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Critical Literary Studies - Volume:6 Issue: 1, Autumn and Winter 2023-2024

Journal of Critical Literary Studies
Volume:6 Issue: 1, Autumn and Winter 2023-2024

  • تاریخ انتشار: 1402/09/29
  • تعداد عناوین: 12
  • Mohammad Marandi *, Zohreh Ramin, Fatima Yahyapoor Pages 1-18

    The debates concerning Orlando’s magical sex transformation and its main concern with gender trouble are ever growing. Yet it seems a very significant fact is neglected in this debate, the extent the male Orlando is different from the female. Till Orlando is a man, he holds a very rigid and sedentary view of gender roles and reproduces the old cliché about men and women. As soon as he becomes a woman, she starts to view the world in a nomadic distribution. The present paper uses Deleuze’s theory of time and his notions of sedentary and nomadic to represent how time and sex transformation are connected to a split subjectivity and the birth of a new female subject/artist. The sex transformation is a tremendous event that splits Orlando into a before and an after. The male Orlando is not equal to "the act" which is to go beyond the spirit of his age and become an artist who is able to affirm androgynous and nomadic worldview. Through "becoming woman" Orlando abandons his sedentary view of the world and becomes nomadic and at last, completes her poem "The Oak Tree". Through metamorphosis and a split subjectivity, Orlando becomes equal to "the act".

    Keywords: sedentary, nomadic, metamorphosis, split subjectivity, Becoming-Woman
  • Nazila Herischian, Seyed Majid Alavi Shooshtari *, Naser Motallebzadeh Pages 19-40

    The theoretical discussion of the present paper is particularly based on the insights of Giorgio Agamben contextualized in Iris Murdoch’s novel, A Word Child (1975), written in the transitional period of the seventies England. It will inspect Agamben’s biopolitical insights to examine how they may contribute to understanding of the dark side of sovereignty considering the figure of a banished individual. Taking the precariousness of the emotional, political and ontological faculties of ‘love’, ‘homo sacer’ and ‘bare life’ allocated to the human being in Murdoch’s novel, A Word Child, this paper offers a different view of Murdoch’s inspirational emphatic love, socio-political abstruse problems in her novel arguing that Agamben’s account of these issues supplies an underlying structure of the form-of-life. It resounds through Agamben’s view as a never-ending struggle of human beings to underpin the messiness and cruelty of life in which characters are emotionally engaged and entrapped in order to examine some potentialities as the escape routes from the prevailing deadlocks of the era and eventually to trace, according to Agamben, a form-of-life that is called a happy life.

    Keywords: Agambenian love, whatever being, homo sacer, Bare Life, Form-of-Life
  • Saeid Behnoud, Negar Sharif *, Zahra Bordbari Pages 41-63

    The present study focuses on the strategic process of enlisting the readers’ empathetic responsiveness in Thomas Hardy’s major Wessex novels. The analytical perspective draws on Suzanna Keen’s theories in affective narratology; it intends to uncover the stylistic strategies of affective impressionism in the Wessex narratives. The methodological procedure is grounded in the qualitative appraisal of the emotive aspects of Hardy’s realistic representations through critical discourse analysis. The research approach is influenced by the recent mind theories in cognitive science, emphasizing emotional perception as the most significant determinant of the gestalt of interpretations. The semi-fictional world of Wessex capitalizes on an insight into the primacy of emotive sensibility over cognitive rationality. The authorial intentionality in the Wessex narratives aspires to propagate human compassion by resorting to the literary application of the empathy-altruism hypothesis. The melioristic agenda for edification via investment in the readers’ emotive capacities saturates the narratives’ impressionistic composition. The manipulation of the narrative consciousness foci in the major Wessex novels enables Hardy to maintain his readers’ empathetic identification with his characters’ predicaments in a philosophical context. Moreover, the tagged characterization of the protagonists establishes the intended impressions of their temperament and demands the corresponding empathetic responses from the readers.

    Keywords: Affective Narratology, Empathetic Identification, Affective Sensibility, Wessex Novels, Thomas Hardy, Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis
  • Elias Naqipour, Ali Taghizadeh *, Pedram Lalbakhsh Pages 65-84

    This paper deals with Wallace Stevens’s first collection of poetry, Harmonium, in light of Heidegger’s philosophy, with a particular emphasis on Da-sein as the place of negativity. The focus is particularly on Heidegger’s later philosophy, where he defines Man as the juncture where the four constitutive elements (earth, sky, divinities, and mortals) converge to let Da-sein appear as the futural authentic animal whose Being matters to him as his distinctive mark. Stevens’s poetry in Harmonium displays an experimental development along the same lines. The collection consists of poems dealing with the effect that the prospects of death and finitude have on its protagonists. Stevens achieves authentic protagonists who accept the nihilating power of death in order to save themselves from any form of social, poetic, and philosophical closure. This is significant because Stevens conceives a creative potential that not only runs counter to the romantic nostalgia for a return to an innocent past, but also openly embraces the idea of finitude as the only way out of any logocentric and metaphysical forms of thinking. This study, therefore, aims to show how in Harmonium Stevens poetizes an endless creative power that sets upon reproducing the non-closure associated with nihilation and nothingness.

    Keywords: Romanticism, Transcendence, Death, negativity, Fourfold, Creativity
  • Mehrgan Rezaeian, Behzad Pourgharib *, Abdolbaghi Rezaei Talarposhti Pages 85-100

    As an important event in the life of a person, childhood trauma demonstrates its aftermath through post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, besides shaping a person’s self-perception and identity. The three main characters in Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn suffer from multiple categories of trauma, including generational emotional abuse by female abusers. Therefore, it enables the possibility of having a psychoanalytical study of the novel concentrated on childhood trauma in three generations, with the help of trauma studies as elaborated by Judith Herman. This study aims at applying her trauma theory to Flynn’s work in order to unfold the traumatic childhood of its protagonist, Camille Preaker, and two other characters. The study illustrates that Preaker's relationship with her family is affected by memories of emotional neglect and self-harm, and how her identity and relationships have been influenced by trauma. Examining the initial traumatic events can aid in comprehending the characters' conduct, as it is the trauma that influences their social interactions and reactions to circumstances. The research indicates that childhood trauma, particularly emotional abuse from female abusers across generations, has enduring effects on mental health, such as changes in personality and loss of identity.

    Keywords: Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Self-harm, Traumatic Childhood, Generational Trauma, Emotional Neglect, Sharp Objects
  • Najaf Ali Babazadeh, Razieh Eslamieh *, Ayoub Dabiri Pages 101-119

    The purpose of the research is to analyze how the cyborgian theories of virtual subjectivity, dromology, enfleshed materialism, aesthetics of disappearance, hybridity and metamorphic becoming are employed by modern technology to create humanoid. Gibson’s The Peripheral delineates multiple subjectivities as well as challenges of virtual creatures through tracing the life of Flynne, the major protagonist. We are to grasp humanoid’s beyond human ‘nature’, or ‘character’, or ‘being’, or ‘transitive identity’ in a way that corresponds with other human beings. The research portrays the subjective sense of being-in-the-virtual-world and analyzes the humanoid’s development in the form of a cyborgian human simulation. Donna Haraway, Paul Virilio and Rosi Braidotti are the selected theorists introducing the theory of the research; cyborg; an umbrella term referring to cybernetic organisms. Cyborgian literary theory focuses on the author who identifies the fictional subject as a new creature, which is partly inorganic and partly machine, to demonstrate that technology does not need to be dehumanizing; rather, it acts as a re-humanizing force to claim agency over our subjectivity. The peculiar thematic characteristics of the novel as an epitome of cyborg narrative, including non-linear apocalyptic time traveling narrative, fragmentation of subjectivity, formation of transhumans and constructed humanoids, are analyzed.

    Keywords: Aesthetics of Disappearance, Becoming, Cyborg Hybridity, Enfleshed Materialism, Metamorphose, Virtual Subjectivity
  • Iraj Soleimanjahan *, Hiwa Weisi Pages 121-136

    This study attempts to examine Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test in the light of the ideas of Michel Foucault, specifically the notions of normalization, institutions, and surveillance that tackle the relationships among power, institutions, and literature. The analysis posits that, in the context of the 1960s, the American government took advantage of all the institutions which were supposed to guarantee the freedom of individuals to curtail their freedom. Seeking to create a normal, ordinary, and homogeneous society, these administrations have employed the police, law, prison, and other overlapping institutions that work in tandem to create circuits of institutions which guarantee to reduce  human beings to simpletons who are docile, meek, and ready to fit in place properly. The normality and ordinariness favored by the authorities are also implemented since the novel starts by depicting free individuals whose identities hinge on their being abnormal while it ends when their movement is shattered, and the protagonist is seen as a simpleton serving the forced labor sentence of the judges of both the government and normality. Freedom emerges as a mirage than truth as there seems to be no outside through which individuals can live outside the domination of controlling apparatuses.

    Keywords: Abnormality, Individuality, Institutions, Michel Foucault, Normalization, Surveillance
  • Vida Rahiminezhad *, Haider AL-Mosawi Pages 137-157

    Domestic is a term that encompasses intimate partner violence wherever it occurs and in whatever form. Galtung categorizes violence into three types of direct, structural, and cultural violence. The purpose of this article is to analyze Allende's Violeta (2022) based on Galtung's category of violence and Simeon de Beauvoir's feminist theory. This is a qualitative library-based study. Allende presents female characters who are victims of domestic violence at the hands of their husbands, their partners, and not their fathers. There are different types of domestic violence practiced against women and children in the novel due to the patriarchal perspective, culture, norms, and customs. Structural violence makes the role of cultural violence transparent. It is the role of cultural violence that legalizes structural violence. It is concluded that in order to eliminate domestic violence against women, the cultural violence resulting from the patriarchal system must be replaced with a new culture of anti-oppression, non-violence, and mutual understanding toward women.

    Keywords: Allende, Violeta, domestic violence, Direct Violence, Structural Violence, Cultural Violence
  • Najmeddin Jabbari * Pages 159-178

    Contrary to the traditional disciple-making efforts presented by commentators of mystical works, which aim to consolidate a fanatical attitude towards mysticism and hide any epistemological defects, these works have their own disadvantages, similar to any other knowledge system. One of these disadvantages is the categorization of "women," which, due to the continuation of the patriarchal worldview and the Mithraic origin of Iranian-Islamic mysticism, has been approached with a dogmatic and gender-oriented perspective. Therefore, within the mystical tradition, despite occasional praises given to women in Sufi works, they are generally regarded as symbols of evil passion, and the love for them is seen as figurative and lustful. In these instances, the mystical texts acknowledge their own stance, and, often in contrast to the efforts of their fanatical admirers, provide an opportunity for so-called "destructive" analyses. The present article examines the contradictions within the works of two renowned mystical poets, Attar and Rumi, specifically regarding their portrayal of "woman". By adopting a deconstructive approach, often utilizing textual evidence, it aims to highlight their patriarchal attitude. Consequently, it concludes that while researchers of mystical works have often attempted to absolve the mystic poets of their patriarchal or misogynistic gender-oriented views, the mystics themselves have not done so.

    Keywords: Islamic-Iranian Mysticism, Mystical Texts, women, Attar, Rumi
  • Hamideh Vesalifallah, Roya Yaghoubi * Pages 179-193

    Deontological ethics emphasizes the connection between duty and the morality of human conduct; nevertheless, Mitchell and Ishiguro touch on a different form of duty, which disagrees with the deontological theory and demonstrates that it is in one’s interest. Mitchell in The Bone Clocks suggests that one’s only duty in life is “to survive,” regardless of what may happen to others, but Ishiguro contends in The Buried Giant that failing to fulfill a duty that creates a hardship for others will result in downfall. Despite the differences, they both agree that performing one’s duty is affected by manipulation and deceit. The present article peruses the concept of duty in David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks and Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant and Pierre Bourdieu’s Theory of Practice provides the framework of the study. Bourdieu believes that accomplishing duty seeks a social strategy to maximize one’s profit; therefore, it can easily become manipulative. The research eventually concludes that fulfilling duty in these novels is an object of manipulation which is esteemed in self-centeredness. Moreover, it delves into the definition of habitus to elucidate that it is facing a transition that is entangled with manipulation.

    Keywords: Bourdieu, deceit, deontology, habitus, Kant, Self-interest
  • Fatemeh Esmaeili, Narges Montakhabi Bakhtvar *, Farid Parvaneh Pages 195-209

    In the postmodern era, there seems to be a pervasive decline of concept of ethics and community, leading to the devaluation of human life and moral values. The recent ethical turn in literary climate, however, has acknowledged a new version of ethics whose very quiddity needs further research. The present study aims to not only elucidate the moral codes of post-postmodern ethics, but also depict the significant role of communicative ethics, considered by the authors to be the infrastructure of the contemporary moral issues. Ergo, this article explores the theories of Habermas in two contemporary American novels in 2006, Amy M. Homes’ This Book Will Save Your Life and Philip Roth’s Everyman, so as to shed light on the resemblance of post-postmodern moral frames and Habermasian communicative ethics. Although the characters are initially illustrated in a postmodern setting with social alienation, solipsism, and instrumental actions, they undergo an ethical turn that is a manifestation of social and individual interactions, thus developing a cure and self-creation in the lives of the fractured characters. Finally, protagonists turn to be a self-satisfied and integrous people by maintaining the criteria of communicative ethics comprising the priority of well-being of others, empathy, and situational morality.

    Keywords: Communicative Ethics, Ethical Turn, Post-postmodern Novel, Jürgen Habermas, Communicative Action, Instrumental Action
  • Mohammad Aliakbari, Golchin Amani * Pages 211-236

    The ongoing increase in the population of Kurdish as Heritage Language (HL) learners encouraged the present study to explore the learners’ motivations as well as the influential factors on its development. Second Language Motivational Self-System (L2MSS) was adopted as the theoretical framework wherein, the subscales of the Ideal-self, Ought-to self and Motivational Intensity were explored. The study drew on a mixed-methods design in which semi-structured interviews were conducted with four undergraduate participants and a total number of 213 undergraduate Iranian learners of Kurdish participated in a survey. The qualitative results indicated that the interviewees had a positive experience of learning Kurdish in the classroom and were more enthusiastic to get engaged in the process of learning in the future. Furthermore, the quantitative results indicated that the participants more often pursued Kurdish in terms of the Ideal self and that learning Kurdish revealed to be an opportunity to fulfill the learners’ wishes. It was also found that the male participants were propelled by stronger motivational force which was more probably due to stronger sense of identity among male participants.

    Keywords: Heritage Language, Ideal Self, Ought-to Self, Motivational Intensity, identity, Kurdish language