Interlitteraria <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> University of Tartu Press en-US Interlitteraria 1406-0701 The contents of <em>Interlitteraria</em> are published under CC BY-NC-ND licence. Editor’s Preface <p>Editor’s Preface</p> Katre Talviste Copyright (c) 2021-12-31 2021-12-31 26 2 353 353 10.12697/IL.2021.26.2.1 Introduction: Texts and Theories of Travel <p>Introduction: Texts and Theories of Travel</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Shang Wu Copyright (c) 2021-12-31 2021-12-31 26 2 354 358 10.12697/IL.2021.26.2.2 Voir ce que je vois, voir ce que je m’attends à voir : degré zéro de l’écriture du voyage et écriture littéraire du voyage. En citant Henri Michaux et Michel Butor <p><strong>Abstract: <em>To see what I expect to see: travel writing's degree zero and literary</em></strong><br><em><strong>travel narratives. With references to Henri Michaux and Michel Butor.</strong></em> This essay examines what arguments can be put forward to explain why readers and critics view travel writing as literary. It offers an answer that does not imply any coded definition of literature and literary works: literary travel writing is the mimesis of the questioning which characterises any literary work. This questioning rests on:</p> <p>1. The duality of travellers’ perceptions of the foreign lands they discover. They see what they see and what they expect to see; their perceptions are mediated and unmediated, and consequently reflexive and congruent with the cognitive undecipherability of the foreign lands.</p> <p>2. The paradox of the situation of the traveller/writer. Abroad, the traveller is not viewed as a foreigner; the least difference he/she embodies highlights a paradoxical cognitive undecipherability. The effect of the auctorial enunciation is limited by this paradox.</p> <p>3. The reflexive construction of the piece of travel writing. Because they bar any meta-description of the foreign land and its people, the duality of perceptions and the traveller’s paradox make the evocations of places and people at once autonomous and implicitly related.</p> <p>4. The behaviourist approach to the people of the foreign land(s). These restrictions to the traveller’s power to interpret makes the behaviourist approach obligatory. People of foreign lands can be viewed as objective entities.</p> <p>5. The implicit inferences that human objective entities motivate and suggest an overall questioning. These critical and theoretical views utilise references to Michaux’s and Butor’s travels abroad and their travel writing.</p> Jean Bessière Copyright (c) 2021-12-31 2021-12-31 26 2 359 372 10.12697/IL.2021.26.2.3 Travelling Back via Translation: Alai, Lijiang and Minority Literature <p>Abstract: Tibetan author Alai’s Chinese essay, Yi di shui jingguo Lijiang (一滴水经过丽江 [A drop of water passes through Lijiang]) is a piece of travel writing that describes the city of Lijiang (home to the Naxi minority of Yunnan province) and its environs from the perspective of an anthropomorphic drop of water. The essay has been subsequently translated back into the minority Naxi language of Lijiang by Naxi scholar Mu Chen, and both versions are presented as a lapidary inscription in a tourist square. Writing travel from the reverse perspective, i.e. translating the writing from the minority perspective of the place being travelled, is perhaps a way of counteracting the genre’s inherently epistemic appropriation of the ‘other’. I believe that a comparative approach can act as an antidote against the monolingual, ethnocentric tropes of travel writing. In this essay it will be observed that through back-translation of the travel writing into the Naxi culture being observed, cultural specifics can be reintroduced into a text, and a minority culture can reclaim the power to speak for itself.</p> Duncan Poupard Copyright (c) 2021-12-31 2021-12-31 26 2 373 389 10.12697/IL.2021.26.2.4 A Comparative Study of Womanland in "Journey to the West" and "Flowers in the Mirror" <p>Abstract: <em>Journey to the West</em> (Xiyou Ji西游记) and <em>Flowers in the Mirror</em> (Jinghua Yuan镜花缘) are two of the best-known stories of travel in ancient Chinese literature. Both works contain descriptions of outlandish sights and foreign customs, particularly the vivid descriptions of the fantastic and outlandish Womanland (Nv’er Guo 女儿国), which embodies traditional Chinese scholars’ understanding of the outside world. Comparativists tend to regard the portrayals of these exotic women and their talents, and the subverted roles of men and women, as the authors’ statements about the inferior status of women in feudal China and their denunciations of the oppression of women. <em>Flowers in the Mirror</em> is seen as more radical in its pursuit of women’s rights and gender equality. This article argues that androcentrism still prevails even in the positive depictions of the expression of women’s desires. Furthermore, the delineation of these exotic women and of supernatural spirits demonstrates the authors’ praise of China’s pre-eminence and its condescending views of foreign places.</p> Xiuguo Huang Copyright (c) 2021-12-31 2021-12-31 26 2 390 402 10.12697/IL.2021.26.2.5 Writing Travel as Janus: Cultural Translation as Descriptive Category for Travel Writing <p>Abstract: The intersection of the study of travel writing and the study of translation produces two major perspectives: travel writing in translation and translation in travel writing. The first one looks into how the travel narrative is reshaped in a different linguistic and cultural context; the other looks into the translational character of the travel narrative, as the traveller is constantly moving between languages and cultures. Though the conceptual analogy between traveller and translator has been long noted, the linguistic dimension that marks the language difference in travel narrative is rarely underlined. In this essay, in order to explore the possibility of foregrounding both the conceptual link between travel and translation and the linguistic dimension of travel narrative, I propose to integrate an attention to language difference into a reinvention of the contested yet promising term ‘cultural translation’. The American writer Peter Hessler’s travel account <em>Country Driving</em> is cited as a case study.</p> Shang Wu Copyright (c) 2021-12-31 2021-12-31 26 2 403 418 10.12697/IL.2021.26.2.6 Ethnic Trauma in the Traveller’s Eye: On Naipaul’s "The Masque of Africa", Including a Comparison with Bi Shumin’s "30,000 Miles of Africa" <p>Abstract: Insisting on the role of spectator in his travel writing, V.S. Naipaul claims he is merely the “manager of narrative”, who retells objective truths told by the people among whom he travels. Nonetheless, an examination of the ethnic trauma of post-apartheid South Africa in Naipaul’s <em>The Masque of Africa: Glimpses of African Belief</em> (2010) reveals that his voice dominates the narrative. Naipaul’s negative view of post-apartheid South Africa is consistent with his previous views of the “dark continent”. Contrary to other writers’ optimistic attitudes toward South Africa, Naipaul holds a negative view of the Rainbow Nation. For Naipaul, South Africa is still trapped in the mess of ethnic trauma: the ‘coloured’ population fears a lack of identity; the white people fear inverted black racism; and the black populace fear a lack of possibility. This article seeks to explore the reasons for Naipaul’s pessimistic perspective on South Africa by reading his related travelogues, African writings, interviews, authorised biography and Nobel lecture. These works reveal two main reasons for his opinion of South Africa: his Western bias against the “dark continent”, and his encounters with various local ‘elites’. A comparison with a travelogue by Bi Shumin further supports the argument that Naipaul’s view of Africa in general and South Africa in particular is selective and one-sided.</p> Quan Wang Copyright (c) 2021-12-31 2021-12-31 26 2 419 430 10.12697/IL.2021.26.2.7 Violence and Movement: Conflict, Genocide and the Darker Side of ‘Travel’ <p>Abstract: Travel is often thought to be an adventure, an exploration, a way of knowing self and world, a break from the stresses of everyday life, a vacation. But there can be a dark side to travel, as in voyages that are part of invasion, conflict and enforced transport. Here, I wish to concentrate on conflict, domination, murder and genocide and do so, at various moments, by referring to the Norse sagas, including the encounter with the Skrælings in the New World and, more briefly, Columbus’ and the Spaniards’ violent treatment of the Natives in the New World and the German transport, torture and murder of Jews in the Shoah, or Holocaust.</p> Jonathan Locke Hart Copyright (c) 2021-12-31 2021-12-31 26 2 431 447 10.12697/IL.2021.26.2.8 Viriloid Women and Bodiless Men: On Modern Sexualities in the Oeuvre of Johannes Semper <p>Abstract. This article studies how the profound changes in theorizing human sexualities in the <em>fin-de-siècle</em> and early 20th century were used and re-used in the oeuvre of Estonian cultural moderniser Johannes Semper (18 92–1970). In his texts, two modern discourses of sexuality appear in highly telling ways: sexology and psychoanalysis, with which Semper mainly familiarises himself respectively through the works of Otto Weininger and Sigmund Freud. Taking a feminist standpoint to analyse the thoroughly male-centred sexuality discourses of the abovementioned thinkers, this article sets out to study how sexuality and gender are articulated in Semper’s oeuvre, both within a heteronormative and queer framework. Two literary texts are closely examined. The first, the short story collection <em>Ellinor</em> (1927), depicts the world entirely through the eyes of an emancipated woman who encounters a lesbian character – the first in Estonian literature. This encounter begins the discussion of various desires as the protagonist tries to explain her ‘femininity’ in contrast to the queer character Madame Liibeon’s ‘inversion’. The second, Semper’s novel <em>Jealousy</em> (1934), is used for comparison, as sexual <em>Bildung</em> and desires are mediated through the eyes of a male heterosexual protagonist.</p> Merlin Kirikal Copyright (c) 2021-12-31 2021-12-31 26 2 448 463 10.12697/IL.2021.26.2.9 Who’s Afraid of the Werewolf? An Imagological View of Kitzberg’s Play <p>Abstract. The archetypal fear of the other and the idea that it is safer to hold on to the familiar are the central topics discussed in one of the best plays in Estonian literature <em>Libahunt</em> (<em>The Werewolf</em>, 1912) by August Kitzberg (1855– 1927). Although the play was written at the beginning of the 20th century, it is still open to interpretation and has not lost its relevance. It is a play about conflict between values: the Tammaru family is conservative and afraid of strangers, of foreign blood, while one of their foster children Tiina is a free spirit whose appearance and nature is different from the family. She is not one of the villagers, she is an outsider and the family and the villagers are afraid of her. This stranger is seen as mysterious and dangerous – she is said to be a werewolf – and the xenophobic village casts her out. Using imagology as a theoretical basis, the article concentrates on the aspect of the foreigner and on fear of the other.</p> Anneli Niinre Copyright (c) 2021-12-31 2021-12-31 26 2 464 473 10.12697/IL.2021.26.2.10 Fotografía y proceso de escritura en "Sete palabras" de Suso de Toro, "Soinujolearen semea" de Bernardo Atxaga y "La meitat de l’ànima" de Carme Riera <p><strong>Abstract. Photography and the writing process in <em>Sete palabras</em> by Suso de Toro, <em>La meitat de l’ànima</em> by Carme Riera and <em>Soinujolearen semea</em> by Bernardo Atxaga</strong>. This paper aims to understand the function of pre-digital photography as described in contemporary metafiction. For this comparative analysis, I have selected three novels representing different cultures on the Iberian Peninsula and published in the 21st century: <em>Sete palabras</em> (Seven Words, 2009) by the Galician writer Suso de Toro (born in 1956), <em>La meitat de l’ànima</em> (Half the Soul, 2004) by the Catalan Carme Riera (born in 1948) and <em>Soinujolearen semea</em> (The Accordionist’s Son, 2003) by the Basque author Bernardo Atxaga (born in 1951). These three novels present a common feature in which the narrator (a writer born around 1950) writes a book in which he or she is, simultaneously, the sender of the written message (his or her book) and the receiver of the photography used during the writing process. In this construction of meaning, the writer re-contextualises the visual image and uses it for various proposes: to compare situations or characters, to verify discourses or facts, to identify someone, to preserve data in the record, or to communicate something. Sometimes, the photography does not accomplish its supposed function and does not help the writer to continue documenting or writing. In this case, the difficulty or impossibility of knowing the truth is emphasized. These photographies also have a narrative and structural function in the books, as they frequently demonstrate the text’s own self-awareness.</p> Merilin Kotta Copyright (c) 2021-12-31 2021-12-31 26 2 474 487 10.12697/IL.2021.26.2.11 H. S. Skovoroda’s Religious and Philosophical Ideas (interpreted by Mahdalyna Laslo-Kutsiuk) <p>Abstract. Hryhorii Savych Skovoroda’s religious and philosophic ideas have attracted considerable attention in academic scientific discourse in postcommunist Ukraine. This is due not only to the humanistic-democratic paradigm of modern transformations in society, but also the methodological principles of historical and philosophical knowledge. We have tried to make a syncretic analysis of Skovoroda’s life and creativity based on the works of Romanian literary critic Mahdalyna Laslo-Kutsiuk (1928–2010), in particular by analysing the origins of Skovoroda’s philosophical doctrines, rethinking the Bible and specificity of his literary works.</p> <p>Skovoroda’s greatness lies in the fact that without losing his identity against the background of a rather fundamental philosophical tradition in Ukraine, he occupied and still occupies perhaps the most avant-garde position. He was one of the first philosophers to restore and develope the phenomenon of wisdom in new European civilisation, which was removed by the overall project of rationally-epistemological and rationally-scientific interpretations of philosophy after the ancient times. Analysis of the latest studies of Slavic and Western investigations of Skovoroda shows that this branch is interdisciplinary. Philosophers, historians, culture experts, literary critics, specialists in the history of religion have studied the heritage of this prominent Ukrainian philosopher. Expansion of the methodological spectrum started in the 1990s, meaning that the art of Skovoroda should be apprehended as penetrating synthetic phenomena in which the essential components of the Baroque world-view are combined with the culture of late antiquity, patristic tradition and even European humanism.</p> Iryna Kaizer Olha Nastenko Tetiana Nykyforuk Marta Maksymiuk Volodymyr Antofiychuk Copyright (c) 2021-12-31 2021-12-31 26 2 488 498 10.12697/IL.2021.26.2.12 Paul Celan Revisited – Contextualising His Poetry in the 21st Century <p>Michael Eskin, Karen Leeder, Marko Pajević, eds., <em>Paul Celan Today. A Companion</em>. Berlin/Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2021. (<em>Companions to Contemporary German Culture</em>, 10). 376 pages.</p> Aigi Heero Copyright (c) 2021-12-31 2021-12-31 26 2 499 500 10.12697/IL.2021.26.2.13 About the Authors <p>About the Authors</p> About Authors Copyright (c) 2021-12-31 2021-12-31 26 2 501 504 10.12697/IL.2021.26.2.14