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- Volume 23, Issue 1, 2002
Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - Volume 23, Issue 1, 2002
Volumes & issues
Volume 23, Issue 1, 2002
Representation and function of characters from Greek antiquity in Benjamin Britten's Death in Venice : research articleAuthor Bertha M. SpiesSource: Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies 23, pp 1 –18 (2002)More Less
Representation and function of characters from Greek antiquity in Benjamin Britten's Death in Venice
Lack of insight into Greek antiquity, more specifically the nature of classical tragedy and mythology, could be one reason for the negative reception of Benjamin Britten's last opera Death in Venice. In the first place, this article considers Britten's opera based on Thomas Mann's novella as a manifestation of classical tragedy. Secondly, it is shown how mythological characters in Mann's novella represent abstract ideas in Britten's opera, thereby enhancing the dramatic impact of the opera considerably. On the one hand it is shown how the artist's inner conflict manifests itself in a dialectic relationship between discipline and inspirat ion in Plato's Phaedrus dialogue that forms the basis of Aschenbach's monologue at the end of the opera. The conflict between Aschenbach's rational consciousness and his irrational subconscious, on the other hand, is depicted by means of mythological figures, Apollo and Dionysus. Two focal points in the opera, namely the Games of Apollo at the end of Act 1 and the nightmare scene which forms the climax of the opera in Act 2, are used to illustrate the musical manifestation of this conflict.
Author Rensia RobinsonSource: Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies 23, pp 19 –36 (2002)More Less
Conflict, representation, interpretation - the truth lied
The poetic concept "taalskadeloosstelling" (disempowerment of speech) in a poem by T.T. Cloete can be related to a poetic procédè in another of his poems, namely "Foto Boerevegters" from the volume Driepas; (1989: 111). In this poem the relativity of conflict is a main theme. The telescoping of contexts and perspectives reveals more fundamental conflicts than the superficial theme of a specified historical conflict. A framed representation (a photograph) of a political event represents a retrogressive perspective that presupposes a more comprehensive context. Such a double perspective degrades and relativizes the representation to the level of reconstructed jigsaw pictures on paper.
Discrepancies between appearance and intention, or surface and depth structures are unmasked at a linguistic level. In contrast with the lies of representation, the discourse of the poem exceeds its own constraints. This activates the establishment of relationships that render comment from an enlarged perspective. The framework of a local historical context is thus broken through and momentarily truth and lie are juxtaposed.
Afgekyk van en nagepraat na ... : Nederlandse tekste in "Vroue van Vermeer" van T.T. Cloete : research articleAuthor Adele NelSource: Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies 23, pp 37 –51 (2002)More Less
"Afgekyk van en nagepraat na ...": Dutch texts in "Vroue van Vermeer" by T.T. Cloete
This article focuses on T.T. Cloete's poem "Vroue van Vermeer" (Driepas) as the product of idiolectic transformation. The first and most obvious original text or frame is the work of the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, with the poems and poetical writings of Martinus Nijhoff as a second frame. The third frame consists of texts from the work of J.H. Leopold. Special attention is given to what happens to the text adapted as a transformation, and in what way the source texts are dealt with in the final text. The visual focus of the poem corresponds with that of the paintings, i.e. the figure of the woman, space as constituent of the figure, and the dominating play with light. Cloete depicts his "Umwertung" of the perceived reality in his poem and at the same time models his own poetical concept that corresponds with the poetical views of Nijhoff. The poetical concept includes views regarding the texts, some views of reality and the so-called objectification theory.
The man with the phrase book in his head : on the literariness of the illiterate Homer : research articleAuthor Jaco AlantSource: Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies 23, pp 53 –71 (2002)More Less
The man with the phrase book in his head : on the literariness of the illiterate Homer
In the early 1930s Milman Parry's theoretical substantiation of the oral composition of the Iliad and the Odyssey was widely interpreted as a major breakthrough in the field of oral traditional research, even as the founding act of a new discipline - Oral Theory. The "oral-formulaic" theory which underscored this breakthrough has, however, been increasingly criticized in recent times. While acknowledging the fundamental importance of Parry's work in the field of Oral Theory, the present article seeks to reinterpret the essential orality of the Homeric poems in the light of its broader implications for the recognition of an oral aesthetics / oral literature. Parry's work on the Iliad and the Odyssey has generally been appreciated for its postulation of a characteristically oral textual economy. This article sets out, by contrast, to look more closely at the possibility Parry opens up for the orally composed text to be considered "literature" in its fullest aesthetic sense. Crucial to this is the creative role of the reader / audience in terms of the text's "horizons of expectations", that also serve to contradict the famous characterisation by Walter Ong alluded to in the title of this article.
Author Nicholas MeihuizenSource: Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies 23, pp 73 –83 (2002)More Less
Doubling desire : the Yeatsian Daimon
Through the agency of Daimonic desire, Yeatsian spiritualism repeats empirical existence. In positing a desire that extends beyond the limits of individual human life, Yeats denies the definitive value of an exclusive finitude, such as that perceived by Michel Foucault in The Order of Things(1974). If Yeats, involved in a qualified manner in an aspect of Foucault's analytic of finitude, is a modernist, he is related to that type Fredric Jameson calls the "anti-modern modernist" (Jameson, 1991:304), the modernist who reacts against modernisation.
In discussing Daimonic desire, then, it is congruous with a reading of Yeats to do so both from the perspective of the empirical realm of the "dying generations", and the spiritual realm of the "artifice of eternity". In the first case the Daimon can surely be understood as a manifestation of the Zeitgeist, but how do we understand the spirits in the second case, who have transcended the ultimate limit of finitude, death itself, and who thus rock the three Foucauldian cornerstones of finitude - life, labour, and language, "marked by the spatiality of the body, the yawning of desire, and the time of language" (Foucault, 1974:315)? Clearly, for Yeats, life is not limited by death; labour is not limited by a somnolent desire; and language is not confined within the span of a single life
Author M.J. MojalefaSource: Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies 23, pp 85 –95 (2002)More Less
Although examples of certain Northern Sotho traditional oral genres have been collected over years, a study of verse-form in traditional initiation poetry has not yet been undertaken. This article will consider the way in which Northern Sotho traditional initiation poems are structured or arranged in verse-form. It will be attempted to indicate that traditional oral initiation poetry in Northern Sotho is not metrically defined (as in Western poetry) but that Northern Sotho oral poetry is also structured by its performance and by symmetrical boundaries and other techniques. The structure of the oral praise poem in verse-form as discussed in this article will show the way in which poetry material is organised according to Northern Sotho metrical (verse-form) principles.
The modern city : a symbolic space of memory and a crucible for multiculturalism? : research articleAuthor Joris VlasselaersSource: Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies 23, pp 97 –106 (2002)More Less
This article highlights some critical remarks concerning the use of the terms multiculturalism and cultural identity in various currents of contemporary discourse. The focus will be on the modern metropolis Brussels which will serve as a case study. Brussels is the capital of Belgium and of the European Union and is one of the most distinctly international and multiethnic cities in Europe. In this multicultural society, characterized by the coexistence of groups with different linguistic and cultural traditions, the phenomenon of multi-sociality, i.e. the fact that individuals simultaneously take part in several social subsystems, may neutralize and even overrule cultural or ethnic differences. When it comes to the access of relatively prominent social positions, social differences appear to be of more importance than cultural or ethnic-cultural differences. The question thus remains how to cope with the notion of cultural identity. Second- and third-generation immigrants raising the issue of cultural identity, generally refer to contrastive markers. Culture is conceived of as a package: the differences are articulated as culture, while what is shared with 'outsiders' (especially material culture, science, technology and daily routines) seems to be irrelevant. The city builds a cultural superstructure submitted to an uninterrupted process of change. The ethnic factor is very attractive because people want to experience a community to which they "really" belong and where they can express themselves. The younger generations, however, gradually step out of the strategies of self-protective isolation and advance towards a moderate cultural relativism. In this respect the irrational and affective dimensions of culture, as well as the spatial and social urban fabric, constitute elements of major importance for a close analysis of ethnic-cultural diversity and inequalities.
Source: Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies 23 (2002)More Less
In hierdie roman hanteer die hoofkarakter, Delores, twee baie moeilike situasies. Haar ma, 'n bekende professor wat sielkundeboeke vir leke skryf, word wreed verkrag en haar pa kom te sterwe. Die ma en pa is al twintig jaar lank geskei maar het nog elke dag saam geëet. Die ma hanteer die verkragting oënskynlik goed - sy is 'n sterk en verstandige mens wat krisisse hanteer deur dit in 'n hanteerbare perspektief in te praat. So maklik is dit egter nie; nie vir haarself nie en ook nie vir diegene rondom haar nie. Die pa ly aan post-traumatiese stres namens sy vrou en wil nie eet nie. Hy gaan as gevolg daarvan ernstig agteruit, want hy is al tagtig jaar oud.
Source: Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies 23, pp 112 –113 (2002)More Less
Daar het die afgelope tyd verskeie romans verskyn waarin die geskiedenis van Suid(er)-Afrika vertel word soos belewe deur mense wat nie vroeër 'n stem gehad het om hulle eie verhale te vertel nie, mense wie se verhale nie belangrik genoeg geag is nie, mense wie se verhale eenvoudig nie vertel is nie.
Author Fanie OlivierSource: Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies 23, pp 114 –118 (2002)More Less
Met die taal van karmosyn is die poësiedebuut van Riana Scheepers. As prosaskrywer is sy goed gevestig in die gekanoniseerde Afrikaanse literêre wêreld, haar Katrina-stories het haar in ander opsigte 'n gewilde outeur gemaak, terwyl sy as rubriekskrywer in die dagpers breë bekendheid geniet.