National Repository of Grey Literature 59 records found  1 - 10nextend  jump to record: Search took 0.01 seconds. 
The Political Aspect of Literature: Criticism of a (Neo)conservative Community
Kašparová, Karolína ; Roraback, Erik Sherman (advisor) ; Veselá, Pavla (referee)
Thesis Abstract The political aspect of literature, specifically fiction, has always provoked passionate discussions, both in academia and in mainstream media. Avoiding politics might rob literary works of their context and power, while reducing them to mere political manifestos denies these works their aesthetic qualities and underestimates the role of fiction. One has to take into consideration the important fact that politics in works of fiction is crucially shaped by the historical context and is thus beyond the author's control. The thesis examines how the political aspect of literature functions, and the focus is narrowed down to two dystopic novels which critically deal with life in a neoconservative community; namely Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and Ira Levin's The Stepford Wives. The analysis of how the atavistic communities in the novels are constructed to appear illiberal, undemocratic or even fascist requires research not only in the field of literary theory (or aesthetics), but also in philosophy. The thesis involves two streams of inquiry - the first one is centred on the community itself and on its totalitarian tendencies, where the works of Roberto Esposito and Hannah Arendt are of great importance, as they determine the dynamics of a community. Furthermore, they explain the reasons...
"Písař Bartleby" v současné kultuře
Stejskalová, Tereza ; Roraback, Erik Sherman (advisor) ; Robbins, David Lee (referee) ; Arbeit, Marcel (referee)
This dissertation is based on the observation that Herman Melville's "Bartleby, the Scrivener" has become a popular reference in contemporary culture. Not only in the field of literary scholarship but also in the realm of art, political theory and philosophy, it is employed as an example of authentic resistance to power, a counter-intuitive politics that finds its strength in withdrawal, inaction, and inscrutability. The thesis examines the reasons and motives that drive literary scholars, artists and philosophers to read, interpret and use the story in such a way. It does so by analyzing the nature of and reoccurring patterns in Bartleby Industry, the enormous bulk of academic scholarship devoted to the story. It observes how the story is made use of outside of literary scholarship by disciplines, such as art and philosophy, that are not primarily concerned with the literary complexity of the story but use it to work on their own problems of politics and ethics. It pays special attention to its popularity among influential Postmarxist philosophers, namely Slavoj Žižek, Giorgio Agamben and Gilles Deleuze. As the presence of "Bartleby" in the realm of philosophy has to do with a particular function literature performs in that field, in these chapters "Bartleby" becomes more of a guiding thread in order to...
Free of Inhibitions and Full of Pleasure: The Image of Europe in the Works of James Salter
Císlerová, Magdalena ; Delbos, Stephan (advisor) ; Roraback, Erik Sherman (referee)
This thesis is concerned with the analysis of the image of Europe in the novels of James Salter, namely A Sport and a Pastime (1967), Light Years (1975), Solo Faces (1979) and All That Is (2013), while also taking into account Salter's memoir Burning the Days (1997). In Salter's fiction and non-fiction, Europe is presented as a place of freedom, culture, tradition, romance and possibilities, to which all of Salter's main characters - and Salter himself - are drawn at some stage in their lives, often at turning points. The journey to Europe serves various functions: it provides education and enables release from the domestic environment through a metaphorical conquest of the Continent. This thesis explores the motivations of Salter's characters for the journey, their expectations, as well as their actual experience, and the impact of their experience in Europe within the framework of the tradition of American writing in Europe, particularly modernism, with whose adherents Salter shares not only a similar notion of Europe, and particularly Paris as the cultural capital, but also a similar outlook on life, and a number of important themes and stylistic features. In positioning Salter as a belated modernist this thesis draws on Pascale Casanova's theory of the workings of the literary world expressed...
Representations of the Female Voice in US Prose Fiction
Landerová, Petra ; Roraback, Erik Sherman (advisor) ; Veselá, Pavla (referee)
The present MA thesis explores the concept of a female body and voice and their transformations as presented by various American writers. The chosen male authored works include Washington Square by Henry James, The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, and The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon, for these writers delineate their heroines Catherine Sloper, Lady Brett Ashley, and Oedipa Maas in a turbulent period of their lives when they attempt to break with the obsolescent roles of passive and obedient daughters, partners, and wives. These fictional agents use different kinds of resistance, but as women, they are, nevertheless, mediated through the dominant male and masculine discourse that pervades the fictionalized societies in which these female agents appear. As for fictional work by female writers, without the assumption that the gender of the writer makes any literary work more or less "feminine", I have chosen The Awakening by Kate Chopin, The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, a short-story "Good Country People" by Flannery O'Connor, and Blood and Guts in High School by Kathy Acker. The female heroines of the selected literary works bear a number of traumas women have had to endure under the patriarchal order and this thesis will address those traumas, their manifestation in the female psyche, and how...
Modernity and the Changing American South: Alienation in a Selection of Fiction by Flannery O'Connor and Eudora Welty
Halášková, Lucie ; Roraback, Erik Sherman (advisor) ; Ulmanová, Hana (referee)
The aim of this thesis is to explore the theme of alienation in selected fiction by Eudora Welty and Flannery O'Connor, taking into consideration the geographic as well as ideological positions from which the two authors write, contextualizing their work in its portrayal as well as critique of the South. Firstly, the insular nature of the South is examined vis-à-vis ethnic and racial othering. The exclusionary social politics of Southern communities are satirized and subverted, as the two authors pit the xenophobic and racist tendencies of their provincial characters against a cultural landscape that fails to accommodate their narrow- minded world view. The gap between the Southern ideology and its contemporaneous reality can be partially accounted for due to the rise of consumer culture, which is discussed in its impact on race relations and social mobility as well as religion. The following chapter, entitled "Commodity Culture and the Americanization of the South," explores the conflation of religious and consumerist ideologies, negotiating the proclaimed adherence to Protestantism in the South with the rise of consumer behaviour as supplanting spirituality. The impact of a ritualistic adherence to capitalist structures is analyzed as promoting a culture of hyper-individualism, narcissism and alienation,...
Not Quite a Juggler of Identities: Joseph Brodsky's Translations within the American Literary Tradition
Tkacheva, Elena ; Quinn, Justin (advisor) ; Roraback, Erik Sherman (referee)
This thesis discusses the difficulties in bringing Joseph Brodsky's poetry in English. It also attempts to locate Brodsky's poetry in relation to the multilingual American literary tradition by considering the factors that resulted in Brodsky being exceptionally successful in English, and the negative criticism of his translations and the original English poems. This research explores translation by considering the linguistic, literary and cultural factors involved in the transition of the poems from Russia (and Russian) to America (and English). It raises a set of broader issues connected with questioning the authority of the native speaker, the nature of the American literary tradition, and defining a good translation. Yet, it also considers the particularities of the literary niche of the exiled writers, the extend and the approaches to the transformations of English done by the authors-representatives of ethnic minorities, the appropriateness of Brodsky's manipulations with English and the connotations of certain elements of prosody in English and Russian. The thesis approaches the subject by discussing the difficulties of poetry translation specifically in the context of the Russian poetry translated into English with the main focus placed on Brodsky. It provides the overview of the debate around...
Deconstructing the Fantastic World of Wes Anderson - The Philosophy Behind the Artificial Surface of a Contemporary Director
Szemetová, Lucia ; Roraback, Erik Sherman (advisor) ; Veselá, Pavla (referee)
1 Abstract The subject of this thesis is Wes Anderson's cinematic world. The analysis draws an auteur study of this contemporary director in order to discover what sensibility his cinema demonstrates. Anderson's sentiment causes a reinterpretation of lost values and generates specific thinking, which allow it to be considered as a mediation of his own filmic "philosophy." The backbone theory consists of philosophy, in general, and of postmodernism and metamodernism, specifically. The three postmodern elements to be discussed are the meta-cinematic techniques, pastiche and nostalgia prevalent in Anderson's oeuvre. However, his unique employment of these features transgresses the anticipated postmodern tone and creates a new structure of feeling characterized by metamodern hopefulness. Therefore, Anderson uses postmodern means to create a metamodern sensibility that signalizes sincerity. Focusing on the three above-mentioned attributes of Anderson's filmography in both a postmodern and metamodern context helps to deconstruct his highly visual and thematically patterned cinema in order to reveal where the particular sensibility of the director stems from. The analysis of Anderson's eight features-Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Darjeeling Limited,...
The Comic in Henry James' Fiction
Kudrna, David ; Roraback, Erik Sherman (advisor) ; Robbins, David Lee (referee)
The subject of this thesis is the study and interpretation of the interlacement of the world of comedy in several works of Henry James and the reflection in these fictions of certain specified problems and challenges of modern society which assist to bring forth the social ambience therein. In the author's opinion, the comedy in the said works of James, on the fundamental level, criticises and pokes fun at the evils of modern society and the characters who pay homage to them. The thesis argues that the comedy in the analysed works of Henry James satirizes several challenging, problematic socio-cultural and economic developments of contemporary modern times through the ridicule and stigmatization of the mostly despicable characters who, under the sway of these developments, perpetrate their negative influence on the lives of other characters in the selected works. To substantiate this argument the thesis looks at the following works of James: The Wings of the Dove, The Golden Bowl, The Portrait of a Lady, The Ambassadors, "The Turn of the Screw" and "The Beast in the Jungle." At the outset, the thesis outlines briefly several critical approaches to the comedy in James's works, comments on their validity, reveals the author's views, and points in the direction of the critical opinions and approaches...
Against adaptation: toward transdisciplinarity and minor cinema
Petříková, Linda ; Roraback, Erik Sherman (advisor) ; Nováková, Soňa (referee) ; Burt, Richard (referee)
Against Adaptation: Toward Transdisciplinarity and Minor Cinema Linda Petříková Abstract Over the past decades, the field adaptation studies has been trying to break new grounds and escape the confines of the predominant fidelity discourse. This thesis wants to propose new perspectives that have been widely underrepresented, at least in the Anglo-American context, drawing attention to the great relevance to adaptation of the writings of French critical thinkers, most notably Gilles Deleuze and his two-volume publication on cinema and Jacques Rancière and his continuation/reevaluation of Deleuze's film-related concepts. Without directly addressing questions of adaptation, the way both philosophers think about cinema is inseparable from their thinking about literature and indeed about other arts and media, exemplifying new transdisciplinary approaches to adaptation this thesis hopes to encourage. Even though it might seem counterintuitive, considering the efforts of adaptation studies to cut the roots it has grown within literary departments, I chose three Shakespearean adaptations for the case studies as I believe that such focus will enable us to see more clearly the significance of interstices as much as of the links the films form with the text. Jean-Luc-Godard's King Lear, Orson Welles's Chimes at...

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