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The destruction of the idyll in the Mao era

Inter-chronotopic dialogue in Yuhua’s To Live

Author: Grant Jennings


The portrayal of rural family life in To Live (Huozhe) accords with Bahktin’s analysis of the idyllic chronotope. The cyclical rhythm of human life is connected, literally and figuratively, to the natural environment through agricultural labour. However, the cyclical fabric essential to this chronotope is challenged throughout the narration by the Chinese desire for industrialization and modernization. Even though the idyllic chronotope decomposes throughout, the novel remains a sympathetic depiction of Chinese agricultural life from the pre-civil war period until the Cultural Revolution. It is rich with Confucian, Buddhist and Taoist voices that give this incarnation of the Chinese idyll a uniquely Chinese character. In the novel, the human cycles determining the chronotope of the idyll are broken—families are driven from the homes of their ancestors and parents bury their children. The novel demonstrates how this disruption is the result of a desire to sweep away the traditional psychology of the idyll in the name of modernization and industrialization. Presented in frame-narrative at a distance of 10 years, the disintegrating idyllic chronotope is located in a past moment accessible to the imagination and yet divorced from the present. This narrative crisis is symptomatic of the ecological crisis that faces China and the world; it is also of key importance to the inter-chronotopic dialogue of a modern reader and the text, for it places this idyllic world at a distance, allowing a modern reader to access the text despite the gulf that separates the reader’s chronotope from the idyll’s. China, a land rich in ancient and modern voices that celebrate the unity of man and nature, is a fertile field for the ecocritic’s own labour, and these voices must be tilled and harvested in order to assist China and the world through the ecological crisis we face.

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After the battle of Thapsus that took place on 6 April 46 Caesar kept delaying his return to Rome for a long while, until 25 July — he stopped to stay on Sardinia — and this cannot be attributed fully to implementing measures and actions necessary in Africa since they could have been carried out by his new proconsul, C. Sallustius Crispus too. The triumph held owing to the victory in Africa — in which they carried around representations of the death of M. Petreius, M. Porcius Cato and Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio Nasica — must have further grated on the nerves of the aristocracy of Rome, because it was meant to symbolise Caesar’s victory both over Iuba and the senate. It was after that that Cicero broke his silence and delivered Pro Marcello in the senate, which was both oratio suasoria and gratiarum actio for the pardon granted to Marcellus, by which Caesar wanted to assure the senate of his benevolence and wanted to show off his power by his autocratic gesture. Pro Ligario delivered in 46 has been considered a classical example of deprecatio by both the antique and modern literature, and in historical terms it is not a less noteworthy work since from the period following the civil war Pro Marcello, having been delivered in early autumn of 46 in the senate, is Cicero’s first oration made on the Forum, that is, before the general public, in which praising Caesar’s clementia he seemingly legitimised dictatorship. First, we describe the historical background of the oratio and the process of the proceedings (I.); then, we examine the issue if the proceedings against Ligarius can be considered a real criminal trial. (II.) After the analysis of the genre of the speech, deprecatio (III.) we analyse the appearance of Caesar’s clementia in Pro Ligario. (IV.) Finally, we focus on the means of style of irony, and highlight an interesting element of the Caesar-Cicero relation and how the orator voices his conviction that he considers the dictator’s power and clementia illegitimate. (V.)

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. Bhardwaj , M. ( 2012 ): Development of Conflict in Arab Spring Lybia and Syria: From Revolution to Civil War . The Washington University International Review 1 ( 1 ): 76 – 96

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Since its opening to the West in 1843, Shanghai had served as destination for four waves of Jewish immigration. The first Jews to settle in China were Sephardim from Baghdad, who migrated eastward in the second half of the nineteenth century. The Sassoons, Kadoories, Hardoons, Ezras, and Abrahams became wealthy merchants, and soon acquired British citizenship. The second group consisted of Russian Ashkenazim who escaped the pogroms and the civil war following the Bolshevik Revolution. They were considered as the 'middle class' of the Jewish community in Shanghai. The third group of German and Austrian (and in smaller numbers Hungarian, Czechoslovakian and Romanian) Jews, numbering over 15,000, barely escaped the Nazi terror in the late 1930s. The fourth group consisted of about 1000 Polish Jews, including the only complete European Jewish religious school to be saved from Nazi destruction, the Mirrer Yeshiva.  The International Settlement of Shanghai seemed a viable option for the desperate refugees; this in spite of the fact that the Sino-Japanese War broke out in 1937, and the Japanese, allies of Nazi Germany, occupied parts of the city. Nevertheless, in contrast to the German plan of Entjudung, the Japanese wanted to make use of alleged Jewish wealth and influence for the benefit of Japan's New Order. The official Japanese policy towards Jews stated that although Japan should avoid actively embracing Jews who had been expelled by her allies denying Jews entry would not be in the spirit of the empire's long-standing advocacy of racial equality. As a result of this policy, between the fall of 1938 and the winter of 1941, about 20,000 refugees travelled to Shanghai, their temporary home afar. During the three-year period between 1938 and December 1941 most newcomers managed more or less to integrate into Shanghai's economy, despite the fact that they had come to Shanghai out of political necessity, and not for the economic prospects. Following the outbreak of the War in the Pacific and the Japanese occupation of all sections of Shanghai, the economic situation of the refugees significantly worsened. Furthermore, as stability in Shanghai was the most important priority for the Japanese, on February 18, 1943 the military authorities issued a proclamation about the establishment of a restricted area - or ghetto, as the refugees used to call it - for stateless refugees in Hongkou, where they were confined until the Japanese surrender in August 1945. The end of the war opened up the possibility for the refugees of leaving Shanghai. However, when they were informed about the Holocaust in Europe, most did not want to return to their homeland. Many of them left for the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Latin America, and after 1948, thousands of Jews went to live in the newly established State of Israel.

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Falra hányt betűk: késő gótikus falikrónikák a középkori Magyarországon

Letters on the wall: Late Gothic wall-chronicles in Medieval Hungary

Művészettörténeti Értesítő
Author: Szakács Béla Zsolt

During the 15th and 16th centuries, a number of long inscriptions were painted on the walls of parish churches in the territory of the medieval Hungarian Kingdom. The first known example is in the St Elisabeth’s of Kassa (Kaschau, Košice, Slovakia). The earlier inscription in the north-east chapel describes the events between 1387 and 1439 while it is continued in the south transept with a political manifestation on the side of the new-born King Ladislas V, opposed by Wladislas I. Another wall-chronicle is readable in the entrance hall of the St James’ in Lőcse (Leutschau, Levoča, Slovakia). Here the inscription, dated to ca 1500, commemorates events between 1431 and 1494, including local fires and diseases, the coronation of Ladisla V and Wladislas II and the royal meeting of John Albert of Poland and Wladislas II of Hungary held at the city in 1494. On the other side of the entrance hall, a detailed Last Judgement was painted, as the final act of world history. The inscriptions of Lőcse are usually interpreted as a manifestation of the local identity of the Saxons in the Szepes (Zips, Spiš, Slovakia) region, enjoying special privileges. This is probably also true for the second group of wall-chronicles, to be found in Transylvania in the important Saxon towns. The only surviving example is in Szeben (Hermannstadt, Sibiu, Romania), in the gallery of the western hall (Ferula). Beside some national events (coronation of King Matthias, death of Louis II) it is dealing with Transylvanian affairs between 1409 and 1566. A similar chronicle has been documented in Brassó (Kronstadt, Braşov, Romania), which started the narrative with the immigration of the Saxons and ended with 1571, with a special attention to the Ottoman wars. Unfortunately the inscriptions have been covered after the fire of 1689. Other wall-chronicles are documented by secondary sources in Segesvár (Säsßburg, Sighișoara), Medgyes (Mediasch, Mediaș), Beszterce (Bistritz, Bistrița), Muzsna (Meschen, Moșna), Baráthely (Pretai, Brateiu) and Ecel (Hetzeldorf, Ațel, all in Romania). While all these were written in Latin, a Hungarian inscription has been preserved in the Calvinist church of Berekeresztúr (Bâra, Romania) in the Szeklerland from the early 17th century. Although a misunderstanding of the sources led some scholars to suppose an inscription or an images cycle with secular content in Buda, these passages refer in reality to the Franciscan friary at Chambery. In international comparison, the Gothic wall-chronicles seem to be a rarity; the best example is known from the cathedral of Genoa, where the rebuilding of the cathedral in the early 14th century is connected to the legendary origin of the city, counterbalancing the civil war between the citizens.

Decorating the walls of churches with letters instead of images is certainly aniconic, but not necessarily un-pretentious. Letters always play a decorative function whenever written on the walls. The letters, especially for the illiterate people, was a special type of ornament. Nevertheless, inscriptions, as far as their letters are readable and languages are understandable, tend to be informative. Interpreting their content depends on different levels of literacy. But they work for all as visual symbols. The longish Latin wall chronicles of Late Gothic parish churches were probably understood by the rich patricians; but the large surfaces close to the entrances might have been meaningful for all others who recognized their significance in local identity-building. The illiterate local people of the Protestant villages were unable to decipher the exact meaning of the inscriptions, even if they were in their native Hungarian language. However, these letters were necessarily eloquent for the entire community: the fact itself that there are letters decorating the walls instead of images was meaningful, reflecting the transformation of Christian culture. The letters themselves, legible or not, had a symbolic value which can be decoded taking into consideration their location, forms and context.

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1989 Zande Logic and Western Logic . The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 40 ( 2 ): 275 – 285 . J ohnson , Douglas H. 2003 The Root Causes of Sudan’s Civil Wars. London : The International Africa Institution - Indiana

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Conflict and Opportunities for Democratization . Journal of Peace Research 52 ( 1 ) 3 – 16 . Collier , P. – Hoeffler A. ( 2000 ): Greed and Grievance in Civil War . The World Bank

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Schaffens Johann Rombauers . In: Casopis ARS , Vol. 2 , No. 1 , pp. 31 – 66 . Pivány , Eugene . 1913 . Hungarians at the American Civil War . Cleveland

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. Kastritsis , Dimitris 2007 . The Sons of Bayezid. Empire Building and Representation in the Ottoman Civil War of 1402-13 . [The Ottoman Empire and Its Heritage 38.] Leiden : Brill

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. Hammond, B. (1957): Banks and Politics in America from the Revolution to the Civil War . Princeton University Press. Keeton, W. R. (2001): The Transformation of Banking and its Impact on Consumers and Small Businesses

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