AD's English Literature : March 2013

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Derrida’s Theory of Deconstruction: Plurality of Significance

French philosopher Jacques Derrida shows that text can be read as saying something quite different from what it appears to be saying, and that it may read as carrying a plurality of significance or as saying many different things which are fundamentally at variance with, contradictory to and subversive of what may be seen by criticism as a single, stable ‘meaning’. Thus, a text may ‘betray’ itself. A deconstructive criticism of a text revels that there is nothing except the text. In of Grammatology, Derrida makes the now well-known axial proposition that this is so (his key words are 'il n’y a rien hors due texte’, or alternatively, iln’y a pas de hors-texte’). That is, one can not evaluate criticism or construe a meaning for a text by reference to anything external to it.

Elements of Gothic Literature: Mystery and Horror


"The first thing that struck Manfred's eyes was a group of his servants endeavouring to raise something that appeared to him a mountain of sable plumes. He gazed without believing his sight. What are ye doing? cried Manfred, wrathfully: Where is my son? A volley of voices replied, Oh, my lord! the prince! the prince! the helmet! the helmet! Shocked with these lamentable sounds, and dreading he knew not what, he advanced hastily—But what a sight for a father's eyes!—He beheld his child dashed to pieces, and almost buried under an enormous helmet, an hundred times more large than any casque ever made for human being, and shaded with a proportionable quantity of black feathers."-

From The Castle of Otranto By Horace Walpole
A Gothic Story Chapter I
 
  Gothic literature , the setting for which was usually a ruined Gothic castle or abbey, is a type of romance very popular from the 1760s onwards until the 1820s. The Gothic novel, or Gothic romance, emphasized mystery and horror and was filled with ghost-haunted rooms, underground passages, and secret stairways. It has had a considerable influence of fiction since and is of much importance in the evolution of the ghost story and the horror story.

Knowledge of Second Language: Advantage of Bilingual Uses :Different Techniques of Communicative Range


Time was when there was a fairly widespread belief that bilingualism was some kind of an aberration rather than a normal human condition. It was also believed that bilingualism was hindrance to learning development that bilingualism is not an obstacle or a burden; it is ‘rather, an enabling and enriching phenomenon. Knowing two or more languages rather than only one, not also makes the bilingual person more versatile in communicative and international terms, more open minded, more receptive to varied cultural conventions and customs and usages. Bilingualism also increases a person’s reach in terms of intimation and knowledge. All these have a far more important consequence, in that, by increasing a person’s receptivity, access and awareness, bilingualism also tends to make him / her more tolerant and open minded . As far as the question of bilingualism being a burden is concerned, studies have shown that bilingualism actually facilitates rather than hinders learning processes.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Treatment of Social Realism or Issues in the Modern British Drama

"The foaming denouncers of the bourgeoisie, and the more-water-in-your-beer reformers of whom Shaw is the prototype."
-George Orwell Referring to George Bernard Shaw The Road to Wigan Pier

Literature, in general, and drama in particular shows some special characteristics of the present day tendencies in life and literature: (1) its reiteration of the old revolutionary formula of liberty, equality and fraternity in a new setting, (2) its worship of power rather than of beauty – here it parts company abruptly with the age of the romantic revival and Victorian age  - (3) its challenging attitude of the older values in art and life – the challenging attitude now is more persisting and more searching – (Compton Rickett).

Monday, March 11, 2013

Romantic Poetry of the Self or Mysticism: William Wordsworthian Manifesto of Literary Romanticism

"Romanticism is the art of presenting people with the literary works which are capable of affording them the greatest possible pleasure, in the present state of their customs and beliefs. 
Classicism, on the other hand, presents them with the literature that gave the greatest possible pleasure to their great-grandfathers."-Stendhal (1783 - 1842)French writer.Racine and Shakespeare
In the William Wordsworthian manifesto of literary romanticism it is affirmed the importance of feeling and imagination to poetic creation and disclaimed conventional literary forms and subjects. There is ,however, issued the mysticism of great sensibility and passion. Speaking of mysticism Spurgeon observes that mysticism is a personal temper rather than a doctrine, an atmosphere rather than a system of philosophy. The fundamental basis of mysticism is an unshakable belief in an essential unity, oneness or likeness in all objects of nature and human beings created by the Almighty. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

War Poetry in the 1930's:Bitterly Sarcastic as Their Attitude to War is Grimly and Convincingly Realistic

“Why do you lie with your legs ungainly huddled,
And one arm bent across your sullen, cold
Exhausted face?...
You are too young to fall asleep for ever;
And when you sleep your remind me of the dead.”
- Siegfried Sassoon (1886 - 1967)  "The Dug-Out"

Be it Mahabharata or Ramayana in the East or Iliad or Odyssey of the west, the core theme of these epics is heroism and war. Broadly speaking Milton’s Paradise Lost or ancient Beowulf are mainly concerned with battles and heroism and thus regarded the war poem. But our immediate concern is inter- war poetry or the war poetry in the 1930s which is notable for the sea change of attitude. In contrast to the romantic attitude to war as a glorious occasion for showing patriotism and heroism, the  war poets are bitterly sarcastic  as their attitude to war is grimly and convincingly realistic.

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An English Teacher;    M. A.(English) , D. Ed., B. Ed., UGC- NET Qualified

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