Interlitteraria 2019-12-05T14:37:18+02:00 Jüri Talvet Open Journal Systems <table style="background-color: #ffffff;" border="0" cellspacing="3" cellpadding="3"> <tbody> <tr valign="top"> <td width="25%">Founded in 1996, <em>Interlitteraria</em> is the peer-reviewed journal of the Chair of Comparative Literature of the University of Tartu and the Estonian Association of Comparative Literature. <em>Interlitteraria</em> publishes original articles in English, French, German and Spanish, in the field of comparative literature.</td> <td width="25%">Revue à comité de lecture fondée en 1996, <em>Interlitteraria</em> est publiée par la chaire de Littérature comparée de l'université de Tartu et l'Association estonienne de littérature comparée. <em>Interlitteraria</em> publie des articles originaux en anglais, en allemand, en français et en espagnol, touchant princi­palement le domaine de la littérature comparée.</td> <td width="25%"><em>Interlitteraria</em> wurde im Jahr 1996 als international begutachtete Zeit­schrift am Lehrstuhls für ver­gleichende Literatur­wissen­schaft der Universität Tartu und der Assoziation der Vergleichenden Literatur­wissen­schaft in Estland gegründet. <em>Interlitteraria</em> ver­öffent­licht englische, franzö­sische, deutsche und spanische Original­artikel, vor­nehmlich aus dem Bereich der vergleichenden Literatur­wissen­schaft.</td> <td width="25%">Fundada en 1996, <em>Interlitteraria</em> es la revista con arbitraje de expertos promovida por la Cátedra de Literatura Comparada de la Universidad de Tartu y la Asocia­ción Estonia de Literatura Com­parada. <em>Interlitteraria</em> publica artículos originales en inglés, francés, alemán y español rela­tivos al campo de la litera­tura com­parada.</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> Introduction: Theory and Practice 2019-12-05T14:37:18+02:00 Jonathan Locke Hart 2019-08-13T12:27:02+03:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Introduction: Speaking About Small Literatures in Their Own Language 2019-12-05T14:37:16+02:00 Katre Talviste 2019-08-13T12:29:58+03:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Contemporary International/World Novels’ Transmissibility from Partial Connections to Hermeneutics of Situation (With References to Glissant, Volpi, Murakami, and Rushdie) 2019-12-05T14:37:15+02:00 Jean Bessière <p>Due to its formal and semantic flexibility, the novel is often viewed as exemplarily associated with globalization. Most interpretations of this view lead to a paradox – presentations that the genre of the novel offers can be specific, and yet, widely circulated – and refer it to transnationalism, to the worlding of many cultural identities, or to some kind of literary space. These interpretations leave open the questioning of the cultural denotations or literary features that empower novels to be widely circulated and universalized. This article identifies and analyzes this explicit questioning in Glissant’s <em>Tout-monde</em>, Murakami’s <em>Kafka on the Shore</em>, Rushdie’s <em>The Moor’s Last Sigh</em>, and Volpi’s <em>In Search of Klingsor</em>, and suggests a quadruple answer.</p> <p>1. Contemporary novels, that are read as world novels, reflect the paradox that qualifies their world circulation: they designate and deconstruct the signs of the universal by offering totalizing and detotalizing perspective and by questioning their universalization potential.</p> <p>2. This formal and semantic paradox is presented by means of “partial connec tions”, i.e. objective or imagined references to distant or non-identical cultural references that can be viewed as partially overlapping. Partial connections impose a metonymic view of all chains of cultural mentions, and, between the latter, delineate special kinds of union – differences coexist and unite, and their discontinuities invite to view them as equally real. Partial connections found world novels’ rhetoric and transmissibility.</p> <p>3. Due to these partial connections, some kind of specific herme neutics is developed or implied – hermeneutics of situation. No overall inter pretation of their own universalizability is offered by world novels – they generate symptomatic readings.</p> <p>4. Remarkably, these literary and cultural montages apply to canonical kinds of novel – investigation novel (<em>In Search of Klingsor</em>), historical novel (<em>The Moor’s Last Sigh</em>), Bildungsroman (<em>Tout-monde</em>, <em>Kafka on the Shore</em>), that are most often recognized as universal because of their canonicity and the readability they show. On the one hand, these montages alter the canonicity and readability of these kinds of novels, on the other, they trigger their wide circulation because they negate any rule of reading and any overall interpretation, and however suggest some kind of universal hermeneutics – the use of partial connections is of utmost importance.</p> 2019-08-13T12:46:34+03:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Shakespeare in Theory and Practice 2019-12-05T14:37:13+02:00 Jonathan Locke Hart <p>The article is about theory and practice in Shakespeare, but while he used the word “practice,” he never employed the term “theory.” After discussing practice a little, I shall examine how Shakespeare refers to poetry and poets, philosophy and philosophers with some brief connections with art, theatre, music, painting and mimesis. Shakespeare showed no inclination for criticism or theory in essays or non-fiction prose, but, as can be seen, for instance, in Hamlet’s instructions to the players, his work, poetry and plays, contain if not a theory of art, theatre and poetry at least some representations of and reflections on such matters by speakers, narrators and characters.</p> 2019-08-13T12:51:54+03:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Geopolitics and Contesting Identities in Shakespeare’s The First Part of Henry VI 2019-12-05T14:37:12+02:00 I-Chun Wang <p>Histories always deal with the construction of cities, announcements of new eras, and strategies of reformations; human history also shows that the bitter human experience of struggles, disputes and wars involve shifting identities or rivalries over territories. Among Shakespeare’s war plays, <em>The First Part of Henry VI</em> is one of the most significant representations of the war between France and England; the play refers to the Treaty of Troyes, an Anglo- French Treaty in 1420, which recognizes Henry V as heir to the French throne, resulting in internal divisions and tremendous chaos in France. This play by Shakespeare refers to the intrigue, spatial contest, politics of kingship and spatial struggle between England and France. Calais had been an enclave of England in France before Henry V succeeded to the throne; securing Calais, Henry V, the warrior king of England, attempted to build up another enclave at Harfleur. With the Anglo-Burgundian alliance, the Dauphin Charles, and Joan of Arc faced two enemies, England and the Dukedom of Burgundy. England and Burgundy had been allies against France in the Hundred Years’ War since 1415. Burgundy, because of its geographical location, is to play the key role in the tug of war between the two forces.</p> <p>Geopolitics and contesting identities are two intertwining motifs in the <em>First Part of Henry VI</em>. Shakespeare portrays the conquest of France by England and represents diplomatic relations and shifting identities through geography and spatial politics as related to nationhood. This paper by examining the conflicts between France and England, will discuss geopolitics and contesting identities, the territorial disputes as well as spatial politics in an era when boundary politics was in flux.</p> 2019-08-13T12:59:11+03:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Economic Obsession in Early Literary Imagination: Shakespeare, Jonson and More 2019-12-05T14:37:10+02:00 Francis K. H. So <p>That revenues, profits, wealth, valuables, properties and various forms of riches can be so attractive to most people is because these resources affect the operational mode of social economy and personal well-being. As a major driving force of social development, the desire to accumulate wealth affords people the prospect of leading a comfortable life. Yet the acquisition of which may bring down other people to become poorer and creating potential social injustice. Three interrelated concepts in money spending: consumption, fear of poverty and social justice/injustice are markedly shown in some of the great minds among English writers.</p> <p>In this article, Shakespeare’s <em>The Merchant of Venice</em>, Ben Jonson’s <em>Volpone</em> and Thomas More’s <em>Utopia</em>&nbsp;are used to demonstrate the concerns of the early modern English mentality. Some scholars have suggested that the first two playwrights reflected the fear that their London would come to be ruled by corruption, swindling, greediness, vicious competition and unethical business practices. In this pre-capitalist economy, people are seen to adopt unfair competition and reciprocal malice in order to accumulate wealth. Entrepreneurial liberation in economic affairs sets off the dark side of hu manity in which the playwrights were most probably implicated.</p> <p>To counteract this rapacious thinking, Thomas More offers his conception of a wealthy and happy worldly life. Not to attack the self-centered, bene fit gaining intentions, <em>Utopia</em> builds up a society that claims fairness, commonwealth, more obligations than privileges and the wiping away of vanity. Mercantilism is not denied, yet private property is contained. Written earliest among the three works, <em>Utopia</em> anticipates the two plays that dwell on social evils sparked by over concern for personal gains.</p> <p>Generally, the three works lay the foundation of positive and negative aspects of economy in terms of production, marketing, circulation, consumption and services of the English mind of that era. The social mood borders on the financial and political matters of the bourgeois class while providing a mega-worldview as well as micro-worldview of economic concern of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries England.</p> 2019-08-13T13:05:58+03:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## The Imagination of Criminals in Victorian London in Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 2019-12-05T14:37:08+02:00 Hiu Wai Wong <p>In this article I write about the split of London described in <em>Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde</em>. Dr. Jekyll, decent and belonging to the middle class, fail s to resist the transformation into Mr. Hyde, gross and belonging to the lower class. It represents the fear of the West Enders, who thought that the East Enders were uncivilized and threatening. In order to rationalize their fear, the West Enders imagined the East Enders as criminals, which corresponds to Edward Said’s discussion of Orientalism. In <em>Orientalism</em>, Said discusses how the West represents the Orient as the Other, and produces the category of the Orient grounded on a geographical framework of thinking. In much the same way, the story of <em>Jekyll and Hyde</em> demonstrates a narrative construction of the lower class living in the East End London as criminals. The influence of Cesare Lombroso’s theory of criminology present in the story serves as important evidence of the West Enders’ imagination. In <em>Criminal Man</em> (1876), Lombroso investigates the atavistic criminal, which illustrates the middle-class imagination of the body of the East Enders. Establishing the notion of atavism, Lombroso belittles the lower class by criticizing them as the demonstration of “regression to an earlier stage of evolution.” Examining the details of the geographical demarcation portrayed in the story, this paper hopes to elucidate the cultural imagination of criminals in Victorian London.</p> 2019-08-13T13:12:07+03:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Literature as Conduct: On J. Hillis Miller’s Speech-act Theory and Its Application 2019-12-05T14:37:07+02:00 Rong Guo <p>Since the publication of <em>How to Do Things with Words</em> in 1962, Austin and his speech-act theory caused a great disturbance in the arena of linguistics and literature, not only initiating the study of pragmatics but also triggering the paradigm change of literary studies in the 20th century. Stanley Fish, Wolfgang Iser, Derrida, de Man, J. Hillis Miller, and many other scholars in the 1970s showed great enthusiasm for theory. Yet, the theory’s limitations and applications are widely known. The publication of <em>Speech Acts in Literature</em> and <em>Literature as Conduct</em> by J. Hillis Miller seems to have given a kind of momentum to its development. Taking Miller’s initiatives as a starting point, this article analyzes a specific literary text, <em>The Ninth Widow</em> by a Chinese overseas writer Yan Geling, with an intention to illustrate that the application of the speech-act theory in the literary studies is indeed promising and productive.</p> 2019-08-13T13:18:19+03:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Who We Are Is What Makes Us Laugh: Humour as Discourse on Identity and Hegemony 2019-12-05T14:37:05+02:00 Christian Ylagan <p>There exists a sociocultural function to humour that is geared towards maintaining order through a subversion (or inversion) of the more serious, structured status quo, and while there is a pragmatic side to the dispensation of humour across any given society, humour can also serve a fundamentally ontological function in determining and representing a group’s identity. Though notions of social organization and culture exist and are perpetuated primarily within a group’s literary canon, as espoused for example in the privileging of genres such as the epic or the novel as loci of national identity, this paper argues that such identities can be just as effectively – if not better – constructed through popular representations in humour, especially in satirical content found in “ephemeral” mediums such as comic strips. Such representations in turn can be mobilized to complement or even dismantle the status quo and offer alternative paradigms of understanding national identities and cultural affiliations.</p> 2019-08-13T13:22:25+03:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Rethinking of the Crisis of Universalism: Toward a Pluralistic Orientation of Cosmopolitanism 2019-12-05T14:37:04+02:00 Ning Wang <p>In commemorating the centenary of the end of World War I, we could not but reflect on many of the valuable legacies and lessons the War has left behind it. To us humanities scholars, what we are most concerned about is the legitimacy of universalism or whether there is such a thing as absolute universalism. The same is true of modernity, for people may well think that modernity represents the great interest of all people in the world. But modernity manifests itself in different modes in different countries and nations as different countries and nations have different conditions, especially in such an ancient country as China. The present article will illustrate how modernity was imported from the West into China and how it has been readjusted according to its own condition and thereby developing in an uneven way. Through some theoretical elaboration the article has deconstructed the so-called “singular” or “universalist” modernity with the Chinese practice and reconsidered the concept of cosmopolitanism which has certain parallel elements in ancient Chinese philosophy. Considering the pluralistic orientation of contemporary cosmopolitanism, the author offers his own reconstruction of a sort of new cosmopolitanism in the era of globalization.</p> 2019-08-13T13:26:16+03:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Orientalism and Re-Orientalism in Yann Martel’s Life of Pi 2019-12-05T14:37:03+02:00 Jiang Yuqin <p>Yann Martel expresses his Orientalism and describes Pi’s Re-Orientalism in <em>Life of Pi</em>. Martel’s Orientalism presents the typical postcolonial writing model, which constructs a postcolonial exotic. Pi’s Re-Orientalism reflects a diasporic Eastern boy’s desire and identity in the West. The survival story for Pi and the Bengal tiger is a metaphor for Pi to grow up to be a true western man. Martel uses paratexts such as the author’s note, author’s interview with the protagonist Pi, records for a Japanese investigation on the truth, and inserts into the protagonist Pi’s narration, which expose the hidden intention for latent cultural hegemony. The departure of Richard Parker represents Pi’s final conforming to Western culture.</p> 2019-08-13T13:31:16+03:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Essence of Technology and Ecological Disaster: A Heideggerian Reading of Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood 2019-12-05T14:37:01+02:00 Lanxiang Wu Xiaolin Zhou <p>In his criticism about modern technology, Martin Heidegger etymologically examines the word “Technē” and points out that, technology, as a mode of revealing, does not solely refer to the bringing forth of truth through machine-based experiments and exploration, it also contains the poetic revealing inside which a saving power can be found. Following this argument, this paper conducts a textual analysis of Margaret Atwood’s 2009 novel <em>The Year of the Flood</em> and argues that the Compound elites are so delivered over to technology that they have turned everything into standing-reserve, and thereby have fueled the impending ecological disaster in their pursuit of bioengineering innovation. By contrast, a Heideggerian meditative person – Adam One, the leader of God’s Gardeners, illustrates the practice of “arts of the mind” by his words and his deeds, exemplifying the possibility of poetic revealing in an emblematic way. Although the trajectory of environmental deterioration cannot be reversed, the ending of the novel does strike a promising note by referring to music, an old form of fine arts.</p> 2019-08-13T13:37:38+03:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Virtue or Vice? Trauma Reflected in Mo Yan’s Frog 2019-12-05T14:37:00+02:00 Jinghui Wang <p>The preoccupation with human nature is deeply rooted in literature. This paper starts from the ancient Chinese rudimentary understanding of human nature, then passes through Mo Yan’s <em>Frog</em>, an epistolary novel which covers the 30-year history of the Chinese population control policy through the description of an obstetrician in quest of her own human nature, and ends with her mediation and effort to retrieve goodness in the face of state will. Mo Yan, as well as many other Chinese people, does not deny that the onechild family policy had been laid down with a good intention to promote the general welfare of all citizens in China. But through a detailed reading of the novel <em>Frog</em>, it is argued that this policy might be a legalized illegality, which results in the schizophrenia of the main character out of the dilemma of justifying her deeds as virtue or vice. It is suggested that the experience of the female character in the novel, as well as in the contemporary Chinese society, should be investigated allegorically, and it reveals a universal issue about the complexity of human nature, for in a certain sense, one may start aiming to be Mother Theresa, but end in finding himself or herself merely a devoted clownlike servant of the state will.</p> 2019-08-13T13:43:03+03:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Omission and its Impact on Character Reshaping in Literary Translation: A Case Study of Wolf Totem 2019-12-05T14:36:58+02:00 Xiaoli Wang <p>This article sets out to explore, from a socio-cultural perspective, the heavy use of omission in the English translation of a popular Chinese novel <em>Wolf Totem</em> by Jiang Rong and its side effect: the shifts that take place on the characterization of the main character in the translated text. The descriptive perspective on the use of omission, the highly motivated, deliberate operation, shows that this method is well justified when taking into consideration the socio-cultural constraints. Nevertheless, its side effects that come along cannot be overlooked.</p> 2019-08-13T13:47:12+03:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Narrative Ethics of Post-Modern Visual Culture between Chinese “Diors Series” and Western “Loser Series” in Comparative Perspective 2019-12-05T14:36:57+02:00 Shaomin Zheng <p>The main characteristics of the post-modern culture such as counterculture, non-conformism, virtualization, fragmentation, mass culture, business culture and irrationalism etc., decide the post-modernity of visual culture. “Film”, as an indispensable element of visual culture, has a narrative ethics that can be used for an interpretation of ethical orientation and ethical values in post-modern visual culture. This article, by comparing “Diors image” in Chinese Diors series with “loser image” in western loser series, the typical post-modern visual image, takes the post-modern context as the focal point and makes a further study of “Diors culture” or “loser culture”, which is formed in the phenomenon of post-modern culture, and thus explores narrative ethics and ethical values in post-modern visual culture.</p> 2019-08-13T13:51:14+03:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Interferenz statt Verspätung – Die Polysystemtheorie als Beschreibungsmodell für ‚kleine‘ Literaturen 2019-12-05T14:36:55+02:00 Fabienne Gilbertz <p><strong>Interference instead of Belatedness – Polysystem Theory as a Descriptive Model for ‘Small’ Literatures.</strong> Luxembourg literature can be considered a ‘small’ literature from various angles. Its small size, young age and the existence of a sparsely diffused language within a multilingual setting are features that also apply to other small European literary systems and that affect their self-perception fundamentally. In that context, Jeanne E. Glesener has identified a “discourse on smallness” which is developed by the literary centres and unconsciously internalized by the actors of small literary systems themselves: this discourse is essentially shaped by the ideas of creative sterility, poor visibility and, particularly, literary belatedness. However, as Glesener points out with respect to Pascale Casanova’s concept of literary time, the notion of belatedness wrongly implies that all literary systems sooner or later generate the same literary phenomena; it is therefore highly problematic. This paper introduces Itamar Even-Zohar’s polysystem theory – which has been designed in view of the Israeli literary system – as an alternative descriptive model for ‘small’ and multilingual literatures. Proceeding from the example of Luxembourg ‘Heimatliteratur’ in the second half of the 20th century, I would like to argue that by openly acknowledging every system’s historical and sociological characteristics and by excluding the notion of comparison from the analysis, the concept of ‘polysystemic interference’ allows for a more neutral study of literary contacts and literary change.</p> 2019-08-13T14:02:05+03:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Literature Defined by Language? Some Remarks on the Definition of Estonian Literature 2019-12-05T14:36:53+02:00 Anneli Kõvamees <p>In the era when multiculturalism is one of the key concepts and the relationship between foreign and own is shifting, the definition of national literature has been in the centre of discussions. In Estonia the issue has been raised most prominently in connection with the Estonian Russianlanguage writer Andrei Ivanov (born 1971) whose works have turned out to be difficult to classify. How to define Estonian literature? Is it a literature written in the Estonian language, literature written by Estonians, literature associated with Estonia or is it a literature written in Estonia? Especially small nations like Estonians tend to define one’s identity according to the language spoken and ethnicity, not the citizenship. There are various significant shifts in Estonian literary history, for example, when the beginning of Estonian literature is discussed, then Baltic German authors are included but when the Estonian literature made by Estonians is born in the 19th century, Baltic German literature disappears from Estonian literature, although Baltic German literature continued until the 20th century. The aspect of value plays a significant role, as what is included or excluded in the literary history is associated with ideological choices. It is only recently that the inclusion of Baltic German literature into Estonian literature is taking place. The position of Estonian Russian literature has also shifted from rejection and periphery in the spotlight and the works by Andrei Ivanov have played a crucial role in that process. Taking the Estonian Russian-language literature and Baltic German literature as examples, the article addresses the question of defining (national) literature.</p> 2019-08-13T14:08:07+03:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## A Small Literature in the Service of Nation-Building: the Estonian Case 2019-12-05T14:36:52+02:00 Arne Merilai Katre Talviste <p>The idea of Estonia’s cultural and national self-sufficiency emerged in the nineteenth century. The contribution of writers and poets was essential to this development. Literature anticipated not only cultural, linguistic, and artistic, but also the economic and political emancipation of Estonians. Cultural practices leading to this emancipation were largely based on Baltic German models; many key elements to the independent Estonian national identity are of foreign origin. On the one hand, the nineteenth-century nationbuilding could therefore be described as self-colonization. On the other hand, it rather created a new nation than transformed a preexisting one, since the very concept of national identity was introduced by this process. Through various political and cultural upheavals, the most influential authors from this seminal period of the Estonian modern culture have remained iconic to this day. The traditional identification with them is so strong that the tentative origins of the nation and the identitary struggles of the national poets themselves may often be forgotten and the personal and individual nature of their contribution downplayed.</p> 2019-08-13T14:12:31+03:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## About Authors 2019-12-05T14:36:50+02:00 About Authors <p>About Authors</p> 2019-08-13T14:15:51+03:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement##