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Abstract  

A secret in a literary text initiates a delicate interplay between narrators and readers, since the latter must be informed of existence, or even of the content of the secret. The paper analyses various samples from this viewpoint, starting with Euripides’ Hippolytus and Ion, where-due to the absence of any narrator-the interplay of secrecy develops between the agents, the chorus, the gods and the audience. The subsequent samples are taken from European novels (Thackeray’s The History of Henry Esmond, Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Jókai’s Friedrich Trenck and Franz Trenck). Secrecy functions many times as a hint at a secret order or a hidden entity that guarantees order. The order, or rather the impression of arrangement, may function as a suggestion of a secret sense. The meaning can be described as the secret of literary texts, which is always present in the form of a promise.

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Abstract  

This article suggests a new analysis of Jean-Paul Sartre’sQu’est-ce que la literature? (1948) by examining a densely intertextual passage in the text where Sartre associates words with sickness. By the ‘sickness” of words Sartre understands not only wartime ideological contamination of language but also modern literary expression in some of its forms. The hyperbolic statement that is, in itself, marked by wartime rhetoric includes amongst its references a satiric comment on Georges Bataille’sL’Expérience intérieure (1943). The aim of the article is to think out the association between the ideologically contaminated words and the literary words in Sartre’s post-war writings. This involves, first, an explication of what the diagnosis of words consists of, that is, how words can besick for Sartre. Second, the purpose is to investigate the ambiguity in Sartre’s statement concerning literary language. The idea of the morbidity of literary expression is another indication of Sartre’s ambivalent relation to fiction and poetry that characterized his whole career. The satiric diagnosis, therefore, is a symptom of a larger question of resistance to literature that can teach us something about the persistence of literature.

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In modern Shi’i Islam, power constitutes a major concern for thinkers and movements alike. Above all, Muham mad Husayn Fadlallah stands as the most systematic Shi’i thinker who produced an Islamic theory of power. The present article analyses Fadlallah’s concept of social power. In Islam and the Logic of Power (al-Islam wa-mantiq al-quwwa), he emphasised the importance of social solidarity, justice, and the obligation of “commanding right and forbidding wrong” as a means to create the ideal society. For him, this social model has are ciprocal relation to social power. Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah tells the tale of two societies: the weak and the strong, arguing that beliefs, unity and values determine the power of a community. He claims that the strong society is best illustrated by the first Islamic community. He confronts it with the weak society which lacks unity and solidarity — echoing to a great extent contemporary Lebanon. Fadlallah’s social theory — embedded in his theology of power — transforms spiritual power into a collective deployment of action. He draws on a wide range of elements (Sunni, Shi’i and Marxist) to create a coherent system of power in which social power is a mediator between the ideology of power and its political manifestation.

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This paper delineates critical approaches to the reading of autobiographical writings that make no presumptions concerning the identity of language and subject or the identity of narrating self and narrated self. It proposes readings that posit the act of narration as a creative gesture through which the narrated self is constructed through the figures of language rather than described as an essence that preceded narration.

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