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How far can canon and language be sources of (dis)continuity in literary history? Continuity and discontinuity are concepts of such complexity that only philosophers can hope to make a successful attempt to define them in general terms. All I can offer is a tentative analysis of their significance for literary history. Since even such an investigation would ask for a lengthy treatment if conducted on an abstract level, I shall limit myself to reflections on how continuity and discontinuity are related to the concepts of canon and language. In the second half of my paper a personified abstraction called nation will also be introduced with the intention of making some remarks on the legitimacy of the terms national and world literature. The essay also raises the question of whether it is possible to write literary history in a postmodern world.

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What happens when we consider “poetics,” a term and concept well-known from Aristotle’s philosophical treatment of Greek epic and tragic drama, in the larger context of world literature as we understand it today? What would be the essential elements in the definition of poetics? What sort of critical issues it can address, and what resources it may draw on in the world’s various literary traditions? In the ancient world, East Asia and South Asia all have distinct traditions of literary expression with emphasis and critical conceptualizations rather different from those of the Greek-Roman tradition. What would the consideration of poetics in a broad cross-cultural perspective lead us to? In this presentation, these are the theoretical issues to be explored to arrive at a better understanding of poetics not only in the Western tradition, but truly of the world, with the richness of content and critical functions considered with relation to a global concept of world literature.

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Ponori Thewrewk Emil, akit a magyar klasszika-filológia első nagy alakjának és megalapítójának tekintünk, egyúttal az egyetlen olyan magyar tudós is, aki foglalkozott az ókori görögök állatvédelmével. A téma iránti érdeklődése azzal a hatással magyarázható, amelyet szellemi környezete gyakorolt rá, közeli rokonságára és ismerőseire. A kor állatvédő mozgalmainak érvelése, amely az a minore ad maius elvén alapszik („aki kíméletlen az állatokkal, az kíméletlen lesz az emberekkel is”), megragadható Ponori Thewrewk rövid cikkében, amely különbséget tesz az állati élet megkíméléséhez vezető, régi vallásos hiedelmek és azon törvényes athéni esetek között, amelyekben az állatokkal szembeni kegyetlenséget megbüntették mint az emberekkel szembeni, jövőbeni kegyetlenség előjelét. Tanulmányom első felében (I–II. rész) megkísérlem feltárni Ponori Thewrewk személyes indíttatását és kapcsolatait, amelyek a kor állatvédő mozgalmaihoz fűzték, majd a III. részben sorra veszem azokat a Ponori Thewrewk által említett, ókori vallásos és törvényi megfontolásokat, amelyek az állatokkal való kíméletes bánásmódhoz vezettek, hogy teljes képet nyerjünk az ókori görögök állatvédelmi törekvéseiről és arról, ahogyan ezt Ponori Thewrewk és kortársai látták.

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This article takes the case of the Italian author Dino Buzzati who, parallel to his literary oeuvre best known for its fantastic qualities, spent forty years from 1928 to 1972 as a journalist and columnist for Corriere della sera, practising every conceivable sub-genre of journalism and becoming a sort of 'directeur occulte' of the paper. Focusing on Cronache terrestri, the selection of Buzzati's articles published posthumously, my analysis explores the borderline between literature and journalism in Buzzati's work for Corriere, singling out for particular attention the intersection between specific journalistic techniques (in particular his 'leads' and his titles) and his recourse to the 'fantastic' in the treatment of topical themes and contemporary events (including war reportage). Buzzati's 'borderline', I argue, can be posited as an 'in between-area' between literature and journalism, reality and fantasy, where the signature of Buzzati, as correspondent for an authoritative Italian daily, validates the existence of (apparently) 'impossible' worlds, and where his accumulation of reportorial details and enumerations create fictions of (hyper) reality and the conditions necessary to the 'hesitation' that Todorov ascribes to the fantastic mode.

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The Slovene ballad Animals Bury the Hunter is an animal narrative song of jocular character. It tells of the burial of a hunter and of a funeral procession not composed of humans but wild animals (a bear, foxes, hares, a wolf, cranes and partridges, song birds, etc.) who seem to derive great joy from the event. The analysis of the song's 31 variants reveals the changes made to the song over the course of time, as it survived through different historical periods and spread throughout Slovenia. I attempt to show that the ballad was used as a model for painted beehive panels featuring the same motif. In addition to the analysis, I am concerned with the sociological and ethical elements of the ballad. The paper proposes at least three possible theses: 1. The song is part of the conception of a topsy-turvy world, where the roles and mutual relationships of people and animals are reversed in an ironic sociological view of the world.  2. The song is a critique of one class by another: peasants mocking hunters who belong to a different social stratum. 3. The song is a representation of “pre-Cartesian” times, when animals were not “mere machines” without feelings, to be treated by man as objects with no ethical significance. It points to the ethical aspects of the human treatment of animals.

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The author of this paper analyzes the inner world of certain Puškin's poems (motifs, topoi, characters) taking Byron's influence and the poet's reflections on history into consideration. Puškin inherited the structure of genre, the literary character of rebellious hero and the other "obligatory" elements of romantic epical poem (exotic surroundings, nocturnal scenes, extreme emotions etc.) from Byron. A closer influence of the English pattern can be observed only in the early poems of Puškin (The Prisoner of the Caucasus, The Fountain at Bakhchisarai). But the tricks, motifs and necessary "accessories" he employs become the vehicles of increasingly meaningful thoughts which allow the genre to rise to such a level that it could keep its canonised place in the Russian literature even after the vanishing of romanticism. From the mid-1820s the historic events of the period, the repression of the Dekabrist uprising and also the new direction in Puškin's interest are reflected in his works. Among them the epical poem Poltava is considered by the experts the example of overcoming Byron's previous influence. What is followed in this paper is the treatment of the different tragic connections between power and individual by Puškin.

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General systems theory is a scientific discipline that adopts a different approach to that of reductionist science, based on systems, connections and processes. The emerging new field of human ecology, which attempts to reconcile natural systems with human-made systems, draws boldly on this wealth of knowledge. One of the methods of facing the challenges of the worldwide ecological crisis is the implementation of the resulting principles of sustainable development at the rural development level. In south-west Hungary, the sparsely populated small village region of Zselic is home to a small-scale sustainable settlement development project in the abandoned former village of Gyűrűfű. Over the past fifteen years, principles of ecological design, such as permaculture, dominated the re-settlement of the area by a small number of ecologically conscious city dwellers-turned-villagers. Ecological landscape assessment of the site preceded the actual design of the project, providing the grounds for proper siting and implementation methods of the various facilities. Alternative solutions were applied to the functions of building construction, building engineering, water management, agriculture, sewage treatment, waste management and gardening, and a community-based social structure to strengthen ecological values. The project survived in spite of the dramatically changing political and economic environment.

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A number of authors have claimed that Potebnja's linguistic theory contains evident traces of Kantian influences. In the field of epistemology, indeed, both Potebnja and Kant were convinced relativists, and a number of philosophical notions commonly associated with Kant's doctrine are easily found in Potebnja's works. On the other hand, direct references to Kant are extremely rare in Potebnja's writings. In fact, according to Potebnia, the central problem of linguistics and philosophy was that of interrelation between language and thought, which had been practically ignored by Kant. A possible approach to the question of Potebnja's supposed Kantianism implies the existence of intermediary sources instrumental in conveying some Kantian elements into Potebnja's own theory (Humboldt, Herbart, Steinthal, etc.). Indeed, some scholars tend to regard the whole philosophy of language of German Roman­ticism and its psychologically-tinged positivist continuation as a sort of response to the problems left unresolved by Kant.Potebnjadid receive some important stimuli this way, although they rather concerned the formulation of the problems than their solution. The main points of Potebnja's discord with Kant concern the existence of a priori mental contents, the role of language in the transformation of sensorial data into concepts, the (non-)arbitrariness of the linguistic sign, the nature of linguistic communication, etc. Potebnja's treatment of the distinction between synthetic and analytic judgments, as well as of their function in the formation of concepts, where Kantian echoes are particularly evident, offers a particularly good example of the wide theoretical distance separating both authors.

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The oldest textual variant of the Russian religious folk song “Forty pilgrims and one more pilgrim” dates from the mid-eighteenth century. The song is a special type of apology, produced by pilgrims for their own laudation and glorification, with the intention to raise the respect of people for them. The wife of the Grand Prince of Kiev wanted to commit adultery with the spiritual leader of the pilgrims, for which God punished her with a severe disease, most probably with leper. The symptoms of the wife’s disease and the circumstances of her recovery indicate that the pneuma-theory, the most ancient concept of the origin of diseases, was familiar to the Russians. In connection to the religious songs analyzed in my paper I found medical practices similar to those in Hungarian folk culture and in the ancient medicine of the Lamaist Tibet. On the basis of this, it can be claimed that the disease of the wife of the Grand Prince was caused by some internal or external “evil wind”. Consequently, the treatment was connected to the wind as well.

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The primary thesis of this paper is that, contrary to popular views, the translation of proper names is a non-trivial question, closely related to the problem of the meaning of the proper name. It aims to show what happens to proper names in the process of translation, particularly from English into Hungarian, to systematise and, within the frames of relevance theory, to explain the phenomena in question. It is suggested that in translating a proper name translators have four basic operations at their disposal: transference, translation proper, substitution and modification, which are defined here and explained in relevance-theoretic terms. The paper presents two case studies, which attempt to explain the treatment of proper names in the Hungarian translations of Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five and J. F. Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans. The analysis is based on the assumption that translation is a special form of communication, aimed at establishing interpretive resemblance between the source text and the target text, governed by the principle of optimal resemblance (Sperber and Wilson 1986; Gutt 1991). The findings seem to confirm the claim that proper names behave in a largely predictable way in translation: the particular operations chosen to deal with them are a function, partly, of the semantic content they are loaded with in the source context and, partly, of considerations of how this content may be preserved in the target communication situation, including elements like the specific audience, intertextual relationships and translation norms, in consistency with the principle of relevance.

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