rss_2.0East-West Cultural Passage FeedSciendo RSS Feed for East-West Cultural Passage Cultural Passage 's Cover Playing in America: Real and Imagined Places of New York in Joseph O’Neill’s<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In his novel <italic>Netherland</italic>, Joseph O’Neill discusses several issues that arise for a contemporary wanderer or immigrant, namely, issues of adjustment, cultural transition, becoming visible, etc. The search for a new home is accompanied by the idea of a new place and the memory of the native place. Immigrants provide a particular perspective of the city from the position of an outsider. New York is the city that allows seeing the correlation between a geographic perception and the idea of a place that is formed by an immigrant. Real places of New York and their fictional representations in O’Neill’s novel become the focus of this study. The geocritical approach is employed as a productive tool for the analysis of New York spatiality and myth-making.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-04-10T00:00:00.000+00:00Representations of Pre- and Post-9/11 New York City in Colum McCann’s<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article sets out to investigate the way in which Colum McCann depicts New York City in his 2009 novel, <italic>Let the Great World Spin</italic>. While starting from the idea that the novel falls in the category of 9/11 fiction, the article will argue that it makes clever use of the technique of deterritorialization in order to look at the USA from an external point of view, interrogating in this way American international relations and extraterritorial citizenship, both before and after 9/11. The article will also argue that by starting from the trauma of 9/11, which is, however, circuitously tackled in the novel, McCann questions the myth of American exceptionalism, pointing at unresolved US domestic affairs, as well as harrowing external affairs, which have resulted in countless traumas.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-04-10T00:00:00.000+00:00Bridging the Gap between Cultures: The Translation of Cockney and Slang in G. B. Shaw’s “Pygmalion”<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article analyses the main drama translation strategies pertaining to the rendering of dialect and slang from English into Romanian with practical emphasis on “Pygmalion” (1914; 1941) by George Bernard Shaw. Moreover, it aims to review translation techniques and strategies which facilitate the translation of slang and dialect, more precisely Cockney, from English into Romanian. Amongst the strategies discussed here are: the application of a cultural filter and of local adaptation, the use of dialect compilation, pseudo-dialect translation, parallel dialect translation, dialect localization, and standardisation. The second half of this article scrutinises a selection of lines extracted from G. B. Shaw’s “Pygmalion,” comparing and contrasting the existing Romanian translations and suggesting new solutions to rendering culture-specific terms into Romanian.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-04-10T00:00:00.000+00:00A Gay New York City in Mart Crowley’s “The Boys in the Band”<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>“The Boys in the Band,” a play by American playwright Mart Crowley (1935-2020), represents a milestone in the representation of urban gay men in theater. By exploring on stage the lives of a group of male gay friends in the late 1960s, Crowley challenged social and dramaturgical norms and conventions. As an integral part of the narrative, New York City, specifically Manhattan Island, makes itself present in the text through direct and indirect references, whether on the level of plot, character construction, or the setting of the play itself. As a paradigmatic play in a moment of special prominence of the Gay Movement in the United States, soon after its premiere in 1968 and before the release of its first film adaptation, “The Boys in the Band” came to be seen differently by critics and activists under the influence of a historical event that also occurred in Manhattan, the Stonewall Riots. This article explores the various instances in which the play, especially in its first Off-Broadway staging, represents not only a gay New York City, but also how this same place made possible the existence of this story and these characters.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-04-10T00:00:00.000+00:00New York City on Stage: (De)Constructing Urban Space in John Guare’s<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>John Guare distinguishes himself as a playwright who has represented New York City’s various neighborhoods and has fought realist conventions throughout his work. By relying on considerations advanced by Robert Bennett in his study of the literature, art, jazz and architecture of New York City after World War II, the current analysis shows that Guare approaches the discourse of the global capital of the world deconstructively, just like the post-war avant-garde he is probably familiar with. Moreover, Guare’s own search for experimental strategies reflects that of his predecessors and of the shape-shifting city itself. Included in a volume which is part of the <italic>Contemporary Dramatists</italic> series published by Methuen Drama, the four plays under discussion are: “The House of Blue Leaves” (1971), “Landscape of the Body” (1977), “Bosoms and Neglect” (1979, 1986) and “Six Degrees of Separation” (1990). Exploring the main characters’ experiences in New York City and their encounters with recognizable (or easily legible) sites of this quintessentially American metropolis, such as Greenwich Village and Central Park, the essay examines how Guare deconstructs urban space, advancing a most original and coherent reading of the city.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-04-10T00:00:00.000+00:00“Always Symmetrize!: Forging Bonds in ”<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>“Always Symmetrize!,” the title of this essay – which echoes Fredric Jameson’s better-known admonition to “always historicize” – alludes to a type of literary analysis, inspired by the Chilean psychoanalyst Ignacio Matte Blanco’s concept of “symmetric logic,” which I have been working on for several years. Briefly, it treats the makers of literary monuments as engaged – like the alchemists discussed by Mircea Eliade in <italic>The Forge and The Crucible</italic> – in the task of perfecting the work of nature, a project that they pursue under the guidance of what I call the “symmetrical imperative.” The “unsurpassable horizon” of this literary endeavor is Homer’s <italic>Iliad</italic>, whose perfectly achieved, albeit covert, bilateral symmetry (magisterially detailed by Cedric Whitman in his classic <italic>Homer and The Heroic Tradition</italic>) is made overt in the undisputed masterpiece of Greek geometrical pottery – Exekias’s amphora, “Achilles and Ajax Playing Dice,” which I discuss briefly at the outset of my essay.</p> <p>The greater part of this essay is devoted to an analysis of the similarly covert workings of the symmetrical imperative in Joseph Conrad’s modernist masterpiece <italic>Heart of Darkness</italic>. In the initial phases of this “alchemical process,” Conrad treats as symmetrical the two otherwise asymmetrical stages of Marlow’s journey (first to the Central Station and then to the Inner Station). In its second phase, he creates a container within which to contain this pairing of symmetrized episodes in the form of a narrative whose covert bilateral symmetry achieves, as Fernando Pessoa recommends in T<italic>he Book of Disquiet</italic>, “a realization freed from the taint of reality” (30). Having completed my analysis of this twofold alchemical process in <italic>Heart of Darkness</italic>, I then devote a few concluding pages to its return in “The Secret Sharer,” a short-story which Conrad wrote several years after publishing <italic>Heart of Darkness</italic>, and in which he may well have “perfected the work of nature” even more impressively.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-04-10T00:00:00.000+00:00The Great Gatsby : New York City as a Place of Damnation in Willa Sibert Cather’s “Paul’s Case”<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>“Paul’s Case,” suggestively subtitled “A Study in Temperament,” by Willa Sibert Cather, thematizes some of the main concerns regarding the moral decay of American society and the disillusionment with the American Dream that would be addressed twenty years later by F. Scott Fitzgerald in his iconic novel <italic>The Great Gatsby</italic>. The story provides ample proof of the presence of such skeptical views regarding American society way before the onset of the orgiastic, almost Babylonian, roaring twenties. Published in 1905, Cather’s story is simultaneously an individual and a societal x-ray of the deepest scars, and the darkest demons, of the world’s most iconic capitalist space, New York City. The city becomes a place of personal, as well as collective, damnation, which fails to offer a solution to Paul’s perceived placelessness. Even though it lacks <italic>The Great Gatsby</italic>’s ethical and narrative complexity, the story can be seen as a brilliant precursor to the feeling of imminent downfall which pervades the literature of the Jazz Age.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-04-10T00:00:00.000+00:00Precarious Geography: Landscape, Memory, Identity and Ethno-regional Nationalism in Niger Delta Poetry<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Like most conflicts across the world, the Niger Delta crisis has generated a body of works now labelled Niger Delta literature. These cultural art forms, which are not only programmatic in thrust but also carry a dissenting temper that is laden with counter hegemonic rhetoric, are primarily geared towards underpinning a brutish kind of colonization and corporate greed which has become the stamp of toxic dreaming and dubious progress in Nigeria. This literature draws attention to the debility of the Niger Delta people and to the fact that they are trapped under double hegemons – the Nigerian government and transnational oil firms – that have strategically transformed or reduced this precarious geography and its inhabitants to mere commodities. A close reading of texts on the Niger Delta makes one aware of the politics and structure of the Nigerian economy and the corporate cost of petroculture; moreover, issues of ethno-regional identity, the inequity in the distribution of resources, the near absence of government presence in the Niger Delta and the continuous decay of state infrastructures provide a fertile ground for explaining the resentment expressed by these heavily marginalized people. By protesting their marginality, these poets frame a kind of identity that “others” the Niger Delta people, thereby holding the state accountable for its deplorable conditions and the abysmal underdevelopment of the region considering the quantity of wealth it generates for the Nigerian federation. Paying significant attention to the relationship between the representations of landscape and processes of political and economic transformation and how the landscape becomes the defining index for identity formation in the poetry of Tanure Ojaide and Ibiware Ikiriko, I argue that these poets point to the way in which colonialism and environmental devastation are interlocking systems of domination within the Nigerian nation.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-04-10T00:00:00.000+00:00Dorothy Wordsworth's Food-Mediated “History of the Personal” in<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Food practices (preparation and consumption) have long been viewed as mere domestic routines, and thus, often dismissed for being too “frivolous [a] realm” to receive the same scholarly attention as “great topics” such as “politics, economics, justice and power” (Shapiro 2). Emerging during the 1970s, food studies owe their theoretical model to research in fields of enquiry such as anthropology, sociology, structuralism, or women's studies, which have highlighted the aesthetic value of food and its transformative implications for the intermediation of social relations with others. Accordingly, food occasions various socio-cognitive activities that help an individual achieve a sense of attachment and belonging to a community.</p> <p>Based on the premise that food is instrumental in social relations, as well as in expressing a wide range of values, experiences and emotions, the present analysis gives an insight into the epistemic potential of food to attribute new meanings to Dorothy Wordsworth's Grasmere memoir. Laura Shapiro's non-fictional account, <italic>What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food that Tells their Stories</italic><fn id="j_ewcp-2021-0002_fn_001" symbol="1"><p>Laura Shapiro's <italic>What She Ate</italic> consists of the biographies of six notable female figures from different centuries and continents and highlights the importance of food in making them “recognizable” throughout history (7). Shapiro's collection of these women's personal stories and struggles gives insight into the more subtle meanings of food and its capacity to restore the balance of power between genders. In each story, food shapes the character's mind and body through evocations of endurance, resilience, internalized oppression, political statement or trendsetting dietary habits.</p></fn> serves as a useful starting point for the present reading of Wordsworth's <italic>Grasmere Journal</italic> as food narrative that has family relations, daily experiences and emotions constantly mediated through food.<fn id="j_ewcp-2021-0002_fn_002" symbol="2"><p>In brief, <italic>The Journal</italic> represents an intimate record of Dorothy's life, household activities and personal observations of the (natural and social) world surrounding Dove Cottage, which she shared with her famous sibling, Romantic poet, William Wordsworth, between May 1800 and January 1803.</p></fn> In this sense, I propose a constructivist-relational approach to Dorothy's narrative as interconnected with food, with the primary aim to explore how her numerous food references in the <italic>Journal</italic> contribute to the construction of her personal narrative and identity. As posited here, <italic>The Grasmere Journal</italic> offers a glimpse of Dorothy and William Wordsworth's dietary, social and writing routines, but also projects an image of Dorothy in a position of power, a woman ahead of her time, with a progressive stance, which goes beyond the societal expectations with regard to women's domestic role during the Romantic period.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-01-21T00:00:00.000+00:00Coghlan, Michelle J, ed. . Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2020. Pp. 285. ISBN 978-1-108-44610-5 (paperback). Sensuality of Taste: Intercultural Dialogue and National Identity as Mediated by Food and Food Culture in Monica Ali's<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Apart from being a compelling discourse on immigrants, cultural clashes, the East-West conflict, arranged marriages, extramarital affairs and general existential anxiety, Monica Ali's novel <italic>Brick Lane</italic> is also a fascinating excursion into the sensual and meandering world of food and its emotional and cultural implications. Trapped in an arranged marriage devoid of the passion her woman's heart had hoped for, the protagonist Nazneen seeks a substitute type of sensuality first in food, and subsequently in her son Raqib and her lover Karim, all part of an intricate and complex process of cultural self-discovery and self-definition. The present essay focuses on how food plays a central role in Nazneen's life as a young immigrant in London, being her only remaining connection to her homeland and to herself. While constantly telling her hungry heart “do not beat with fear, do not beat with desire” (27), Nazneen eats herself up searching for personal agency and fulfillment in a life which offers her neither. Food appears within this complex equation as a balancing element, a safety net, and an escape mechanism, which allows the protagonist to sustain not only her physical body, but also her famished soul, and to (re)establish her thwarted connection to her national and cultural identity.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-01-21T00:00:00.000+00:00Underground Film Translations in 1980s Romania: A Gateway to Freedom<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The context of the communist regime in the late 1980s Romania was definitely a most peculiar one. During this period of time, translations from other languages were scarce and only the ones which were in accordance with the communist ideology were allowed. It was a time when people had neither many rights nor did they have many choices to make. In the latter part of the 1980s more and more foreign films were smuggled into the country and most of them were obviously American. Such films revealed a new and different world for those who watched them. Consequently, these films needed to be translated and the most well-known voice to have done it was Irina Margareta Nistor's. Her task was both interesting and demanding but also dangerous at the same time given the political context. This essay investigates the manner in which underground film “dubbing”<fn id="j_ewcp-2021-0008_fn_001" symbol="1"><p>The translation technique used, in reality a combination between the techniques of voice-over and simultaneous interpretation, was mistakenly named ‘dubbing.’</p></fn> was done and describes the particularities of the clandestine film “dubbing” by discussing how it was performed and by analysing the translations qualitatively.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-01-21T00:00:00.000+00:00The Functionality of Food in Cormac McCarthy's Desert Imaginary, or Abundance and Scarcity in (1985) and (2006)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article analyzes the concept of food in Cormac McCarthy's dystopian, (post-)apocalyptic fiction, aiming to prove that in the American writer's universe the act of eating is deprived of its social and spiritual dimension, being restricted to its basic functionality similar to that of a meal-replacement product. The analysis draws a parallel between the concept of <italic>manna</italic> in the Exodus and the types of foodstuffs and their functionality in the novels <italic>Blood Meridian or the Evening Redness in the West</italic> and <italic>The Road</italic>, showing that food is one of the constituent ingredients of McCarthy's desert imaginary and is interpreted as a crucial weapon in the fight against death and dehumanization.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-01-21T00:00:00.000+00:00Affective Refuge in the Work of Samuel Beckett<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Drawing upon Sara Ahmed's “cultural politics of emotion” and Claire Colebrook's conceptualization of “Cartesian affect,” this article puts forward the notion of affective refuge, a phenomenon which is investigated through an analysis of Samuel Beckett's <italic>Watt</italic>, <italic>Krapp's Last Tape</italic> and <italic>Ohio Impromptu</italic>. First, I highlight the opposing perspectives as well the potential common ground between Ahmed's and Claire Colebrook's theories in order to argue that the thought of affective refuge might actually be defined as the movement away from seeing affect as that which “make[s] us aware of [our] bodily dwelling” (Ahmed 26) and towards recognizing “the Cartesian moment of … never being proximate to one's own body,” as understood by Colebrook in her 2020 essay “Cartesian Affect” (442). I then go on to claim that, in <italic>Watt</italic>, affective refuge emerges as a reaction to fear, as the protagonist strives to process the surfaces of things and bodies around him via elaborate systems of perception, while in <italic>Krapp's Last Tape</italic> and <italic>Ohio Impromptu</italic>, the pain of remorse the characters experience regarding their own grieving practices comes to shatter the remainder of the affective refuge which had unfolded in their relationships to their departed loved ones.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-01-21T00:00:00.000+00:00“Nice Greek Girls Are Supposed to Marry Greek Boys … and Feed Everyone”: Food, Gender, and Ethnicity in (2002)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic>My Big Fat Greek Wedding</italic> (2002) captures the complex life of a Greek-American family and the struggles of the main protagonist, Toula Portokalos, to reconcile her own desires as a second-generation immigrant with those of her ethnic parents, especially in terms of gender roles and expectations. In the movie, Toula's journey towards self-discovery as a confident woman is peppered with food references, as food represents an essential “ingredient” that brings and holds the family together. Therefore, this essay sets out to examine how food practices and choices are both a reflection of ethnic identity and of conflicting generational beliefs about gender roles and expectations in the traditional family portrayed in <italic>My Big Fat Greek Wedding</italic>.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-01-21T00:00:00.000+00:00Cooking and Eating as Linguistic Experiences: Metamorphoses in the Japanese Familial Culinary Universe Reflected in the Movie パパのお弁当は世界 一 一<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The aim of this study is to describe the role of <italic>bentōs</italic> (Japanese lunch boxes) in contemporary Japanese society and its importance in different types of interpersonal relationships (the father-daughter relationship, friendship and love relationships). We will illustrate the value of this cultural element by analyzing the movie パパのお 弁当は世界一 <italic>Papa no Obentō wa Sekai Ichi</italic> 一 <italic>Dad's Lunch Box</italic> (2017) directed by Fukatsu Masakazu (who drew inspiration from a popular post on Tweeter in which a girl's high school graduation day is marked by the fact that she conveys her thanks to her father for having prepared her daily <italic>bentōs</italic> in the last three years (Shoji)), a movie that reflects various aspects of modern Japan: the changing roles of family members and the changing relationships between them. Moreover, we will focus on how <italic>bentō</italic> evolves into a means of communication in this movie, and how it contributes to reconfiguring the facets of Japanese masculinities in a society that is no more characterized by its traditional form. We will also depict the characteristics of <italic>bentōs</italic> and will take into consideration their historical background in order to situate them in the context of the evolution of food-preparing practices.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-01-21T00:00:00.000+00:00From Culinary Practice to Printed Text: The Eighteenth-Century Language of London Cookbooks<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The present article will explore the role that cookbooks had in eighteenth-century London, being extremely popular and highly pirated, probably the most successful women's printed genre of the eighteenth century. These cookery books represented a reliable source of information not only about social distinction and food practices, but also about urban development and marketability. This is not only an analysis of the literature and culture of food as printed in the eighteenth-century by well-known London publishing houses, but also an insight into the vast scope of city dwellers. I will look at how the rhetoric of food reveals the mentality, customs, and culinary developments of eighteenth-century urban practices, ranging from the private area of the home to the public space of the print market. The catalog of didactic language on how to pluck poultry, burn charcoal, or prepare dishes in a clean and hygienic environment expresses the richness of food-related terminology, as well as the diversity of epithets praising the quality of the book or indicating the expected market. The article argues that the terminology used in these cookbooks, the paratexts and the systematic structure of the recipes reflect a specific country/city divide, since they provided instruction on how to adapt rural recipes to an urban kitchen, acknowledged the social division between servant and mistress, and shaped a new consumer behaviour.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-01-21T00:00:00.000+00:00Hahner, Leslie A. . East Lansing, MI: Michigan State UP, 2017. Pp. 282. ISBN: 978-1611 862539.“The Reason for War is War”: Western and Eastern Interrogations of Violence in Michael Ondaatje’s<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Michael Ondaatje’s <italic>Anil’s Ghost</italic> (2000) is set in civil war-torn Sri Lanka. This contemporary violent moment becomes a rupture through which the writer interrogates the division between Western and Eastern ways of approaching a violent situation. This essay sets out to investigate historical instances of violence and justifications for violence in the Buddhist context. The essay then turns to Buddhist scholars’ contemporary critical examination of violence and war in light of the teachings of ancient Buddhist texts. Then, having established the Buddhist history and contemporary debate around violence and war, the essay explores how Ondaatje comments on this history through the contemporary moment of civil war in Sri Lanka. The essay argues that rather than illustrating the need for a purer Buddhism or the separation between the political and the religious, as some scholars have argued in relation to <italic>Anil’s Ghost</italic>, according to Ondaatje, the only way to approach the problem of violence with any hope of reaching understanding is through appreciating the different ways of knowing offered by the East and the West.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-05-12T00:00:00.000+00:00Phonological Patterns in the Translations of Poe’s “The Bells” into Romanian<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Of all translation work in the world at any given time, poetry makes up just a small proportion. And of all theorists in translation, only a few tackled the issue of poetry translation for reasons that need no expatiation. The article below discusses two translations into Romanian of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Bells,” focusing on the approaches and techniques used by the translators in what concerns the transfer of phonological patterns from English into Romanian. The aim is to determine to what extent the target-language texts are faithful replicas in terms of orchestration and aesthetic function, and, whether the outcome has suffered any meaning transformation as a result of the transfer of phonological patterns.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-05-12T00:00:00.000+00:00en-us-1