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Abstract

David Copperfield shows an advance in Dickens’s treatment of stained women in his earlier works. In this novel he takes the subject inside the closed doors of respectable people to influence their attitudes and to bring a shift in society’s attitude towards them. Dickens’s presentation of stained women is lapped by romantic pathos and supported by a number of devices which aim at securing the sympathy of his readers. In saving them from public retribution, Dickens has turned the bitterest aspect of conventions to a more generous end trying to indicate that it requires sympathy and an ameliorating Christian response, rather than downright condemnation. He supports reformation which leads to rehabilitation and a return to respectability. In his treatment of Emily, Martha Endell, Rosa Dartle and other tarnished women, Dickens could reconcile his charitable inclinations with the imperatives of respectability and could also show the necessity of giving stained women a second chance at home or abroad.

Abstract

The present study approaches Anna Burns’s novel Milkman (2018) via the lens of Leahy’s Emotional Schema Therapy (EST) (2019) in order to examine the model’s pros and cons for literary analysis. The study focuses on the protagonist’s emotional schemas which are shaped by her beliefs, interpretations and emotional appraisals of her environment. The analysis is carried out on both textual and extra-textual levels. The textual level focuses on character-society relationships and her emotional responses to the demands of her context. The extra-textual level concerns readers and investigates how the protagonist’s emotional appraisals and interpretations influence readers’ emotional schemas, which in the process of reading become either confirmed or restructured. While textual analysis displays the protagonist’s emotional development, the findings of the extra-textual analysis accentuate the therapeutic role that literary texts can play by addressing readers’ emotional schemas.

Abstract

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories involve a hermeneutic game in which Holmes attempts to uncover the mystery of unsolved crime. The work of Hans-Georg Gadamer enables Holmes’s methods to be seen as both playful and creative as he seeks to understand what G. K. Chesterton refers to as the poetry of the modern world. Holmes is therefore a creative and scientific detective, one who loses himself in the game of detection in order to find himself in the search for truth in the wider world. Through the agency of Dr Watson, the reader is invited to join the game and attempt to work out the solution to the mystery as the narrative unfolds before them. Peter Hühn’s work on the detective as reader and writer is extended in relation to the work of understanding and creation carried out by authors who add new works to the genre of Holmesian fiction. This process is explored in the context of two playful writing workshops in which participants passed the opening of a piece of Holmesian fiction they had written to another participant to continue, before sharing the results with the group. Hans Robert Jauss’s ideas about genre and other perspectives on reimagining Holmes help contextualize the strategies used by participants, while Gadamer’s conception of the festive enables insights into the communal processes of creation and understanding.

Abstract

The paper presents the idea of the chronotope in the novel Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy, with special attention paid to idyllic time and space. The research is mainly based on the theory of chronotopes according to Mikhail Bakhtin, who distinguishes various types and motifs within this notion. The author presents here the features of an idyllic chronotope, among them vast descriptions of nature and its connection with human life, as well as the destruction of an idyll, unhappy love and the motif of a road or path, which seems to be one of the most significant motifs in the work. The paper also presents the importance of coincidence and the sudden decisions of characters in the process of constructing the whole story of Gabriel and Bathsheba.

Abstract

A secret identity is one of the definitional characteristics of comic-book superheroes. However, American popular literature had been populated by characters with secret identities long before the first superhero comics appeared. The crime-fighting dual-identity vigilantes enjoyed their heyday in the 1930s and 1940s, during the golden era of pulps. Selling usually for 10 cents, pulp magazines were the best source of cheap thrills and heroics. In this era, dozens of costumed avengers appeared and the most popular was undoubtedly The Shadow. Between 1931 and 1949, Street and Smith published more than three hundred stories featuring The Shadow, most of them written by Walter B. Gibson. In the late 1930s, several of the pulp conventions, including costumed avengers, were adopted by the creators of the superhero comic books, and The Shadow served as a main inspiration for Bill Finger’s and Bob Kane’s Batman. The article discusses the evolution of crime-fighting pulp heroes with a particular emphasis on The Shadow as the most influential dual-identity avenger of the era.

Abstract

This study focuses on the verbal representation of life strategies in Vetalapanchavimshati, an old Indian collection of stories, which is part of Somadeva’s Kathasaritsagara. On the basis of the aspect of gain ~ loss, two basic life strategies are identified. The first one, the lower strategy, is defined by an attempt to obtain material gain, which is attained at the cost of a spiritual loss. The second one, the higher strategy, negates the first one (spiritual gain attained at the cost of a material loss) and it is an internally diversified series of axiological models. The core of the study explains the combinatorial variants which, in their highest positions, even transcend the gain ~ loss opposition. The final part of the study demonstrates the intersections between the higher strategy and selected European cultural initiatives (gnosis).

Abstract

In , Patrick Sumner, a young medical doctor recently dismissedfrom the British Army with his reputation and professional prospects in ruins, accepts a poorly paid position as a surgeon on a whaling ship in his attempt to flee from his past and his troubled conscience. However, contrary to his expectations, in the Arctic Circle he faces an ordeal far more demanding than anything he has hitherto endured in the form of the harpooner Henry Drax, a dangerous psychopath who is ready to abuse and murder anyone who is an obstacle to the satisfaction of his brutish physical needs. Confronted with violence and cruelty beyond understanding, within the fluid framework of the distorted ethical norms and values of the heterogeneous crew, the embittered Sumner is gradually forced to abandon his protective shell of resigned indifference and reassess the moral stances and responsibilities of a civilized person when faced with human wickedness. Though McGuire acknowledges primarily the inspiration of Herman Melville and Cormac McCarthy, this paper argues that in ethical terms the novel responds to Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim and Heart of Darkness, pushing the protagonist’s relationship to the other to an extreme by making the other an embodiment of pure evil.

Abstract

Methodologically connecting at its core the experience-based and interpretation-based aesthetic approach to popular culture/popular art(s) on one hand and the basis-building views of what is called arch-textual thematology on the other, the paper seeks to examine, following its particular embodiment, one of the most stable, recurring and probably therefore one of the most iconic stock characters - the “tortured artist” stock character. This example of a “stereotyped character easily recognized by readers or audiences from recurrent appearances in literary or folk tradition” (, p. 317) can be - besides other principal and distinctive examples such as the “mad scientist”, the “lady/damsel in distress” or, let’s say, the “everyman” - witnessed all across culture, including the sub-sphere of popular culture, and the arts. The implied cultural significance and “omnipresence” of the “tortured artist” stock character can be aptly illustrated by Vincent Van Gogh and not only as a real-life tortured artist prototype or even archetype but also as a popular model for numerous and various cultural depictions - from poems by Charles Bukowski through the “moving pictures” of Loving Vincent to an episode of the well-recognized British TV show Doctor Who.