Here is what you may expect from #7

The Painter in the House: The Woman Painter in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë

A significant body of research has been published on renowned works of three Brontë sisters, but very little light has been shed on the figure of a professional woman painter in Anne Brontë’s novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. However, through her main heroine, Helen Graham, Brontë reacts to the changes in gender roles and social politics surrounding women and female artists. This feminist reading of the novel aims to show that Anne Brontë challenges the Victorian frame of mind and gendered spheres by presenting the professionalisation of a woman artist, the process of artistic maturation, and subversive relations of space. This essay discusses the plight of female painters in the 19th century and analyses Helen’s artistic development, from amateur to highly skilled. Finally, it considers the organisation of space in the Victorian house and shows the implications of Helen Graham’s arranging a professional painting studio of her own. Helen becomes a self-made woman quite at odds with the dominant idea of Victorian femininity. The connection between feminism and visual arts can often be traced in the works of women novelists who, often seeing the connection between their medium and painting, employed the figure of a woman painter to discuss gender politics.

Uprising of the Class-Unconscious: W.H. Auden’s “Spain” as a Poetic Manifesto

This paper aims to establish W.H. Auden’s “Spain” as a poetic manifesto and analyse its relation with modernist poetry and contemporary cultural and political situation. It creates a theoretical base for argumentation and analysis of Auden’s poem in relation to its contemporary political and ideological situation, as well as its position in modernist poetry. The paper confronts Auden’s text with definitions and elements of the genre found in the works of Puchner, Orr, and Weeks and discusses its political and cultural significance through the lens of Marxist criticism based on the works of Bourdieu, Althusser, Gramsci, and Lukács. The discussion results in a conclusion that although Auden’s poem is rich with elements matching those of a poetic manifesto, it fails to fulfill the genre’s performative and political functions. It also suggests that the ideological structure of modernist poetry may have rendered it unable to produce manifestos that could ever fulfill those functions.

The (In)Visibility of the White Body: Tracing Postmodern Racial Identities in Caucasia by Danzy Senna

This article’s aim is to show the deconstruction of the notion of blackness in Danzy Senna’s novel Caucasia. Previous research on Senna’s novel has been done in the context of racial passing – a phenomenon specific to the United States where the “One-Drop Rule” still bears significance. Caucasia’s protagonist and narrator,  Birdie, is a daughter of a white mother and a black father, whose body seems to be white. Due to complicated circumstances, she first passes for black, and then for white. This article analyzes the notion of passing and blackness in the context of Birdie’s “reverse” passing and exposes the emptiness of the category of race. Then, it analyzes Birdie’s passing as white and the invisibility of her ‘white’ body in a predominantly white American culture. Finally, it focuses on the hybrid space in-between blackness and whiteness. By using Anzaldúa’s notion of “Borderlands,” as a space where Birdie tries to find her identity and subjectivity, I demonstrate that racial identity is fluid. The closing goal of this paper is to show that contemporary African American passing literature seeks a “third space” above racial binaries in order to create a more inclusive space and step away from identity politics.

Ecology and Masculinity in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the representations of masculinity in Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic novel The Road from an ecocritical perspective. Drawing from a number of Marxist, feminist, and ecocritical readings of the novel, the essay investigates the interconnectedness of hegemonic masculinity and environmental disaster within the narrative, arguing that the novel depicts masculine domination as in parallel with the exploitation of the natural environment. The analysis leads the author of this paper to contend that The Road can be read as a critical response to the ecological degradation engendered by modern-day capitalism, which (as many ecofeminists argue) relies on and is consistent with the masculine logic of domination. In contrast to a number of interpretations critical of McCarthy’s supposedly conservative representations of gender roles, the essay argues that the novel ironizes the character of the father, presenting him as complicit with the destruction of the natural environment, and as incapable of conceiving of a non-violent, non-exploitative mode of existence. At the same time, the paper demonstrates how the father’s son becomes the narrative’s locus of hope for a better future, and how his resistance to the father’s ideology enables the pursuit of alternatives to capitalist patriarchy.

The Malicious or Benevolent Mastermind? The Role of Morgan le Fay in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and its Film Adaptation

Morgan le Fey’s role in Arthurian myths is as complex as her appearances (or simple references) and this proves true in one particular tale. In this essay, a thorough analysis of her role in both the Arthurian poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and the film The Green Knight (2021) has been done to look at how Morgan is defined: whether as a witch figure or a concerned mother. Her portrayal in a modern interpretation of the poem presents an opportunity to see Morgan from a new perspective not seen before. The last crucial element will focus on Morgan’s magic and how it is portrayed. While the poem barely shows any kind of magic being done, the film presents incredible moments of magic that best demonstrate Morgan’s abilities. This comparison analysis will provide a space in which to interpret the magical spells that are done in the film and why they might be absent in the poem. Overall, the essay will show how crucial Morgan le Fey is to the plot of the "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" and the film it inspired, and how her role is still left up to the viewer for interpretation.

The Possibility of the Third Cinema in the First World: A Case for Haile Gerima

The essay argues that Haile Gerima, an Ethiopian film director active in the United States from the 1970s onwards, should not be viewed only as an important filmmaker of the L.A. Rebellion movement, but also as a fully legitimate representative of the Third Cinema, an international movement commonly associated with the Global South and its anti-colonial struggle. The paper features analyses of some of the director’s early films, demonstrating that Gerima’s works indeed meet all the requirements to be considered a part of the Third Cinema, thus creating a precedence of including American productions into its canon.

The Uncanny and Abjection in Candyman: A Psychoanalytical Reading of Bernard Rose’s Horror Film

The essay inspects the 1992 horror film Candyman from a psychoanalytical perspective, applying the Freudian concept of the uncanny and Julia Kristeva’s theory of abjection. The analysis focuses on the doubling of Helen and Candyman and takes into account the symbolism of mirrors, bees, and candy. It also examines Candyman’s hook and its connection to the castration complex as well as the persistent theme of death and Helen’s role as a fascinated victim of the abject. The analysis suggests that Candyman’s position as an oppressed, disfigured Black man is a manifestation of the repressed taboo connected to both the uncanny and the abject.

The portrayal of mental health issues in CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Nowadays, TV shows frequently use storytelling as a starting point for discussing significant social issues, such as the importance of openly talking about mental health. Living in the golden age of television, the creators often choose this incredibly popular medium to convey messages, which could potentially transcend fictional worlds and help a real person on the other side of the screen. The purpose of the paper is to analyze the way in which CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend creates a bond with the viewer through its portrayal of mental health issues. Three songs from the series will be described in order to show how each one of them represents the stage of the protagonist’s internal development. The main aim of this analysis is to investigate the show’s usage of musical theater conventions as a way of portraying Rebecca’s (the main character’s) struggles with mental health. Additionally, the analysis uses historical and literary contexts in order to show the development of the relationship between the artists and their audience.

Memory Narratives: Remembering and Retelling Or Reimagining and Revising? The Cases of One! Hundred! Demons! and Fun Home

Alice Bechdel’s Fun Home and Lynda Barry’s One! Hundred! Demons! are autobiographical comics that both deal with reminiscing about childhood experiences and their family relations. The memory work involved in producing such a narrative presents a particular interest with respect to how one remembers and retells traumatic experiences. As seen in the abovementioned works, some formal features of the medium of comics are especially apt for this purpose. This essay attempts to explore how narrating memories goes around recollecting events in a chronological sequence and, instead, involves active reimagining. As a result, such revision also disrupts temporalities and creates emergent meanings.

Decadence in the History of Culture

The text presents how decadence has been depicted in culture and history since ancient times to the present, in order to display in the last section the coined term ‘postmodern decadence’. It starts with antiquity and Platonic philosophy, indicating the glorification of the past due to the idealistic approach. It moves to the biblical contrary constructed time, the application of the concept of decadence to the fall of the Roman Empire, and deals with the critique of modernity. From Karl Marx, it outlines the deepening social divide between the Proletariat and the Bourgeoisie. Drawing on Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy, the paper acknowledges criticism aimed at ideologies. Additionally, it denotes the negative homogenizing potential of mass media, which undoubtedly became control mechanisms in the twentieth century. Finally, the work moves to understanding postmodern decadence as the birth of the schizophrenic subject, as derived from Fredric Jameson’s theory. In doing so, it illuminates the end of grand narratives and the gradual sense of depersonalization caused by space-time changes in postmodernity, resulting from people living in an environment of late capitalism.

On an Interlinguistic Constructional Mismatch: The Case of the Phrase I find in English-Polish Translation

The essay examines the translation of the English phrase ‘I find’ (in sentences such as ‘I find it entertaining’) into Polish. This is done within the frameworks of cognitive linguistics and, more specifically, construction grammar. The examples for analysis come from the English novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë and its three Polish translations. Relying on the idea of constructions as ‘form and meaning pairings’ and acknowledging the link between culture and lexicon, specific translation decisions are analysed in terms of gains and losses, types of equivalence, and trade-offs. The examples demonstrate the lack of uniformity in the translators’ approaches, which vary from attempts at linguistic congruence to pursuing the naturalness of expression.

& some POETRY;)

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