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Humanities, Volume 11, Issue 6 (December 2022) – 31 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Malone Dies (1956) by Samuel Beckett and Chambre simple (2018) by Jérôme Lambert present the narratives of precarity in the clinical setting, wherein the clinical caregivers view the suffering of the patients as a spectacle. This paper examines the narratives of fear and anxiety of institutionalized patients. The caregivers in both novels represent the voice of medical authority who focus on cure rather than care. Hence, Malone and le Patient, respectively, the main characters of the two novels, are compelled to develop artistic coping mechanisms of self-care. The lens of performance studies helps us to understand a clinical caregiver’s emphasis on preparing an illness script. We argue that caregivers’ expectations pressurize patients with chronic conditions to implement forms of artistic self-care in clinical settings. View this paper
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11 pages, 1021 KiB  
Article
Anti-Bourgeois Media in the Japanese Proletarian Literary Movement
by Takashi Wada
Humanities 2022, 11(6), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11060160 - 15 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1866
Abstract
The Marxist and socialist ideas that spread throughout the world following the Russian Revolution of 1917 were also influential in bringing about changes in art and culture. Proletarian literature, which flourished in Japan in the 1920s and 1930s, was one such example. However, [...] Read more.
The Marxist and socialist ideas that spread throughout the world following the Russian Revolution of 1917 were also influential in bringing about changes in art and culture. Proletarian literature, which flourished in Japan in the 1920s and 1930s, was one such example. However, due to Japan’s particular historical circumstances, Japanese proletarian literature was in an ambivalent position between revolutionary literature by left-wing intellectuals and proletarian literature by and for the proletarian class in the pure sense. This article examines the chaos and friction implied by the term “proletarian” from three perspectives: the relationship between proletarian media and bourgeois media, the media distribution system, and the boundary between writers and readers. Through this examination, it clarifies that the approaches of Japanese proletarian media, while imitating bourgeois media to some extent, were unique in their potential to transform the boundary between writers and readers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modern Japanese Literature and the Media Industry)
15 pages, 275 KiB  
Article
Women’s Perceptions of Nature: An Ecofeminist Analysis of Tsitsi Dangarembga’s This Mournable Body
by Nigus Michael Gebreyohannes and Abiye Daniel Ambachew
Humanities 2022, 11(6), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11060159 - 15 Dec 2022
Viewed by 2404
Abstract
The purpose of this article is to explore ecofeminist issues in Tsitsi Dangarembga’s This Mournable Body. It mainly focuses on the relationship between women and nature and explores the perceptions of women toward the natural environment. Thus, a close reading was done [...] Read more.
The purpose of this article is to explore ecofeminist issues in Tsitsi Dangarembga’s This Mournable Body. It mainly focuses on the relationship between women and nature and explores the perceptions of women toward the natural environment. Thus, a close reading was done to extract the necessary information from the novel. Next, the extracted data was analyzed using textual analysis. Additionally, ecofeminist literary criticism was adopted as a lens to analyze the novel. Therefore, based on the analysis made, the novel portrays various issues related to women and nature. Firstly, the novel shows that African women are gardeners, agricultural laborers, and protectors of the land and the natural environment, which makes them have a strong relationship with the natural environment. On the other hand, it shows, that not all women have the same perception of nature. In this manner, Tracey, a white businesswoman, considered nature as an income generator in the form of the ecotourism industry, regardless of the degradation of the natural environment. In contrast, the native women consider nature as a means of their survival. Nyasha, a woman from Zimbabwe, believes nature and land space enhance co-operation and harmony between inhabitants. Similarly, Tambudzai, also from Zimbabwe, recounts the beauty and healing power of nature, and she expresses her concern about the degradation of the natural environment. Therefore, the novel has discovered the different relationships between women and nature. Their understanding of and connection to nature vary and directly relate to their background and context. At last, the novel portrays the impact of neocolonialism and capitalism predominantly on women and nature. In this manner, the author shows her concern for African women and the natural environment. Full article
13 pages, 4128 KiB  
Article
The Japanese-Language Newspaper Novel Abroad
by Edward Mack
Humanities 2022, 11(6), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11060158 - 13 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1985
Abstract
This article presents initial findings about the history of the publication of serialized novels in Japanese-language newspapers published in North and South America. An under-studied publishing venue for literature to begin with, even less is known about the serialization of novels in these [...] Read more.
This article presents initial findings about the history of the publication of serialized novels in Japanese-language newspapers published in North and South America. An under-studied publishing venue for literature to begin with, even less is known about the serialization of novels in these diasporic communities despite them being the most widely circulated fiction. Focusing on what can be reconstructed of the history of these works and their publication, this study focuses on five newspapers and their serialized novels during the 1930s, with a particular focus on the novel Constellations Ablaze by Ozaki Shirō and the lesser-known author Nakagawa Amenosuke. This preliminary survey suggests an industry that navigated international copyright law, reader’s tastes, and the interconnection of different local readerships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modern Japanese Literature and the Media Industry)
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12 pages, 253 KiB  
Article
Muriel Rukeyser’s “Campaign” and the Spectacular Documentary Poetics of the Whistle Stop Tour
by Michael Anthony Smith
Humanities 2022, 11(6), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11060157 - 9 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1411
Abstract
This article examines how documentary poetics—particularly as employed by Muriel Rukeyser—use a montage of images to form a visual landscape. This visual landscape is wielded effectively by politicians during the Whistle Stop Tour electioneering. In Rukeyser’s “Campaign”, one section in her long-form poetic [...] Read more.
This article examines how documentary poetics—particularly as employed by Muriel Rukeyser—use a montage of images to form a visual landscape. This visual landscape is wielded effectively by politicians during the Whistle Stop Tour electioneering. In Rukeyser’s “Campaign”, one section in her long-form poetic biography of Wendell Willkie, entitled One Life, she describes the journey of the 1940 Republican presidential candidate as he campaigns from the observation car of a train. The visual landscape created by the Whistle Stop Tour and described through documentary poetics contains Willkie, his audience, and the train itself. It is a unified spectacle, one that contains the rider, the reader, and the onlooker. Rukeyser’s documentary poetry and sensory-rich verse delimit the observation car as the mechanism through which this spectacle forms. The documentary poetics genre is one aptly suited for the description of the landscape through this railcar—a high velocity railspace that relays information by montage, which is to say, through a filmic collage of information assembled into a readable layout of the perceived world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modernist Poetry and Visual Culture)
16 pages, 288 KiB  
Article
Fear of the Queen’s Speed: Trauma and Departure in The Winter’s Tale
by Caroline Bicks
Humanities 2022, 11(6), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11060156 - 7 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1633
Abstract
The essay applies trauma theory to early modern understandings of grief and its contagious after-effects to provide new ways to think about the figuring of trauma’s reach into individual embodied minds and their environments, and about its larger impacts on narrative structures, theatrical [...] Read more.
The essay applies trauma theory to early modern understandings of grief and its contagious after-effects to provide new ways to think about the figuring of trauma’s reach into individual embodied minds and their environments, and about its larger impacts on narrative structures, theatrical spaces, and the people who populated them. To do so, I turn to Shakespeare’s most deliberately tricky play, The Winter’s Tale, and to its undeniably traumatized Queen Hermione, who defies the laws of time, space, and motion to an extent unmatched by any other human character in his canon. The essay explores how Shakespeare imagines and mobilizes the aggrieved Hermione; and how her departure and repeated, belated returns play out different forms and effects of traumatic response. These include the gaps and eruptions endemic to the processes of accommodating the impossible and listening to stories that are structured around absence and aporia. It is my contention that in his later play he was experimenting with how those effects could spill out beyond the brains and bodies of trauma’s original victims, and transform the people and spaces beyond them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Directions in Medicine and Embodiment on the Shakespearean Stage)
12 pages, 253 KiB  
Article
Good Life without Happiness
by Timo Airaksinen
Humanities 2022, 11(6), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11060155 - 7 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1683
Abstract
A good life combines lively living and a good purpose, which depend on action results and consequences. They supervene upon the action results that create life’s meaning. A good life is never evil because evil deeds, as such, are not part of the [...] Read more.
A good life combines lively living and a good purpose, which depend on action results and consequences. They supervene upon the action results that create life’s meaning. A good life is never evil because evil deeds, as such, are not part of the agent’s action repertoire. Agents cannot claim them as their own; if they do, dishonest hypocrisy and social stigmatization follow. But, when action results are good, the purpose is good, too. One cannot realize an evil purpose by acting morally. I argue against the idea that a passive, dreaming life could be a good life. I discuss specific kinds of religious life that follow a monastic rule. A good life may not be happy, although it tends to be so. I discuss various theories of happiness, including the traditional Socratic view that virtue and virtue only make an agent happy. I conclude that a good life is not the same as a virtuous life; hence, a good life can be unhappy. To conclude, I discuss personal autonomy in social life. A good life requires that one’s actions and goals are one’s own, but such ownership is hard to realize because of a social life’s complicated and demanding mutual dependencies. I conclude that full ownership is fiction, so a good life is a social life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Philosophy and Classics in the Humanities)
17 pages, 7387 KiB  
Article
A Site-Perspective on the Second Sophistic of the near East and Its Impact on the History of Rhetoric: An Overview
by Richard Leo Enos
Humanities 2022, 11(6), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11060154 - 7 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1644
Abstract
This essay introduces and examines the impact of the Second Sophistic in the Near East on the history of rhetoric. Although the overall impact of sophists is apparent as early as the Classical Period of ancient Greece, this work emphasizes the renaissance of [...] Read more.
This essay introduces and examines the impact of the Second Sophistic in the Near East on the history of rhetoric. Although the overall impact of sophists is apparent as early as the Classical Period of ancient Greece, this work emphasizes the renaissance of sophistic rhetoric during the so-called Second Sophistic, a movement that flourished slightly before and throughout the Roman Empire. The Second Sophistic provided an educational system that proved to be a major force spreading the study and performance of rhetoric throughout the Roman Empire. This essay examines and synthesizes scholarship that employs conventional historical approaches, particularly research that often focuses on individual sophists, in order to establish a grounding (and justification) for concentrating on what is termed here as a “site-perspective.” That is, this essay stresses the importance of the sites of sophistic education and performance, arguing for such an orientation for future research. This essay also advances observations from the author’s own experiences and research at ancient sites in Greece and Turkey, as well as other sources of archaeological and epigraphical research. Such work reveals that artifacts at archaeological sites—epigraphy, statuary now held at museums in Greece and Turkey, and a range of other forms of material rhetoric—provide contextual insights into the nature, influence, and longevity of rhetoric during the Second Sophistic beyond examining the achievements of individual sophists. A site-perspective approach reveals that a symbiotic relationship existed between the educational achievements of the Second Sophistic—in which rhetoric played a major role—and the social and cultural complexities of the Roman Empire. Such observations also reveal the benefits, but also the need, for further fieldwork, archival research, and the development of new methodological procedures to provide a more refined understanding of the impact of the Second Sophistic on the history of rhetoric. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ancient Greek Sophistry and Its Legacy)
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13 pages, 292 KiB  
Article
Socrates and the Sophists: Reconsidering the History of Criticisms of the Sophists
by Noburu Notomi
Humanities 2022, 11(6), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11060153 - 7 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 9272
Abstract
To examine the sophists and their legacy, it is necessary to reconsider the relation between Socrates and the sophists. The trial of Socrates in 399 BCE seems to have changed people’s attitudes towards and conceptions of the sophists drastically, because Socrates was the [...] Read more.
To examine the sophists and their legacy, it is necessary to reconsider the relation between Socrates and the sophists. The trial of Socrates in 399 BCE seems to have changed people’s attitudes towards and conceptions of the sophists drastically, because Socrates was the first and only “sophist” executed for being a sophist. In the fifth century BCE, people treated natural philosophy, sophistic rhetoric and Socratic dialogue without clear distinctions, often viewing them as dangerous, impious and damaging to society. After the trial of Socrates, however, Plato sharply dissociated Socrates from the sophists and treated his teacher as a model philosopher and the latter as fakes, despite many common features and shared interests between them. While Plato’s distinction was gradually accepted by his contemporaries and by subsequent thinkers through the fourth century BCE, some disciples of Socrates and the second generation of sophists continued to pride themselves on being sophists and philosophers at the same time. Thus, this paper argues that Socrates belonged to the sophistic movement before Plato dissociated him from the other sophists, although the trial of Socrates did not immediately eliminate confusion between the sophist and the philosopher. The reconstructed view of the contemporaries of Socrates and Plato will change our conception of the sophists, as well as of Socrates. Finally, the paper examines the relation of Socrates to Antiphon of Rhamnus. Plato deliberately ignored this Athenian sophist because he was a shadowy double of Socrates in democratic Athens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ancient Greek Sophistry and Its Legacy)
14 pages, 279 KiB  
Article
Eros and Etiology in Love’s Labour’s Lost
by Darryl Chalk
Humanities 2022, 11(6), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11060152 - 6 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1291
Abstract
In Love’s Labour’s Lost, the creation of an academe where study is posited as the antidote to the diseases of the mind caused by worldly desire results in an epidemic of lovesickness. Lovesickness, otherwise known as ‘erotic melancholy’ or ‘erotomania’, was treated [...] Read more.
In Love’s Labour’s Lost, the creation of an academe where study is posited as the antidote to the diseases of the mind caused by worldly desire results in an epidemic of lovesickness. Lovesickness, otherwise known as ‘erotic melancholy’ or ‘erotomania’, was treated in contemporary medical documents as a real, diagnosable illness, a contagious disease thought to infect the imagination through the eyes, which could be fatal if left untreated. Such representation of love as a communicable disease is drawn, I suggest, from a neoplatonic tradition led by the work of Marsilio Ficino, particularly his fifteenth-century treatise Commentary on Plato’s Symposium on Love. Ficino’s construction of eros as a kind of ‘vulgar love’, distinctive from ‘heroic love’, emphatically denotes lovesickness as a kind of material contagion with the eye as its primary means of transmission, an idea that had a more significant influence in England and on the work of playwrights like William Shakespeare than has previously been acknowledged. For all its lighthearted conceits, Love’s Labour’s Lost takes lovesickness and its etiology very seriously, in ways that have been almost entirely ignored by scholarship on this play. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Directions in Medicine and Embodiment on the Shakespearean Stage)
12 pages, 253 KiB  
Article
‘“I Like Her Parrots”’: Accessibility, Aesthetics, Zadie Smith’s On Beauty and the Women’s Prize for Fiction
by Andy Mousley
Humanities 2022, 11(6), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11060151 - 5 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1857
Abstract
One of the key criteria given to the judges of the Women’s Prize for Fiction is ‘accessibility’. Accessibility, readability and more recently ‘relatability’, have gained traction in recent years over other indices of literary value, such as quasi-modernist notions of difficulty and alterity. [...] Read more.
One of the key criteria given to the judges of the Women’s Prize for Fiction is ‘accessibility’. Accessibility, readability and more recently ‘relatability’, have gained traction in recent years over other indices of literary value, such as quasi-modernist notions of difficulty and alterity. This article questions the gendering of accessibility as well as its relationship to neoliberalism. Its specific focus is on the 2006 winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, Zadie Smith’s On Beauty, a book that foregrounds questions of aesthetics and aesthetic value and attempts in its form and content to negotiate between the popular and the literary. Simultaneously problematising and simplifying ideas of beauty and artistic worth, the novel’s success was arguably due, in part, to the way that it at once tapped into and resolved insecurities surrounding judgements of aesthetic value. Controversies over literary awards are routine, but this article argues that they were especially rife in the 2000s. This article also sets these controversies over literary value and the novel’s own various engagements with the aesthetic in the context of recent, postcritical backlashes against the hermeneutics of suspicion that came to influence literary and critical theory in the 1980s and 1990s. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eyes on the Prize: Women’s Writing and Literary Awards)
11 pages, 299 KiB  
Article
Isabelle de Charrière, Jane Austen, and Post-Enlightenment Fiction: Writing the Shared Humanity of Men and Women
by Valérie Cossy
Humanities 2022, 11(6), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11060150 - 5 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1599
Abstract
This article analyses Isabelle de Charrière and Jane Austen together in relation to the changing perception of humanity affecting European thinking at the end of the eighteenth century. Not only is Charrière’s rather lesser-known work likely to benefit from the comparison, but Austen’s [...] Read more.
This article analyses Isabelle de Charrière and Jane Austen together in relation to the changing perception of humanity affecting European thinking at the end of the eighteenth century. Not only is Charrière’s rather lesser-known work likely to benefit from the comparison, but Austen’s novels also gain in philosophical depth when read alongside hers. Each one an outsider in her own world, Charrière and Austen wrote against the grain of inherited gender prejudices but also against the growing conservatism of binary orthodoxy around 1800. Adopting as writers a perspective freed from ‘feminine’ expectations, as opposed to the lady novelist embodied by the famous Isabelle de Montolieu, they endeavoured to invent characters and stories distinct from the pervasive definitions of the feminine and the masculine, giving readers the possibility of considering the shared humanity equally shaping men and women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Jane Austen: Work, Life, Legacy)
13 pages, 305 KiB  
Article
Clenched and Empty Fists: Trauma and Resistance Ethics in Han Kang’s Fiction
by Shannon Finck
Humanities 2022, 11(6), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11060149 - 5 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2312
Abstract
Broadly speaking, the literary history of human–nonhuman metamorphoses conveys certain ethics regarding human-to-human relations by mediating these relations through metaphors of inhumanity. Where such transformations appear in the literature of the present, however, the human is often decentered, fostering an uneasy consort between [...] Read more.
Broadly speaking, the literary history of human–nonhuman metamorphoses conveys certain ethics regarding human-to-human relations by mediating these relations through metaphors of inhumanity. Where such transformations appear in the literature of the present, however, the human is often decentered, fostering an uneasy consort between human and nonhuman beings and ways of being. Taking the fiction of South Korean author, Han Kang, as a case study, this essay examines the political or civic value of reinvigorating vegetal or arboreal transformation in contemporary stories that unfold against a backdrop of global climate change and ecological collapse. I argue that Han’s work depicts the mimicry of or engagement with nonhuman forms of life as both passive strategies for resisting human acts of violence and exploitation and alternative models of sociality and care. Drawing especially on the unruliness of plants and non-animal organic matter, Han’s translated works invite readers to consider what human subjects can learn about both individual and networked, interspecies modes of protest from green subjectivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trauma, Ethics & Illness in Contemporary Literature and Culture)
10 pages, 260 KiB  
Article
Trauma, Diasporic Consciousness, and Ethics in Nicole Krauss’s Forest Dark
by Tiasa Bal and Gurumurthy Neelakantan
Humanities 2022, 11(6), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11060148 - 3 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1689
Abstract
Dislocation, expatriation, and the attendant loss of homeland are concerns at the heart of Jewish literature. The dialectical relationship between identity and the sense of homeland informing the Jewish diasporic consciousness, in particular, has often culminated in nostalgic depictions of Israel in post-war [...] Read more.
Dislocation, expatriation, and the attendant loss of homeland are concerns at the heart of Jewish literature. The dialectical relationship between identity and the sense of homeland informing the Jewish diasporic consciousness, in particular, has often culminated in nostalgic depictions of Israel in post-war American Jewish literature. In focusing on such a literary representation, this essay unravels the multidimensionality of diasporic Jewish identity. Critically analyzing Nicole Krauss’s Forest Dark (2017), it evaluates the trauma of exile and the psychic dilemma of third-generation American Jewish writers. The novelist brings about a confluence of nostos and nostalgia in Forest Dark. In evoking the visceral sense of loss, dislocation, and a painful yearning for the lost homeland, the author succeeds in tracing the lives of two protagonists, Jules Epstein, a retired New York lawyer, and Nicole, a Jewish American novelist struggling with a deep marital crisis. The text foregrounds the theme of self-discovery exemplified in the homecoming of its two central characters. Following his parents’ death and haunted by the anguish and horror of the Shoah, Jules unmoors himself from his current life and flies to Tel Aviv on a whim. Nicole, who suffers from creative blockage on account of her failing marriage, undertakes the trip to Tel Aviv hoping to recover from her soul-sickness, as it were. If Jules and Nicole do not cross paths, it still remains that their Jewish identities stem from the originary tragedy of the Holocaust. Although removed from the horrific sights and scenes of the tragic event, intergenerational trauma resonates with certain aspects of the diasporic Jewish existence. Using theoretical interventions of memory studies and the Freudian concept of Unheimlich or the uncanny, this essay explores the ethical implications that undergird Nicole Krauss’s diasporic depiction of Israel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trauma, Ethics & Illness in Contemporary Literature and Culture)
10 pages, 286 KiB  
Article
Medusa’s Gaze and Geijerstam’s Gay Science in the Swedish fin de siècle
by Gustaf Marcus
Humanities 2022, 11(6), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11060147 - 25 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1374
Abstract
Gustaf af Geijerstam’s Medusas hufvud (Medusa’s Head, 1895) is one of the “account-settling novels” of the late nineteenth century. These novels reflect on the aesthetic reorientation after the breakdown of the “Eighties movement” in Sweden. One important dimension of this transformation was the [...] Read more.
Gustaf af Geijerstam’s Medusas hufvud (Medusa’s Head, 1895) is one of the “account-settling novels” of the late nineteenth century. These novels reflect on the aesthetic reorientation after the breakdown of the “Eighties movement” in Sweden. One important dimension of this transformation was the growing emphasis on gendered visions of authorship. I argue that Geijerstam’s novel is an attempt to create a male author role and a male intellectual sphere. The establishment of a male literary sphere requires homosocial desire, an artistic passion that Geijerstam understands as similar and different from sexual desire. This terminology is employed, after Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, to insist on a productive continuum between the repositioning on the literary field that the novel represents and the thinly disguised homosexual tensions between its three male characters. However, the homosexual tensions are also related to secrecy, disgust, and terror (most clearly visible in the important Medusa motif). I finally argue that Geijerstam employs the erotic triangle, where the woman functions as a “mediator” for a relationship between the men, as a plot device that lets him simultaneously explore and dissimulate this homosocial desire. Full article
15 pages, 2791 KiB  
Article
Letting Go, Coming Out, and Working Through: Queer Frozen
by Neil Hayward Cocks
Humanities 2022, 11(6), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11060146 - 24 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3182
Abstract
This article builds on an already established understanding of Disney’s Frozen as a queer text. Following Judith Butler, however, it works against a notion of ‘queer’ that is locatable in the intrinsic truth of plot, imagery, and character, and removed from questions of [...] Read more.
This article builds on an already established understanding of Disney’s Frozen as a queer text. Following Judith Butler, however, it works against a notion of ‘queer’ that is locatable in the intrinsic truth of plot, imagery, and character, and removed from questions of performance and narration. In taking this approach, and in keeping with the focus of this Special Edition of Humanities, the article undertakes an extensive, fine-grained reading of ‘Let it Go’, the stand-out song from the first Frozen film. Rather than argue for or against the idea that ‘Let it Go’ is a Coming Out song, issues of textual perspective and textual difference are foregrounded in a way that challenges claims to the stability of identity. The pressing question, for this article, is not whether the lead character of Frozen truly is ‘out’, but the possibility of fixing identity in this way, the precise nature of the reversals and antagonisms that being ‘out’ and ‘letting it go’ require in this particular text, and how such determinations might impact on a wider understanding of ‘queer’. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Constructing the Political in Children’s Literature)
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12 pages, 289 KiB  
Article
When William Came to Japan: A Comparative Study of When William Came and the Post-War Period of Japan
by Satoru Fukamachi
Humanities 2022, 11(6), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11060145 - 22 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1640
Abstract
When William Came (1913) is Hector Hugh Munro’s (Saki) novel that describes the German invasion of Britain and its aftermath. It has been regarded as a propaganda novel since its publication, calling for conscription and the like; however, its psychological portrayal of Londoners [...] Read more.
When William Came (1913) is Hector Hugh Munro’s (Saki) novel that describes the German invasion of Britain and its aftermath. It has been regarded as a propaganda novel since its publication, calling for conscription and the like; however, its psychological portrayal of Londoners under German rule is worth reading. Though there are studies on the literary and cultural aspects of this work, none have examined how realistic his depiction would be if Britain had lost the war. However, the premise of this work—how to live in a situation where a traditionally powerful nation is defeated and, because it is an island nation, it is impossible to reverse its defeat—can be historically examined. This study examines the accuracy of Munro’s imaginings by comparing his imagined post-war British people with real post-World War II Japanese people. Although it can be argued that Munro was optimistic about the existence of the colonies, the results show numerous similarities between the changes in the two populations, before and after the war, and in their feelings towards the victorious nation. Munro’s insights into people were surprisingly profound. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Literature in the Humanities)
9 pages, 239 KiB  
Article
All That Is Solid Turns into Sand: Woman in the Dunes across Page and Screen
by Xinyi Zhao
Humanities 2022, 11(6), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11060144 - 17 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1763
Abstract
This paper attempts a close study of Abe Kobo’s novel Woman in the Dunes and its screen adaptation (dir. Teshigahara Hiroshi 1964). Engaging adaptation studies, media studies, and sound studies, this paper moves from the conventional focus on the linear transfer of text [...] Read more.
This paper attempts a close study of Abe Kobo’s novel Woman in the Dunes and its screen adaptation (dir. Teshigahara Hiroshi 1964). Engaging adaptation studies, media studies, and sound studies, this paper moves from the conventional focus on the linear transfer of text from a source to a result, to examine adaptation as a multilevel, multisensory, and multidirectional process of remediation. By mediating documentary cinema and avant-garde tradition, the filmic adaptation, as the paper argues, not only provokes and enhances its literary original, but also illuminates existentialist concerns that gained critical currency in the 1960s. The paper moves on to analyze Takemitsu Toru’s score in relation to Teshigahara’s surrealist imagery; in doing so, it elucidates the way the film gives the sand a form of human agency alluded to yet not fully realized in Abe’s novel. Scrutiny of Abe and Takemitsu’s early years in Japan-occupied Manchuria further connects Abe’s work to the issue of postcolonial identity while opening Woman in the Dunes to more interpretative possibilities as an I-Novel. Through mediating collective history and personal memory, adaptation opens a dialogic intersubjective horizon where questions of identity and affect intersect in the post-war media environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modern Japanese Literature and the Media Industry)
13 pages, 240 KiB  
Article
Really, Truly Trans and the (Minor) Literary Discontents of Authenticity
by Aaron Hammes
Humanities 2022, 11(6), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11060143 - 13 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1610
Abstract
Identity formation, questions of identity, shifting identities, perceived deviant identities, and reactions (social, political, cultural, individual) to them are the stuff of Bildungsroman as well as more “experimental” subgenres of long-form fiction. For minority/minoritized subjects and authors, questions of identity take on a [...] Read more.
Identity formation, questions of identity, shifting identities, perceived deviant identities, and reactions (social, political, cultural, individual) to them are the stuff of Bildungsroman as well as more “experimental” subgenres of long-form fiction. For minority/minoritized subjects and authors, questions of identity take on a different pallor: their work is expected to engage with questions of identity according to either or both how their subject position confronts marginalization and otherness, and how their subject position conditions every experience they have in the world, both inside and outside community. This inquiry investigates how contemporary transgender minor literature constructs dis/identity through authenticity. Imogen Binnie speculates in her 2013 novel Nevada on the concept of “Really, Truly Trans”, a cipher for identity policing and presumptions of sex–gender authenticity, based on cisnormative characteristics and, occasionally, inter-community phobias and proscriptions. More recently, Torrey Peters challenges measures of trans authenticity through both her titular detransitioner and his former partner in Detransition, Baby. Trans minor literature is an ideal testing ground for phobic public presumptions around “authentic” sex–gender and anti-identitarian strategies of those who are forced to confront purity tests and exclusion or suppression on grounds of authenticity, and each novel presses at phobic majoritarian dictates of authenticity and its presupposed value. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring Authenticity in Contemporary Literatures in English)
11 pages, 263 KiB  
Article
Civil War Song in Black and White: Print and the Representation of the Spirituals
by Jeremy Dwight Wells
Humanities 2022, 11(6), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11060142 - 11 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1286
Abstract
This article explores how White writers wrote about African American spirituals during and after the Civil War. While these writers tended to view Black speech as deficient, they were willing to regard Black musical expression as simply different, paving the way for its [...] Read more.
This article explores how White writers wrote about African American spirituals during and after the Civil War. While these writers tended to view Black speech as deficient, they were willing to regard Black musical expression as simply different, paving the way for its eventual nationalization as “American music”. Noting that White writers were not in the habit of admitting the inadequacies of their preferred modes of representation, the article concludes that the print representation of the spirituals contributed to a transformation of what was meant by the word “American”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sound Studies in African American Literature and Culture)
9 pages, 192 KiB  
Commentary
On Representing Extreme Experiences in Writing and Translation: Omid Tofighian on Translating the Manus Prison Narratives
by Omid Tofighian
Humanities 2022, 11(6), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11060141 - 10 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1561
Abstract
On 10 June 2021, the Norwegian translator Signe Prøis (for publisher Camino Forlag) organised an event with both Behrouz Boochani and Omid Tofighian (both by video link from New Zealand and Australia) in conversation with translation studies scholar Erlend Wichne (University of Agder, [...] Read more.
On 10 June 2021, the Norwegian translator Signe Prøis (for publisher Camino Forlag) organised an event with both Behrouz Boochani and Omid Tofighian (both by video link from New Zealand and Australia) in conversation with translation studies scholar Erlend Wichne (University of Agder, Norway; Agder forum for translation studies). The event was titled: ‘Can I translate it? On representing extreme experiences in writing and translation’. The dialogue in this article features excerpts from the seminar with a focus on Tofighian’s translation of Boochani’s No Friend but the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison (2018) into English. The topics covered include responsibility, translation as activism, some aspects of the broader context to translating No Friend but the Mountains, the role of place, and a shared philosophical activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethics and Literary Practice II: Refugees and Representation)
12 pages, 315 KiB  
Article
Reading Performances of Illness Scripts, Clinical Authority, and Narrative Self-Care in Samuel Beckett’s Malone Dies and Jérôme Lambert’s Chambre Simple
by Swati Joshi and Claire Jeantils
Humanities 2022, 11(6), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11060140 - 9 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1816
Abstract
Malone Dies (1956) by Samuel Beckett and Chambre simple (2018) by Jérôme Lambert present the narratives of precarity in the clinical setting, wherein the clinical caregivers view the suffering of the patients as a spectacle and chart out pre(script)ions and pro(script)ions for them. [...] Read more.
Malone Dies (1956) by Samuel Beckett and Chambre simple (2018) by Jérôme Lambert present the narratives of precarity in the clinical setting, wherein the clinical caregivers view the suffering of the patients as a spectacle and chart out pre(script)ions and pro(script)ions for them. Both novels open on a note of uncertainty. This paper examines the narratives of fear and anxiety of the institutionalized patients (probably) in the mental asylum in Malone Dies and the public hospital in Chambre simple. The caregivers in both novels represent the voice of medical authority who focus on cure rather than care, providing their patients food and medications or conducting tests. Hence, Malone and le Patient are compelled to develop artistic coping mechanisms of self-care, reclaiming the ownership of the self. In Malone Dies, the abatement of in-person care and the fear of spending time in isolation before death motivates Malone to devise the narratives. Malone is the sole performer and spectator of his performance of patienthood. Similarly, le Patient chooses the position of the spectator, thus turning upside down the “spectacle” of the epilepsy script, where the patient is viewed as the performer of catharsis by the clinical audience. Here, the lens of performance studies helps us understand clinical caregivers’ emphasis on preparing an illness script that governs Malone and le Patient’s script of narrative self-care. We argue that caregivers’ expectations pressurize patients with chronic conditions to implement forms of artistic self-care in clinical settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Translating Health through the Humanities)
11 pages, 271 KiB  
Article
Caring for Everything Inside: Migrant Trauma and Danticat’s Narrative Bigidi
by Jay Rajiva
Humanities 2022, 11(6), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11060139 - 7 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1712
Abstract
In this essay, I argue that Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat, in short stories from her most recent collection, Everything Inside (2019), challenges toxic forms of representation by attending to the imaginative potential of Haitian migrant experience within moments of collective trauma. This challenge, [...] Read more.
In this essay, I argue that Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat, in short stories from her most recent collection, Everything Inside (2019), challenges toxic forms of representation by attending to the imaginative potential of Haitian migrant experience within moments of collective trauma. This challenge, I suggest, is based on bigidi, a Creole expression denoting permanent imbalance that is once philosophy, dance practice, musical aesthetic, and cultural tradition. The principle of being off-balance without falling, central to how bigidi finds expression in Guadeloupean swaré-lé-woz and other forms of Caribbean dance, interweaves rhythm, music, and bodily movement with a community-oriented site of cultural expression. By saturating the narrative and readerly spaces of Everything Inside with uniquely Caribbean elements of improvisation, audience interaction, and performance, Danticat foregrounds moments of shared intimacy and vulnerability between Haitians, disrupting the representational trauma circuit of migrant death. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trauma, Ethics & Illness in Contemporary Literature and Culture)
15 pages, 292 KiB  
Article
Tall Tales—Myth and Honesty in Tim Burton’s Big Fish (2003)
by Sylvie Magerstädt
Humanities 2022, 11(6), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11060138 - 31 Oct 2022
Viewed by 2765
Abstract
Questions about the relationship between truth and fiction have a long history in philosophical thinking, going back at least as far as Plato. They re-emerge in more recent philosophical debates on cinema and are powerfully illustrated in Tim Burton’s 2003 film Big Fish [...] Read more.
Questions about the relationship between truth and fiction have a long history in philosophical thinking, going back at least as far as Plato. They re-emerge in more recent philosophical debates on cinema and are powerfully illustrated in Tim Burton’s 2003 film Big Fish, which narrates the story of Edward and his son Will, who tries to uncover the truth behind his father’s tall tales. Will’s desire for honesty—for facts rather stories—has led to a considerable rift between them. While the film extols the beauty of storytelling and the power of myth, it also raises questions about the relationship between honesty and myth, fact and fiction. This article explores these themes from a multidisciplinary perspective by drawing on diverse sources, including Friedrich Nietzsche’s Vom Nutzen und Nachteil der Historie für das Leben/On Truth and Lies in an Nonmoral Sense (1873), contemporary philosophical writings on fiction, the virtues of truthfulness, honesty and sincerity, as well as ideas on memoir and creative life writing drawn from literary studies. Overall, it argues for the positive, creative potential of storytelling and defends the idea that larger truths may often be found behind embellished facts and deceptive fictions. The final section expands this discussion to explore cinema’s power to create what Nietzsche called ‘honesty by myth’. Through the variety of background sources, the article also aims to demonstrate how ideas from multiple disciplinary contexts can be brought together to stimulate fruitful conversations on cinema, myth and the power of storytelling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transdisciplinarity in the Humanities)
11 pages, 276 KiB  
Article
“Befo’ de Wah”: Sounding Out Ill-Legibility in Charles W. Chesnutt’s Conjure Stories
by Cameron MacDonald
Humanities 2022, 11(6), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11060137 - 31 Oct 2022
Viewed by 1527
Abstract
In 1969, blues guitarist Earl Hooker released Two Bugs and a Roach, solidifying him as a pioneer of the wah-wah technique. Before the wah-wah pedal, however, there was Charles W. Chesnutt’s Conjure Stories, a collection of frame narratives that recollect plantation [...] Read more.
In 1969, blues guitarist Earl Hooker released Two Bugs and a Roach, solidifying him as a pioneer of the wah-wah technique. Before the wah-wah pedal, however, there was Charles W. Chesnutt’s Conjure Stories, a collection of frame narratives that recollect plantation life “befo’ de wah”. In this essay, I insist the slide, slip, and compressions of Hooker’s wah-wah voicings find resonance in Chesnutt’s own linguistic play, through which the sonics of Julius’ sociolect texture the text towards speculative spellings, grammars, and meanings that query the logics of white, Enlightenment rationality and its hegemonic conceptions of space, time, value, and subjecthood. In listening to the tales’ resonances with the “wah”, I suggest Chesnutt articulates the “ill-legibility” of plantation existence and its echoes into and out from the present, as evidenced by Hooker’s own disproportionate susceptibility to and lifelong struggle with tuberculosis. In doing so, Julius’ storytelling makes legible modes of survival that attune to how Black bodies persist via the (un)sound logics of illness, slavery, and sonority. Overall, I argue Chesnutt amplifies modes of existence that emerge from the distinct spatio-temporality of the plantation, thus re-forming with and through the ills of slavery and persisting against rational legibility, capital production, and normativity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sound Studies in African American Literature and Culture)
12 pages, 301 KiB  
Article
Transits in Oncology: A Protocol Study for a Therapy-Educational Training Built-In Intervention
by Carolina M. Scaglioso
Humanities 2022, 11(6), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11060136 - 31 Oct 2022
Viewed by 1354
Abstract
The study “Transits in oncology” has been perfected with the collaboration of the UOC of Oncological Mammary Surgery of the Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Senese Siena, specifically by Prof. Donato Casella. The study means to analyze the impact of art-therapy interventions aimed at minimizing [...] Read more.
The study “Transits in oncology” has been perfected with the collaboration of the UOC of Oncological Mammary Surgery of the Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Senese Siena, specifically by Prof. Donato Casella. The study means to analyze the impact of art-therapy interventions aimed at minimizing psychological distress in women with a diagnosis of breast cancer/mammary carcinoma (anxiety/depression), hence improving their psychophysical wellbeing. To this end, the study employs the evaluation of specific psychological parameters with the purpose of monitoring anxiety and depression levels, while investigating a potential correlation between the anxiety and depression levels and other psychological variables, such as alexithymia. The mammary carcinoma diagnosis, to all effects, constitutes an actual “disorienting dilemma” for the woman: it leads to questioning one’s way of life, and their past and future choices; the upheaval is conducive to a reflective phase that upsets one’s “expectations of meaningfulness”. The art-therapy intervention has been elaborated in a protocol that underscores its transformative methodology qualities: it aims to act on the regenerative potential of the turmoil, for an elaboration of trauma that does not negate it or further it (the feeling that nothing will change and everything will go back to the way it was before), but rather disrupts it. The final goal is to promote new existential practices, generating positive change towards self-awareness, stimulating the activation of one’s latent resources by accessing one’s symbolic world and one’s imagination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Translating Health through the Humanities)
23 pages, 372 KiB  
Article
Technicity and the Virtual
by A. S. Aurora Hoel
Humanities 2022, 11(6), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11060135 - 31 Oct 2022
Viewed by 1631
Abstract
This article outlines an eco-operational theory of technical mediation that centers on Gilbert Simondon’s notion of technicity. The argument is that technical apparatuses do the work of concepts. However, the eco-operational viewpoint completely alters the status of concepts: what they are, [...] Read more.
This article outlines an eco-operational theory of technical mediation that centers on Gilbert Simondon’s notion of technicity. The argument is that technical apparatuses do the work of concepts. However, the eco-operational viewpoint completely alters the status of concepts: what they are, where they are, and what they do. Technicity, as understood here, concerns the efficacious action and operational functioning of a broad range of apparatuses (including living bodies and technical machines), which are conceived as adaptive mediators. The focus on technicity provides a new notion of the virtual, that of the operationally real, which resonates with Gilles Deleuze’s while also marking a new direction. What is more, by approaching mediation in terms of technicity, the eco-operational framework offers a novel understanding of concept or generality that stakes out a middle path between Kantian representational generality and Deleuzian concrete singularity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Posthumanism, Virtuality, and the Arts)
10 pages, 250 KiB  
Article
Authenticity and Atwood’s ‘Scientific Turn’
by Myles Chilton
Humanities 2022, 11(6), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11060134 - 29 Oct 2022
Viewed by 1483
Abstract
Margaret Atwood’s science/speculative dystopian MaddAddam trilogy—Oryx and Crake (2003), The Year of the Flood (2009), and MaddAddam (2013)—opens up questions about how genre-mixing indexes and probes interrelated notions of authenticity. This focus is prompted by the simple question of why Atwood, having [...] Read more.
Margaret Atwood’s science/speculative dystopian MaddAddam trilogy—Oryx and Crake (2003), The Year of the Flood (2009), and MaddAddam (2013)—opens up questions about how genre-mixing indexes and probes interrelated notions of authenticity. This focus is prompted by the simple question of why Atwood, having established worldwide renown for realist novels of socio-historical authenticity, switched to blending realism with science/speculative fiction. Through analyzing how the trilogy departs from realism, while never truly embracing SF, the paper argues that while the realist novel may offer the strongest representations of authentic psychological states, larger questions of epistemic authority and the state of our world demand a literature that authenticates knowledge. The MaddAddam trilogy challenges the notion that realism’s social, existential and moral concerns are more authentic when supported with a scientific explanatory logic. Authenticity is thus found in a negotiation between Truth and whether to trust in the locations (social and geographical, literary and literal) of knowledge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring Authenticity in Contemporary Literatures in English)
11 pages, 284 KiB  
Article
North to South through a Post-Feminist Prism: Israeli Society as Reflected in Ora Shem-Ur’s Fictional Detective Novels
by Anat Koplowitz-Breier
Humanities 2022, 11(6), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11060133 - 27 Oct 2022
Viewed by 1371
Abstract
Ora Shem-Ur’s detective series starring Ali Honigsberg established her as one of the early female pioneers in the new wave of Israeli detective fiction writers. In line with the current trend in post-feminist criticism towards analyzing the place of women within popular culture [...] Read more.
Ora Shem-Ur’s detective series starring Ali Honigsberg established her as one of the early female pioneers in the new wave of Israeli detective fiction writers. In line with the current trend in post-feminist criticism towards analyzing the place of women within popular culture by looking at fiction as an agent of social change, this article suggests that the series not only addresses gendered topics but also other tensions and social exploitations of power within Israeli society. Shem-Ur thus provides a fascinating portrait of Israeli society in the 1990s, reflecting the way in which female detective fiction developed from light reading material into a social mirror presenting and addressing social changes and shifts in gender conception. Reading the series through a post-feminist lens, the article seeks to demonstrate how its themes of the relations between men, women, and power, and of economic corruption and politics, shed light on contemporaneous Israeli social issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Literature in the Humanities)
21 pages, 374 KiB  
Article
‘& Not the Least Wit’: Jane Austen’s Use of ‘Wit’
by Octavia Cox
Humanities 2022, 11(6), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11060132 - 26 Oct 2022
Viewed by 4245
Abstract
Jane Austen is celebrated for her wit and wittiness. She famously defended novels in Northanger Abbey, for example, on the basis that they display ‘the liveliest effusions of wit’. Critics have long been occupied with detailing the implications of Austen’s wit, but [...] Read more.
Jane Austen is celebrated for her wit and wittiness. She famously defended novels in Northanger Abbey, for example, on the basis that they display ‘the liveliest effusions of wit’. Critics have long been occupied with detailing the implications of Austen’s wit, but without due attention to Austen’s own explicit deployment of the word within her writing. Offering a re-evaluation of Austen’s use of ‘wit’, this article provides a much-needed examination of how the term is implemented by Austen in her fiction (from her juvenilia, and through her six major novels), contextualises wit’s meaning through its seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century senses, and reveals that ‘wit’ did not necessarily have the positive connotations often presumed in modern suppositions. It transpires that, seemingly paradoxically, Austen routinely adopts the label ‘wit’ ironically to expose an absence of true wit, whilst concurrently avoiding the application of the word in moments displaying true wit. This article argues for the need to understand the crucial distinction between wit and true wit in Austen’s fiction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Jane Austen: Work, Life, Legacy)
26 pages, 629 KiB  
Article
A Sign of Good Taste: Mori Ōgai, Mitsukoshi, and the Concept of Shumi
by Jurriaan van der Meer
Humanities 2022, 11(6), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/h11060131 - 26 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2088
Abstract
This paper attempts to situate the notion of shumi as a rhetorical device used by modern Japanese department stores as part of their marketing strategies. Although often equated with the concept of ‘taste’, I demonstrate how shumi both overlaps with and differs from [...] Read more.
This paper attempts to situate the notion of shumi as a rhetorical device used by modern Japanese department stores as part of their marketing strategies. Although often equated with the concept of ‘taste’, I demonstrate how shumi both overlaps with and differs from the concept of taste, as it is often discussed in critical theory in the context of consumerism. I do this by examining how shumi was used in the PR-magazines of various department stores and other related forms of print media. Special attention is paid to the PR-magazine of Mitsukoshi, which is perhaps the most innovative department store in modern Japanese history. Subsequently, I analyze three short stories by Mori Ōgai (1862–1922) published in Mitsukoshi’s PR-magazine between 1911 and 1912. Mitsukoshi printed short stories by acclaimed authors in their magazines, mostly as a form of lighthearted entertainment and branding. Yet, when read closely, Ōgai’s three stories also form a profound observation of the skewed moral reality of a market-driven economy. Each of the narratives under scrutiny in this paper shows the human cost of a system in which social relations are dictated by consumer objects. The cultivation of the urge to consume was carefully framed around the rhetoric of shumi and was thus not merely a marketing tool to increase profit margins but also a mechanism to manipulate the desires and anxieties of consumers. A reading of Ōgai’s three short narratives reveals the ambivalent morality produced by the rhetoric of shumi, which in turn engendered and validated the identities of an emerging middle class through the consumable object-as-sign. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modern Japanese Literature and the Media Industry)
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