Fall 2007

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Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Publication
    Questioning the Nation: Ambivalent Narratives in Le Retour au désert by Bernard-Marie Koltès
    (2007-10-21) Kleppinger, Kathryn
    Bernard-Marie Koltès has remained nearly as enigmatic almost 20 years after his death as in the early 1980s, when his plays routinely challenged and confused contemporary audiences and critics. Koltès' writing, which combines lyric elegance with biting social commentary, has gained in popularity over the past two decades, but analysis of his work has concentrated primarily on his critique of the French bourgeois lifestyle. [1] Recent studies, however, have made significant gains in our understanding of postcolonial minority identities and questions regarding national belonging in the Koltesian theatrical project. Donia Mounsef, in her analysis of Koltès' last play, Le Retour au désert, analyzed the role of the body as a site of mediation for concerns about the interplay between France and Algeria. Catherine Brun, also studying Le Retour au désert, has developed the link between the Algerian War and the break down of a provincial bourgeois family. Building on these ground breaking observations, I wish to take the question of postcoloniality in Koltès' work one step further by exploring the ways in which his characters interact with the concept of the nation. Beyond simply challenging racial and social constructions, I argue, Koltès reveals a fundamental ambivalence regarding the value of nationality as a tool for identification. As we will see, he breaks down traditional understandings of French national identity by questioning its foundational philosophies yet also calls for a new, reinvigorated solidarity through interracial mixing and dialogue.
  • Publication
    À la Recherche d’un Dieu Perdu: Recreating Religion in La Tentation de Saint Antoine
    (2007-10-07) Don, Willemijn
    La Tentation de Saint Antoine is "un livre qui fait peur," according to Flaubert scholar Jeanne Bem (13). Indeed, it is a monstrous text that presents us with multiple characters and an amalgam of heresies and temptations. Confusion further stems from the difference in versions: one version of the text was written in 1848, a second version was partially published in 1856, and the final version appeared in 1874. The monstrosity resides lastly in the form of the text: we wonder how to define the genre of La Tentation. Flaubert first conceived of it as a play, perhaps even a puppet play, but the didascalies read more like descriptions in a novel and are impossible to act out.[1]
  • Publication
    Roundtable: Heroes, Gods, and Myths: The Myths That We Create and How They Create Us
    Welcome to the third Working Papers roundtable discussion. In this issue, devoted to myths, gods, and heroes, our contributing authors analyze the rewriting of religious myths, the confrontation of conflicting conceptions of nationality and belonging, and the intertextual nexus through which Greco-Roman mythology meets Modernism. To complement their analyses, we asked experienced scholars who have devoted their careers to the study of myth to further interrogate these notions with us. In the space below, John Ebert, John Izod, and Samuel Brunk give us their definitions of, and thoughts on, myths, religion, and heroes. The juxtaposition of their answers allows for a diverse and multi-faceted understanding of myths that cuts across disciplines and media. Ultimately, their responses emphasize our need to shape stories that define us and help us deal with our own mortality.
  • Publication
    La italicidad como quiasma clásico en De sobremesa de José Asunción Silva
    (2007-10-07) Diente, Pablo Martínez
    El epígrafe con el que comienza este acercamiento a De sobremesa contiene varios motivos empleados por José Asunción Silva en su narración póstuma. Además de la mención al fallecimiento de un poeta inglés cuya inclinación por los clásicos y honda sensibilidad comparte con Silva, destaca la contaminación de diversos tejidos narrativos y la inclusión de un universo grecolatino dentro de una línea repetida a lo largo de la narración. Quien lo firma así mismo sintetiza los elementos anteriormente mencionados, y como se verá en este estudio, de presencia constante en De sobremesa.