’s The Groves of Academe
 
Abstract
Both Mary McCarthy’s The Groves of Academe (1952) and Philip Roth’s The Human Stain (2000) are campus novels satirizing the political environment of their time. Roth’s novel presents the life story of Coleman Silk, a classics professor at fictional Athena College who is towards the end of his career unjustly charged of using a racial slur against African Americans in the classroom. The case is taken up by his department head and Silk is forced to resign. This more recent indictment of American political correctness provides interesting frames of comparison with McCarthy’s earlier novel. In this text, literature professor Henry Mulcahy, who is to lose his job at the fictional Jocelyn College, spreads the rumor that he is being dismissed because he was once a member of the Communist Party. Mulcahy’s motivation is a belief that the college and faculty are too politically correct to be seen as persecuting the Left. Not only does Mulcahy keep his job, but the college president is forced to resign. While almost half a century apart, both novels provide a harsh satire of American academia, highlighting ways in which the obsession with political correctness can be abused with devastating results. Most revealingly, in the earlier novel the corrupted faculty member abuses the well-intentioned institution, whereas in the more recent text the innocent individual is victimized.
 
Keywords
American literature, campus novel, satire, political correctness, Mary McCarthy, The Groves of Academe, Philip Roth, The Human Stain
 
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Author
Roman Trušník
 
Title of the Article
It’s Not All That Money: Class in Jim Grimsley’s Comfort & Joy
 
Abstract
Until recently, discussions of class were overshadowed by explorations of race, ethnicity, and gender in American literary and academic circles. One of the modern novels that daringly explores the ramifications of class is Jim Grimsley’s Comfort & Joy (1999), which portrays the budding relationship between two southern men which, to a large degree, is continually undermined by their belonging to different classes. Dan Crell is a hospital administrator, while Ford McKinney is a pediatrician in the same hospital. Moreover, while Dan comes from a low-class North Karolina family, Ford belongs to the Old Savannah aristocratic milieu. Class interferes not only in the men’s relationship with each other but also in their relationships with their families of origin. More important, the novel convincingly demonstrates that class is not only a matter of money but perhaps even more so of culture inbred in the family.
 
Keywords
American literature, southern literature, gay literature, vlase, family, Jim Grimsley, Comfort & Joy, American South
 
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Author
Jan Suk
 
Title of the Article
Becoming Deterritorialized: Reading Tim Etchells’ The BRoKen WoRLD after Gilles Deleuze
 
Abstract
The philosophy of Gilles Deleuze is a complex and open system whose “anything-goes” or, to borrow Deleuze’s own term, rhizomatic, i.e. interconnected and interconnectable nature constitutes a major potential of the theory for many areas of academic discourse. The application of Deleuze’s thought on writing that is performative and performance-influenced thus seems constructive, since art, performance writing and philosophy have a transformative capacity via their ability to challenge the territory between the work of art and its recipient. The present paper elaborates on the productive quality of two crucial concepts of Gilles Deleuze, becoming and deterritorialization. In the second part of the article these concepts are applied to The BRoKeN WoRLD, a novel by Tim Etchells. The conclusion of the paper suggests that Etchells’ invitations to trespass the in-between territory among author, work and recipient is graspable via the theoretical apparatus provided by the Deleuzian creative machinic drive to rupture the fourth wall, with proximity and engagement provoking the exposure of the reader to nakedness, along with a sympathetic, deterritorialized series of becomings.
 
Keywords
Gilles Delueze, Félix Guattari, becoming, deterritorialization, Tim Etchells, Forced Entertainment, The BRoKen WoRLD
 
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Author
Bożena Kucała
 
Title of the Article
Ignorance Is Strength: Kazuo Ishiguro’s and Graham Swift’s Argument against Knowledge
 
Abstract
This article discusses the opposition of knowledge and ignorance in Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go and Graham Swift’s Shuttlecock. While the protagonists of both novels seek knowledge, the value of knowledge is ultimately challenged. The article argues that, despite their tendency to show the pitfalls of insufficient knowledge in their stories, in these two novels Ishiguro and Shift make a case for the ethical benefits of ignorance.
 
Keywords
Kazuo Ishiguro, Graham Swift, Never Let Me Go, Shuttlecock, quest for knowledge, contemporary English novel
 
 
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Author
Tomáš Jajtner
 
Title of the Article
The Triumph of Post-Democratic Values: Blairism and British Political Culture in the Eyes of Peter Oborne
 
Abstract
The following article deals with the work of distinguished British conservative journalist and public intellectual Peter Oborne (b. 1957). In his published oeuvre, Oborne has been particularly concerned with the political culture during the administration of Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (1997-2007). This article analyses Oborne’s books and focuses on his major themes: his koncept of the British “Political Class” as well as the deterioration of standard British institutions, the rise of the media, the widespread mendacity of British politicians and, finally, the triumph of “post-democratic” values characterized by a slow demise of the British electorate in relation to the political process. The article discusses wider contexts of contemporary British conservatism and assesses Oborne’s contribution to the debate about the perspectives of British political identity and its cultural and democratic traditions.
 
Keywords
Peter Oborne, British politics, modern British conservatism, post-democracy
 
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Author
Alice Sukdolová
 
Title of the Article
Multiplicity of Spaces in Daniel Deronda
 
Abstract
The paper focuses on the multiplicity of spaces structuring the novel Daniel Deronda and attempts to demonstrate an understanding of space projected by George Eliot in the European context. This last novel of George Eliot was in this respect more revelatory than her previous works, as it moves the author’s perception of space far from English regionalism. The paper further contrasts the use of space in Daniel Deronda with Eliot’s previous novels using Deleuzoguattarian smooth and striated space as well as certain Romantic impulses in Victorian novels as defined by D. D. Stone. A significant aspect of the study is an analysis of water as space, namely interpreting the presence of the River Thames and the sea along the port of Genoa. Both of these water spaces contribute greatly to the development of the novel’s plot towards a tragic mood. Heidegger’s philosophical treatment of the spatial aspect of the bridge will be focused upon in the final part of the article.
 
Keywords
G. Eliot, Daniel Deronda, space, water, Romantic, Victorian, European
 
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Author
Vladimíra Fonfárová
 
Title of the Article
Unheard Playful Voices: Margaret Atwood᾽s Grace Marks as an (Reliably) Unreliable Narrator
 
Abstract
The unreliable narrator, a category with a question mark since the 1960s when it was identified by Wayne C. Booth, has been a challenge for many literary theorists including James Phelan, Monika Fludernik and Ansgar Nünning to name just a few. In the Czech Republic, Tomáš Kubíček attempted to address the issue of an unreliable narrator in his monograph Vypravěč, kategorie narativní analýzy [The Narrator, Categories of Narrative Analysis, 2007]. Drawing mostly on the theories of Nünning and Phelan, Kubíček provides his own definition, one that resolves several problematic issues with which his predecessors struggled. This paper aims to apply Kubíček’s theory of the unreliable narrator to Margaret Atwood’s historiographic metafiction Alias Grace (1996). Grace Marks, the novel’s homodiegetic narrator, has been frequently referred to as unreliable by numerous scholars, including Sharon R. Wilson and Coral Ann Howells. She appears to be an ideal subject for analyzing reliability, as she is a convicted criminal with (claimed) amnesia, therefore it seems natural that the reader should be wary of the facts she presents. However, in the light of Kubíček’s theory, the matter of Grace’s unreliability is not necessarily so obvious and simple. Obtaining a satisfactory answer to the question “Did Grace Marks commit the murders she was imprisoned for?” may be just as difficult as obtaining the answer to a question whether Atwood’s novel presents an unreliable narrator or not.
 
Keywords
Unreliable narrator, Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood, Tomáš Kubíček, historiographic metafiction
 
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Author
Alexandra Michaličková
 
Title of the Article
California Dreams and Nightmares
 
Abstract
Ever since the discovery of gold in 1848, people have been coming to California in belief that they would be rewarded generously for their hard work and talents. California was thus perceived as the promised land of opportunity and fulfilled dreams. However, for many the dream did not come true. The paper analyses California’s most prominent groups of immigrants arriving to California during the Gold Rush and afterwards paying attention to their initial expectations and reasons for coming and contrasts them with conditions they encountered.
 
Keywords
California, Immigration, California Gold Rush, California Dream, Mexicans in Kalifornia, Chinese immigration to California, Japanese immigration to California
 
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Author
Bohdan Vysloužil
 
Title of the Article
Dogmatism, Materialism and Faith in Graham Greene’s Prose
 
Abstract
This article deals with materialism, religious dogmatism and faith in Graham Greene’s novels The Power and the Glory (1940), The Heart of the Matter (1948), and the short story “The Hint of an Explanation” (1954). The aim of the paper is to elucidate the nature of the author’s attitude to the relation between faith, logical reasoning and urges for material wants. For the purposes of delineating some of the basic philosophical, social and psychological principles concerning faith, logical reasoning and materialism the article aims at providing an explanation based on theories developed by Søren Kierkegaard, Karl Marx and Abraham Maslow.
 
Keywords
Graham Greene, spirituality, dogmatism, materialism
 
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