Journal articles: 'Letter-writing, Greek' – Grafiati (2024)

  • Bibliography
  • Subscribe
  • News
  • Referencing guides Blog Automated transliteration Relevant bibliographies by topics

Log in

Українська Français Italiano Español Polski Português Deutsch

We are proudly a Ukrainian website. Our country was attacked by Russian Armed Forces on Feb. 24, 2022.
You can support the Ukrainian Army by following the link: https://u24.gov.ua/. Even the smallest donation is hugely appreciated!

Relevant bibliographies by topics / Letter-writing, Greek / Journal articles

To see the other types of publications on this topic, follow the link: Letter-writing, Greek.

Author: Grafiati

Published: 4 June 2021

Last updated: 1 February 2022

Create a spot-on reference in APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, and other styles

Consult the top 50 journal articles for your research on the topic 'Letter-writing, Greek.'

Next to every source in the list of references, there is an 'Add to bibliography' button. Press on it, and we will generate automatically the bibliographic reference to the chosen work in the citation style you need: APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago, Vancouver, etc.

You can also download the full text of the academic publication as pdf and read online its abstract whenever available in the metadata.

Browse journal articles on a wide variety of disciplines and organise your bibliography correctly.

1

Vlassopoulos, Kostas. "Greek History." Greece and Rome 62, no.2 (September10, 2015): 231–37. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0017383515000108.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

Four volumes in this review constitute important contributions to the study of ancient documents and their employment in antiquity, as well as their value for modern historical research. Paola Ceccarelli has written a monumental study of letter-writing and the use of writing for long-distance communication in Ancient Greece; Karen Radner has edited a volume on state correspondence in ancient empires; Christopher Eyre's book concerns documents in Pharaonic Egypt; and Peter Liddel and Polly Low have edited a brilliant collection on the uses of inscriptions in Greek and Latin literature. The first three volumes have major consequences for the study of the workings of ancient state systems, while those by Ceccarelli, Eyre, and Liddel and Low open new avenues into the study of the interrelationship between written documents and literature.

2

Westberg, David. "Ancient Greek letter writing, by P. Ceccarelli (Book review)." Opuscula. Annual of the Swedish Institutes at Athens and Rome 8 (November 2015): 192–93. http://dx.doi.org/10.30549/opathrom-08-11.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

3

BARNES,TREVORJ., and ROGER HAYTER. "No "Greek-Letter Writing": Local Models of Resource Economies." Growth and Change 36, no.4 (September 2005): 453–70. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2257.2005.00290.x.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

4

EIDINOW, ESTHER, and CLAIRE TAYLOR. "LEAD-LETTER DAYS: WRITING, COMMUNICATION AND CRISIS IN THE ANCIENT GREEK WORLD." Classical Quarterly 60, no.1 (April15, 2010): 30–62. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0009838809990425.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

5

Ukhanova, Elena. "An Unknown Prayer of Akindynos in the 12th Century Russian Manuscript and an Attempt to Create the Russian “Minuscule”." ISTORIYA 12, no.5 (103) (2021): 0. http://dx.doi.org/10.18254/s207987840015985-2.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

The article is devoted to the unknown prayer to St. John Damascene preserved on the margins of the oldest Russian 12th century copy of the “Theology” by this Orthodox thinker. Its text is badly damaged and almost not readable. It has been visualized by the multispectral method with subsequent digital processing and published in this work. The text of the prayer was written in a unique type of ligature writing, which has only survived in one more codex. On the basis of codicological, paleographic and historical data, both texts have been dated to the last third of the 14th century and localized in Moscow. The article puts forward a hypothesis about the connection of the unusual ligature writing with the metropolitan scriptorium at the Moscow Chudov Monastery where there were Greek manuscripts at that time and new translations of liturgical texts were underway. Its appearance was probably due to the need of creating a new book letter design instead of the “ustav” (majuscule) in order to speed up the scribe’s work and save parchment. The original solution was inspired by the Greek ligature script and minuscule. However, this artificial style of writing did not spread out; the “ustav” was soon replaced by the “poluustav” letter form.

6

Rosenmeyer, Patricia. "Ancient Greek Letter Writing: A Cultural History (600 BC–150 BC) by Paola Ceccarelli." Classical World 108, no.2 (2015): 312–14. http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/clw.2015.0007.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

7

Tuyte, Ye. "Development history and social role of writing." Bulletin of the Karaganda University. Philology series 101, no.4 (December30, 2020): 60–66. http://dx.doi.org/10.31489/2020ph4/60-66.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

Writing is very important for human society. This is the highest indicator of cultural development. Writing provides linguistic communication between people. For many centuries man has been using writing to communicate with each other. It helps to connect people who are from each other both at close and at a great distance. The article examines the problem of the origin of writing in the history of mankind, the history of the formation and development of the known types of writing, as well as its social role (functions). The article reveals the issues of the process of improving writing: its meaning in the development of society, the main stages of its formation. The letter has a long and complex history of its development, which covers a period of several thousand years. Therefore, the article determines the place of pictographic, ideographic, syllabic and letter psychology in meeting social needs. of its time. The writing of the peoples of the world has developed along different paths, the writing of each language of the world has its own characteristics that distinguish it from all other types of written speech. The article covers in detail such issues as the approximate time of the origin of writing, the causes and foundations of its occurrence, i.e. the factors that influenced its emergence, as well as the first users of writing, the form of the first writing, its evolutionary development over time, existing today types and signs of writing. The issues of the alphabet that caused the origin of writing (writing), the first sounds and types of Phoenician writing, its improvement, Greek and Aramaic writing, which caused the origin of the alphabet of the countries of the West and the East, problems of the science of descriptiveness — the problem of graphics, spelling, transcription and transliteration are considered.

8

Chernoglazov,D. "Who is Theophilos Korydaleus quoting? Some notes on a 17th c. Greek letter writing manual." Indo-European Linguistics and Classical Philology XXIII (June 2019): 1103–15. http://dx.doi.org/10.30842/ielcp230690152383.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

9

Mullen, Alex. "‘In both our languages’: Greek–Latin code-switching in Roman literature." Language and Literature: International Journal of Stylistics 24, no.3 (August 2015): 213–32. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0963947015585244.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

After a short introduction to code-switching and Classics, this article offers an overview of the phenomenon of code-switching in Roman literature with some comments on possible generic restrictions, followed by a survey of Roman attitudes to the practice. The analysis then focuses on Roman letter writing and investigates code-switching in the second-century correspondence of Fronto (mainly letters between Marcus Aurelius, who became Emperor in AD 161, and his tutor Fronto). This discussion uses part of a new detailed database of Greek code-switches in Roman epistolography and is largely sociolinguistic in approach. It makes comparisons with other ancient and modern corpora where possible and highlights the value of code-switching research in responding to a range of (socio)linguistic, literary and historical questions.

10

Dana, Madalina. "Book review: Ancient Greek Letter Writing. A Cultural History (600 bc-150 bc), written by Ceccarelli, P." Mnemosyne 68, no.3 (April24, 2015): 531–34. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1568525x-12341907.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

11

Wahlgren, Staffan. "Database Design and Sociolinguistics: Considerations for ByzTec (the Byzantine Tagged Electronic Corpus)." AION (filol.) Annali dell’Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale” 41, no.1 (December20, 2019): 267–73. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/17246172-40010019.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

Abstract In this paper work on building a linguistically tagged corpus of Byzantine texts (ByzTec) is discussed. In its present form the corpus consists of texts from the 10th and 14th centuries, and genres such as history, letter-writing and oratory are represented. Technical aspects of the corpus are described, as well as the different kinds of linguistic phenomena covered, such as morphology and semantics. So far, the primary purpose of the undertaking has been to facilitate the author’s own work on linguistic variation within an elite of Byzantine society. However, it is to be hoped that the corpus can be of use to others, including those interested in sociolinguistic aspects of Byzantine Greek.

12

Turenko, Vitalii. "Upbringing and education of children in context letters of Pythagorean woman philosophers." Filosofiya osvity. Philosophy of Education 27, no.1 (August11, 2021): 228–38. http://dx.doi.org/10.31874/2309-1606-2021-27-1-13.

Full text

Abstract:

The article reveals in detail the understanding of raising children in the context of two pseudo-epigraphic letters of Pythagorean wonan thinkers – Theano and Myia of Crotone. Based on these letters, it was found that pedagogical issues were important in general for the whole Pythagorean tradition. In fact, we can say that this early Greek philosophical school was the first to systematically and comprehensively approach the problem of upbringing and education in ancient society. It is hypothesized that this topic is not accidentally in the center of attention of these philosophers, because their authority was the greatest among all other representatives of this philosophical school. The author’s position is proved that Theano of Crotone letter to Eubule focuses on moderation in education, which is aimed at avoiding luxury, fulfilling all children’s whims, comfort. This is the purpose of hardening in difficult circ*mstances in order to withstand with dignity all the potential difficulties of adult life. Accordingly, if you do not raise a child in certain restrictions, then, according to Theano, it may well be unprepared for certain trials that may occur. The thesis is substantiated that the key task of upbringing and education, according to Myia of Crotone letter, is moderation, prudence and balance, which is based on both archaic elements and Hellenistic plots, which testifies to the skill of writing this letter. It is revealed that the Pythagorean principles of education, according to both philosophers, have no gender difference. This is because both girls and boys, if they grow up in luxury, comfort and do not know the limitations, can potentially become dangerous both for themselves and for society as a whole. It is emphasized that according to the style of writing, these letters are not so much moral and ethical as paraenetic epistolary genre, ie they act as advice on the upbringing and education of the younger generation. Because of this, these letters are such sources of ancient culture, which are one of the few that are devoted to the philosophical understanding of upbringing and education.

13

Afanasyeva,TatianaI., and TatianaV.Burilkina. "Vatican Psalter Vat. slav. 8: Paleographic, linguistic, and textual features of the manuscript." Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Language and Literature 18, no.1 (2021): 4–17. http://dx.doi.org/10.21638/spbu09.2021.101.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

The article describes the graphic and orthographic features of the unique Old Russian Psalter stored in the Vatican Apostolic Library (under the code Vat. slav. 8). This codex has practically not attracted the attention of researchers because it was difficult to access. It is now available on the Internet and can be fully studied. The Psalter was written by a highly qualified scribe who developed a special font for his manuscript — a half-letter, built following certain principles as the study showed. The orthography of the manuscript is focused on the ancient Russian norms of the 16th century. However, it has very important innovations: superscripts appear that imitate a slight Greek aspiration, as well as the writing of omega and “uk” in the South Slavic manner. The localization and dating of the manuscript have been clarified. It was written no earlier than the 1420s as evidenced by the special “bead” initials, as well as the spelling of omega with a high center. Some features of the Central Russian dialect can be traced in the scribe’s writing. The codex was brought to Italy by Metropolitan Isidore who fled from Moscow (from the Chudov Monastery) in September 1441 with many other Greek and Slavonic manuscripts. As a result, this Manuscript can be associated with the scribes of this monastery. A small format of the Vat. slav. 8 suggests that this was a travel book. Apparently, the scribe created this manuscript for personal needs. He included a number of rare church services in the codex, in particular, the unique Tuesday church service of the akathist of the Blessed Virgin Mary according to the charter of Mount Athos.

14

Lapidge, Michael. "The school of Theodore and Hadrian." Anglo-Saxon England 15 (December 1986): 45–72. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0263675100003689.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

In 669 Theodore, a Greek-speaking monk originally from Tarsus in Asia Minor, arrived in England to take up his duties as archbishop of Canterbury. He was joined the following year by his colleague Hadrian, a Latin-speaking African by origin and former abbot of a monastery in Campania (near Naples). One of their first tasks at Canterbury was the establishment of a school; and according to Bede (writing some sixty years later), they soon ‘attracted a crowd of students into whose minds they daily poured the streams of wholesome learning’. Bede goes on to report, as evidence of their teaching, that some of their students who survived to his own day were as fluent in Greek and Latin as in their native language. Elsewhere he names some of these students: Tobias (later bishop of Rochester), Albinus (Hadrian's successor as abbot in Canterbury), Oftfor (later bishop of Worcester) and John of Beverley. Bede does not mention Aldhelm in this connection; but we know from a letter addressed by Aldhelm to Hadrian that he too must be numbered among their students. Unfortunately Aldhelm is the only one of these Canterburyalumnito have left any writings, so we are in no position to appraise the high opinion which Bede had formed of their learning.

15

Belousov,AlexeyV. "(P.) Ceccarelli Ancient Greek Letter Writing. A Cultural History (600 BC – 150 BC). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. Pp. xviii + 435. £95. 9780199675593." Journal of Hellenic Studies 135 (2015): 201–2. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0075426915000312.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

16

Sheldon,JohnS. "Iranian Evidence for Pindar's ‘Spurious San’?" Antichthon 37 (November 2003): 52–61. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0066477400001416.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

In a much discussed passage Pindar uses the expression when speaking of early performances of the dithyramb. The passage was famous in antiquity and before the discovery of a papyrus fragment early in the Twentieth Century, we owed our knowledge of it chiefly to citations in Athenaeus. In discussing it, Athenaeus explains the words in the context of asigmatic odes, i.e. odes in which for the sake of euphony the letter sigma was avoided or omitted altogether. This explanation remains the most commonly accepted one, though scholars continue to puzzle over it, as it is hard to see why Pindar would use the word which means ‘false’ or ‘counterfeit’ in such a context. A more natural interpretation, and one which would, I believe, have been readily accepted had it not been for the comments of Athenaeus, is that in early dithyrambic performances the ‘s’ sound was in some way impure or unauthentic when compared with current practice. In what follows, I will re-open the discussion, arguing that Athenaeus misunderstood the passage or based his explanation on a tradition which obscured its true meaning. It will be necessary in the first place to examine evidence for the pronunciation of Greek sibilants and it is here that some light may be cast upon the discussion from a rather unexpected source—the adaptation of the Greek alphabet for writing down the Middle Iranian language of Bactria.

17

Lestari, Eni. "Studi Analisis tentang Kelimpahan Damai Sejahtera dalam Surat Filipi 4:4-9." Predica Verbum: Jurnal Teologi dan Misi 1, no.1 (June12, 2021): 31–45. http://dx.doi.org/10.51591/predicaverbum.v1i1.10.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

The letter that was sent by Paul to the Philipians contains important messages that are precisely accurate to be implemented in the life of believers nowadays. The condition of the world that doesn’t provide any assurance of security, moreover with the pandemic issue which is still happening, become the most factors of the absence of peace. The government is not capable enough to guarantee the tranquility, but Paul consoles the heart of believers, to remind them that they have the double nationality, both earth and heaven. If the world doesn’t offer and assure a sense of safety, then there is heaven, the one they can yearn to. This trust confirmed with concition that, “God is near” (Phil. 4:5). This article is going to discuss practical steps on how to enjoy a peaceful prosperous by analyzing each and every words in Philipians 4:4-9. Choosing important sentence parts in Greek, translating based on the rules, and finding the intended meaning will be the main activities in this research. At the end of the exploration process, the writer will present the results of the discovery of the valuable truth for today's life in practical and meaningful writing.

18

Rimell, Vicky. "Epistolary Fictions: Authorial identity in Heroides 15." Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society 45 (2000): 109–35. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0068673500002364.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

Heroides 15, Sappho's letter to Phaon, is an enigma in its present context for many different reasons. What is Sappho doing, heterosexualised, at the end of a string of elegiac epistles written by women plucked straight from myth and each given their fifteen minutes of fame? Despite the mythology that grew up around her, of which Phaon was a part, Sappho was a real woman and a real writer, the Greek love poet par excellence; not only that, she was and is a figure who, in her poetic persona at least, is famous for communicating her love for women, not for the local ferryman. This Sappho looks very written, yet as the only heroine–writer, and as the love-poet often cited as Ovid's influential predecessor, she can represent the culmination and reification of the Heroides' illusion of female authorship.In doing so, Sappho functions as the crucial figure in a collection of poems in which the Ovidian author writes in disguise; in what becomes finally a life or death situation, her poem radically questions the definition and definability of authorship, gender and identity. We are constantly asked, and are prompted to ask: Just how authentic, or how written is Sappho in this self-conscious erotic alignment of His ‘n’ Hers, Roman and Greek love poets? What is it for an Ovidian author conspicuously to write, through and over, the poetess whose work he recommends should be read alongside his own, and whose influence on his own writing and love-affairs he hints at on several occasions?

19

payne,PhilipB. "MS. 88 as Evidence for a Text without 1 Cor 14.34–5." New Testament Studies 44, no.1 (January 1998): 152–58. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0028688500016428.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

This critical note explains the most likely origin of the dislocated text at the end of 1 Corinthians 14 in the Greek twelfth century AD minuscule 88.1 There are four distinctive features of this passage in ms. 88.1) Cor 14.36 follows immediately after 14.33.2) Cor 14.34–5 follows 14.40.3) Cor 14.34—5 is a distinct unit separated from v. 40 by a double slash on the base line in the space normally occupied by letters. The words on each side of this double slash are much farther apart than any other adjacent words on this page, so the original scribe must have inserted the double slash before writing w. 34–5. (See line 15 of the enlarged photograph, p. 158.) The end of v. 35 coincides with the end of a line. (See line 22 of the enlarged photograph.) Nothing follows on this line after its closing punctuation dot,2 even though each of the remaining three lines on this page extends one or two more letters beyond this dot. The next line, which begins chapter 15, is the only line on this page to be indented.34) There is a corresponding but smaller double slash above the last letter of 14.33.4 (See line 6 of the enlarged photograph.) It is placed at a sharper angle than the double slash before vv. 34–5 to help it fit between the lines of text. Another larger double slash, at the same level as the Greek letters on the last line of v. 33, is in the right margin where it is easy to see.

20

Trapp,M.B. "GREEK LETTERS - P. Ceccarelli Ancient Greek Letter Writing. A Cultural History (600 bc–150 bc). Pp. xx + 435, map. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. Cased, £95, US$185. ISBN: 978-0-19-967559-3." Classical Review 65, no.1 (December11, 2014): 72–74. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0009840x14002595.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

21

Fradkin, Hillel. "Philosophy and Law: Leo Strauss as a Student of Medieval Jewish Thought." Review of Politics 53, no.1 (1991): 40–52. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0034670500050191.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

Even a casual glance at the list of Leo Strauss's writings devoted in whole or in part to medieval Jewish texts is sufficient to make clear that in any ordinary sense he left a substantial legacy to this field of study. They include two books, Philosophy and Law and Persecution and the Art of Writing, the monograph length essay which serves as the introduction to the English translation of Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed done by Shlomo Pines and a number of articles.Moreover it is relatively clear that his study of these texts form an important part of his legacy as such. They remained important to his inquiries through his long scholarly career and do not belong only to one phase. Several of the articles devoted to such texts, he chose to republish in subsequent volumes concerned with major themes of his work. More important still, even towards the end of his life when his work was largely devoted to classical Greek texts, medieval Jewish texts continued to play some important role. The last work planned by Strauss, Studies on Platonic Philosophy, contains new, albeit short, treatments of Maimonides' Treatise on Logic and his Letter on Astrology which are the only essays first published in this book.

22

Srika,M. "A Critical Analysis on “Revolution 2020” - An Amalgam of Socio- Political Commercialization World Combined with Love Triangle." SMART MOVES JOURNAL IJELLH 7, no.10 (October31, 2019): 6. http://dx.doi.org/10.24113/ijellh.v7i10.10255.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

Literature is considered to be an art form or writing that have Artistic or Intellectual value. Literature is a group of works produced by oral and written form. Literature shows the style of Human Expression. The word literature was derived from the Latin root word ‘Litertura / Litteratura’ which means “Letter or Handwriting”. Literature is culturally relative defined. Literature can be grouped through their Languages, Historical Period, Origin, Genre and Subject. The kinds of literature are Poems, Novels, Drama, Short Story and Prose. Fiction and Non-Fiction are their major classification. Some types of literature are Greek literature, Latin literature, German literature, African literature, Spanish literature, French literature, Indian literature, Irish literature and surplus. In this vast division, the researcher has picked out Indian English Literature. Indian literature is the literature used in Indian Subcontinent. The earliest Indian literary works were transmitted orally. The Sanskrit oral literature begins with the gatherings of sacred hymns called ‘Rig Veda’ in the period between 1500 - 1200 B.C. The classical Sanskrit literature was developed slowly in the earlier centuries of the first millennium. Kannada appeared in 9th century and Telugu in 11th century. Then, Marathi, Odiya and Bengali literatures appeared later. In the early 20th century, Hindi, Persian and Urdu literature begins to appear.

23

Vatsina, Ioanna, and Angeliki Mouzaki. "Πιλοτική διερεύνηση των ψυχομετρικών χαρακτηριστικών μιας κλίμακας για την εκτίμηση γλωσσικών και γνωστικών λειτουργιών από γονείς παιδιών προσχολικής ηλικίας." Preschool and Primary Education 3, no.2 (November25, 2015): 136. http://dx.doi.org/10.12681/ppej.141.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

This pilot study examined the psychometric characteristics of a scale to be used by parents of young children for rating cognitive skills and literacy development. The scale was roughly based on the parent form of “Ratings of Everyday Academic & Cognitive Skills” (REACS) (Lamb, 2008) in an effort to develop a cost-effective tool that could potentially increase the predictive validity of early screening assessments. The original scale had been developed to contain three indexes (academic skills, cognitive skills, self-regulation) related to school functioning subscales (Math, Reading, Writing, Language, Learning, Memory, Problem Solving, Attention, Hyperactivity Control, Impulse Control, and Organization). Raters respond to each item on a 6-point scale: 1 = Never, 2 = Rarely, 3 = Sometimes, 4 = Usually, and 5 = Always and 6= Unknown. For this study we collected 243 forms from parents while individualized testing was conducted with 22 Kindergarten children. A subsample of parents (N=44) completed the scale a second time to investigate reliability of their ratings. Test-retest reliability of the raters' estimations and the internal consistency of the scale were examined, while the validity of the Greek scale was established by inspecting the factor structure through exploratory factor analyses. Associations with child achievement measures (letter names and sounds, phonological awareness, vocabulary, invented spelling, word reading, etc.) were also examined. Study's initial findings regarding the psychometric properties of the scale support our claim that it should be used by parents of young children for rating child's cognitive, language and academic skills. They are also discussed within the context of early identification of at-risk children within the school for providing early intervention programs.

24

Grigorakis, Ioannis, and George Manolitsis. "Η συμβολή της μορφολογικής επίγνωσης στα πρώτα στάδια ανάπτυξης της ικανότητας ορθογραφημένης γραφής." Preschool and Primary Education 4, no.1 (May30, 2016): 128. http://dx.doi.org/10.12681/ppej.8581.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

Recent research studies in several alphabetic orthographic systems have shown a significant contribution of morphological awareness in the development of spelling ability. It is assumed that awareness of morphemes facilitates the application of morphophonemic principles on spelling. However, apart from its effect on understanding the conventions of the general spelling system of a language, morphological awareness seems to facilitate the orthographic performance of specific morphemes as well, especially inflectional suffixes, through their morphemic differentiation. The aim of this longitudinal study was to examine the contribution of morphological awareness in Kindergarten and Grade 1, on children’s spelling ability of inflectional suffixes in both Grades 1 and 2. Two hundred and fifteen Greek – speaking children from Kindergarten up to Grade 1 were assessed on measures of: (a) morphological awareness (e.g., word analogy, decomposition of derivative words, reversing compounds), (b) general cognitive skills (nonverbal intelligence, verbal intelligence, short-term memory, vocabulary), and (c) early literacy skills (phonological awareness, rapid automatized naming, letter knowledge). Also, in both Grades 1 and 2 children were assessed on measures of spelling ability of inflectional suffixes in words and pseudowords. The results of the hierarchical regression analyses showed that the morphological awareness of children in both Kindergarten and Grade 1 predicted significantly their spelling of inflectional suffixes only in words, in Grades 1 and 2 respectively, beyond the effects of cognitive and language skills. Morphological awareness skills did not contribute significantly to children’s spelling of inflectional suffixes in pseudowords. Overall, these findings highlight that early morphological awareness skills contribute significantly to the development of spelling ability even at the early primary school years. Therefore, it is suggested that the teaching of spelling inflectional suffixes has to emphasize the semantic and syntactic role of inflectional suffixes through activities of writing rather than memorizing rules for the correct spelling of each inflectional suffix.

25

Krynicka, Tatiana. "Starożytny łaciński centon: próba przybliżenia na przykładzie „Centonu weselnego” Auzoniusza." Vox Patrum 57 (June15, 2012): 359–78. http://dx.doi.org/10.31743/vp.4137.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

The term „cento” comes from the Latin cento, which means „a cloak made of patches,” „patchwork,” as the Greek does. Poems of Homer and Vergil were favorite sources for the ancient cento poets, who rearranged their frag­ments into totally different stories. The oldest preserved Latin cento is the tragedy „Medea” composed by Hosidius Geta from the fragments of Vergilian poetry circa 200 AD. We know, however, about other centos having been written before that date. Altogether, sixteen Virgilian and one Ovidian cento have been preserved. Thirteen of them, including the earliest and the latest of all extant Latin centos, are contained in the Codex called Salmasianus. Since the terminus ante quem for this manuscript is 534 AD, we assume that all preserved centos have been written between 200 AD, the broadly acknowledge date for Medea, and 534 AD. Ancient Virgilian centos mainly deal with well-known classical myths (8 of 13). Four of them have Christian themes, two treat trivial matters of everyday life, two are wedding-poems. The involvement of Decimus Ausonius Magnus (ca 310-394), a renowned teacher, rhetorician and poet, with the cento is not limited to being the author of a Virgilian cento, which he composed as a response to a similar poem by the Emperor Valentinian I (321-375). Ausonius is the only ancient author we know to have described cento in more detail and to have laid down the rules of the genre. In the introductory letter to the Cento nuptialis, addressed to his friend Axius Paulus, Ausonius maintains that verses of an original text, taken over to the cento, may be divided at any of the caesurae which occur in hexameter. No section longer than one line and a half should be taken over. The quotation may not be changed, although its meaning may change according to the new context. Ausonius compares activity of the cento poets to playing the game of stomachion. Doing so he emphasizes unity within cento and its playfulness as the particularly important traits of the genre. Ancient authors usually followed the technical rules put forth by Ausonius, although not all of them would have agreed with him about the similarity between writing a cento and playing a game. While some twentieth century scholars had treated cento with undeserved contempt, the research of the last decades has given it its honour back. Centos still require our attention, especially that, through their analysis, we may try to obtain a more faithful portrait of the well educated ancient reader. This reader knew his Virgil by heart, worshipped Virgil as the divinely inspired prince of Latin poetry, and preferred Virgil’s words to his own when he ventured to describe his world.

26

Keramida, Despina. "The Re-Imagination of a Letter-Writer and the De-Construction of an Ovidian Rape Narrative at Ars Amatoria 1.527-64." Classica et Mediaevalia 67 (January3, 2019): 153–87. http://dx.doi.org/10.7146/classicaetmediaevalia.v67i0.111771.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

Ovid’s writing is infused with the retelling of known myths and the portrayal of heroes and heroines, whose figurae held a central role in Greek and Roman literature. This article argues in favour of reading Ariadne’s story at Ars am. 1.527-64 as a rape narrative. The exploration of the passage in question and its comparative reading with other poems (such as Prop. 1.3 and the Ovidian version of the rape of the Sabine women), illustrates and explains why Ovid reimagines Ariadne as a victim of erotic violence.

27

Albeck, Gustav. "Den unge Grundtvig og Norge." Grundtvig-Studier 37, no.1 (January1, 1985): 47–66. http://dx.doi.org/10.7146/grs.v37i1.15941.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

The Young Grundtvig and NorwayBy Gustav AlbeckThis article is a revised and extended version of the lecture given by Professor Albeck on April 30th 1984 at the annual general meeting of the Grundtvig Society in Oslo. It describes Grundtvig’s close relationship to a number of Norwegian friends he made during his residence at the Walkendorf hostel in Copenhagen in the years 1808-11; this circle of friends lasted and widened to include other Norwegians in his later life.Grundtvig was 67 before he set foot on Norwegian soil, but from his early youth he had familiarised himself with the Norwegian landscape and history through Norwegian literature. His feeling of kinship with the spirit and history of Norway was for a time stronger than his consciousness of being Danish. In his youth Norway and the Norwegians played a major role in opinion-making in Denmark, and in this respect Grundtvig was no different from his contemporary Danes. But the idea of Norway’s future continued to concern him long after his youth was over. The lecture, however, confines itself to the way certain Norwegians regarded Grundtvig between 1808 and 1811.When Grundtvig returned to Copenhagen from Langeland in 1808 he had no friends in the capital. But at the Walkendorf hostel he met first and foremost Svend B. Hersleb, a Norwegian theologian, to whom he addressed a jocular poem in the same year, revealing that Grundtvig now felt himself young again and among young people following his unrequited passion for Constance Leth. Otherwise we have only a few witnesses to this first period of happiness, with Grundtvig gaining a foothold on the Danish parnassus through his first Norse Mythology and Scenes from Heroic Life in the North.The fullest accounts of Grundtvig’s relationship to the Norwegians in the period following his nervous breakdown and religious breakthrough in 1810 come from the journals of the Norwegian-Danish dean and poet, Frederik Schmidt, made during various trips to Denmark. These journals were published in extenso between 1966 and 1985 in three volumes, the last of which includes a commentary by the editors and a postscript by Gustav Albeck. Many of the valuable notes about Grundtvig are repeated in the lecture. Frederik Schmidt was the son of a Norwegian bishop; he became a rural dean and later a member of the first National Assembly at Eids voll in 1814. He was a Norwegian patriot but loyal to the Danes and in fact returned to Denmark in 1820. His descriptions of Grundtvig’s conversations with Niels Treschow, the Norwegian-born Professor of Philosophy at Copenhagen University, give an authentic and concentrated picture of Grundtvig’s reflections on his conversion to a strict Lutheran faith, which for a time threatened to hinder his development as a secular writer. Schmidt found their way of presenting their differing views “very interesting and human”, and Grundtvig’s Christian faith “warm, intense and sincere”. “In the animated features of his dark eyes and pale face there is something passionate yet also gentle”. When Schmidt himself talked to Grundtvig about a current paper which stated that in early Christianity there was a fusion between Greek thought and oriental feeling, Grundtvig exclaimed, “Yet another Christianity without Christ!” A draft of a reply to one of Schmidt’s articles shows that at that point, April 1811, Grundtvig did not believe in the working of “the living word” in its secular meaning. The draft was not printed and Grundtvig does not appear to have discussed it with Schmidt. There is a very precise description of Grundtvig’s appearance: “There is... something confused in his eyes; he sometimes closes them after a tiring conversation, as if he wants to pull his thoughts together again.” Schmidt in no way agrees with Grundtvig’s point of view, which he partly puts down to “disappointed hopes, humbled pride and the persecution... he has been subjected to...” But he does find another important explanation in Grundtvig’s “need for reassuring knowledge” and his conviction “that the misery of the age can only be helped by true religious feeling”.There are also descriptions of Grundtvig in a more jovial mood, for example together with Professor George Sverdrup, where Grundtvig repeated some rather unflattering accounts of the playwright Holberg’s behaviour towards a couple of professors who were colleagues. The same evening he and Schmidt set about attacking Napoleon while Treschow and Sverdrup defended him. Schmidt considered Grundtvig’s little book, New Year’s Eve, “devout to the point of pietist sentiment”, but thought the error lay rather in Grundtvig’s head than his heart. Lovely is the Clear Blue Night (Dejlig er den himmel blaa), published in April 1811 was even read aloud by Schmidt to a woman poet; but he criticised The Anholt-Campaign.After 1814 Schmidt adopted a somewhat cooler tone towards Grundtvig’s books. He was unable to go along with Grundtvig’s talk of a united Denmark- Norway as his fatherland. He criticised the poems Grundtvig published in his periodical, Danevirke, including even The Easter Lily for its “vulgar language”, which Grundtvig appeared to confuse with a true “language of power”. It is impossible to prove any close relationship between Schmidt and Grundtvig, but he was an attentive observer when they met in Copenhagen in 1811.With the opening of the Royal Frederik University in Christiania in 1813 Grundtvig became separated from his Norwegian friends, as Hersleb, Treschow and Sverdrup were all appointed to the new Norwegian university. They were keen for Grundtvig to join them as Professor of History. Sverdrup in particular was captivated by his personality, and in a letter dated April 21st 1812 he informed Grundtvig that he was among the candidates for the post proposed by the commission to the King. But Grundtvig himself hesitated; he felt “calm and quietly happy” in Udby “as minister for simple Christians”. To his friend, the Norwegian-born Poul Dons, he wrote, “... something in me draws me up there, something keeps me down here.” The fact that he never got the job was in many ways his own fault. His World Chronicle (1812) could not but offend scholars of a rationalist approach, in particular the prediction at the end of the book about the new university’s effect. It is linked to Grundtvig’s interpretation (1810) of the letters to the seven churches in Revelation, which are seen as a prediction of the seven great churches in the historical advance of Christianity.“It was an idea,” says Albeck, “which in spite of its obvious irrationality never left Grundtvig, and as late as 1860 it found poetic form in the great poem, The Pleiades of Christendom (Christenhedens Syvstjerne).” Grundtvig “was in no doubt that the sixth church was the Nordic, and that it would grow out of the Norwegian university, the new Wittenberg.” In 1810 Grundtvig felt himself “chosen to be the forerunner of a new reformer, a new Johan Huss before a new Luther.” From a scholarly point of view there is no reason to reproach the Danish selection panel for the negative judgment they reached regarding Grundtvig’s qualifications as a historian. His name was not even mentioned in the appointments for the new professorships. He had caused quite a stir not long before by writing a birthday poem for the King in which he directly expressed his wish that the new university might become a Wittenberg. The poem took the form of a series of accusations against Norway and the Norwegians, and in particular against Nicolai Wergeland, who in a prize-winning essay on the Norwegian university entitled Mnemosyne had stuck a few needles into Denmark and the Danes. Grundtvig accused the Norwegians of ingratitude to Denmark and unchristian pride. Even his good friend Hersleb reacted to such an attack.From the diaries of the Norwegian, Claus Pavels, we know how the Norwegian poet, Jonas Rein, wrote and told Grundtvig that “a greater meekness towards people with a different opinion would be more fitting for a teacher of Christianity.” Grundtvig replied that he had had to speak the truth loud and clear in a degenerate age. The Bishop of Bergen, Nordal Brun, also considered Grundtvig’s views as expressed to the King “misplaced and insulting”. He was particularly hurt that Norway “should have to thank Denmark for its Christianity and protestantism”. When Grundtvig printed the poem in Little Songs (Kv.dlinger) in 1815, Nicolai Wergeland was moved to write Denmark’s Political Crimes against the Kingdom of Norway, published in 1816.For Grundtvig’s Norwegian friends it was a matter of regret that he did not come to Norway, not least for Stener Stenersen, who in 1814 became a lecturer and in 1818 a professor of theology at the Norwegian university. His correspondence with Grundtvig from 1813 is now regarded as a valuable source for Grundtvig’s view of Christianity at that time. In his diary entry for August 27th 1813 Pavels notes that Stenersen had proposed that the Society for the Wellbeing of Norway should use all its influence to get Grundtvig to Norway. In his proposition Stenersen asked who possessed such unity and purity of thought as to be able to understand fully the importance of scholarship; he himself had only one candidate - Grundtvig. From a contemporary standpoint he had won his way to the Christian faith. But the rationalist Pavels, the source of our information, was far from convinced that “no man in the whole of Norway” possessed these abilities in equal measure to Grundtvig”. He therefore had misgivings about “requesting him as Norway’s last and only deliverer”.When Grundtvig heard of Stenersen’s proposition he sought an audience with the King on September 8th at which he clearly expressed his desire to become Professor of History at the Norwegian University. Two Danish professors, Børge Thorlacius and Laurids Engelsto. found it strange, however, that Treschow, Sverdrup and Hersleb could “deify Grundtvig”. And his great wish was never fulfilled. Nonetheless he did not give up. On November 15th he saw that the post of curate was being advertised at Aggers church near Christiania and applied for the job. From his book Roskilde Rhymes (published on February 1st 1814) it is clear that he believed that it was there that his great work was to be accomplished. But in those very days Frederik VI was signing the peace of Kiel which would separate Norway from Denmark, and Grundtvig from his wish.In the preface to Danevirke (dated May 1817) he realised that he had deserved the scorn of the Norwegians, for he had expected too much of them. But he never forgot his Norwegian friends. He named one of his sons after Svend Hersleb, and another son married Stenersen’s daughter. When he himself visited Norway in 1851 he was welcomed like a prince.

28

Boffa, Giovanni. "Lettera su laminetta plumbea da Berezan." Axon 2 | 2 | 2018, no.2 (December20, 2018). http://dx.doi.org/10.30687/axon/2532-6848/2018/02/001.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

The Berezan lead letter is a document of paramount importance with regard to several epigraphic questions (first of all, the writing on lead platters) and to many historical issues too (the Greek presence, mainly Milesian, within ancient Scythia and the diffusion of writing in this area; the ionic dialect; the relationship between literacy and commerce; archaic Greek prose; Greek epistolography; the right of seizure and the regulation of syle); moreover, it is a human life story that vividly shows us the dramatic situation of Achillodoros who, harassed by Matasys, sends a heartfelt letter to two recipients, his son Protagoras and Anaxagoras.

29

K.S., Kiran Kumar. "A Study the Position of Teaching of English Grammar in Rural Secondary Schools of Shikaripura Taluk." Scholarly Research Journal for Interdisciplinary Studies 4, no.36 (November4, 2017). http://dx.doi.org/10.21922/srjis.v4i36.10003.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

“One, who climbs the grammar tree, distinctly knows where noun, verb and participle grow.” – Dryden (1635). In the teaching-learning of a language, grammar occupies an important place. It helps the teacher to master the language well. It is also of great help to the learners. The English word grammar has come from the Greek word 'grammar' meaning a 'LETTER.' In classical Greek and the Latin word 'grammar' is referred to the general study of literature and language. From the 17th century onwards two meanings have been compared with each other in English. In 1605 Francis Bacon wrote concerning speech and words", the consideration of them produced the science of grammar ' while in 1637 Ben Johnson writes, " the grammar is the art of true and well speaking language." Then Bacon has told that 'grammar' is a science, a study of set of phenomena; but for Johnson, grammar is an art, the skill or technique of speaking well. Then L. Murray has written about grammar in 1824 English grammar is the art of speaking and writing the English language with propriety.'

30

"Reading & writing." Language Teaching 39, no.3 (July 2006): 201–11. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s026144480623369x.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

06–475Al-Ali, Mohammed N. (Jordan U of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan), Genre-pragmatic strategies in English letter-of-application writing of Jordanian Arabic–English bilinguals. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism (Multilingual Matters) 9.1 (2006), 119–139.06–476Anderson, Bill (Massey U College of Education, New Zealand; w.g.anderson@massey.ac.nz), Writing power into online discussion. Computers and Composition (Elsevier) 23.1 (2006), 108–124.06–477Blaır, Kristine & Cheryl Hoy (Bowling Green State U, USA; kblair@bgnet.bgsu.edu), Paying attention to adult learners online: The pedagogy and politics of community. Computers and Composition (Elsevier) 23.1 (2006), 32–48.06–478Blakelock, Jane & Tracy E. Smith (Wright State U, USA; jane.blakelock@wright.edu) Distance learning: From multiple snapshots, a composite portrait. Computers and Composition (Elsevier) 23.1 (2006), 139–161.06–479Bulley, Míchael, Wasthatnecessary?English Today (Cambridge University Press) 22.2 (2006), 47–49.06–480Chi-Fen, Emily Chen (National Kaohsiung First U of Science and Technology, Taiwan; emchen@ccms.nkfust.edu.tw), The development of email literacy: From writing to peers to writing to authority figures.Language Learning & Technology (http://llt.msu.edu) 10.2 (2006), 35–55.06–481Chikamatsu, Nobuko (DePaul U, Chicago, USA; nchikama@condor.depaul.edu), Developmental word recognition: A study of L1 English readers of L2 Japanese. The Modern Language Journal (Blackwell) 90.1 (2006), 67–85.06–482DePew, Kevin Eric (Old Dominion U, USA; Kdepew@odu.edu), T. A. Fishman, Julia E. Romberger & Bridget Fahey Ruetenik, Designing efficiencies: The parallel narratives of distance education and composition studies. Computers and Composition (Elsevier) 23.1 (2006), 49–67.06–483Dix, Stephanie (Hamilton, New Zealand; stephd@waikato.ac.nz), ‘What did I change and why did I do it?’ Young writers' revision practices. Literacy (Blackwell) 40.1 (2006), 3–10.06–484Donohue, James P. (London, UK; jdonohue@hillcroft.ac.uk), How to support a one-handed economist: The role of modalisation in economic forecasting. English for Specific Purposes (Elsevier) 25.2 (2006), 200–216.06–485Eisenhart, Christopher (U Massachusetts at Dartmouth, USA), The Humanist scholar as public expert. Written Communication (Sage) 23.2 (2006), 150–172.06–486Foy, Judith G. & Virginia Mann (Loyola Marymount U, USA; jfoy@lmu.edu), Changes in letter sound knowledge are associated with development of phonological awareness in pre-school children. Journal of Research in Reading (Blackwell) 29.2 (2006), 143–161.06–487Gruba, Paul (U Melbourne, Australia), Playing the videotext: A media literacy perspective on video-mediated L2 listening. Language Learning & Technology (http://llt.msu.edu) 10.2 (2006), 77–92.06–488Halliday, Lorna F. (MRC Institute of Hearing Research, Nottingham, UK) & Dorothy V. M. Bishop, Auditory frequency discrimination in children with dyslexia. Journal of Research in Reading (Blackwell) 29.2 (2006), 213–228.06–489Hayes, John R. (Carnegie Mellon U, USA) & N. Ann Chenoweth, Is working memory involved in the transcribing and editing of texts?Written Communication (Sage) 23.2 (2006), 135–149.06–490Hewett, Beth L. (Forest Hill, MD, USA; beth.hewett@comcast.net), Synchronous online conference-based instruction: A study of whiteboard interactions and student writing. Computers and Composition (Elsevier) 23.1 (2006), 4–31.06–491Hilton, Mary (U Cambridge, UK; mhiltonhom@aol.com), Damaging confusions in England's KS2 reading tests: A response to Anne Kispal. Literacy (Blackwell) 40.1 (2006), 36–41.06–492Hock Seng, Goh (U Pendikikan Sultan Idris, Malaysia) & Fatimah Hashim, Use of L1 in L2 reading comprehension among tertiary ESL learners. Reading in a Foreign Language (http://www.nflrc.hawaii.edu) 18.1 (2006), 26 pp.06–493Khuwaileh, Abdullah A. (Abu Dhabi, Al-ain, United Arab Emirates), Medical rhetoric: A contrastive study of Arabic and English in the UAE. English Today (Cambridge University Press) 22.2 (2006), 38–44.06–494Kondo-Brown, Kimi (U Hawaii at Manoa, USA), Affective variables and Japanese L2 reading ability. Reading in a Foreign Language (http://www.nflrc.hawaii.edu) 18.1 (2006), 17 pp.06–495Lee, Jin Sook (U California, USA), Exploring the relationship between electronic literacy and heritage language maintenance. Language Learning & Technology (http://llt.msu.edu) 10.2 (2006), 93–113.06–496Macaruso, Paul (Community College of Rhode Island, USA; pmacaruso@ccri.edu), Pamela E. Hook & Robert McCabe, The efficacy of computer-based supplementary phonics programs for advancing reading skills in at-risk elementary students. Journal of Research in Reading (Blackwell) 29.2 (2006), 162–172.06–497Magnet, Anne (U Burgundy, France; anne.magnet@u-bourgogne.fr) & Didier Carnet, Letters to the editor: Still vigorous after all these years? A presentation of the discursive and linguistic features of the genre. English for Specific Purposes (Elsevier) 25.2 (2006), 173–199.06–498Miller-Cochran, Susan K. & Rochelle L. Rodrigo (Mesa Community College, USA; susan.miller@mail.mc.maricopa.edu), Determining effective distance learning designs through usability testing. Computers and Composition (Elsevier) 23.1 (2006), 91–107.06–499Nelson, Mark Evan (U California, USA; menelson@berkeley.edu), Mode, meaning, and synaestesia in multimedia L2 writing. Language Learning & Technology (http://llt.msu.edu) 10.2 (2006), 55–76.06–500Nikolov, Marianne (U Pécs, Hungary; nikolov@nostromo.pte.hu), Test-taking strategies of 12- and 13-year-old Hungarian learners of EFL: Why whales have migraines. Language Learning (Blackwell) 56.1 (2006), 1–51.06–501Parks, Susan, Diane Huot, Josiane Hamers & France H.-Lemonnier (U Laval, Canada; susan.parks@lli.ulaval.ca), ‘History of theatre’ web sites: A brief history of the writing process in a high school ESL language arts class. Journal of Second Language Writing (Elsevier) 14.4 (2005), 233–258.06–502Pigada, Maria & Norbert Schmitt (U Nottingham, UK), Vocabulary acquisition from extensive reading: a case study. Reading in a Foreign Language (http://www.nflrc.hawaii.edu) 18.1 (2006), 28 pp.06–503Powell, Daisy (Institute of Education, U London, UK; d.powell@ioe.ac.uk), David Plaut & Elaine Funnell, Does the PMSP connectionist model of single word reading learn to read in the same way as a child?Journal of Research in Reading (Blackwell) 29.2 (2006), 229–250.06–504Reichelt, Melinda (U Toledo, USA; melinda.reichelt@utoledo.edu), English-language writing instruction in Poland. Journal of Second Language Writing (Elsevier) 14.4 (2005), 215–232.06–505Reilly, Colleen A. & Joseph John Williams (U North Carolina, USA; reillyc@uncw.edu), The price of free software: Labor, ethics, and context in distance education. Computers and Composition (Elsevier) 23.1 (2006), 68–90.06–506Reimer, Jason F. (California State U, USA; jreimer@csusb.edu), Developmental changes in the allocation of semantic feedback during visual word recognition. Journal of Research in Reading (Blackwell) 29.2 (2006), 194–212.06–507Richter, Tobias (U Cologne, Germany), What is wrong with ANOVA and Multiple Regression? Analyzing sentence reading times with hierarchical linear models. Discourse Processes (Erlbaum) 41.3 (2006), 221–250.06–508Roca De Larios, Julio (U of Murcia, Spain; jrl@um.es), Rosa M. Manchón & Liz Murphy, Generating text in native and foreign language writing: a temporal analysis of problem-solving formulation processes. The Modern Language Journal (Blackwell) 90.1 (2006), 100–114.06–509Spencer, Ken (U Hull, UK; k.a.spencer@hull.ac.uk), Phonics self-teaching materials for foundation literacy. Literacy (Blackwell) 40.1 (2006), 42–50.06–510Spooner, Alice L. R. (U Central Lancashire, UK; aspooner@uclan.ac.uk), Susan E. Gathercole & Alan D. Baddeley, Does weak reading comprehension reflect an integration deficit?Journal of Research in Reading (Blackwell) 29.2 (2006), 173–193.06–511Swarts, Jason (North Carolina State U, USA), Coherent fragments: The problem of mobility and genred information. Written Communication (Sage) 23.2 (2006), 173–201.06–512Walsh, Maureen, The ‘textual shift’: examining the reading process with print, visual and multimodal texts. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy (Australian Literacy Educators' Association) 29.1 (2006), 24–37.06–513Wilson, Andrew (Lancaster U, UK; eiaaw@exchange.lancs.ac.uk), Development and application of a content analysis dictionary for body boundary research. Literary and Linguistic Computing (Oxford University Press) 21.1 (2006), 105–110.06–514Yusun Kang, Jennifer (Harvard U Graduate School of Education, USA; jennifer_kang@post.harvard.edu), Written narratives as an index of L2 competence in Korean EFL learners. Journal of Second Language Writing (Elsevier) 14.4 (2005), 259–279.

31

Tofts, Darren John. "Why Writers Hate the Second Law of Thermodynamics: Lists, Entropy and the Sense of Unending." M/C Journal 15, no.5 (October12, 2012). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.549.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

If you cannot understand my argument, and declare “It’s Greek to me,” you are quoting Shakespeare.Bernard LevinPsoriatic arthritis, in its acute or “generalised” stage, is unbearably painful. Exacerbating the crippling of the joints, the entire surface of the skin is covered with lesions only moderately salved by anti-inflammatory ointment, the application of which is as painful as the ailment it seeks to relieve: NURSE MILLS: I’ll be as gentle as I can.Marlow’s face again fills the screen, intense concentration, comical strain, and a whispered urgency in the voice over—MARLOW: (Voice over) Think of something boring—For Christ’s sake think of something very very boring—Speech a speech by Ted Heath a sentence long sentence from Bernard Levin a quiz by Christopher Booker a—oh think think—! Really boring! A Welsh male-voice choir—Everything in Punch—Oh! Oh! — (Potter 17-18)Marlow’s collation of boring things as a frantic liturgy is an attempt to distract himself from a tumescence that is both unwanted and out of place. Although bed-ridden and in constant pain, he is still sensitive to erogenous stimulation, even when it is incidental. The act of recollection, of garnering lists of things that bore him, distracts him from his immediate situation as he struggles with the mental anguish of the prospect of a humiliating org*sm. Literary lists do many things. They provide richness of detail, assemble and corroborate the materiality of the world of which they are a part and provide insight into the psyche and motivation of the collator. The sheer desperation of Dennis Potter’s Marlow attests to the arbitrariness of the list, the simple requirement that discrete and unrelated items can be assembled in linear order, without any obligation for topical concatenation. In its interrogative form, the list can serve a more urgent and distressing purpose than distraction:GOLDBERG: What do you use for pyjamas?STANLEY: Nothing.GOLDBERG: You verminate the sheet of your birth.MCCANN: What about the Albigensenist heresy?GOLDBERG: Who watered the wicket in Melbourne?MCCANN: What about the blessed Oliver Plunkett?(Pinter 51)The interrogative non sequitur is an established feature of the art of intimidation. It is designed to exert maximum stress in the subject through the use of obscure asides and the endowing of trivial detail with profundity. Harold Pinter’s use of it in The Birthday Party reveals how central it was to his “theatre of menace.” The other tactic, which also draws on the logic of the inventory to be both sequential and discontinuous, is to break the subject’s will through a machine-like barrage of rhetorical questions that leave no time for answers.Pinter learned from Samuel Beckett the pitiless, unforgiving logic of trivial detail pushed to extremes. Think of Molloy’s dilemma of the sucking stones. In order for all sixteen stones that he carries with him to be sucked at least once to assuage his hunger, a reliable system has to be hit upon:Taking a stone from the right pocket of my greatcoat, and putting it in my mouth, I replaced it in the right pocket of my greatcoat by a stone from the right pocket of my trousers, which I replaced with a stone from the left pocket of my trousers, which I replaced by a stone from the left pocket of my greatcoat, which I replaced with the stone that was in my mouth, as soon as I had finished sucking it. Thus there were still four stones in each of my four pockets, but not quite the same stones. And when the desire to suck took hold of me again, I drew again on the right pocket of my greatcoat, certain of not taking the same stone as the last time. And while I sucked it I rearranged the other stones in the way I have just described. And so on. (Beckett, Molloy 69)And so on for six pages. Exhaustive permutation within a finite lexical set is common in Beckett. In the novel Watt the eponymous central character is charged with serving his unseen master’s dinner as well as tidying up afterwards. A simple and bucolic enough task it would seem. But Beckett’s characters are not satisfied with conjecture, the simple assumption that someone must be responsible for Mr. Knott’s dining arrangements. Like Molloy’s solution to the sucking stone problem, all possible scenarios must be considered to explain the conundrum of how and why Watt never saw Knott at mealtime. Twelve possibilities are offered, among them that1. Mr. Knott was responsible for the arrangement, and knew that he was responsible for the arrangement, and knew that such an arrangement existed, and was content.2. Mr. Knott was not responsible for the arrangement, but knew who was responsible for the arrangement, and knew that such an arrangement existed, and was content.(Beckett, Watt 86)This stringent adherence to detail, absurd and exasperating as it is, is the work of fiction, the persistence of a viable, believable thing called Watt who exists as long as his thought is made manifest on a page. All writers face this pernicious prospect of having to confront and satisfy “fiction’s gargantuan appetite for fact, for detail, for documentation” (Kenner 70). A writer’s writer (Philip Marlow) Dennis Potter’s singing detective struggles with the acute consciousness that words eventually will fail him. His struggle to overcome verbal entropy is a spectre that haunts the entire literary imagination, for when the words stop the world stops.Beckett made this struggle the very stuff of his work, declaring famously that all he wanted to do as a writer was to leave “a stain upon the silence” (quoted in Bair 681). His characters deteriorate from recognisable people (Hamm in Endgame, Winnie in Happy Days) to mere ciphers of speech acts (the bodiless head Listener in That Time, Mouth in Not I). During this process they provide us with the vocabulary of entropy, a horror most eloquently expressed at the end of The Unnamable: I can’t go on, you must go on, I’ll go on, you must say words, as long as there are any, until they find me, until they say me, strange pain, strange sin, you must go on, perhaps it’s done already, perhaps they have said me already, perhaps they have carried me to the threshold of my story, before the door that opens on my story, that would surprise me, if it opens, it will be I, it will be the silence, where I am, I don’t know, I’ll never know, in the silence you don’t know, you must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on. (Beckett, Molloy 418)The importance Beckett accorded to pauses in his writing, from breaks in dialogue to punctuation, stresses the pacing of utterance that is in sync with the rhythm of human breath. This is acutely underlined in Jack MacGowran’s extraordinary gramophone recording of the above passage from The Unnamable. There is exhaustion in his voice, but it is inflected by an urgent push for the next words to forestall the last gasp. And what might appear to be parsimony is in fact the very commerce of writing itself. It is an economy of necessity, when any words will suffice to sustain presence in the face of imminent silence.Hugh Kenner has written eloquently on the relationship between writing and entropy, drawing on field and number theory to demonstrate how the business of fiction is forever in the process of generating variation within a finite set. The “stoic comedian,” as he figures the writer facing the blank page, self-consciously practices their art in the full cognisance that they select “elements from a closed set, and then (arrange) them inside a closed field” (Kenner 94). The nouveau roman (a genre conceived and practiced in Beckett’s lean shadow) is remembered in literary history as a rather austere, po-faced formalism that foregrounded things at the expense of human psychology or social interaction. But it is emblematic of Kenner’s portrait of stoicism as an attitude to writing that confronts the nature of fiction itself, on its own terms, as a practice “which is endlessly arranging things” (13):The bulge of the bank also begins to take effect starting from the fifth row: this row, as a matter of fact, also possesses only twenty-one trees, whereas it should have twenty-two for a true trapezoid and twenty-three for a rectangle (uneven row). (Robbe-Grillet 21)As a matter of fact. The nouveau roman made a fine if myopic art of isolating detail for detail’s sake. However, it shares with both Beckett’s minimalism and Joyce’s maximalism the obligation of fiction to fill its world with stuff (“maximalism” is a term coined by Michel Delville and Andrew Norris in relation to the musical scores of Frank Zappa that opposes the minimalism of John Cage’s work). Kenner asks, in The Stoic Comedians, where do the “thousands on thousands of things come from, that clutter Ulysses?” His answer is simple, from “a convention” and this prosaic response takes us to the heart of the matter with respect to the impact on writing of Isaac Newton’s unforgiving Second Law of Thermodynamics. In the law’s strictest physical sense of the dissipation of heat, of the loss of energy within any closed system that moves, the stipulation of the Second Law predicts that words will, of necessity, stop in any form governed by convention (be it of horror, comedy, tragedy, the Bildungsroman, etc.). Building upon and at the same time refining the early work on motion and mass theorised by Aristotle, Kepler, and Galileo, inter alia, Newton refined both the laws and language of classical mechanics. It was from Wiener’s literary reading of Newton that Kenner segued from the loss of energy within any closed system (entropy) to the running silent out of words within fiction.In the wake of Norbert Wiener’s cybernetic turn in thinking in the 1940s, which was highly influenced by Newton’s Second Law, fiction would never again be considered in the same way (metafiction was a term coined in part to recognise this shift; the nouveau roman another). Far from delivering a reassured and reassuring present-ness, an integrated and ongoing cosmos, fiction is an isometric exercise in the struggle against entropy, of a world in imminent danger of running out of energy, of not-being:“His hand took his hat from the peg over his initialled heavy overcoat…” Four nouns, and the book’s world is heavier by four things. One, the hat, “Plasto’s high grade,” will remain in play to the end. The hand we shall continue to take for granted: it is Bloom’s; it goes with his body, which we are not to stop imagining. The peg and the overcoat will fade. “On the doorstep he felt in his hip pocket for the latchkey. Not there. In the trousers I left off.” Four more things. (Kenner 87)This passage from The Stoic Comedians is a tour de force of the conjuror’s art, slowing down the subliminal process of the illusion for us to see the fragility of fiction’s precarious grip on the verge of silence, heroically “filling four hundred empty pages with combinations of twenty-six different letters” (xiii). Kenner situates Joyce in a comic tradition, preceded by Gustave Flaubert and followed by Beckett, of exhaustive fictive possibility. The stoic, he tells us, “is one who considers, with neither panic nor indifference, that the field of possibilities available to him is large perhaps, or small perhaps, but closed” (he is prompt in reminding us that among novelists, gamblers and ethical theorists, the stoic is also a proponent of the Second Law of Thermodynamics) (xiii). If Joyce is the comedian of the inventory, then it is Flaubert, comedian of the Enlightenment, who is his immediate ancestor. Bouvard and Pécuchet (1881) is an unfinished novel written in the shadow of the Encyclopaedia, an apparatus of the literate mind that sought complete knowledge. But like the Encyclopaedia particularly and the Enlightenment more generally, it is fragmentation that determines its approach to and categorisation of detail as information about the world. Bouvard and Pécuchet ends, appropriately, in a frayed list of details, pronouncements and ephemera.In the face of an unassailable impasse, all that is left Flaubert is the list. For more than thirty years he constructed the Dictionary of Received Ideas in the shadow of the truncated Bouvard and Pécuchet. And in doing so he created for the nineteenth century mind “a handbook for novelists” (Kenner 19), a breakdown of all we know “into little pieces so arranged that they can be found one at a time” (3): ACADEMY, FRENCH: Run it down but try to belong to it if you can.GREEK: Whatever one cannot understand is Greek.KORAN: Book about Mohammed, which is all about women.MACHIAVELLIAN: Word only to be spoken with a shudder.PHILOSOPHY: Always snigg*r at it.WAGNER: Snigg*r when you hear his name and joke about the music of the future. (Flaubert, Dictionary 293-330)This is a sample of the exhaustion that issues from the tireless pursuit of categorisation, classification, and the mania for ordered information. The Dictionary manifests the Enlightenment’s insatiable hunger for received ideas, an unwieldy background noise of popular opinion, general knowledge, expertise, and hearsay. In both Bouvard and Pécuchet and the Dictionary, exhaustion was the foundation of a comic art as it was for both Joyce and Beckett after him, for the simple reason that it includes everything and neglects nothing. It is comedy born of overwhelming competence, a sublime impertinence, though not of manners or social etiquette, but rather, with a nod to Oscar Wilde, the impertinence of being definitive (a droll epithet that, not surprisingly, was the title of Kenner’s 1982 Times Literary Supplement review of Richard Ellmann’s revised and augmented biography of Joyce).The inventory, then, is the underlining physio-semiotics of fictional mechanics, an elegiac resistance to the thread of fiction fraying into nothingness. The motif of thermodynamics is no mere literary conceit here. Consider the opening sentence in Borges:Of the many problems which exercised the reckless discernment of Lönnrot, none was so strange—so rigorously strange, shall we say—as the periodic series of bloody events which culminated at the villa of Triste-le-Roy, amid the ceaseless aroma of the eucalypti. (Borges 76)The subordinate clause, as a means of adjectival and adverbial augmentation, implies a potentially infinite sentence through the sheer force of grammatical convention, a machine-like resistance to running out of puff:Under the notable influence of Chesterton (contriver and embellisher of elegant mysteries) and the palace counsellor Leibniz (inventor of the pre-established harmony), in my idle afternoons I have imagined this story plot which I shall perhaps write someday and which already justifies me somehow. (72)In “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote,” a single adjective charmed with emphasis will do to imply an unseen network:The visible work left by this novelist is easily and briefly enumerated. (Borges 36)The annotation of this network is the inexorable issue of the inflection: “I have said that Menard’s work can be easily enumerated. Having examined with care his personal files, I find that they contain the following items.” (37) This is a sample selection from nineteen entries:a) A Symbolist sonnet which appeared twice (with variants) in the review La conque (issues of March and October 1899).o) A transposition into alexandrines of Paul Valéry’s Le cimitière marin (N.R.F., January 1928).p) An invective against Paul Valéry, in the Papers for the Suppression of Reality of Jacques Reboul. (37-38)Lists, when we encounter them in Jorge Luis Borges, are always contextual, supplying necessary detail to expand upon character and situation. And they are always intertextual, anchoring this specific fictional world to others (imaginary, real, fabulatory or yet to come). The collation and annotation of the literary works of an imagined author (Pierre Menard) of an invented author (Edmond Teste) of an actual author (Paul Valéry) creates a recursive, yet generative, feedback loop of reference and literary progeny. As long as one of these authors continues to write, or write of the work of at least one of the others, a persistent fictional present tense is ensured.Consider Hillel Schwartz’s use of the list in his Making Noise (2011). It not only lists what can and is inevitably heard, in this instance the European 1700s, but what it, or local aural colour, is heard over:Earthy: criers of artichokes, asparagus, baskets, beans, beer, bells, biscuits, brooms, buttermilk, candles, six-pence-a-pound fair cherries, chickens, clothesline, co*ckles, combs, coal, crabs, cucumbers, death lists, door mats, eels, fresh eggs, firewood, flowers, garlic, hake, herring, ink, ivy, jokebooks, lace, lanterns, lemons, lettuce, mackeral, matches […]. (Schwartz 143)The extended list and the catalogue, when encountered as formalist set pieces in fiction or, as in Schwartz’s case, non-fiction, are the expansive equivalent of le mot juste, the self-conscious, painstaking selection of the right word, the specific detail. Of Ulysses, Kenner observes that it was perfectly natural that it “should have attracted the attention of a group of scholars who wanted practice in compiling a word-index to some extensive piece of prose (Miles Hanley, Word Index to Ulysses, 1937). More than any other work of fiction, it suggests by its texture, often by the very look of its pages, that it has been painstakingly assembled out of single words…” (31-32). In a book already crammed with detail, with persistent reference to itself, to other texts, other media, such formalist set pieces as the following from the oneiric “Circe” episode self-consciously perform for our scrutiny fiction’s insatiable hunger for more words, for invention, the Latin root of which also gives us the word inventory:The van of the procession appears headed by John Howard Parnell, city marshal, in a chessboard tabard, the Athlone Poursuivant and Ulster King of Arms. They are followed by the Right Honourable Joseph Hutchinson, lord mayor Dublin, the lord mayor of Cork, their worships the mayors of Limerick, Galway, Sligo and Waterford, twentyeight Irish representative peers, sirdars, grandees and maharajahs bearing the cloth of estate, the Dublin Metropolitan Fire Brigade, the chapter of the saints of finance in their plutocratic order of precedence, the bishop of Down and Connor, His Eminence Michael cardinal Logue archbishop of Armagh, primate of all Ireland, His Grace, the most reverend Dr William Alexander, archbishop of Armagh, primate of all Ireland, the chief rabbi, the Presbyterian moderator, the heads of the Baptist, Anabaptist, Methodist and Moravian chapels and the honorary secretary of the society of friends. (Joyce, Ulysses 602-604)Such examples demonstrate how Joycean inventories break from narrative as architectonic, stand-alone assemblages of information. They are Rabelaisian irruptions, like Philip Marlow’s lesions, that erupt in swollen bas-relief. The exaggerated, at times hysterical, quality of such lists, perform the hallucinatory work of displacement and condensation (the Homeric parallel here is the transformation of Odysseus’s men into swine by the witch Circe). Freudian, not to mention Stindberg-ian dream-work brings together and juxtaposes images and details that only make sense as non-sense (realistic but not real), such as the extraordinary explosive gathering of civic, commercial, political, chivalric representatives of Dublin in this foreshortened excerpt of Bloom’s regal campaign for his “new Bloomusalem” (606).The text’s formidable echolalia, whereby motifs recur and recapitulate into leitmotifs, ensures that the act of reading Ulysses is always cross-referential, suggesting the persistence of a conjured world that is always already still coming into being through reading. And it is of course this forestalling of Newton’s Second Law that Joyce brazenly conducts, in both the textual and physical sense, in Finnegans Wake. The Wake is an impossible book in that it infinitely sustains the circulation of words within a closed system, creating a weird feedback loop of cyclical return. It is a text that can run indefinitely through the force of its own momentum without coming to a conclusion. In a text in which the author’s alter ego is described in terms of the technology of inscription (Shem the Penman) and his craft as being a “punsil shapner,” (Joyce, Finnegans 98) Norbert Wiener’s descriptive example of feedback as the forestalling of entropy in the conscious act of picking up a pencil is apt: One we have determined this, our motion proceeds in such a way that we may say roughly that the amount by which the pencil is not yet picked up is decreased at each stage. (Wiener 7) The Wake overcomes the book’s, and indeed writing’s, struggle with entropy through the constant return of energy into its closed system as a cycle of endless return. Its generative algorithm can be represented thus: “… a long the riverrun …” (628-3). The Wake’s sense of unending confounds and contradicts, in advance, Frank Kermode’s averring to Newton’s Second Law in his insistence that the progression of all narrative fiction is defined in terms of the “sense of an ending,” the expectation of a conclusion, whereby the termination of words makes “possible a satisfying consonance with the origins and with the middle” (Kermode 17). It is the realisation of the novel imagined by Silas Flannery, the fictitious author in Italo Calvino’s If on a winter’s night a traveller, an incipit that “maintains for its whole duration the potentiality of the beginning” (Calvino 140). Finnegans Wake is unique in terms of the history of the novel (if that is indeed what it is) in that it is never read, but (as Joseph Frank observed of Joyce generally) “can only be re-read” (Frank 19). With Wiener’s allegory of feedback no doubt in mind, Jacques Derrida’s cybernetic account of the act of reading Joyce comes, like a form of echolalia, on the heels of Calvino’s incipit, his perpetual sustaining of the beginning: you stay on the edge of reading Joyce—for me this has been going on for twenty-five or thirty years—and the endless plunge throws you back onto the river-bank, on the brink of another possible immersion, ad infinitum … In any case, I have the feeling that I haven’t yet begun to read Joyce, and this “not having begun to read” is sometimes the most singular and active relationship I have with his work. (Derrida 148) Derrida wonders if this process of ongoing immersion in the text is typical of all works of literature and not just the Wake. The question is rhetorical and resonates into silence. And it is silence, ultimately, that hovers as a mute herald of the end when words will simply run out.Post(script)It is in the nature of all writing that it is read in the absence of its author. Perhaps the most typical form of writing, then, is the suicide note. In an extraordinary essay, “Goodbye, Cruel Words,” Mark Dery wonders why it has been “so neglected as a literary genre” and promptly sets about reviewing its decisive characteristics. Curiously, the list features amongst its many forms: I’m done with lifeI’m no goodI’m dead. (Dery 262)And references to lists of types of suicide notes are among Dery’s own notes to the essay. With its implicit generic capacity to intransitively add more detail, the list becomes in the light of the terminal letter a condition of writing itself. The irony of this is not lost on Dery as he ponders the impotent stoicism of the scribbler setting about the mordant task of writing for the last time. Writing at the last gasp, as Dery portrays it, is a form of dogged, radical will. But his concluding remarks are reflective of his melancholy attitude to this most desperate act of writing at degree zero: “The awful truth (unthinkable to a writer) is that eloquent suicide notes are rarer than rare because suicide is the moment when language fails—fails to hoist us out of the pit, fails even to express the unbearable weight” (264) of someone on the precipice of the very last word they will ever think, let alone write. Ihab Hassan (1967) and George Steiner (1967), it would seem, were latecomers as proselytisers of the language of silence. But there is a queer, uncanny optimism at work at the terminal moment of writing when, contra Dery, words prevail on the verge of “endless, silent night.” (264) Perhaps when Newton’s Second Law no longer has carriage over mortal life, words take on a weird half-life of their own. Writing, after Socrates, does indeed circulate indiscriminately among its readers. There is a dark irony associated with last words. When life ceases, words continue to have the final say as long as they are read, and in so doing they sustain an unlikely, and in their own way, stoical sense of unending.ReferencesBair, Deirdre. Samuel Beckett: A Biography. London: Jonathan Cape, 1978.Beckett, Samuel. Molloy Malone Dies. The Unnamable. London: John Calder, 1973.---. Watt. London: John Calder, 1976.Borges, Jorge Luis. Labyrinths. Selected Stories & Other Writings. Ed. Donald A. Yates & James E. Irby. New York: New Directions, 1964.Calvino, Italo. If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller. Trans. William Weaver, London: Picador, 1981.Delville, Michael, and Andrew Norris. “Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, and the Secret History of Maximalism.” Ed. Louis Armand. Contemporary Poetics: Redefining the Boundaries of Contemporary Poetics, in Theory & Practice, for the Twenty-First Century. Evanston: Northwestern UP, 2007. 126-49.Derrida, Jacques. “Two Words for Joyce.” Post-Structuralist Joyce. Essays from the French. Ed. Derek Attridge and Daniel Ferrer. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1984. 145-59.Dery, Mark. I Must Not think Bad Thoughts: Drive-by Essays on American Dread, American Dreams. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2012.Frank, Joseph, “Spatial Form in Modern Literature.” Sewanee Review, 53, 1945: 221-40, 433-56, 643-53.Flaubert, Gustave. Bouvard and Pécuchet. Trans. A. J. KrailSheimer. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1976.Flaubert, Gustave. Dictionary of Received Ideas. Trans. A. J. KrailSheimer. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1976.Hassan, Ihab. The Literature of Silence: Henry Miller and Samuel Beckett. New York: Knopf, 1967.Joyce, James. Finnegans Wake. London: Faber and Faber, 1975.---. Ulysses. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1992.Kenner, Hugh. The Stoic Comedians. Berkeley: U of California P, 1974.Kermode, Frank. The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Narrative Fiction. New York: Oxford U P, 1966.‪Levin, Bernard. Enthusiasms. London: Jonathan Cape, 1983.MacGowran, Jack. MacGowran Speaking Beckett. Claddagh Records, 1966.Pinter, Harold. The Birthday Party. London: Methuen, 1968.Potter, Dennis. The Singing Detective. London, Faber and Faber, 1987.Robbe-Grillet, Alain. Jealousy. Trans. Richard Howard. London: John Calder, 1965.Schwartz, Hillel. Making Noise. From Babel to the Big Bang and Beyond. New York: Zone Books, 2011.Steiner, George. Language and Silence: New York: Atheneum, 1967.Wiener, Norbert. Cybernetics, Or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1965.

32

Bowles-Smith, Emily. "Recovering Love’s Fugitive: Elizabeth Wilmot and the Oscillations between the Sexual and Textual Body in a Libertine Woman’s Manuscript Poetry." M/C Journal 11, no.6 (November28, 2008). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.73.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

Elizabeth Wilmot, Countess of Rochester, is best known to most modern readers as the woman John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, abducted and later wed. As Samuel Pepys memorably records in his diary entry for 28 May 1665:Thence to my Lady Sandwich’s, where, to my shame, I had not been a great while before. Here, upon my telling her a story of my Lord Rochester’s running away on Friday night last with Mrs Mallet, the great beauty and fortune of the North, who had supped at Whitehall with Mrs Stewart, and was going home to her lodgings with her grandfather, my Lord Haly, by coach; and was at Charing Cross seized on by both horse and footmen, and forcibly taken from him, and put into a coach with six horses, and two women provided to receive her, and carried away. Upon immediate pursuit, my Lord of Rochester (for whom the King had spoke to the lady often, but with no success) was taken at Uxbridge; but the lady is not yet heard of, and the King mighty angry and the Lord sent to the Tower. (http://www.pepysdiary.com/)Here Pepys provides an anecdote that offers what Helen Deutsch has described in another context as “the elusive possibility of truth embodied by ‘things in themselves,’ by the things, that is, preserved in anecdotal form” (28). Pepys’s diary entry yields up an “elusive possibility” of embodied truth; his version of Wilmot’s abduction solidifies what he perceives to be the most notable features of her identity: her beauty, her wealth, and her sexual trajectory.Pepys’s conclusion that “the lady is not yet heard of” complicates this idea of anecdotal preservation, for he neatly ties up his story of Wilmot’s body by erasing her from it: she is removed, voiceless and disembodied, from even this anecdote of her own abduction. Pepys’s double maneuver demonstrates the complex set of interactions surrounding the preservation of early modern women’s sexual and textual selves. Written into Pepys’s diary and writing in conversation with her husband, Wilmot has generally been treated as a subordinate historical and literary figure—a character rather than an agent or an author. The richness of Wilmot’s own writing has been largely ignored; her manuscript poetry has been treated as an artefact and a source of autobiographical material, whereas Rochester’s poetry—itself teeming with autobiographical details, references to material culture, and ephemera—is recognised and esteemed as literary. Rochester’s work provides a tremendous resource, a window through which we can read and re-read his wife’s work in ways that enlighten and open up readings rather than closing them down, and her works similarly complicate his writings.By looking at Wilmot as a case study, I would like to draw attention to some of the continued dilemmas that scholars face when we attempt to recover early modern women’s writing. With this study, I will focus on distinct features of Wilmot’s sexual and textual identity. I will consider assumptions about female docility; the politics and poetics of erotic espionage; and Wilmot’s construction of fugitive desires in her poetry. Like the writings of many early modern women, Wilmot’s manuscript poetry challenges assumptions about the intersections of gender, sexuality, and authorship. Early Modern Women’s Docile Bodies?As the entry from Pepys’s diary suggests, Wilmot has been constructed as a docile female body—she is rendered “ideal” according to a set of gendered practices by which “inferior status has been inscribed” on her body (Bartky 139). Contrasting Pepys’s references to Wilmot’s beauty and marriageability with Wilmot’s own vivid descriptions of sexual desire highlights Wilmot’s tactical awareness and deployment of her inscribed form. In one of her manuscript poems, she writes:Nothing ades to Loves fond fireMore than scorn and cold disdainI to cherish your desirekindness used but twas in vainyou insulted on your SlaveTo be mine you soon refusedHope hope not then the power to haveWhich ingloriously you used. (230)This poem yields up a wealth of autobiographical information and provides glimpses into Wilmot’s psychology. Rochester spent much of his married life having affairs with women and men, and Wilmot represents herself as embodying her devotion to her husband even as he rejects her. In a recent blog entry about Wilmot’s poetry, Ellen Moody suggests that Wilmot “must maintain her invulnerable guard or will be hurt; the mores damn her whatever she does.” Interpretations of Wilmot’s verse typically overlay such sentiments on her words: she is damned by social mores, forced to configure her body and desire according to rigorous social codes that expect women to be pure and inviolable yet also accessible to their lovers and “invulnerable” to the pain produced by infidelity. Such interpretations, however, deny Wilmot the textual and sexual agency accorded to Rochester, begging the question of whether or not we have moved beyond reading women’s writing as essential, natural, and embodied. Thus while these lines might in fact yield up insights into Wilmot’s psychosocial and sexual identities, we continue to marginalise her writing and by extension her author-self if we insist on taking her words at face value. Compare, for example, Wilmot’s verse to the following song by her contemporary Aphra Behn:Love in Fantastique Triumph satt,Whilst Bleeding Hearts a round him flow’d,For whom Fresh paines he did Create,And strange Tyranick power he show’d;From thy Bright Eyes he took his fire,Which round about, in sports he hurl’d;But ’twas from mine, he took desire,Enough to undo the Amorous World. (53) This poem, which first appeared in Behn’s tragedy Abdelazer (1677) and was later printed in Poems upon Several Occasions (1684), was one of Behn’s most popular lyric verses. In the 1920s and 1930s Ernest Bernbaum, Montague Summers, Edmund Gosse, and others mined Behn’s works for autobiographical details and suggested that such historical details were all that her works offered—a trend that continued, disturbingly, into the later half of the twentieth century. Since the 1980s, Paula R. Backscheider, Ros Ballaster, Catherine Gallagher, Robert Markley, Paul Salzman, Jane Spencer, and Janet Todd have shown that Behn’s works are not simple autobiographical documents; they are the carefully crafted productions of a literary professional. Even though Behn’s song evokes a masoch*stic relationship between lover and beloved much like Wilmot’s song, critics treat “Love Arm’d” as a literary work rather than a literal transcription of female desire. Of course there are material differences between Wilmot’s song and Behn’s “Love Arm’d,” the most notable of which involves Behn’s self-conscious professionalism and her poem’s entrenchment in the structures of performance and print culture. But as scholars including Kathryn King and Margaret J. M. Ezell have begun to suggest, print publication was not the only way for writers to produce and circulate literary texts. King has demonstrated the ways in which female authors of manuscripts were producing social texts (563), and Ezell has shown that “collapsing ‘public’ into ‘publication’” leads modern readers to “overlook the importance of the social function of literature for women as well as men” (39). Wilmot’s poems did not go through the same material, ideological, and commercial processes as Behn’s poems did, but they participated in a social and cultural network of exchange that operated according to its own rules and that, significantly, was the same network that Rochester himself used for the circulation of his verses. Wilmot’s writings constitute about half of the manuscript Portland PwV 31, held by Hallward Library, University of Nottingham—a manuscript catalogued in the Perdita Project but lacking a description and biographical note. Teresa D. Kemp has discussed the impact of the Perdita Project on the study of early modern women’s writing in Feminist Teacher, and Jill Seal Millman and Elizabeth Clarke (both of whom are involved with the project) have also written articles about the usability of the database. Like many of the women writers catalogued by the Perdita Project, Wilmot lacks her own entry in the Dictionary of National Biography and is instead relegated to the periphery in Rochester’s entry.The nineteen-page folio includes poems by both Rochester and Wilmot. The first eight poems are autograph manuscript poems by Rochester, and a scene from a manuscript play ‘Scaene 1st, Mr. Daynty’s chamber’ is also included. The remaining poems, excluding one without attribution, are by Wilmot and are identified on the finding aid as follows:Autograph MS poem, entitled ‘Song’, by Elizabeth WilmotAutograph MS poem, entitled ‘Song’, by Elizabeth WilmotAutograph MS poem, entitled ‘Song’, by Elizabeth WilmotMS poem, untitled, not ascribed Autograph MS poem, entitled ‘Song’, by Elizabeth WilmotAutograph MS poem, untitled, by Elizabeth WilmotAutograph MS poem, untitled, by Elizabeth WilmotAutograph MS poem, untitled, by Elizabeth Wilmot Autograph MS poem, untitled, by Elizabeth WilmotTwo of the songs (including the lyric quoted above) have been published in Kissing the Rod with the disclaimer that marks of revision reveal that “Lady Rochester was not serving as an amanuensis for her husband” yet the editors maintain that “some sort of literary collaboration cannot be ruled out” (230), implying that Rochester helped his wife write her poetry. Establishing a non-hierarchical strategy for reading women’s collaborative manuscript writing here seems necessary. Unlike Behn, who produced works in manuscript and in print and whose maximization of the slippages between these modes has recently been analyzed by Anne Russell, Wilmot and Rochester both wrote primarily in manuscript. Yet only Rochester’s writings have been accorded literary status by historians of the book and of manuscript theory such as Harold Love and Arthur Marotti. Even though John Wilders notes that Rochester’s earliest poems were dialogues written with his wife, the literariness of her contributions is often undercut. Wilders offers a helpful suggestion that the dialogues set up by these poems helps “hint … at further complexities in the other” (51), but the complexities are identified as sexual rather than textual. Further, the poems are treated as responses to Rochester rather than conversations with him. Readers like Moody, moreover, draw reflections of marital psychology from Wilmot’s poems instead of considering their polysemic qualities and other literary traits. Instead of approaching the lines quoted above from Wilmot’s song as indications of her erotic and conjugal desire for her husband, we can consider her confident deployment of metaphysical conceits, her careful rhymes, and her visceral imagery. Furthermore, we can locate ways in which Wilmot and Rochester use the device of the answer poem to build a complex dialogue rather than a hierarchical relationship in which one voice dominates the other. The poems comprising Portland PwV 31 are written in two hands and two voices; they complement one another, but neither contains or controls the other. Despite the fact that David Farley-Hills dismissively calls this an “‘answer’ to this poem written in Lady Rochester’s handwriting” (29), the verses coexist in playful exchange textually as well as sexually. Erotic Exchange, Erotic EspionageBut does a reorientation of literary criticism away from Wilmot’s body and towards her body of verse necessarily entail a loss of her sexual and artefactual identity? Along with the account from Pepys’s diary mentioned at the outset of this study, letters from Rochester to his wife survive that provide a prosaic account of the couple’s married life. For instance, Rochester writes to her: “I love not myself as much as you do” (quoted in Green 159). Letters from Rochester to his wife typically showcase his playfulness, wit, and ribaldry (in one letter, he berates the artist responsible for two miniatures of Wilmot in strokes that are humorous yet also charged with a satire that borders on invective). The couple’s relationship was beleaguered by the doubts, infidelities, and sexual double standards that an autobiographical reading of Wilmot’s songs yields up, therefore it seems as counterproductive for feminist literary theory, criticism, and recovery work to entirely dispense with the autobiographical readings as it seems reductive to entirely rely on them. When approaching works like these manuscript poems, then, I propose using a model of erotic exchange and erotic espionage in tandem with more text-bound modes of literary criticism. To make this maneuver, we might begin by considering Gayle Rubin’s proposition that “If women are the gifts, then it is men who are the exchange partners. And it is the partners, not the presents, upon whom reciprocal exchange confers its quasi-mystical power of social linkage” (398). Wilmot’s poetry relentlessly unsettles the binary set up between partner and present, thereby demanding a more pluralistic identification of sexual and textual economies. Wilmot constructs Rochester as absent (“Thats caused by absence norished by despaire”), which is an explicit inversion of the gendered terms stereotypically deployed in poetry (the absent woman in works by Rochester as well as later satirists like Jonathan Swift and Alexander Pope often catalyzes sexual desire) that also registers Wilmot’s autobiographical contexts. She was, during most of her married life, living with his mother, her own mother, and Rochester’s nieces in his house at Adderbury while he stayed in London. The desire in Wilmot’s poetry is textualised as much as it is sexualised; weaving this doublebraid of desires and designs together ultimately provides the most complete interpretation of the verses. I read the verses as offering a literary form of erotic espionage in which Wilmot serves simultaneously as erotic object and author. That is, she both is and is not the Cloris of her (and Rochester’s) poetry, capable of looking on and authorizing her desired and desiring body. The lyric in which Wilmot writes “He would return the fugitive with Shame” provides the clearest example of the interpretive tactic that I am proposing. The line, from Wilmot’s song “Cloris misfortunes that can be exprest,” refers to the deity of Love in its complete context:Such conquering charmes contribute to my chainAnd ade fresh torments to my lingering painThat could blind Love juge of my faithful flameHe would return the fugitive with ShameFor having bin insenceable to loveThat does by constancy it merritt prove. (232)The speaker of the poem invokes Cupid and calls on “blind Love” to judge “my faithful flame.” The beloved would then be returned “fugitive with Shame” because “blind Love” would have weighed the lover’s passion and the beloved’s insensibility. Interestingly, the gender of the beloved and the lover are not marked in this poem. Only Cupid is marked as male. Although the lover is hypothetically associated with femaleness in the final stanza (“She that calls not reason to her aid / Deserves the punishmentt”), the ascription could as easily be gendering the trait of irrationality as gendering the subject/author of the poem. Desire, complaint, and power circulate in the song in a manner that lacks clear reference; the reader receives glimpses into an erotic world that is far more ornately literary than it is material. That is, reading the poem makes one aware of tropes of power and desire, whereas actual bodies recede into the margins of the text—identifiable because of the author’s handwriting, not a uniquely female perspective on sexuality or (contrary to Moody’s interpretation) a specifically feminine acquiescence to gender norms. Strategies for Reading a Body of VerseWilmot’s poetry participates in what might be described as two distinct poetic and political modes. On one hand, her writing reproduces textual expectations about Restoration answer poems, songs and lyrics, and romantic verses. She crafts poetry that corresponds to the same textual conventions that men like Rochester, John Dryden, Abraham Cowley, and William Cavendish utilised when they wrote in manuscript. For Wilmot, as for her male contemporaries, such manuscript writing would have been socially circulated; at the same time, the manuscript documents had a fluidity that was less common in print texts. Dryden and Behn’s published writings, for instance, often had a more literary context (“Love Arm’d” refers to Abdelazer, not to Behn’s sexual identity), whereas manuscript writing often referred to coteries of readers and writers, friends and lovers.As part of the volatile world of manuscript writing, Wilmot’s poetry also highlights her embodied erotic relationships. But over-reading—or only reading—the poetry as depicting a conjugal erotics limits our ability to recover Wilmot as an author and an agent. Feminist recovery work has opened many new tactics for incorporating women’s writing into existing literary canons; it has also helped us imagine ways of including female domestic work, sexuality, and other embodied forms into our understanding of early modern culture. By drawing together literary recovery work with a more material interest in recuperating women’s sexual bodies, we should begin to recuperate women like Wilmot not simply as authors or bodies but as both. The oscillations between the sexual and textual body in Wilmot’s poetry, and in our assessments of her life and writings, should help us approach her works (like the works of Rochester) as possessing a three-dimensionality that they have long been denied. ReferencesBartky, Sandra Lee. “Foucault, Femininity, and the Modernization of Patriarchal Power.” In Writing on the Body: Female Embodiment and Feminist Theory. Ed. Katie Conboy, Nadia Medina, and Sarah Stanbury. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997. 129-54.Behn, Aphra. “Song. Love Arm’d.” The Works of Aphra Behn. Volume 1: Poetry. Ed. Janet Todd. London: William Pickering, 1992. 53.Clarke, Elizabeth. “Introducing Hester Pulter and the Perdita Project.” Literature Compass 2.1 (2005). ‹http://www.blackwell-compass.com/subject/literature/article_view?article_id=lico_articles_bsl159›. Deutsch, Helen. Loving Doctor Johnson. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.Diamond, Irene, Ed. Feminism and Foucault: Reflections on Resistance. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1988.Ezell, Margaret J. M. Social Authorship and the Advent of Print. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.Farley-Hill, David. Rochester’s Poetry. Totowa: Rowman and Littlefield, 1978. Greene, Graham. Lord Rochester’s Monkey. New York: Penguin, 1974. Greer, Germaine, Susan Hastings, Jeslyn Medoff, and Melinda Sansone, Ed. Kissing the Rod: An Anthology of Seventeenth-Century Women’s Verse. New York: Noonday Press, 1988. Kemp, Theresa D. “Early Women Writers.” Feminist Teacher 18.3 (2008): 234-39.King, Kathryn. “Jane Barker, Poetical Recreations, and the Sociable Text.” ELH 61 (1994): 551-70.Love, Harold, and Arthur F. Marotti. "Manuscript Transmission and Circulation." The Cambridge History of Early Modern English Literature. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2002. 55-80. Love, Harold. "Systemizing Sigla." English Manuscript Studies 1100-1700. 11 (2002): 217-230. Marotti, Arthur F. "Shakespeare's Sonnets and the Manuscript Circulation of Texts in Early Modern England." A Companion to Shakespeare's Sonnets. Oxford: Blackwell, 2007. 185-203.McNay, Lois. Foucault And Feminism: Power, Gender, and the Self. Boston: Northeastern, 1992.Moody, Ellen. “Elizabeth Wilmot (neé Mallet), Countess of Rochester, Another Woman Poet.” Blog entry 16 March 2006. 11 Nov. 2008 ‹http://server4.moody.cx/index.php?id=400›. Pepys, Samuel. The Diary of Samuel Pepys. 23 Aug. 2008 ‹http://www.pepysdiary.com/archive/1665/05/28/index.php›. Rubin, Gayle. “The Traffic in Women: Notes on the ‘Political Economy’ of Sex.” Feminist Literary Theory and Criticism: A Norton Reader, ed. Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar, 392-413. New York: Norton, 2007.Russell, Anne. “Aphra Behn, Textual Communities, and Pastoral Sobriquets.” English Language Notes 40.4 (June 2003): 41-50.———. “'Public' and 'Private' in Aphra Behn's Miscellanies: Women Writers, Print, and Manuscript.” Write or Be Written: Early Modern Women Poets and Cultural Constraints. Ed. Barbara Smith and Ursula Appelt. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001. 29-48. Sawicki, Jana. Disciplining Foucault: Feminism, Power and the Body. New York: Routledge, 1991.Seal, Jill. "The Perdita Project—A Winter's Report." Early Modern Literary Studies 6.3 (January, 2001): 10.1-14. ‹http://purl.oclc.org/emls/06-3/perdita.htm›.Wilders, John. “Rochester and the Metaphysicals.” In Spirit of Wit: Reconsiderations of Rochester. Ed. Jeremy Treglown. Hamden: Archon, 1982. 42-57.Wilmot, Elizabeth, Countess of Rochester. “Song” (“Nothing Ades to Love's Fond Fire”) and “Song” (“Cloris Misfortunes That Can Be Exprest”) in Kissing the Rod. 230-32.

33

Juckes, Daniel. "Walking as Practice and Prose as Path Making: How Life Writing and Journey Can Intersect." M/C Journal 21, no.4 (October15, 2018). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1455.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

Through my last lengthy writing project, it did not take long to I realise I had become obsessed with paths. The proof of it was there in my notebooks, and, most prominently, in the backlog of photographs cluttering the inner workings of my mobile phone. Most of the photographs I took had a couple of things in common: first, the astonishing greenness of the world they were describing; second, the way a road or path or corridor or pavement or trail led off into distance. The greenness was because I was in England, in summer, and mostly in a part of the country where green seems at times the only colour. I am not sure what it was about tailing perspective that caught me.Image 1: a) Undercliffe Cemetery, Bradford; b) Undercliffe Cemetery, Bradfordc) Leeds Road, Otley; d) Shibden Park, Halifax Image 2: a) Runswick Bay; b) St. Mary's Churchyard, Habberleyc) The Habberley Road, to Pontesbury; d) Todmorden, path to Stoodley Pike I was working on a kind of family memoir, tied up in my grandmother’s last days, which were also days I spent marching through towns and countryside I once knew, looking for clues about a place and its past. I had left the north-west of England a decade or so before, and I was grappling with what James Wood calls “homelooseness”, a sensation of exile that even economic migrants like myself encounter. It is a particular kind of “secular homelessness” in which “the ties that might bind one to Home have been loosened” (105-106). Loosened irrevocably, I might add. The kind of wandering which I embarked on is not unique. Wood describes it in himself, and in the work of W.G. Sebald—a writer who, he says, “had an exquisite sense of the varieties of not-belonging” (106).I walked a lot, mostly on paths I used to know. And when, later, I counted up the photographs I had taken of that similar-but-different scene, there were almost 500 of them, none of which I can bring myself to delete. Some were repeated, or nearly so—I had often tried to make sure the path in the frame was centred in the middle of the screen. Most of the pictures were almost entirely miscellaneous, and if it were not for a feature on my phone I could not work out how to turn off (that feature which tracks where each photograph was taken) I would not have much idea of what each picture represented. What’s clear is that there was some lingering significance, some almost-tangible metaphor, in the way I was recording the walking I was doing. This same significance is there, too (in an almost quantifiable way), in the thesis I was working on while I was taking the photographs: I used the word “path” 63 times in the version I handed to examiners, not counting all the times I could have, but chose not to—all the “pavements”, “trails”, “roads”, and “holloways” of it would add up to a number even more substantial. For instance, the word “walk”, or derivatives of it, comes up 115 times. This article is designed to ask why. I aim to focus on that metaphor, on that significance, and unpack the way life writing can intersect with both the journey of a life being lived, and the process of writing down that life (by process of writing I sometimes mean anything but: I mean the process of working towards the writing. Of going, of doing, of talking, of spending, of working, of thinking, of walking). I came, in the thesis, to view certain kinds of prose as a way of imitating the rhythms of the mind, but I think there’s something about that rhythm which associates it with the feet as well. Rebecca Solnit thinks so too, or, at least, that the processes of thinking and walking can wrap around each other, helixed or concatenated. In Wanderlust she says that:the rhythm of walking generates a kind of rhythm of thinking, and the passage through a landscape echoes or stimulates the passage through a series of thoughts. This creates an odd consonance between internal and external passage, one that suggests that the mind is also a landscape of sorts and that walking is one way to traverse it. (5-6)The “odd consonance” Solnit speaks of is a kind of seamlessness between the internal and external; it is something which can be aped on the page. And, in this way, prose can imitate the mind thinking. This way of writing is evident in the digression-filled, wandering, sinuous sentences of W.G. Sebald, and of Marcel Proust as well. I don’t want to entangle myself in the question of whether Proust and Sebald count as life writers here. I used them as models, and, at the very least, I think their prose manipulates the conceits of the autobiographical pact. In fact, Sebald often refused to label his own work; once he called his writing “prose [...] of indefinite form” (Franklin 123). My definition of life writing is, thus, indefinite, and merely indicates the field in which I work and know best.Edmund White, when writing on Proust, suggested that every page of Remembrance of Things Past—while only occasionally being a literal page of Proust’s mind thinking—is, nevertheless, “a transcript of a mind thinking [...] the fully orchestrated, ceaseless, and disciplined ruminations of one mind, one voice” (138). Ceaselessness, seamlessness ... there’s also a viscosity to this kind of prose—Virginia Woolf called it “impassioned”, and spoke of the way some prosecan lick up with its long glutinous tongue the most minute fragments of fact and mass them into the most subtle labyrinths, and listen silently at doors behind which only a murmur, only a whisper, is to be heard. With all the suppleness of a tool which is in constant use it can follow the windings and record the changes which are typical of the modern mind. To this, with Proust and Dostoevsky behind us, we must agree. (20)When I read White and Woolf it seemed they could have been talking about Sebald, too: everything in Sebald’s oeuvre is funnelled through what White described in Remembrance as the cyclopean “I” at the centre of the Proustian consciousness (138). The same could be said about Sebald: as Lynne Schwartz says, “All Sebald’s characters sound like the narrator” (15). And that narrator has very particular qualities, encouraged by the sense of homelooseness Wood describes: the Sebald narrator is a wanderer, by train through Italian cities and New York Suburbs, on foot through the empty reaches of the English countryside, exploring the history of each settlement he passes through [...] Wherever he travels, he finds strangely vacant streets and roads, not a soul around [...] Sebald’s books are famously strewn with evocative, gloomy black-and-white photographs that call up the presence of the dead, of vanished places, and also serve as proofs of his passage. (Schwartz 14) I tried to resist the urge to take photographs, for the simple reason that I knew I could not include them all in the finished thesis—even including some would seem (perhaps) derivative. But this method of wandering—whether on the page or in the world—was formative for me. And the linkage between thinking and walking, and walking and writing, and writing and thinking is worth exploring, if only to identify some reason for that need to show proof of passage.Walking in Proust and Sebald either forms the shape of narrative, or one its cruxes. Both found ways to let walking affect the rhythm, movement, motivation, and even the aesthetic of their prose. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn, for example, is plotless because of the way it follows its narrator on a walking tour of Suffolk. The effect is similar to something Murray Baumgarten noticed in one of Sebald’s other books, The Emigrants: “The [Sebaldian] narrator discovers in the course of his travels (and with him the reader) that he is constructing the text he is reading, a text at once being imagined and destroyed, a fragment of the past, and a ruin that haunts the present” (268). Proust’s opus is a meditation on the different ways we can walk. Remembrance is a book about momentum—a book about movement. It is a book which always forges forward, but which always faces backward, where time and place can still and footsteps be paused in motion, or tiptoed upstairs and across tables or be caught in flight over the body of an octogenarian lying on a beach. And it is the walks of the narrator’s past—his encounters with landscape—that give his present (and future) thoughts impetus: the rhythms of his long-past progress still affect the way he moves and acts and thinks, and will always do so:the “Méséglise way” and the “Guermantes way” remain for me linked with many of the little incidents of that one of all the divers lives along whose parallel lines we are moved, which is the most abundant in sudden reverses of fortune, the richest in episodes; I mean the life of the mind [...] [T]he two “ways” give to those [impressions of the mind] a foundation, depth, a dimension lacking from the rest. They invest them, too, with a charm, a significance which is for me alone. (Swann’s Way 252-255)The two “ways”—walks in and around the town of Combray—are, for the narrator, frames through which he thinks about his childhood, and all the things which happened to him because of that childhood. I felt something similar through the process of writing my thesis: a need to allow the 3-mile-per-hour-connection between mind and body and place that Solnit speaks about seep into my work. I felt the stirrings of old ways; the places I once walked, which I photographed and paced, pulsed and pushed me forwards in the present and towards the future. I felt strangely attached to, and disconnected from, those pathways: lanes where I had rummaged for conkers; streets my grandparents had once lived and worked on; railways demolished because of roads which now existed, leaving only long, straight pathways through overgrown countryside suffused with time and memory. The oddness I felt might be an effect of what Wood describes as a “certain doubleness”, “where homesickness is a kind of longing for Britain and an irritation with Britain: sickness for and sickness of” (93-94). The model of seamless prose offered some way to articulate, at least, the particularities of this condition, and of the problem of connection—whether with place or the past. But it is in this shift away from conclusiveness, which occurs when the writer constructs-as-they-write, that Baumgarten sees seamlessness:rather than the defined edges, boundaries, and conventional perceptions promised by realism, and the efficient account of intention, action, causation, and conclusion implied by the stance of realistic prose, reader and narrator have to assimilate the past and present in a dream state in which they blend imperceptibly into each other. (277)It’s difficult to articulate the way in which the connection between walking, writing, and thinking works. Solnit draws one comparison, talking to the ways in which digression and association mix:as a literary structure, the recounted walk encourages digression and association, in contrast to the stricter form of a discourse or the chronological progression of a biographical or historical narrative [...] James Joyce and Virginia Woolf would, in trying to describe the workings of the mind, develop of style called stream of consciousness. In their novels Ulysses and Mrs Dalloway, the jumble of thoughts and recollections of their protagonists unfolds best during walks. This kind of unstructured, associative thinking is the kind most often connected to walking, and it suggests walking as not an analytical but an improvisational act. (21)I think the key, here, is the notion of association—in the making of connections, and, in my case, in the making of connections between present and past. When we walk we exist in a roving state, and with a dual purpose: Sophie Cunningham says that we walk to get from one place to the next, but also to insist that “what lies between our point of departure and our destination is important. We create connection. We pay attention to detail, and these details plant us firmly in the day, in the present” (Cunningham). The slipperiness of homelooseness can be emphasised in the slipperiness of seamless prose, and walking—situating self in the present—is a rebuttal of slipperiness (if, as I will argue, a rebuttal which has at its heart a contradiction: it is both effective and ineffective. It feels as close as is possible to something impossible to attain). Solnit argues that walking and what she calls “personal, descriptive, and specific” writing are suited to each other:walking is itself a way of grounding one’s thoughts in a personal and embodied experience of the world that it lends itself to this kind of writing. This is why the meaning of walking is mostly discussed elsewhere than in philosophy: in poetry, novels, letters, diaries, travellers’ accounts, and first-person essays. (26)If a person is searching for some kind of possible-impossible grounding in the past, then walking pace is the pace at which to achieve that sensation (both in the world and on the page). It is at walking pace that connections can be made, even if they can be sensed slipping away: this is the Janus-faced problem of attempting to uncover anything which has been. The search, in fact, becomes facsimile for the past itself, or for the inconclusiveness of the past. In my own work—in preparing for that work—I walked and wrote about walking up the flank of the hill which hovered above the house in which I lived before I left England. To get to the top, and the great stone monument which sits there, I had to pass that house. The door was open, and that was enough to unsettle. Baumgarten, again on The Emigrants, articulates the effect: “unresolved, fragmented, incomplete, relying on shards for evidence, the narrator insists on the inconclusiveness of his experience: rather than arriving at a conclusion, narrator and reader are left disturbed” (269).Sebald writes in his usual intense way about a Swiss writer, Robert Walser, who he calls le promeneur solitaire (“The Solitary Walker”). Walser was a prolific writer, but through the last years of his life wrote less and less until he ended up incapable of doing so: in the end, Sebald says, “the traces Robert Walser left on his path through life were so faint as to have almost been effaced altogether” (119).Sebald draws parallels between Walser and his own grandfather. Both have worked their way into Sebald’s prose, along with the author himself. Because of this co*cktail, I’ve come to read Sebald’s thoughts on Walser as sideways thoughts on his own prose (perhaps due to that cyclopean quality described by White). The works of the two writers share, at the very least, a certain incandescent ephemerality—a quality which exists in Sebald’s work, crystallised in the form and formlessness of a wasps’ nest. The wasps’ nest is a symbol Sebald uses in his book Vertigo, and which he talks to in an interview with Sarah Kafatou:do you know what a wasp’s nest is like? It’s made of something much much thinner than airmail paper: grey and as thin as possible. This gets wrapped around and around like pastry, like a millefeuille, and can get as big as two feet across. It weighs nothing. For me the wasp’s nest is a kind of ideal vision: an object that is extremely complicated and intricate, made out of something that hardly exists. (32)It is in this ephemerality that the walker’s way of moving—if not their journey—can be felt. The ephemerality is necessary because of the way the world is: the way it always passes. A work which is made to seem to encompass everything, like Remembrance of Things Past, is made to do so because that is the nature of what walking offers: an ability to comprehend the world solidly, both minutely and vastly, but with a kind of forgetting attached to it. When a person walks through the world they are firmly embedded in it, yes, but they are also always enacting a process of forgetting where they have been. This continual interplay between presence and absence is evidenced in the way in which Sebald and Proust build the consciousnesses they shape on the page—consciousnessess accustomed to connectedness. According to Sebald, it was through the prose of Walser that he learned this—or, at least, through an engagement with Walser’s world, Sebald, “slowly learned to grasp how everything is connected across space and time” (149). Perhaps it can be seen in the way that the Méséglise and Guermantes ways resonate for the Proustian narrator even when they are gone. Proust’s narrator receives a letter from an old love, in the last volume of Remembrance, which describes the fate of the Méséglise way (Swann’s way, that is—the title of the first volume in the sequence). Gilberte tells him that the battlefields of World War I have overtaken the paths they used to walk:the little road you so loved, the one we called the stiff Hawthorn climb, where you professed to be in love with me when you were a child, when all the time I was in love with you, I cannot tell you how important that position is. The great wheatfield in which it ended is the famous “slope 307,” the name you have so often seen recorded in the communiqués. The French blew up the little bridge over the Vivonne which, you remember, did not bring back your childhood to you as much as you would have liked. The Germans threw others across; during a year and a half they held one half of Combray and the French the other. (Time Regained 69-70)Lia Purpura describes, and senses, a similar kind of connectedness. The way in which each moment builds into something—into the ephemeral, shifting self of a person walking through the world—is emphasised because that is the way the world works:I could walk for miles right now, fielding all that passes through, rubs off, lends a sense of being—that rush of moments, objects, sensations so much like a cloud of gnats, a cold patch in the ocean, dust motes in a ray of sun that roil, gather, settle around my head and make up the daily weather of a self. (x)This is what seamless prose can emulate: the rush of moments and the folds and shapes which dust turns and makes. And, well, I am aware that this may seem a grand kind of conclusion, and even a peculiarly nonspecific one. But nonspecificity is built by a culmination of details, of sentences—it is built deliberately, to evoke a sense of looseness in the world. And in the associations which result, through the mind of the writer, their narrator, and the reader, much more than is evident on the page—Sebald’s “everything”—is flung to the surface. Of course, this “everything” is split through with the melancholy evident in the destruction of the Méséglise way. Nonspecificity becomes the result of any attempt to capture the past—or, at least, the past becomes less tangible the longer, closer, and slower your attempt to grasp it. In both Sebald and Proust the task of representation is made to feel seamless in echo of the impossibility of resolution.In the unbroken track of a sentence lies a metaphor for the way in which life is spent: under threat, forever assaulted by the world and the senses, and forever separated from what came before. The walk-as-method is entangled with the mind thinking and the pen writing; each apes the other, and all work towards the same kind of end: an articulation of how the world is. At least, in the hands of Sebald and Proust and through their long and complex prosodies, it does. For both there is a kind of melancholy attached to this articulation—perhaps because the threads that bind sever as well. The Rings of Saturn offers a look at this. The book closes with a chapter on the weaving of silk, inflected, perhaps, with a knowledge of the ways in which Robert Walser—through attempts to ensnare some of life’s ephemerality—became a victim of it:That weavers in particular, together with scholars and writers with whom they had much in common, tended to suffer from melancholy and all the evils associated with it, is understandable given the nature of their work, which forced them to sit bent over, day after day, straining to keep their eye on the complex patterns they created. It is difficult to imagine the depths of despair into which those can be driven who, even after the end of the working day, are engrossed in their intricate designs and who are pursued, into their dreams, by the feeling that they have got hold of the wrong thread. (283)Vladimir Nabokov, writing on Swann’s Way, gives a competing metaphor for thinking through the seamlessness afforded by walking and writing. It is, altogether, more optimistic: more in keeping with Purpura’s interpretation of connectedness: “Proust’s conversations and his descriptions merge into one another, creating a new unity where flower and leaf and insect belong to one and the same blossoming tree” (214). This is the purpose of long and complex books like The Rings of Saturn and Remembrance of Things Past: to draw the lines which link each and all together. To describe the shape of consciousness, to mimic the actions of a body experiencing its progress through the world. I think that is what the photographs I took when wandering attempt, in a failing way, to do. They all show a kind of relentlessness, but in that relentlessness is also, I think, the promise of connectedness—even if not connectedness itself. Each path aims forward, and articulates something of what came before and what might come next, whether trodden in the world or walked on the page.Author’s NoteI’d like to express my thanks to the anonymous reviewers who took time to improve this article. I’m grateful for their insights and engagement, and for the nuance they added to the final copy.References Baumgarten, Murray. “‘Not Knowing What I Should Think:’ The Landscape of Postmemory in W.G. Sebald’s The Emigrants.” Partial Answers: Journal of Literature and the History of Ideas 5.2 (2007): 267-287. 28 Sep. 2018 <https://doi.org/10.1353/pan.2007.0000>.Cunningham, Sophie. “Staying with the Trouble.” Australian Book Review 371 (May 2015). 23 June 2016 <https://www.australianbookreview.com.au/abr-online/archive/2015/2500-2015-calibre-prize-winner-staying-with-the-trouble>.Franklin, Ruth. “Rings of Smoke.” The Emergence of Memory: Conversations with W.G. Sebald. Ed. Lynne Sharon Schwartz. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2007. 121-122.Kafatou, Sarah. “An Interview with W.G. Sebald.” Harvard Review 15 (1998): 31-35. Nabokov, Vladimir. “Marcel Proust: The Walk by Swann’s Place.” 1980. Lectures on Literature. London: Picador, 1983. 207-250.Proust, Marcel. Swann’s Way. Part I. 1913. Trans. C.K. Scott Moncrieff in 1922. London: Chatto & Windus, 1960.———. Time Regained. 1927. Trans. Stephen Hudson. London: Chatto & Windus, 1957.Purpura, Lia. “On Not Pivoting”. Diagram 12.1 (n.d.). 21 June 2018 <http://thediagram.com/12_1/purpura.html>.Schwartz, Lynne Sharon, ed. The Emergence of Memory: Conversations with W.G. Sebald. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2007.Sebald, W.G. The Rings of Saturn. 1995. Trans. Michael Hulse in 1998. London: Vintage, 2002.——. “Le Promeneur Solitaire.” A Place in the Country. Trans. Jo Catling. London: Hamish Hamilton, 2013. 117-154.Solnit, Rebecca. Wanderlust: A History of Walking. 2001. London: Granta Publications, 2014.White, Edmund. Proust. London: Phoenix, 1999.Wood, James. The Nearest Thing to Life. London: Jonathan Cape, 2015.Woolf, Virginia. “The Narrow Bridge of Art.” Granite and Rainbow. USA: Harvest Books, 1975.

34

Heckman, Davin. "Being in the Shadow of Hollywood." M/C Journal 7, no.5 (November1, 2004). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2436.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

Landing in the Midwest after a lifetime in Los Angeles, I was shocked to learn how “famous” that great city really is. It used to seem perfectly reasonable that the freeways on CHiPs looked just like the ones I rode to school. When I was five, I remember being secretly bummed that my mom never took us to the disco-classical mural from Xanadu, which I was convinced had to be hidden somewhere in Venice Beach. In high school, it never seemed strange that the Peach Pit on Beverly Hills 90210 was the same as the Rose City Diner. From the L.A. River to the Griffith Park Observatory, from the Hollywood Sign to Venice Beach, the places I had been in, through, and around were inscribed with meanings in ways that I could never fully grasp. Even marginalized localities like Inglewood, Compton, and East L.A., which especially during the 1980s and early 1990s were being ravaged by urban warfare, got to be the stars of movies, songs, and many music videos. And on April 29, 1992, the corner of Florence and Normandie “blew up” into a full blown riot, sparked by the acquittal of the four white officers who beat black motorist, Rodney King. I could watch the city burn on T.V. or from the hill behind my house. All my life, I lived with a foot in each L.A., the one that’s outside my living room and the one that’s inside my living room, oblivious to the fact that I lived in a famous city. It was only after I moved away from L.A. that I realized my homesickness could often be softened by a click of the remote. I could look for a familiar stretch of road, a bit of the skyline, or a clean but otherwise familiar segment of sidewalk, and it didn’t even matter who, what, where, or why was taking place in the story on screen. It was as though fragments of my life had been archived for me in media space. Some memories were real and some just recollections of other representations – like seeing the observatory in Bowfinger and wondering if I was remembering Rebel Without a Cause or a second grade field trip. But when I arrived here, the question that greeted me most often at parties was, “Why are you in Bowling Green!?!” And the second was, “Did you meet any famous people?” And so I tell them about how I went to driver’s education class with Mayim Byalik, the star of Blossom. Or that I met Annette Funicello one New Year’s Eve at my Uncle Phil’s house. Aside from the occasional queer chuckle about my brush with Blossom, this record is unimpressive. People are hoping for something a little bit more like, “I spent the night in jail with Poison,” “I was an extra on Baywatch,” or “I was at the Viper Room the night River Phoenix passed away.” In spite of my lackluster record of interactions with the rich and the famous, I would still get introduced as being “from California.” I had become the recipient of a second-rate, secondhand fame, noted for being from a place where, if I were more ambitious, I could have really rubbed shoulders with famous people. To young people, many of whom were itching to travel to a place like LA or New York, I was a special kind of failure. But if you aren’t famous, if you are a loser like me, life in L.A. isn’t about the a-list at all. It is about living in a city that captures the imagination, even as you walk down the street. So earning notoriety in a city that speaks in spectacle is an exercise in creativity. It seems like everybody, even the most down-to-earth people, are invested in developing a character, an image, a persona that can bubble up and be noticed in spite of the overwhelming glow of Hollywood. Even at my suburban high school, during the late 1980s and early 1990s, I knew upper-middleclass boys who got nose jobs and manicures. I knew girls who would go trolling for rich men to buy them pretty things that their parents couldn’t afford. There were kids whose parents helped them cheat their way into college. There were wannabe junkies who drove their moms’ minivans into the ghetto to score. I saw people panic, pout, and scream over cars and allowances and shoes. I know that consumer culture is growing stronger just about everywhere, but back home it happened a lot sooner and a lot stronger. Because of our proximity to Hollywood, the crest of the cultural tidal wave looks much higher and its force is much stronger. And I guess I was just too fat to be in California, so I left. However, every once in a while, somebody does manage to make a scene in L.A. A little loser, or whatever you want to call one of the peasants who tend to the vast fiefdoms of L.A.’s elites, rises from banality to achieve celebrity, even if it is a minor celebrity, in the City of Angels. One such figure is the notorious Daniel Ramos, who in 1991 became a central figure in the city’s struggle over its own image. Daniel Ramos was not a star, a politician, or a leader of industry – but before he even appeared in the news, he had trafficked illegally in making a name for himself. A teenager from the projects, Ramos was more widely known as “Chaka,” a graffiti writer credited with over 10,000 tags from San Diego to San Francisco. I had seen Chaka’s tags just about everywhere, and had determined that he might be superhuman. His name, taken after a hairy little missing link from the popular fantasy show, The Land of the Lost, made me smirk as it conjured up images of a sub-humanoid with broken dialect creeping out from the darkness with cans of paint, marking the walls with his sign, calling out to the rest of us half-humans stranded in the land of the lost. Meanwhile, L.A.’s rich and famous whizzed by, casting resentful glances at Chaka’s do-it-yourself media blitz. I knew that Chaka was “bad,” but my imagination loved him. And when he allegedly left his mark in the courthouse elevator on the day of his release from a five-month stretch in prison (Costello), I couldn’t help but feel glad to know that Chaka was still alive, that legends don’t die (his name even made it, through the hand of Dave Grohl, into Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit Video” in 1991). For me, and I imagine for many others, it was the beginning of a political awakening. I wondered what was so bad about graffiti, even though I had been taught all my life that it was wrong. More than ten years later, as I sit by the railroad tracks in my small, Midwestern town, eagerly waiting for messages from California painted on the sides of boxcars, I find myself asking a related question – what is good about advertising? I’m not the first to make the welcomed association between graffiti and advertising. In an interview with the vastly capable scholar, Joe Austin, New York graffiti legend IZ THE WIZ explained it thusly: OK, now you’re on a poorer economic level and what do you have? Years ago, and even today, a boxer makes a name for himself in the boxing ring. So when this art form starts developing, why would it be any different? It’s all in the name. When you’re poor, that’s all you got. (40) Austin elaborates on this insight, explaining: The proliferation of posters, advertisem*nts, and signs bearing the images and names of products and proprietors in twentieth-century cities is one obvious place to begin. These are the directly visible extensions of individual/corporate identities into the new shared urban public spaces of the streets, a quantitatively and qualitatively new site in human history where hundreds of thousands of often spectacularly displayed names abound, each catching the eyes of potential consumers and imprinting itself on their memories. (39) So, on one level, the story of Chaka is the story of a poor man who went toe to toe with big media, in a town run by big media, and held his own. It is the story of someone who has managed to say in no insignificant way, “I am here.” Or has Ramos himself yelled as he was being shackled by police, “I am the famous ‘Chaka’” (Walker A4). In spite of everything else, Ramos had a name that was widely recognized, respected by some, reviled by others. Nancy Macdonald, in her important study the culture of writing, shifts the focus away from the more solidly class-based argument employed by Austin in his study of the origins of New York graffiti art to one which lends itself more readily to understanding the culture of writing in the 1990s, after hip hop had become more accessible to middleclass enthusiasts. Macdonald explains, “Writers use the respect and recognition of their peers to validate their masculine identities” (124). While I am reluctant to downplay the class struggle that certainly seems to have implicitly informed Chaka’s quest for recognition, his outlaw appeal lends itself such an interpretation. In a city like Los Angeles, where middle class agency and upward mobility for the service class are not simply functions of wealth, but also of scrupulously maintained images, feelings of powerlessness associated with the lack of a compelling image are to be expected. It is the engine that drives the exuberant extravagance of consumer culture, lifestyle choices, and ultimately biopolitics. In a society where culture and capital are the dual poles which determine one’s social standing, the pursuit of notoriety is not simply a measure of masculinity – hijacking images is a way to assert one’s agency in spite of the diminished value of unskilled labor and the collective fear of underclass masculinities. In her book Wallbangin’: Graffiti and Gangs in L.A., Susan A. Philips provides discussion of Chaka’s contribution to L.A. graffiti. Notably, Chaka was seen by those in the graffiti community as an everyman, who was responsible for two significant cultural achievements: he “open[ed] up the style of the New York-based tags and creat[ed] the phenomenon of the individual tagger” (Phillips 320). He also, as Phillips notes, “wrote tags that you could read…in blockish gang-type lettering” (320). Unlike his New York graffiti-writing peers, which are best known for their beautiful “wildstyle,” Chaka did not typically traffic in multicolor murals and displays of painterly virtuosity. His chief accomplishment was his cunning pervasiveness and daring criminality. As such, his body of work should be seen as incompatible with High Art attempts to bring collectible graffiti into gallery spaces through the 1980s and ‘90s. Chaka’s medium, in a sense, has less to do with paint, than it has to do with the city and its rules. For the majority of the public, Chaka was seen as an individual face for the graffiti pandemic that was strategically linked in the public mind with specter of gang violence. However, to those familiar with the writing scene in L.A., Chaka is more than a lone individual: THE OG’Z OF THE LEGION OF DOOM WERE THE ONE RESPONSIBLE FOR BRINGING THE EARLY LOS ANGELES GRAFFITI SCENE TO IT’S KNEES! AND GAVE US MOST OF THE LEGENDS WE KNOW TODAY! I REMEMBER I TIME WHEN EVERY LOS ANGELES INTERSTATE HEAVEN ROCKED BY EITHER LEST-CAB-STANS-SUB OR THE CHAKA!!! (god i miss those days!) remember the CAB undercover story on the news where he did those loks on dope throwies on the 110 pasadena? I think it was chuck henry channel 7 ??? does anyone still have that on vhs? i had it on vhs along with the CHAKA PUBLIC SERVICE ANOUNCEMENT (that was great!). (Poncho1DEcrew) Instead of being an individual tagger, Chaka is recognized as a member of a crew (LOD), who managed to get up in legendary ways. In reclaiming freeway overpasses (the “Heavens”), walls, trains, road signs, and just about everything else for his crew, vicariously for the many other people who respect his name, and also for himself, Chaka is more than simply selfish, as is often suggested by his detractors. In the heavens is the right place to begin. High up in the sky, over the freeways, for all to see, the writing in the heavens is visible, mysterious, and ultimately risky. The problem of climbing along the girders underneath the bridges, escaping detection, but leaving something bold points to what distinguishes writing from an ad-campaign. Sure, some of what the tagger does is about simply being a recognized image all over the place. But the other part is about finding the place, working within environmental constraints, battling against time, stretching one’s limits, and doing it with style. While the image may be everywhere, the act of writing itself is a singularity, shrouded by secrecy, and defined by the moment of its doing. The aftereffect is a puzzle. And in the case of Chaka, the question is, “How the hell did this guy get up over 10,000 times?” While I can’t see how he did it and I don’t know where, exactly, he got all that paint, I do know one thing: Chaka went everywhere. He mapped the city out as a series of landmarks, he put his name to the space, and he claimed Los Angeles for people other than the ones who claim to own the rights to beam their generalized and monolithic messages into our living rooms. Instead of archiving the city in the banalities of mass media, he has created an archive of an alternative L.A., filled with singularities, and famous in the way that only one’s hometown can be. Instead of being a celebrity, renowned by virtue of a moderately unique character, his ability to generate money, and an elite image, Chaka represents an alternative fame. As a modern day “everyman” and folk hero, he brings a message that the city belongs to all people. Far from the naïve and mean-spirited equations between graffiti writing and canine scent-marking as a primitive drive to mark territorial boundaries with undesirable substances (writers:paint::dogs:piss), Chaka’s all-city message is not so much a practice of creating exclusionary spaces as it is an assertion of one’s identity in a particular space. A postmodern pilgrim, Chaka has marked his progress through the city leaving a perceptible record of his everyday experience, and opening up that possibility for others. This is not to say that it is necessary for all people to paint in order to break loose from the semiotic order of the city, it is only to say that is hopeful to realize that this order is not fixed and that is not even necessarily our own. Reflecting back on my own experience as one who has grown up very much in love in the produced spaces of the scripted and archived fame of Los Angeles, the realization that such an overwhelming place is open even to my own inscriptions is an important one. This realization, which has been many years in the making, was set into place by the curious fame of Chaka. For a writer and scholar disturbed by the “death of the author,” it comes as a relief to see writing resurrected in the anti-authoritarian practice of a teenage boy from the projects. References Austin, Joe. Taking the Train: How Graffiti Art Became an Urban Crisis in New York City. New York: Columbia UP, 2001. Costello, D. “Writing Was on the Wall.” Courier-Mail 9 May 1991. Macdonald, Nancy. The Graffiti Subculture: Youth, Masculinity and Identity in London and New York. Hampshire: Palgrave, 2001. Phillips, Susan A. Wallbangin’: Graffiti and Gangs in L.A. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1999. Poncho1DEcrew. 50mm Los Angeles Forum. 18 June 2004. 11 July 2004 http://www.50mmlosangeles.com/>. Walker, Jill. “Letter from the Streets; Handwriting on the Wall: 10,000 Chakas.” Washington Post 4 May 1991: A4. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Heckman, Davin. "Being in the Shadow of Hollywood: Celebrity, Banality, and the Infamous Chaka." M/C Journal 7.5 (2004). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0411/12-heckman.php>. APA Style Heckman, D. (Nov. 2004) "Being in the Shadow of Hollywood: Celebrity, Banality, and the Infamous Chaka," M/C Journal, 7(5). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0411/12-heckman.php>.

35

Bond, Sue. "The Secret Adoptee's Cookbook." M/C Journal 16, no.3 (June22, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.665.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

There have been a number of Australian memoirs written by adoptees over the last twenty years—Robert Dessaix’s A Mother’s Disgrace, Suzanne Chick’s Searching for Charmian, Tom Frame’s Binding Ties:An Experience of Adoption and Reunion in Australia, for example—as well as international adoptee narratives by Betty Jean Lifton, Florence Fisher, and A. M. Homes amongst others. These works form a component of the small but growing field of adoption life writing that includes works by “all members of the adoption triad” (Hipchen and Deans 163): adoptive parents, birthparents, and adoptees. As the broad genre of memoir becomes more theorised and mapped, many sub-genres are emerging (Brien). My own adoptee story (which I am currently composing) could be a further sub-categorisation of the adoptee memoir, that of “late discovery adoptees” (Perl and Markham), those who are either told, or find out, about their adoption in adulthood. When this is part of a life story, secrets and silences are prominent, and digging into these requires using whatever resources can be found. These include cookbooks, recipes written by hand, and the scraps of paper shoved between pages. There are two cookbooks from my adoptive mother’s belongings that I have kept. One of them is titled Miss Tuxford’s Modern Cookery for the Middle Classes: Hints on Modern Gas Stove Cooking, and this was published around 1937 in England. It’s difficult to date this book exactly, as there is no date in my copy, but one of the advertisem*nts (for Bird’s Custard, I think; the page is partly obscured by an Orange Nut Loaf recipe from a Willow baking pan that has been glued onto the page) is headed with a date range of 1837 to 1937. It has that smell of long ago that lingers strongly even now, out of the protective custody of my mother’s storage. Or should I say, out of the range of my adoptive father’s garbage dump zeal. He loved throwing things away, but these were often things that I saw as valuable, or at least of sentimental value, worth keeping for the memories they evoked. Maybe my father didn’t want to remember. My mother was brimming with memories, I discovered after her death, but she did not reveal them during her life. At least, not to me, making objects like these cookbooks precious in my reconstruction of the lives I know so little about, as well as in the grieving process (Gibson).Miss Tuxford (“Diplomée Board of Education, Gold Medallist, etc”) produced numerous editions of her book. My mother’s is now fragile, loose at the spine and browned with age. There are occasional stains showing that the bread and cakes section got the most use, with the pages for main meals of meat and vegetables relatively clean. The author divided her recipes into the main chapters of Soups (lentil, kidney, sheep’s head broth), Sauces (white, espagnol, mushroom), Fish (“It is important that all fish is fresh when cooked” (23)), Meats (roasted, boiled, stuffed; roast rabbit, boiled turkey, scotch collop), Vegetables (creamed beetroot, economical salad dressing, potatoes baked in their skins), Puddings and Sweets (suet pastry, Yorkshire pudding, chocolate tarts, ginger cream), Bread and Cakes (household bread, raspberry sandwich cake, sultana scones, peanut fancies), Icings and Fillings, Invalid Cookery (beef tea, nourishing lemonade, Virol pudding), Jams, Sweetmeats and Pickles (red currant jelly, piccalilli) and Miscellaneous Dishes including Meatless Recipes (cheese omelette, mock white fish, mock duck, mock goose, vegetarian mincemeat). At the back, Miss Tuxford includes sections on gas cooking hints, “specimen household dinners” (206), and household hints. There is then a “Table of Foods in Season” (208–10) taking the reader through the months and the various meats and vegetables available at those times. There is a useful index and finally an advertisem*nt for an oven cleaner on the last page (which is glued to the back cover). There are food and cookery advertisem*nts throughout the book, but my favourite is the one inside the front cover, for Hartley’s jam, featuring two photographs of a little boy. The first shows him looking serious, and slightly anxious, the second wide-eyed and smiling, eager for his jam. The text tells mothers that “there’s nothing like plenty of bread and Hartley’s for a growing boy” (inside front cover). I love the simple appeal to making your little boy happy that is contained within this tiny narrative. Did my mother and father eat this jam when they were small? By 1937, my mother was twenty-one, not yet married, living with her mother in Weston-super-Mare. She was learning secretarial skills—I have her certificate of proficiency in Pitman’s shorthand—and I think she and my father had met by then. Perhaps she thought about when she would be giving her own children Hartley’s jam, or something else prepared from Miss Tuxford’s recipes, like the Christmas puddings, shortbread, or chocolate cake. She would not have imagined that no children would arrive, that twenty-five years of marriage would pass before she held her own baby, and this would be one who was born to another woman. In the one other cookbook I have kept, there are several recipes cut out from newspapers, and a few typed or handwritten recipes hidden within the pages. This is The Main Cookery Book, in its August 1944 reprint, which was written and compiled by Marguerite K. Gompertz and the “Staff of the Main Research Kitchen”. My mother wrote her name and the date she obtained the cookbook (31 January 1945) on the first blank page. She had been married just over five years, and my father may, or may not, have still been in the Royal Air Force. I have only a sketchy knowledge of my adoptive parents. My mother was born in Newent, Gloucestershire, and my father in Bromley, Kent; they were both born during the first world war. My father served as a navigator in the Royal Air Force in the second world war in the 1940s, received head and psychological injuries and was invalided out before the war ended. He spent some time in rehabilitation, there being letters from him to my mother detailing his stay in one hospital in the 1950s. Their life seemed to become less and less secure as the years passed, more chaotic, restless, and unsettled. By the time I came into their lives, they were both nearly fifty, and moving from place to place. Perhaps this is one reason why I have no memory of my mother cooking. I cannot picture her consulting these cookbooks, or anything more modern, or even cutting out the recipes from newspapers and magazines, because I do not remember seeing her do it. She did not talk to me about cooking, we didn’t cook together, and I do not remember her teaching me anything about food or its preparation. This is a gap in my memory that is puzzling. There is evidence—the books and additional paper recipes and stains on the pages—that my mother was involved in the world of the kitchen. This suggests she handled meats, vegetables, and flours, kneaded, chopped, mashed, baked, and boiled all manners of foods. But I cannot remember her doing any of it. I think the cooking must have been a part of her life before me, when she lived in England, her home country, which she loved, and when she still had hope that children would come. It must have then been apparent that her husband was going to need support and care after the war, and I can imagine she came to realise that any dreams she had would need rearranging.What I do remember is that our meals were prepared by my father, and contained no spices, onions, or garlic because he suffered frequently from indigestion and said these ingredients made it worse. He was a big-chested man with small hips who worried he was too heavy and so put himself on diets every other week. For my father, dieting meant not eating anything, which tended to lead to binges on chocolate or cheese or whatever he could grab easily from the fridge.Meals at night followed a pattern. On Sundays we ate roast chicken with vegetables as a treat, then finished it over the next days as a cold accompaniment with salad. Other meals would feature fish fingers, mince, ham, or a cold luncheon meat with either salad or boiled vegetables. Sometimes we would have a tin of peaches in juice or ice cream, or both. No cookbooks were consulted to prepare these meals.What was my mother doing while my father cooked? She must have been in the kitchen too, probably contributing, but I don’t see her there. By the time we came back to Australia permanently in 1974, my father’s working life had come to an end, and he took over the household cookery for something to do, as well as sewing his own clothes, and repairing his own car. He once hoisted the engine out of a Morris Minor with the help of a young mechanic, a rope, and the branch of a poinciana tree. I have three rugs that he wove before I was born, and he made furniture as well. My mother also sewed, and made my school uniforms and other clothes as well as her own skirts and blouses, jackets and pants. Unfortunately, she was fond of crimplene, which came in bright primary colours and smelled of petrol, but didn’t require ironing and dried quickly on the washing line. It didn’t exactly hang on your body, but rather took it over, imposing itself with its shapelessness. The handwritten recipe for salad cream shown on the pink paper is not in my mother’s hand but my father’s. Her correction can be seen to the word “gelatine” at the bottom; she has replaced it with “c’flour” which I assume means cornflour. This recipe actually makes me a liar, because it shows my father writing about using pepper, paprika, and tumeric to make a food item, when I have already said he used no spices. When I knew him, and ate his food, he didn’t. But he had another life for forty-seven years before my birth, and these recipes with their stains and scribbles help me to begin making a picture of both his life, and my mother’s. So much of them is a complete mystery to me, but these scraps of belongings help me inch along in my thinking about them, who they were, and what they meant to me (Turkle).The Main Cookery Book has a similar structure to Miss Tuxford’s, with some variations, like the chapter titled Réchauffés, which deals with dishes using already cooked foodstuffs that only then require reheating, and a chapter on home-made wines. There are also notes at the end of the book on topics such as gas ovens and methods of cooking (boiling, steaming, simmering, and so on). What really interests me about this book are the clippings inserted by my mother, although the printed pages themselves seem relatively clean and uncooked upon. There is a recipe for pickles and chutneys torn from a newspaper, and when I look on the other side I find a context: a note about Charlie Chaplin and the House of Representatives’s Un-American Activities Committee starting its investigations into the influence of Communists on Hollywood. I wonder if my parents talked about these events, or if they went to see Charlie Chaplin’s films. My mother’s diaries from the 1940s include her references to movies—Shirley Temple in Kiss and Tell, Bing Crosby in Road to Utopia—as well as day to day activities and visits to, and from, family and friends, her sinus infections and colds, getting “shock[ed] from paraffin lamp”, food rationing. If my father kept diaries during his earlier years, nothing of them survives. I remember his determined shredding of documents after my mother’s death, and his fear of discovery, that his life’s secrets would be revealed. He did not tell me I had been adopted until I was twenty-three, and rarely spoke of it afterwards. My mother never mentioned it. I look at the recipe for lemon curd. Did my mother ever make this? Did she use margarine instead of butter? We used margarine on sandwiches, as butter was too hard to spread. Once again, I turn over this clipping to read the news, and find no date but an announcement of an exhibition of work by Marc Chagall at the Tate Gallery, the funeral of Sir Geoffrey Fison (who I discover from The Peerage website died in 1948, unmarried, a Baronet and decorated soldier), and a memorial service for Dr. Duncan Campbell Scott, the Canadian poet and prose writer, during which the Poet Laureate of the time, John Masefield, gave the address. And there was also a note about the latest wills, including that of a reverend who left an estate valued at over £50 000. My maternal adoptive grandmother, who lived in Weston-super-Mare across the road from the beach, and with whom we stayed for several months in 1974, left most of her worldly belongings to my mother and nothing to her son. He seems to have been cut out from her life after she separated from her husband, and her children’s father, sometime in the 1920s. Apparently, my uncle followed his father out to Australia, and his mother never forgave him, refusing to have anything more to do with her son for the rest of her life, not even to see her grandchildren. When I knew her in that brief period in 1974, she was already approaching eighty and showing signs of dementia. But I do remember dancing the Charleston with her in the kitchen, and her helping me bathe my ragdoll Pollyanna in a tub in the garden. The only food I remember at her stone house was afternoon tea with lots of different, exotic cakes, particularly one called Neopolitan, with swirls of red and brown through the moist sponge. My grandmother had a long narrow garden filled with flowers and a greenhouse with tomatoes; she loved that garden, and spent a lot of time nurturing it.My father and his mother-in-law were not each other’s favourite person, and this coloured my mother’s relationship with her, too. We were poor for many years, and the only reason we were able to go to England was because of the generosity of my grandmother, who paid for our airfares. I think my father searched for work while we were there, but whether he was successful or not I do not know. We returned to Australia and I went into grade four at the end of 1974, an outsider of sorts, and bemused by the syllabus, because I had moved around so much. I went to eight different primary schools and two high schools, eventually obtaining a scholarship to a private girls’ school for the last four years. My father was intent on me becoming a doctor, and so my life was largely study, which is another reason why I took little notice of what went on in the kitchen and what appeared on the dining table. I would come home from school and my parents would start meal preparation almost straight away, so we sat down to dinner at about four o’clock during the week, and I started the night’s study at five. I usually worked through until about ten, and then read a novel for a little while before sleep. Every parcel of time was accounted for, and nothing was wasted. This schedule continued throughout those four years of high school, with my father berating me if I didn’t do well at an exam, but also being proud when I did. In grades eight, nine, and ten, I studied home economics, and remember being offered a zucchini to taste because I had never seen one before. I also remember making Greek biscuits of some sort for an exam, and the sieve giving out while I was sifting a large quantity of flour. We learned to cook simple meals of meats and vegetables, and to prepare a full breakfast. We also baked cakes but, when my sponges remained flat, I realised that my strengths might lay elsewhere. This probably also contributed to my lack of interest in cooking. Domestic pursuits were not encouraged at home, although my mother did teach me to sew and knit, resulting in skewed attempts at a shirt dress and a white blouse, and a wildly coloured knitted shoulder bag that I actually liked but which embarrassed my father. There were no such lessons in cakemaking or biscuit baking or any of the recipes from Miss Tuxford. By this time, my mother bought such treats from the supermarket.This other life, this previous life of my parents, a life far away in time and place, was completely unknown to me before my mother’s death. I saw little of them after the revelation of my adoption, not because of this knowledge I then had, but because of my father’s controlling behaviour. I discovered that the rest of my adoptive family, who I hardly knew apart from my maternal grandmother, had always known. It would have been difficult, after all, for my parents to keep such a secret from them. Because of this life of constant moving, my estrangement from my family, and our lack of friends and connections with other people, there was a gap in my experience. As a child, I only knew one grandmother, and only for a relatively brief period of time. I have no grandfatherly memories, and none either of aunts and uncles, only a few fleeting images of a cousin here and there. It was difficult to form friendships as a child when we were only in a place for a limited time. We were always moving on, and left everything behind, to start again in a new suburb, state, country. Continuity and stability were not our trademarks, for reasons that are only slowly making themselves known to me: my father’s mental health problems, his difficult personality, our lack of money, the need to keep my adoption secret.What was that need? From where did it spring? My father always seemed to be a secretive person, an intensely private man, one who had things to hide, and seemed to suffer many mistakes and mishaps and misfortune. At the end, after my mother’s death, we spent two years with each other as he became frailer and moved into a nursing home. It was a truce formed out of necessity, as there was no one else to care for him, so thoroughly had he alienated his family; he had no friends, certainly not in Australia, and only the doctor and helping professionals to talk to most days. My father’s brother John had died some years before, and the whereabouts of his other sibling Gordon were unknown. I discovered that he had died three years previously. Nieces had not heard from my father for decades. My mother’s niece revealed that my mother and she had never met. There is a letter from my mother’s father in the 1960s, probably just before he died, remarking that he would like a photograph of her as they hadn’t seen each other for forty years. None of this was talked about when my mother was alive. It was as if I was somehow separate from their stories, from their history, that it was not suitable for my ears, or that once I came into their lives they wanted to make a new life altogether. At that time, all of their past was stored away. Even my very origins, my tiny past life, were unspoken, and made into a secret. The trouble with secrets, however, is that they hang around, peek out of boxes, lurk in the corners of sentences, and threaten to be revealed by the questions of puzzled strangers, or mistakenly released by knowledgeable relatives. Adoptee memoirs like mine seek to go into those hidden storage boxes and the corners and pages of sources like these seemingly innocent old cookbooks, in the quest to bring these secrets to light. Like Miss Tuxford’s cookbook, with its stains and smudges, or the Main Cookery Book with its pages full of clippings, the revelation of such secrets threaten to tell stories that contradict the official version. ReferencesBrien, Donna Lee. “Pathways into an ‘Elaborate Ecosystem’: Ways of Categorising the Food Memoir”. TEXT (October 2011). 12 Jun. 2013 ‹http://www.textjournal.com.au/oct11/brien.htm›.Chick, Suzanne. Searching for Charmian. Sydney: Picador, 1995.Dessaix, Robert. A Mother’s Disgrace. Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1994.Fisher, Florence. The Search for Anna Fisher. New York: Arthur Fields, 1973.Frame, Tom. Binding Ties: An Experience of Adoption and Reunion in Australia. Alexandria: Hale & Iremonger, 1999.Gibson, Margaret. Objects of the Dead: Mourning and Memory in Everyday Life. Carlton, Victoria: Melbourne U P, 2008. Gompertz, Marguerite K., and the Staff of the Main Research Kitchen. The Main Cookery Book. 52nd. ed. London: R. & A. Main, 1944. Hipchen, Emily, and Jill Deans. “Introduction. Adoption Life Writing: Origins and Other Ghosts”. a/b: Auto/Biography Studies 18.2 (2003): 163–70. Special Issue on Adoption.Homes, A. M. The Mistress’s Daughter: A Memoir. London: Granta, 2007.Kiss and Tell. Dir. By Richard Wallace. Columbia Pictures, 1945.Lifton, Betty Jean. Twice Born: Memoirs of An Adopted Daughter. Middlesex, England: Penguin, 1977.Lundy, Darryl, comp. The Peerage: A Genealogical Survey of the Peerage of Britain as well as the Royal Families of Europe. 30 May 2013 ‹http://www.thepeerage.com/p40969.htm#i409684›Perl, Lynne and Shirin Markham. Why Wasn’t I Told? Making Sense of the Late Discovery of Adoption. Bondi: Post Adoption Resource Centre/Benevolent Society of NSW, 1999.Road to Utopia. Dir. By Hal Walker. Paramount, 1946.Turkle, Sherry, ed. Evocative Objects: Things We Think With. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT P, 2011. Tuxford, Miss H. H. Miss Tuxford’s Modern Cookery for the Middle Classes: Hints on Modern Gas Stove Cooking. London: John Heywood, c.1937.

36

Shiloh, Ilana. "A Vision of Complex Symmetry." M/C Journal 10, no.3 (June1, 2007). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2674.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

The labyrinth is probably the most universal trope of complexity. Deriving from pre-Greek labyrinthos, a word denoting “maze, large building with intricate underground passages”, and possibly related to Lydian labrys, which signifies “double-edged axe,” symbol of royal power, the notion of the labyrinth primarily evokes the Minoan Palace in Crete and the myth of the Minotaur. According to this myth, the Minotaur, a monster with the body of a man and the head of a bull, was born to Pesiphae, king Minos’s wife, who mated with a bull when the king of Crete was besieging Athens. Upon his return, Minos commanded the artist Daedalus to construct a monumental building of inter-connected rooms and passages, at the center of which the King sought to imprison the monstrous sign of his disgrace. The Minotaur required human sacrifice every couple of years, until it was defeated by the Athenian prince Theuseus, who managed to extricate himself from the maze by means of a clue of thread, given to him by Minos’s enamored daughter, Ariadne (Parandowski 238-43). If the Cretan myth establishes the labyrinth as a trope of complexity, this very complexity associates labyrinthine design not only with disorientation but also with superb artistry. As pointed out by Penelope Reed Doob, the labyrinth is an inherently ambiguous construct (39-63). It presumes a double perspective: those imprisoned inside, whose vision ahead and behind is severely constricted, are disoriented and terrified; whereas those who view it from outside or from above – as a diagram – admire its structural sophistication. Labyrinths thus simultaneously embody order and chaos, clarity and confusion, unity (a single structure) and multiplicity (many paths). Whereas the modern, reductive view equates the maze with confusion and disorientation, the labyrinth is actually a signifier with two contradictory signifieds. Not only are all labyrinths intrinsically double, they also fall into two distinct, though related, types. The paradigm represented by the Cretan maze is mainly derived from literature and myth. It is a multicursal model, consisting of a series of forking paths, each bifurcation requiring new choice. The second type is the unicursal maze. Found mainly in the visual arts, such as rock carvings or coin ornamentation, its structural basis is a single path, twisting and turning, but entailing no bifurcations. Although not equally bewildering, both paradigms are equally threatening: in the multicursal construct the maze-walker may be entrapped in a repetitious pattern of wrong choices, whereas in the unicursal model the traveler may die of exhaustion before reaching the desired end, the heart of the labyrinth. In spite of their differences, the basic similarities between the two paradigms may explain why they were both included in the same linguistic category. The labyrinth represents a road-model, and as such it is essentially teleological. Most labyrinths of antiquity and of the Middle Ages were designed with the thought of reaching the center. But the fact that each labyrinth has a center does not necessarily mean that the maze-walker is aware of its existence. Moreover, reaching the center is not always to be desired (in case it conceals a lurking Minotaur), and once the center is reached, the maze-walker may never find the way back. Besides signifying complexity and ambiguity, labyrinths thus also symbolically evoke the danger of eternal imprisonment, of inextricability. This sinister aspect is intensified by the recursive aspect of labyrinthine design, by the mirroring effect of the paths. In reflecting on the etymology of the word ‘maze’ (rather than the Greek/Latin labyrinthos/labyrinthus), Irwin observes that it derives from the Swedish masa, signifying “to dream, to muse,” and suggests that the inherent recursion of labyrinthine design offers an apt metaphor for the uniquely human faculty of self-reflexitivity, of thought turning upon itself (95). Because of its intriguing aspect and wealth of potential implications, the labyrinth has become a category that is not only formal, but also conceptual and symbolic. The ambiguity of the maze, its conflation of overt complexity with underlying order and simplicity, was explored in ideological systems rooted in a dualistic world-view. In the early Christian era, the labyrinth was traditionally presented as a metaphor for the universe: divine creation based on a perfect design, perceived as chaotic due to the shortcomings of human comprehension. In the Middle-Ages, the labyrinthine attributes of imprisonment and limited perception were reflected in the view of life as a journey inside a moral maze, in which man’s vision was constricted because of his fallen nature (Cazenave 348-350). The maze was equally conceptualized in dynamic terms and used as a metaphor for mental processes. More specifically, the labyrinth has come to signify intellectual confusion, and has therefore become most pertinent in literary contexts that valorize rational thought. And the rationalistic genre par excellence is detective fiction. The labyrinth may serve as an apt metaphor for the world of detective fiction because it accurately conveys the tacit assumptions of the genre – the belief in the existence of order, causality and reason underneath the chaos of perceived phenomena. Such optimistic belief is ardently espoused by the putative detective in Paul Auster’s metafictional novella City of Glass: He had always imagined that the key to good detective work was a close observation of details. The more accurate the scrutiny, the more successful the results. The implication was that human behavior could be understood, that beneath the infinite façade of gestures, tics and silences there was finally a coherence, an order, a source of motivation. (67) In this brief but eloquent passage Auster conveys, through the mind of his sleuth, the central tenets of classical detective fiction. These tenets are both ontological and epistemological. The ontological aspect is subsumed in man’s hopeful reliance on “a coherence, an order, a source of motivation” underlying the messiness and blood of the violent deed. The epistemological aspect is aptly formulated by Michael Holquist, who argues that the fictional world of detective stories is rooted in the Scholastic principle of adequatio rei et intellectus, the adequation of mind to things (157). And if both human reality and phenomenal reality are governed by reason, the mind, given enough time, can understand everything. The mind’s representative is the detective. He is the embodiment of inquisitive intellect, and his superior powers of observation and deduction transform an apparent mystery into an incontestable solution. The detective sifts through the evidence, assesses the relevance of data and the reliability of witnesses. But, first of foremost, he follows clues – and the clue, the most salient element of the detective story, links the genre with the myth of the Cretan labyrinth. For in its now obsolete spelling, the word ‘clew’ denotes a ball of thread, and thus foregrounds the similarity between the mental process of unraveling a crime mystery and the traveler’s progress inside the maze (Irwin 179). The chief attributes of the maze – circuitousness, enclosure, and inextricability – associate it with another convention of detective fiction, the trope of the locked room. This convention, introduced in Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” a text traditionally regarded as the first analytic detective story, establishes the locked room as the ultimate affront to reason: a hermetically sealed space which no one could have penetrated or exited and in which a brutal crime has nevertheless been committed. But the affront to reason is only apparent. In Poe’s ur-text of the genre, the violent deed is committed by an orangutan, a brutal and abused beast that enters and escapes from the seemingly locked room through a half-closed window. As accurately observed by Holquist, in the world of detective fiction “there are no mysteries, there is only incorrect reasoning” (157). And the correct reasoning, dubbed by Poe “ratiocination”, is the process of logical deduction. Deduction is an enchainment of syllogisms, in which a conclusion inevitably follows from two valid premises; as Dupin elegantly puts it, “the deductions are the sole proper ones and … the suspicion arises inevitably from them as a single result” (Poe 89). Applying this rigorous mental process, the detective re-arranges the pieces of the puzzle into a coherent and meaningful sequence of events. In other words – he creates a narrative. This brings us back to Irwin’s observation about the recursive aspect of the maze. Like the labyrinth, detective fiction is self-reflexive. It is a narrative form which foregrounds narrativity, for the construction of a meaningful narrative is the protagonist’s and the reader’s principal task. Logical deduction, the main activity of the fictional sleuth, does not allow for ambiguity. In classical detective fiction, the labyrinth is associated with the messiness and violence of crime and contrasted with the clarity of the solution (the inverse is true of postmodernist detective mysteries). The heart of the labyrinth is the solution, the vision of truth. This is perhaps the most important aspect of the detective genre: the premise that truth exists and that it can be known. In “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” the initially insoluble puzzle is eventually transformed into a coherent narrative, in which a frantic orangutan runs into the street escaping the abuse of its master, climbs a rod and seeks refuge in a room inhabited by two women, brutally slashes them in confusion, and then flees the room in the same way he penetrated it. The sequence of events reconstructed by Dupin is linear, unequivocal, and logically satisfying. This is not the case with the ‘hard boiled’, American variant of the detective genre, which influenced the inception of film noir. Although the novels of Hammett, Chandler or Cain are structured around crime mysteries, these works problematize most of the tacit premises of analytic detective fiction and re-define its narrative form. For one, ‘hard boiled’ fiction obliterates the dualism between overt chaos and underlying order, between the perceived messiness of crime and its underlying logic. Chaos becomes all-encompassing, engulfing the sleuth as well as the reader. No longer the epitome of a superior, detached intellect, the detective becomes implicated in the mystery he investigates, enmeshed in a labyrinthine sequence of events whose unraveling does not necessarily produce meaning. As accurately observed by Telotte, “whether [the] characters are trying to manipulate others, or simply hoping to figure out how their plans went wrong, they invariably find that things do not make sense” (7). Both ‘hard-boiled’ fiction and its cinematic progeny implicitly portray the dissolution of social order. In film noir, this thematic pursuit finds a formal equivalent in the disruption of traditional narrative paradigm. As noted by Bordwell and Telotte, among others, the paradigm underpinning classical Hollywood cinema in the years 1917-1960 is characterized by a seemingly objective point of view, adherence to cause-effect logic, use of goal-oriented characters and a progression toward narrative closure (Bordwell 157, Telotte 3). In noir films, on the other hand, the devices of flashback and voice-over implicitly challenge conventionally linear narratives, while the use of the subjective camera shatters the illusion of objective truth (Telotte 3, 20). To revert to the central concern of the present paper, in noir cinema the form coincides with the content. The fictional worlds projected by the ‘hard boiled’ genre and its noir cinematic descendent offer no hidden realm of meaning underneath the chaos of perceived phenomena, and the trope of the labyrinth is stripped of its transcendental, comforting dimension. The labyrinth is the controlling visual metaphor of the Coen Brothers’ neo-noir film The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001). The film’s title refers to its main protagonist: a poker-faced, taciturn barber, by the name of Ed Crane. The entire film is narrated by Ed, incarcerated in a prison cell. He is writing his life story, at the commission of a men’s magazine whose editor wants to probe the feelings of a convict facing death. Ed says he is not unhappy to die. Exonerated of a crime he committed and convicted of a crime he did not, Ed feels his life is a labyrinth. He does not understand it, but he hopes that death will provide the answer. Ed’s final vision of life as a bewildering maze, and his hope of seeing the master-plan after death, ostensibly refer to the inherent dualism of the labyrinth, the notion of underlying order manifest through overt chaos. They offer the flicker of an optimistic closure, which subscribes to the traditional Christian view of the universe as a perfect design, perceived as chaos due to the shortcomings of human comprehension. But this interpretation is belied by the film’s final scene. Shot in blindingly white light, suggesting the protagonist’s revelation, the screen is perfectly empty, except for the electric chair in the center. And when Ed slowly walks towards the site of his execution, he has a sudden fantasy of the overhead lights as the round saucers of UFOs. The film’s visual metaphors ironically subvert Ed’s metaphysical optimism. They cast a view of human life as a maze of emptiness, to borrow the title of one of Borges’s best-known stories. The only center of this maze is death, the electric chair; the only transcendence, faith in God and in after life, makes as much sense as the belief in flying saucers. The Coen Brothers thus simultaneously construct and deconstruct the traditional symbolism of the labyrinth, evoking (through Ed’s innocent hope) its promise of underlying order, and subverting this promise through the images that dominate the screen. The transcendental dimension of the trope of the labyrinth, its promise of a hidden realm of meaning and value, is consistently subverted throughout the film. On the level of plot, the film presents a crisscrossed pattern of misguided intentions and tragi-comic misinterpretations. The film’s protagonist, Ed Crane, is estranged from his own life; neither content nor unhappy, he is passive, taking things as they come. Thus he condones Doris’s, his wife’s, affair with her employer, Big Dave, reacting only when he perceives an opportunity to profit from their liason. This opportunity presents itself in the form of Creighton Tolliver, a garrulous client, who shares with Ed his fail-proof scheme of making big money from the new invention of dry cleaning. All he needs to carry out his plan, confesses Creighton, is an investment of ten thousand dollars. The barber decides to take advantage of this accidental encounter in order to change his life. He writes an anonymous extortion letter to Big Dave, threatening to expose his romance with Doris and wreck his marriage and his financial position (Dave’s wife, a rich heiress, owns the store that Dave runs). Dave confides in Ed about the letter; he suspects the blackmailer is a con man that tried to engage him in a dry-cleaning scheme. Although reluctant to part with the money, which he has been saving to open a new store to be managed by Doris, Big Dave eventually gives in. Obviously, although unbeknownst to Big Dave, it is Ed who collects the money and passes it to Creighton, so as to become a silent partner in the dry cleaning enterprise. But things do not work out as planned. Big Dave, who believes Creighton to be his blackmailer, follows him to his apartment in an effort to retrieve the ten thousand dollars. A fight ensues, in which Creighton gets killed, not before revealing to Dave Ed’s implication in his dry-cleaning scheme. Furious, Dave summons Ed, confronts him with Creighton’s story and physically attacks him. Ed grabs a knife that is lying about and accidentally kills Big Dave. The following day, two policemen arrive at the barbershop. Ed is certain they came to arrest him, but they have come to arrest Doris. The police have discovered that she has been embezzling from Dave’s store (Doris is an accountant), and they suspect her of Dave’s murder. Ed hires Freddy Riedenschneider, the best and most expensive criminal attorney, to defend his wife. The attorney is not interested in truth; he is looking for a version that will introduce a reasonable doubt in the minds of the jury. At some point, Ed confesses that it is he who killed Dave, but Riedenschneider dismisses his confession as an inadequate attempt to save Doris’s neck. He concocts a version of his own, but does not get the chance to win the trial; the case is dismissed, as Doris is found hanged in her cell. After his wife’s death, Ed gets lonely. He takes interest in Birdy, the young daughter of the town lawyer (whom he initially approached for Doris’s defense). Birdy plays the piano; Ed believes she is a prodigy, and wants to become her agent. He takes her for an audition to a French master pianist, who decides that the girl is nothing special. Disenchanted, they drive back home. Birdy tells Ed, not for the first time, that she doesn’t really want to be a pianist. She hasn’t been thinking of a career; if at all, she would like to be a vet. But she is very grateful. As a token of her gratitude, she tries to perform oral sex on Ed. The car veers; they have an accident. When he comes to, Ed faces two policemen, who tell him he is arrested for the murder of Creighton Tolliver. The philosophical purport of the labyrinth metaphor is suggested in a scene preceding Doris’s trial, in which her co*cky attorney justifies his defense strategy. To support his argument, he has recourse to the theory of some German scientist, called either Fritz or Werner, who claimed that truth changes with the eye of the beholder. Science has determined that there is no objective truth, says Riedenschneider; consequently, the question of what really happened is irrelevant. All a good attorney can do, he concludes, is present a plausible narrative to the jury. Freddy Riedenschneider’s seemingly nonchalant exposition is a tongue-in-cheek reference to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. Succinctly put, the principle postulates that the more precisely the position of a subatomic particle is determined, the less precisely its momentum is known in this instant, and vice versa. What follows is that concepts such as orbits of electrons do not exist in nature unless and until we measure them; or, in Heisenberg’s words, “the ‘path’ comes into existence only when we observe it” (qtd. in Cassidy). Heisenberg’s discovery had momentous scientific and philosophical implications. For one, it challenged the notion of causality in nature. The law of causality assumes that if we know the present exactly, we can calculate the future; in this formulation, suggests Heisenberg, “it is not the conclusion that is wrong, but the premises” (qtd. in Cassidy). In other words, we can never know the present exactly, and on the basis of this exact knowledge, predict the future. More importantly, the uncertainty principle seems to collapse the distinction between subjective and objective reality, between consciousness and the world of phenomena, suggesting that the act of perception changes the reality perceived (Hofstadter 239). In spite of its light tone, the attorney’s confused allusion to quantum theory conveys the film’s central theme: the precarious nature of truth. In terms of plot, this theme is suggested by the characters’ constant misinterpretation: Big Dave believes he is blackmailed by Creighton Tolliver; Ed thinks Birdy is a genius, Birdy thinks that Ed expects sex from her, and Ann, Dave’s wife, puts her faith in UFOs. When the characters do not misjudge their reality, they lie about it: Big Dave bluffs about his war exploits, Doris cheats on Ed and Big Dave cheats on his wife and embezzles from her. And when the characters are honest and tell the truth, they are neither believed nor rewarded: Ed confesses his crime, but his confession is impatiently dismissed, Doris keeps her accounts straight but is framed for fraud and murder; Ed’s brother in law and partner loyally supports him, and as a result, goes bankrupt. If truth cannot be known, or does not exist, neither does justice. Throughout the film, the wires of innocence and guilt are constantly crossed; the innocent are punished (Doris, Creighton Tolliver), the guilty are exonerated of crimes they committed (Ed of killing Dave) and convicted of crimes they did not (Ed of killing Tolliver). In this world devoid of a metaphysical dimension, the mindless processes of nature constitute the only reality. They are represented by the incessant, pointless growth of hair. Ed is a barber; he deals with hair and is fascinated by hair. He wonders how hair is a part of us and we throw it to dust; he is amazed by the fact that hair continues to grow even after death. At the beginning of the film we see him docilely shave his wife’s legs. In a mirroring scene towards the end, the camera zooms in on Ed’s own legs, shaved before his electrocution. The leitmotif of hair, the image of the electric chair, the recurring motif of UFOs – all these metaphoric elements convey the Coen Brothers’ view of the human condition and build up to Ed’s final vision of life as a labyrinth. Life is a labyrinth because there is no necessary connection between cause and effect; because crime is dissociated from accountability and punishment; because what happened can never be ascertained and human knowledge consists only of a maze of conflicting, or overlapping, versions. The center of the existential labyrinth is death, and the exit, the belief in an after-life, is no more real than the belief in aliens. The labyrinth is an inherently ambiguous construct. Its structural attributes of doubling, recursion and inextricability yield a wealth of ontological and epistemological implications. Traditionally used as an emblem of overt complexity concealing underlying order and symmetry, the maze may aptly illustrate the tacit premises of the analytic detective genre. But this purport of the maze symbolism is ironically inverted in noir and neo-noir films. As suggested by its title, the Coen Brothers’ movie is marked by absence, and the absence of the man who wasn’t there evokes a more disturbing void. That void is the center of the existential labyrinth. References Auster, Paul. City of Glass. The New York Trilogy. London and Boston: Faber and Faber, 1990. 1-132. Bordwell, David. Narration in the Fiction Film. Madison: Wisconsin UP, 1985. Cassidy, David. “Quantum Mechanics, 1925-1927.” Werner Heisenberg (1901-1978). American Institute of Physics, 1998. 5 June 2007 http://www.aip.org/history/heisenberg/p08c.htm>. Cazenave, Michel, ed. Encyclopédie des Symboles. Paris: Le Livre de Poche, 1996. Coen, Joel, and Ethan Coen, dirs. The Man Who Wasn’t There. 2001. Doob, Penelope Reed. The Idea of the Labyrinth. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1992. Hofstadter, Douglas. I Am a Strange Loop. New York: Basic Books, 2007. Holquist, Michael. “Whodunit and Other Questions: Metaphysical Detective Stories in Post-War Fiction.” The Poetics of Murder. Eds. Glenn W. Most and William W. Stowe. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1983. 149-174. Irwin, John T. The Mystery to a Solution: Poe, Borges and the Analytic Detective Story. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins UP, 1994. Parandowski, Jan. Mitologia. Warszawa: Czytelnik, 1960. Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.” Edgar Allan Poe: The Complete Illustrated Stories and Poems. London: Chancellor Press, 1994. 103-114. Telotte, J.P. Voices in the Dark: The Narrative Patterns of Film Noir. Urbana: Illinois UP, 1989. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Shiloh, Ilana. "A Vision of Complex Symmetry: The Labyrinth in The Man Who Wasn’t There." M/C Journal 10.3 (2007). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0706/09-shiloh.php>. APA Style Shiloh, I. (Jun. 2007) "A Vision of Complex Symmetry: The Labyrinth in The Man Who Wasn’t There," M/C Journal, 10(3). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0706/09-shiloh.php>.

37

Franks, Rachel. "Cooking in the Books: Cookbooks and Cookery in Popular Fiction." M/C Journal 16, no.3 (June22, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.614.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

Introduction Food has always been an essential component of daily life. Today, thinking about food is a much more complicated pursuit than planning the next meal, with food studies scholars devoting their efforts to researching “anything pertaining to food and eating, from how food is grown to when and how it is eaten, to who eats it and with whom, and the nutritional quality” (Duran and MacDonald 234). This is in addition to the work undertaken by an increasingly wide variety of popular culture researchers who explore all aspects of food (Risson and Brien 3): including food advertising, food packaging, food on television, and food in popular fiction. In creating stories, from those works that quickly disappear from bookstore shelves to those that become entrenched in the literary canon, writers use food to communicate the everyday and to explore a vast range of ideas from cultural background to social standing, and also use food to provide perspectives “into the cultural and historical uniqueness of a given social group” (Piatti-Farnell 80). For example in Oliver Twist (1838) by Charles Dickens, the central character challenges the class system when: “Child as he was, he was desperate with hunger and reckless with misery. He rose from the table, and advancing basin and spoon in hand, to the master, said, somewhat alarmed at his own temerity–‘Please, sir, I want some more’” (11). Scarlett O’Hara in Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind (1936) makes a similar point, a little more dramatically, when she declares: “As God is my witness, I’m never going to be hungry again” (419). Food can also take us into the depths of another culture: places that many of us will only ever read about. Food is also used to provide insight into a character’s state of mind. In Nora Ephron’s Heartburn (1983) an item as simple as boiled bread tells a reader so much more about Rachel Samstat than her preferred bakery items: “So we got married and I got pregnant and I gave up my New York apartment and moved to Washington. Talk about mistakes [...] there I was, trying to hold up my end in a city where you can’t even buy a decent bagel” (34). There are three ways in which writers can deal with food within their work. Firstly, food can be totally ignored. This approach is sometimes taken despite food being such a standard feature of storytelling that its absence, be it a lonely meal at home, elegant canapés at an impressively catered co*cktail party, or a cheap sandwich collected from a local café, is an obvious omission. Food can also add realism to a story, with many authors putting as much effort into conjuring the smell, taste, and texture of food as they do into providing a backstory and a purpose for their characters. In recent years, a third way has emerged with some writers placing such importance upon food in fiction that the line that divides the cookbook and the novel has become distorted. This article looks at cookbooks and cookery in popular fiction with a particular focus on crime novels. Recipes: Ingredients and Preparation Food in fiction has been employed, with great success, to help characters cope with grief; giving them the reassurance that only comes through the familiarity of the kitchen and the concentration required to fulfil routine tasks: to chop and dice, to mix, to sift and roll, to bake, broil, grill, steam, and fry. Such grief can come from the breakdown of a relationship as seen in Nora Ephron’s Heartburn (1983). An autobiography under the guise of fiction, this novel is the first-person story of a cookbook author, a description that irritates the narrator as she feels her works “aren’t merely cookbooks” (95). She is, however, grateful she was not described as “a distraught, rejected, pregnant cookbook author whose husband was in love with a giantess” (95). As the collapse of the marriage is described, her favourite recipes are shared: Bacon Hash; Four Minute Eggs; Toasted Almonds; Lima Beans with Pears; Linguine Alla Cecca; Pot Roast; three types of Potatoes; Sorrel Soup; desserts including Bread Pudding, Cheesecake, Key Lime Pie and Peach Pie; and a Vinaigrette, all in an effort to reassert her personal skills and thus personal value. Grief can also result from loss of hope and the realisation that a life long dreamed of will never be realised. Like Water for Chocolate (1989), by Laura Esquivel, is the magical realist tale of Tita De La Garza who, as the youngest daughter, is forbidden to marry as she must take care of her mother, a woman who: “Unquestionably, when it came to dividing, dismantling, dismembering, desolating, detaching, dispossessing, destroying or dominating […] was a pro” (87). Tita’s life lurches from one painful, unjust episode to the next; the only emotional stability she has comes from the kitchen, and from her cooking of a series of dishes: Christmas Rolls; Chabela Wedding Cake; Quail in Rose Petal Sauce; Turkey Mole; Northern-style Chorizo; Oxtail Soup; Champandongo; Chocolate and Three Kings’s Day Bread; Cream Fritters; and Beans with Chilli Tezcucana-style. This is a series of culinary-based activities that attempts to superimpose normalcy on a life that is far from the everyday. Grief is most commonly associated with death. Undertaking the selection, preparation and presentation of meals in novels dealing with bereavement is both a functional and symbolic act: life must go on for those left behind but it must go on in a very different way. Thus, novels that use food to deal with loss are particularly important because they can “make non-cooks believe they can cook, and for frequent cooks, affirm what they already know: that cooking heals” (Baltazar online). In Angelina’s Bachelors (2011) by Brian O’Reilly, Angelina D’Angelo believes “cooking was not just about food. It was about character” (2). By the end of the first chapter the young woman’s husband is dead and she is in the kitchen looking for solace, and survival, in cookery. In The Kitchen Daughter (2011) by Jael McHenry, Ginny Selvaggio is struggling to cope with the death of her parents and the friends and relations who crowd her home after the funeral. Like Angelina, Ginny retreats to the kitchen. There are, of course, exceptions. In Ntozake Shange’s Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo (1982), cooking celebrates, comforts, and seduces (Calta). This story of three sisters from South Carolina is told through diary entries, narrative, letters, poetry, songs, and spells. Recipes are also found throughout the text: Turkey; Marmalade; Rice; Spinach; Crabmeat; Fish; Sweetbread; Duck; Lamb; and, Asparagus. Anthony Capella’s The Food of Love (2004), a modern retelling of the classic tale of Cyrano de Bergerac, is about the beautiful Laura, a waiter masquerading as a top chef Tommaso, and the talented Bruno who, “thick-set, heavy, and slightly awkward” (21), covers for Tommaso’s incompetency in the kitchen as he, too, falls for Laura. The novel contains recipes and contains considerable information about food: Take fusilli […] People say this pasta was designed by Leonardo da Vinci himself. The spiral fins carry the biggest amount of sauce relative to the surface area, you see? But it only works with a thick, heavy sauce that can cling to the grooves. Conchiglie, on the other hand, is like a shell, so it holds a thin, liquid sauce inside it perfectly (17). Recipes: Dishing Up Death Crime fiction is a genre with a long history of focusing on food; from the theft of food in the novels of the nineteenth century to the utilisation of many different types of food such as chocolate, marmalade, and sweet omelettes to administer poison (Berkeley, Christie, Sayers), the latter vehicle for arsenic receiving much attention in Harriet Vane’s trial in Dorothy L. Sayers’s Strong Poison (1930). The Judge, in summing up the case, states to the members of the jury: “Four eggs were brought to the table in their shells, and Mr Urquhart broke them one by one into a bowl, adding sugar from a sifter [...he then] cooked the omelette in a chafing dish, filled it with hot jam” (14). Prior to what Timothy Taylor has described as the “pre-foodie era” the crime fiction genre was “littered with corpses whose last breaths smelled oddly sweet, or bitter, or of almonds” (online). Of course not all murders are committed in such a subtle fashion. In Roald Dahl’s Lamb to the Slaughter (1953), Mary Maloney murders her policeman husband, clubbing him over the head with a frozen leg of lamb. The meat is roasting nicely when her husband’s colleagues arrive to investigate his death, the lamb is offered and consumed: the murder weapon now beyond the recovery of investigators. Recent years have also seen more and more crime fiction writers present a central protagonist working within the food industry, drawing connections between the skills required for food preparation and those needed to catch a murderer. Working with cooks or crooks, or both, requires planning and people skills in addition to creative thinking, dedication, reliability, stamina, and a willingness to take risks. Kent Carroll insists that “food and mysteries just go together” (Carroll in Calta), with crime fiction website Stop, You’re Killing Me! listing, at the time of writing, over 85 culinary-based crime fiction series, there is certainly sufficient evidence to support his claim. Of the numerous works available that focus on food there are many series that go beyond featuring food and beverages, to present recipes as well as the solving of crimes. These include: the Candy Holliday Murder Mysteries by B. B. Haywood; the Coffeehouse Mysteries by Cleo Coyle; the Hannah Swensen Mysteries by Joanne Fluke; the Hemlock Falls Mysteries by Claudia Bishop; the Memphis BBQ Mysteries by Riley Adams; the Piece of Cake Mysteries by Jacklyn Brady; the Tea Shop Mysteries by Laura Childs; and, the White House Chef Mysteries by Julie Hyzy. The vast majority of offerings within this female dominated sub-genre that has been labelled “Crime and Dine” (Collins online) are American, both in origin and setting. A significant contribution to this increasingly popular formula is, however, from an Australian author Kerry Greenwood. Food features within her famed Phryne Fisher Series with recipes included in A Question of Death (2007). Recipes also form part of Greenwood’s food-themed collection of short crime stories Recipes for Crime (1995), written with Jenny Pausacker. These nine stories, each one imitating the style of one of crime fiction’s greatest contributors (from Agatha Christie to Raymond Chandler), allow readers to simultaneously access mysteries and recipes. 2004 saw the first publication of Earthly Delights and the introduction of her character, Corinna Chapman. This series follows the adventures of a woman who gave up a career as an accountant to open her own bakery in Melbourne. Corinna also investigates the occasional murder. Recipes can be found at the end of each of these books with the Corinna Chapman Recipe Book (nd), filled with instructions for baking bread, muffins and tea cakes in addition to recipes for main courses such as risotto, goulash, and “Chicken with Pineapple 1971 Style”, available from the publisher’s website. Recipes: Integration and Segregation In Heartburn (1983), Rachel acknowledges that presenting a work of fiction and a collection of recipes within a single volume can present challenges, observing: “I see that I haven’t managed to work in any recipes for a while. It’s hard to work in recipes when you’re moving the plot forward” (99). How Rachel tells her story is, however, a reflection of how she undertakes her work, with her own cookbooks being, she admits, more narration than instruction: “The cookbooks I write do well. They’re very personal and chatty–they’re cookbooks in an almost incidental way. I write chapters about friends or relatives or trips or experiences, and work in the recipes peripherally” (17). Some authors integrate detailed recipes into their narratives through description and dialogue. An excellent example of this approach can be found in the Coffeehouse Mystery Series by Cleo Coyle, in the novel On What Grounds (2003). When the central protagonist is being questioned by police, Clare Cosi’s answers are interrupted by a flashback scene and instructions on how to make Greek coffee: Three ounces of water and one very heaped teaspoon of dark roast coffee per serving. (I used half Italian roast, and half Maracaibo––a lovely Venezuelan coffee, named after the country’s major port; rich in flavour, with delicate wine overtones.) / Water and finely ground beans both go into the ibrik together. The water is then brought to a boil over medium heat (37). This provides insight into Clare’s character; that, when under pressure, she focuses her mind on what she firmly believes to be true – not the information that she is doubtful of or a situation that she is struggling to understand. Yet breaking up the action within a novel in this way–particularly within crime fiction, a genre that is predominantly dependant upon generating tension and building the pacing of the plotting to the climax–is an unusual but ultimately successful style of writing. Inquiry and instruction are comfortable bedfellows; as the central protagonists within these works discover whodunit, the readers discover who committed murder as well as a little bit more about one of the world’s most popular beverages, thus highlighting how cookbooks and novels both serve to entertain and to educate. Many authors will save their recipes, serving them up at the end of a story. This can be seen in Julie Hyzy’s White House Chef Mystery novels, the cover of each volume in the series boasts that it “includes Recipes for a Complete Presidential Menu!” These menus, with detailed ingredients lists, instructions for cooking and options for serving, are segregated from the stories and appear at the end of each work. Yet other writers will deploy a hybrid approach such as the one seen in Like Water for Chocolate (1989), where the ingredients are listed at the commencement of each chapter and the preparation for the recipes form part of the narrative. This method of integration is also deployed in The Kitchen Daughter (2011), which sees most of the chapters introduced with a recipe card, those chapters then going on to deal with action in the kitchen. Using recipes as chapter breaks is a structure that has, very recently, been adopted by Australian celebrity chef, food writer, and, now fiction author, Ed Halmagyi, in his new work, which is both cookbook and novel, The Food Clock: A Year of Cooking Seasonally (2012). As people exchange recipes in reality, so too do fictional characters. The Recipe Club (2009), by Andrea Israel and Nancy Garfinkel, is the story of two friends, Lilly Stone and Valerie Rudman, which is structured as an epistolary novel. As they exchange feelings, ideas and news in their correspondence, they also exchange recipes: over eighty of them throughout the novel in e-mails and letters. In The Food of Love (2004), written messages between two of the main characters are also used to share recipes. In addition, readers are able to post their own recipes, inspired by this book and other works by Anthony Capella, on the author’s website. From Page to Plate Some readers are contributing to the burgeoning food tourism market by seeking out the meals from the pages of their favourite novels in bars, cafés, and restaurants around the world, expanding the idea of “map as menu” (Spang 79). In Shannon McKenna Schmidt’s and Joni Rendon’s guide to literary tourism, Novel Destinations (2009), there is an entire section, “Eat Your Words: Literary Places to Sip and Sup”, dedicated to beverages and food. The listings include details for John’s Grill, in San Francisco, which still has on the menu Sam Spade’s Lamb Chops, served with baked potato and sliced tomatoes: a meal enjoyed by author Dashiell Hammett and subsequently consumed by his well-known protagonist in The Maltese Falcon (193), and the Café de la Paix, in Paris, frequented by Ian Fleming’s James Bond because “the food was good enough and it amused him to watch the people” (197). Those wanting to follow in the footsteps of writers can go to Harry’s Bar, in Venice, where the likes of Marcel Proust, Sinclair Lewis, Somerset Maugham, Ernest Hemingway, and Truman Capote have all enjoyed a drink (195) or The Eagle and Child, in Oxford, which hosted the regular meetings of the Inklings––a group which included C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien––in the wood-panelled Rabbit Room (203). A number of eateries have developed their own literary themes such as the Peaco*cks Tearooms, in Cambridgeshire, which blends their own teas. Readers who are also tea drinkers can indulge in the Sherlock Holmes (Earl Grey with Lapsang Souchong) and the Doctor Watson (Keemun and Darjeeling with Lapsang Souchong). Alternatively, readers may prefer to side with the criminal mind and indulge in the Moriarty (Black Chai with Star Anise, Pepper, Cinnamon, and Fennel) (Peaco*cks). The Moat Bar and Café, in Melbourne, situated in the basem*nt of the State Library of Victoria, caters “to the whimsy and fantasy of the fiction housed above” and even runs a book exchange program (The Moat). For those readers who are unable, or unwilling, to travel the globe in search of such savoury and sweet treats there is a wide variety of locally-based literary lunches and other meals, that bring together popular authors and wonderful food, routinely organised by book sellers, literature societies, and publishing houses. There are also many cookbooks now easily obtainable that make it possible to re-create fictional food at home. One of the many examples available is The Book Lover’s Cookbook (2003) by Shaunda Kennedy Wenger and Janet Kay Jensen, a work containing over three hundred pages of: Breakfasts; Main & Side Dishes; Soups; Salads; Appetizers, Breads & Other Finger Foods; Desserts; and Cookies & Other Sweets based on the pages of children’s books, literary classics, popular fiction, plays, poetry, and proverbs. If crime fiction is your preferred genre then you can turn to Jean Evans’s The Crime Lover’s Cookbook (2007), which features short stories in between the pages of recipes. There is also Estérelle Payany’s Recipe for Murder (2010) a beautifully illustrated volume that presents detailed instructions for Pigs in a Blanket based on the Big Bad Wolf’s appearance in The Three Little Pigs (44–7), and Roast Beef with Truffled Mashed Potatoes, which acknowledges Patrick Bateman’s fondness for fine dining in Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho (124–7). Conclusion Cookbooks and many popular fiction novels are reflections of each other in terms of creativity, function, and structure. In some instances the two forms are so closely entwined that a single volume will concurrently share a narrative while providing information about, and instruction, on cookery. Indeed, cooking in books is becoming so popular that the line that traditionally separated cookbooks from other types of books, such as romance or crime novels, is becoming increasingly distorted. The separation between food and fiction is further blurred by food tourism and how people strive to experience some of the foods found within fictional works at bars, cafés, and restaurants around the world or, create such experiences in their own homes using fiction-themed recipe books. Food has always been acknowledged as essential for life; books have long been acknowledged as food for thought and food for the soul. Thus food in both the real world and in the imagined world serves to nourish and sustain us in these ways. References Adams, Riley. Delicious and Suspicious. New York: Berkley, 2010. –– Finger Lickin’ Dead. New York: Berkley, 2011. –– Hickory Smoked Homicide. New York: Berkley, 2011. Baltazar, Lori. “A Novel About Food, Recipes Included [Book review].” Dessert Comes First. 28 Feb. 2012. 20 Aug. 2012 ‹http://dessertcomesfirst.com/archives/8644›. Berkeley, Anthony. The Poisoned Chocolates Case. London: Collins, 1929. Bishop, Claudia. Toast Mortem. New York: Berkley, 2010. –– Dread on Arrival. New York: Berkley, 2012. Brady, Jacklyn. A Sheetcake Named Desire. New York: Berkley, 2011. –– Cake on a Hot Tin Roof. New York: Berkley, 2012. Calta, Marialisa. “The Art of the Novel as Cookbook.” The New York Times. 17 Feb. 1993. 23 Jul. 2012 ‹http://www.nytimes.com/1993/02/17/style/the-art-of-the-novel-as-cookbook.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm›. Capella, Anthony. The Food of Love. London: Time Warner, 2004/2005. Carroll, Kent in Calta, Marialisa. “The Art of the Novel as Cookbook.” The New York Times. 17 Feb. 1993. 23 Jul. 2012 ‹http://www.nytimes.com/1993/02/17/style/the-art-of-the-novel-as-cookbook.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm›. Childs, Laura. Death by Darjeeling. New York: Berkley, 2001. –– Shades of Earl Grey. New York: Berkley, 2003. –– Blood Orange Brewing. New York: Berkley, 2006/2007. –– The Teaberry Strangler. New York: Berkley, 2010/2011. Collins, Glenn. “Your Favourite Fictional Crime Moments Involving Food.” The New York Times Diner’s Journal: Notes on Eating, Drinking and Cooking. 16 Jul. 2012. 17 Jul. 2012 ‹http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/16/your-favorite-fictional-crime-moments-involving-food›. Coyle, Cleo. On What Grounds. New York: Berkley, 2003. –– Murder Most Frothy. New York: Berkley, 2006. –– Holiday Grind. New York: Berkley, 2009/2010. –– Roast Mortem. New York: Berkley, 2010/2011. Christie, Agatha. A Pocket Full of Rye. London: Collins, 1953. Dahl, Roald. Lamb to the Slaughter: A Roald Dahl Short Story. New York: Penguin, 1953/2012. eBook. Dickens, Charles. Oliver Twist, or, the Parish Boy’s Progress. In Collection of Ancient and Modern British Authors, Vol. CCXXIX. Paris: Baudry’s European Library, 1838/1839. Duran, Nancy, and Karen MacDonald. “Information Sources for Food Studies Research.” Food, Culture and Society: An International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research 2.9 (2006): 233–43. Ephron, Nora. Heartburn. New York: Vintage, 1983/1996. Esquivel, Laura. Trans. Christensen, Carol, and Thomas Christensen. Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Instalments with Recipes, romances and home remedies. London: Black Swan, 1989/1993. Evans, Jeanne M. The Crime Lovers’s Cookbook. City: Happy Trails, 2007. Fluke, Joanne. Fudge Cupcake Murder. New York: Kensington, 2004. –– Key Lime Pie Murder. New York: Kensington, 2007. –– Cream Puff Murder. New York: Kensington, 2009. –– Apple Turnover Murder. New York: Kensington, 2010. Greenwood, Kerry, and Jenny Pausacker. Recipes for Crime. Carlton: McPhee Gribble, 1995. Greenwood, Kerry. The Corinna Chapman Recipe Book: Mouth-Watering Morsels to Make Your Man Melt, Recipes from Corinna Chapman, Baker and Reluctant Investigator. nd. 25 Aug. 2012 ‹http://www.allenandunwin.com/_uploads/documents/minisites/Corinna_recipebook.pdf›. –– A Question of Death: An Illustrated Phryne Fisher Treasury. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin, 2007. Halmagyi, Ed. The Food Clock: A Year of Cooking Seasonally. Sydney: Harper Collins, 2012. Haywood, B. B. Town in a Blueberry Jam. New York: Berkley, 2010. –– Town in a Lobster Stew. New York: Berkley, 2011. –– Town in a Wild Moose Chase. New York: Berkley, 2012. Hyzy, Julie. State of the Onion. New York: Berkley, 2008. –– Hail to the Chef. New York: Berkley, 2008. –– Eggsecutive Orders. New York: Berkley, 2010. –– Buffalo West Wing. New York: Berkley, 2011. –– Affairs of Steak. New York: Berkley, 2012. Israel, Andrea, and Nancy Garfinkel, with Melissa Clark. The Recipe Club: A Novel About Food And Friendship. New York: HarperCollins, 2009. McHenry, Jael. The Kitchen Daughter: A Novel. New York: Gallery, 2011. Mitchell, Margaret. Gone With the Wind. London: Pan, 1936/1974 O’Reilly, Brian, with Virginia O’Reilly. Angelina’s Bachelors: A Novel, with Food. New York: Gallery, 2011. Payany, Estérelle. Recipe for Murder: Frightfully Good Food Inspired by Fiction. Paris: Flammarion, 2010. Peaco*cks Tearooms. Peaco*cks Tearooms: Our Unique Selection of Teas. 23 Aug. 2012 ‹http://www.peaco*ckstearoom.co.uk/teas/page1.asp›. Piatti-Farnell, Lorna. “A Taste of Conflict: Food, History and Popular Culture In Katherine Mansfield’s Fiction.” Australasian Journal of Popular Culture 2.1 (2012): 79–91. Risson, Toni, and Donna Lee Brien. “Editors’ Letter: That Takes the Cake: A Slice Of Australasian Food Studies Scholarship.” Australasian Journal of Popular Culture 2.1 (2012): 3–7. Sayers, Dorothy L. Strong Poison. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1930/2003. Schmidt, Shannon McKenna, and Joni Rendon. Novel Destinations: Literary Landmarks from Jane Austen’s Bath to Ernest Hemingway’s Key West. Washington, DC: National Geographic, 2009. Shange, Ntozake. Sassafrass, Cypress and Indigo: A Novel. New York: St Martin’s, 1982. Spang, Rebecca L. “All the World’s A Restaurant: On The Global Gastronomics Of Tourism and Travel.” In Raymond Grew (Ed). Food in Global History. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1999. 79–91. Taylor, Timothy. “Food/Crime Fiction.” Timothy Taylor. 2010. 17 Jul. 2012 ‹http://www.timothytaylor.ca/10/08/20/foodcrime-fiction›. The Moat Bar and Café. The Moat Bar and Café: Welcome. nd. 23 Aug. 2012 ‹http://themoat.com.au/Welcome.html›. Wenger, Shaunda Kennedy, and Janet Kay Jensen. The Book Lover’s Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by Celebrated Works of Literature, and the Passages that Feature Them. New York: Ballantine, 2003/2005.

38

Green, Lelia. "No Taste for Health: How Tastes are Being Manipulated to Favour Foods that are not Conducive to Health and Wellbeing." M/C Journal 17, no.1 (March17, 2014). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.785.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

Background “The sense of taste,” write Nelson and colleagues in a 2002 issue of Nature, “provides animals with valuable information about the nature and quality of food. Mammals can recognize and respond to a diverse repertoire of chemical entities, including sugars, salts, acids and a wide range of toxic substances” (199). The authors go on to argue that several amino acids—the building blocks of proteins—taste delicious to humans and that “having a taste pathway dedicated to their detection probably had significant evolutionary implications”. They imply, but do not specify, that the evolutionary implications are positive. This may be the case with some amino acids, but contemporary tastes, and changes in them, are far from universally beneficial. Indeed, this article argues that modern food production shapes and distorts human taste with significant implications for health and wellbeing. Take the western taste for fried chipped potatoes, for example. According to Schlosser in Fast Food Nation, “In 1960, the typical American ate eighty-one pounds of fresh potatoes and about four pounds of frozen french fries. Today [2002] the typical American eats about forty-nine pounds of fresh potatoes every year—and more than thirty pounds of frozen french fries” (115). Nine-tenths of these chips are consumed in fast food restaurants which use mass-manufactured potato-based frozen products to provide this major “foodservice item” more quickly and cheaply than the equivalent dish prepared from raw ingredients. These choices, informed by human taste buds, have negative evolutionary implications, as does the apparently long-lasting consumer preference for fried goods cooked in trans-fats. “Numerous foods acquire their elastic properties (i.e., snap, mouth-feel, and hardness) from the colloidal fat crystal network comprised primarily of trans- and saturated fats. These hardstock fats contribute, along with numerous other factors, to the global epidemics related to metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease,” argues Michael A. Rogers (747). Policy makers and public health organisations continue to compare notes internationally about the best ways in which to persuade manufacturers and fast food purveyors to reduce the use of these trans-fats in their products (L’Abbé et al.), however, most manufacturers resist. Hank Cardello, a former fast food executive, argues that “many products are designed for ‘high hedonic value’, with carefully balanced combinations of salt, sugar and fat that, experience has shown, induce people to eat more” (quoted, Trivedi 41). Fortunately for the manufactured food industry, salt and sugar also help to preserve food, effectively prolonging the shelf life of pre-prepared and packaged goods. Physiological Factors As Glanz et al. discovered when surveying 2,967 adult Americans, “taste is the most important influence on their food choices, followed by cost” (1118). A person’s taste is to some extent an individual response to food stimuli, but the tongue’s taste buds respond to five basic categories of food: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami. ‘Umami’ is a Japanese word indicating “delicious savoury taste” (Coughlan 11) and it is triggered by the amino acid glutamate. Japanese professor Kikunae Ikeda identified glutamate while investigating the taste of a particular seaweed which he believed was neither sweet, sour, bitter, or salty. When Ikeda combined the glutamate taste essence with sodium he formed the food additive sodium glutamate, which was patented in 1908 and subsequently went into commercial production (Japan Patent Office). Although individual, a person’s taste preferences are by no means fixed. There is ample evidence that people’s tastes are being distorted by modern food marketing practices that process foods to make them increasingly appealing to the average palate. In particular, this industrialisation of food promotes the growth of a snack market driven by salty and sugary foods, popularly constructed as posing a threat to health and wellbeing. “[E]xpanding waistlines [are] fuelled by a boom in fast food and a decline in physical activity” writes Stark, who reports upon the 2008 launch of a study into Australia’s future ‘fat bomb’. As Deborah Lupton notes, such reports were a particular feature of the mid 2000s when: intense concern about the ‘obesity epidemic’ intensified and peaked. Time magazine named 2004 ‘The Year of Obesity’. That year the World Health Organization’s Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health was released and the [US] Centers for Disease Control predicted that a poor diet and lack of exercise would soon claim more lives than tobacco-related disease in the United States. (4) The American Heart Association recommends eating no more than 1500mg of salt per day (Hamzelou 11) but salt consumption in the USA averages more than twice this quantity, at 3500mg per day (Bernstein and Willett 1178). In the UK, a sustained campaign and public health-driven engagement with food manufacturers by CASH—Consensus Action on Salt and Health—resulted in a reduction of between 30 and 40 percent of added salt in processed foods between 2001 and 2011, with a knock-on 15 percent decline in the UK population’s salt intake overall. This is the largest reduction achieved by any developed nation (Brinsden et al.). “According to the [UK’s] National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), this will have reduced [UK] stroke and heart attack deaths by a minimum of 9,000 per year, with a saving in health care costs of at least £1.5bn a year” (MacGregor and Pombo). Whereas there has been some success over the past decade in reducing the amount of salt consumed, in the Western world the consumption of sugar continues to rise, as a graph cited in the New Scientist indicates (O’Callaghan). Regular warnings that sugar is associated with a range of health threats and delivers empty calories devoid of nutrition have failed to halt the increase in sugar consumption. Further, although some sugar is a natural product, processed foods tend to use a form invented in 1957: high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). “HFCS is a gloopy solution of glucose and fructose” writes O’Callaghan, adding that it is “as sweet as table sugar but has typically been about 30% cheaper”. She cites Serge Ahmed, a French neuroscientist, as arguing that in a world of food sufficiency people do not need to consume more, so they need to be enticed to overeat by making food more pleasurable. Ahmed was part of a team that ran an experiment with cocaine-addicted rats, offering them a mutually exclusive choice between highly-sweetened water and cocaine: Our findings clearly indicate that intense sweetness can surpass cocaine reward, even in drug-sensitized and -addicted individuals. We speculate that the addictive potential of intense sweetness results from an inborn hypersensitivity to sweet tastants. In most mammals, including rats and humans, sweet receptors evolved in ancestral environments poor in sugars and are thus not adapted to high concentrations of sweet tastants. The supranormal stimulation of these receptors by sugar-rich diets, such as those now widely available in modern societies, would generate a supranormal reward signal in the brain, with the potential to override self-control mechanisms and thus lead to addiction. (Lenoir et al.) The Tongue and the Brain One of the implications of this research about the mammalian desire for sugar is that our taste for food is about more than how these foods actually taste in the mouth on our tongues. It is also about the neural response to the food we eat. The taste of French fries thus also includes that “snap, mouth-feel, and hardness” and the “colloidal fat crystal network” (Rogers, “Novel Structuring” 747). While there is no taste receptor for fats, these nutrients have important effects upon the brain. Wang et al. offered rats a highly fatty, but palatable, diet and allowed them to eat freely. 33 percent of the calories in the food were delivered via fat, compared with 21 percent in a normal diet. The animals almost doubled their usual calorific intake, both because the food had a 37 percent increased calorific content and also because the rats ate 47 percent more than was standard (2786). The research team discovered that in as little as three days the rats “had already lost almost all of their ability to respond to leptin” (Martindale 27). Leptin is a hormone that acts on the brain to communicate feelings of fullness, and is thus important in assisting animals to maintain a healthy body weight. The rats had also become insulin resistant. “Severe resistance to the metabolic effects of both leptin and insulin ensued after just 3 days of overfeeding” (Wang et al. 2786). Fast food restaurants typically offer highly palatable, high fat, high sugar, high salt, calorific foods which can deliver 130 percent of a day’s recommended fat intake, and almost a day’s worth of an adult man’s calories, in one meal. The impacts of maintaining such a diet over a comparatively short time-frame have been recorded in documentaries such as Super Size Me (Spurlock). The after effects of what we widely call “junk food” are also evident in rat studies. Neuroscientist Paul Kenny, who like Ahmed was investigating possible similarities between food- and cocaine-addicted rats, allowed his animals unlimited access to both rat ‘junk food’ and healthy food for rats. He then changed their diets. “The rats with unlimited access to junk food essentially went on a hunger strike. ‘It was as if they had become averse to healthy food’, says Kenny. It took two weeks before the animals began eating as much [healthy food] as those in the control group” (quoted, Trivedi 40). Developing a taste for certain food is consequently about much more than how they taste in the mouth; it constitutes an individual’s response to a mixture of taste, hormonal reactions and physiological changes. Choosing Health Glanz et al. conclude their study by commenting that “campaigns attempting to change people’s perception of the importance of nutrition will be interpreted in terms of existing values and beliefs. A more promising strategy might be to stress the good taste of healthful foods” (1126). Interestingly, this is the strategy already adopted by some health-focused cookbooks. I have 66 cookery books in my kitchen. None of ten books sampled from the five spaces in which these books are kept had ‘taste’ as an index entry, but three books had ‘taste’ in their titles: The Higher Taste, Taste of Life, and The Taste of Health. All three books seek to promote healthy eating, and they all date from the mid-1980s. It might be that taste is not mentioned in cookbook indexes because it is a sine qua non: a focus upon taste is so necessary and fundamental to a cookbook that it goes without saying. Yet, as the physiological evidence makes clear, what we find palatable is highly mutable, varying between people, and capable of changing significantly in comparatively short periods of time. The good news from the research studies is that the changes wrought by high salt, high sugar, high fat diets need not be permanent. Luciano Rossetti, one of the authors on Wang et al’s paper, told Martindale that the physiological changes are reversible, but added a note of caution: “the fatter a person becomes the more resistant they will be to the effects of leptin and the harder it is to reverse those effects” (27). Morgan Spurlock’s experience also indicates this. In his case it took the actor/director 14 months to lose the 11.1 kg (13 percent of his body mass) that he gained in the 30 days of his fast-food-only experiment. Trivedi was more fortunate, stating that, “After two weeks of going cold turkey, I can report I have successfully kicked my ice cream habit” (41). A reader’s letter in response to Trivedi’s article echoes this observation. She writes that “the best way to stop the craving was to switch to a diet of vegetables, seeds, nuts and fruits with a small amount of fish”, adding that “cravings stopped in just a week or two, and the diet was so effective that I no longer crave junk food even when it is in front of me” (Mackeown). Popular culture indicates a range of alternative ways to resist food manufacturers. In the West, there is a growing emphasis on organic farming methods and produce (Guthman), on sl called Urban Agriculture in the inner cities (Mason and Knowd), on farmers’ markets, where consumers can meet the producers of the food they eat (Guthrie et al.), and on the work of advocates of ‘real’ food, such as Jamie Oliver (Warrin). Food and wine festivals promote gourmet tourism along with an emphasis upon the quality of the food consumed, and consumption as a peak experience (Hall and Sharples), while environmental perspectives prompt awareness of ‘food miles’ (Weber and Matthews), fair trade (Getz and Shreck) and of land degradation, animal suffering, and the inequitable use of resources in the creation of the everyday Western diet (Dare, Costello and Green). The burgeoning of these different approaches has helped to stimulate a commensurate growth in relevant disciplinary fields such as Food Studies (Wessell and Brien). One thing that all these new ways of looking at food and taste have in common is that they are options for people who feel they have the right to choose what and when to eat; and to consume the tastes they prefer. This is not true of all groups of people in all countries. Hiding behind the public health campaigns that encourage people to exercise and eat fresh fruit and vegetables are the hidden “social determinants of health: The conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age, including the health system” (WHO 45). As the definitions explain, it is the “social determinants of health [that] are mostly responsible for health iniquities” with evidence from all countries around the world demonstrating that “in general, the lower an individual’s socioeconomic position, the worse his or her health” (WHO 45). For the comparatively disadvantaged, it may not be the taste of fast food that attracts them but the combination of price and convenience. If there is no ready access to cooking facilities, or safe food storage, or if a caregiver is simply too time-poor to plan and prepare meals for a family, junk food becomes a sensible choice and its palatability an added bonus. For those with the education, desire, and opportunity to break free of the taste for salty and sugary fats, however, there are a range of strategies to achieve this. There is a persuasive array of evidence that embracing a plant-based diet confers a multitude of health benefits for the individual, for the planet and for the animals whose lives and welfare would otherwise be sacrificed to feed us (Green, Costello and Dare). Such a choice does involve losing the taste for foods which make up the lion’s share of the Western diet, but any sense of deprivation only lasts for a short time. The fact is that our sense of taste responds to the stimuli offered. It may be that, notwithstanding the desires of Jamie Oliver and the like, a particular child never will never get to like broccoli, but it is also the case that broccoli tastes differently to me, seven years after becoming a vegan, than it ever did in the years in which I was omnivorous. When people tell me that they would love to adopt a plant-based diet but could not possibly give up cheese, it is difficult to reassure them that the pleasure they get now from that specific co*cktail of salty fats will be more than compensated for by the sheer exhilaration of eating crisp, fresh fruits and vegetables in the future. Conclusion For decades, the mass market food industry has tweaked their products to make them hyper-palatable and difficult to resist. They do this through marketing experiments and consumer behaviour research, schooling taste buds and brains to anticipate and relish specific co*cktails of sweet fats (cakes, biscuits, chocolate, ice cream) and salty fats (chips, hamburgers, cheese, salted nuts). They add ingredients to make these products stimulate taste buds more effectively, while also producing cheaper items with longer life on the shelves, reducing spoilage and the complexity of storage for retailers. Consumers are trained to like the tastes of these foods. Bitter, sour, and umami receptors are comparatively under-stimulated, with sweet, salty, and fat-based tastes favoured in their place. Western societies pay the price for this learned preference in high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity. Public health advocate Bruce Neal and colleagues, working to reduce added salt in processed foods, note that the food and manufacturing industries can now provide most of the calories that the world needs to survive. “The challenge now”, they argue, “is to have these same industries provide foods that support long and healthy adult lives. And in this regard there remains a very considerable way to go”. If the public were to believe that their sense of taste is mutable and has been distorted for corporate and industrial gain, and if they were to demand greater access to natural foods in their unprocessed state, then that journey towards a healthier future might be far less protracted than these and many other researchers seem to believe. References Bernstein, Adam, and Walter Willett. “Trends in 24-Hr Sodium Excretion in the United States, 1957–2003: A Systematic Review.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 92 (2010): 1172–1180. Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. The Higher Taste: A Guide to Gourmet Vegetarian Cooking and a Karma-Free Diet, over 60 Famous Hare Krishna Recipes. Botany, NSW: Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1987. Brinsden, Hannah C., Feng J. He, Katharine H. Jenner, & Graham A. MacGregor. “Surveys of the Salt Content in UK Bread: Progress Made and Further Reductions Possible.” British Medical Journal Open 3.6 (2013). 2 Feb. 2014 ‹http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/3/6/e002936.full›. Coughlan, Andy. “In Good Taste.” New Scientist 2223 (2000): 11. Dare, Julie, Leesa Costello, and Lelia Green. “Nutritional Narratives: Examining Perspectives on Plant Based Diets in the Context of Dominant Western Discourse”. Proceedings of the 2013 Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference. Ed. In Terence Lee, Kathryn Trees, and Renae Desai. Fremantle, Western Australia, 3-5 Jul. 2013. 2 Feb. 2014 ‹http://www.anzca.net/conferences/past-conferences/159.html›. Getz, Christy, and Aimee Shreck. “What Organic and Fair Trade Labels Do Not Tell Us: Towards a Place‐Based Understanding of Certification.” International Journal of Consumer Studies 30.5 (2006): 490–501. Glanz, Karen, Michael Basil, Edward Maibach, Jeanne Goldberg, & Dan Snyder. “Why Americans Eat What They Do: Taste, Nutrition, Cost, Convenience, and Weight Control Concerns as Influences on Food Consumption.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association 98.10 (1988): 1118–1126. Green, Lelia, Leesa Costello, and Julie Dare. “Veganism, Health Expectancy, and the Communication of Sustainability.” Australian Journal of Communication 37.3 (2010): 87–102 Guthman, Julie. Agrarian Dreams: the Paradox of Organic Farming in California. Berkley and Los Angeles, CA: U of California P, 2004 Guthrie, John, Anna Guthrie, Rob Lawson, & Alan Cameron. “Farmers’ Markets: The Small Business Counter-Revolution in Food Production and Retailing.” British Food Journal 108.7 (2006): 560–573. Hall, Colin Michael, and Liz Sharples. Eds. Food and Wine Festivals and Events Around the World: Development, Management and Markets. Oxford, UK: Routledge, 2008. Hamzelou, Jessica. “Taste Bud Trickery Needed to Cut Salt Intake.” New Scientist 2799 (2011): 11. Japan Patent Office. History of Industrial Property Rights, Ten Japanese Great Inventors: Kikunae Ikeda: Sodium Glutamate. Tokyo: Japan Patent Office, 2002. L’Abbé, Mary R., S. Stender, C. M. Skeaff, Ghafoorunissa, & M. Tavella. “Approaches to Removing Trans Fats from the Food Supply in Industrialized and Developing Countries.” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 63 (2009): S50–S67. Lenoir, Magalie, Fuschia Serre, Lauriane Cantin, & Serge H. Ahmed. “Intense Sweetness Surpasses Cocaine Reward.” PLOS One (2007). 2 Feb. 2014 ‹http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0000698›. Lupton, Deborah. Fat. Oxford, UK: Routledge, 2013. MacGregor, Graham, and Sonia Pombo. “The Amount of Hidden Sugar in Your Diet Might Shock You.” The Conversation 9 January (2014). 2 Feb. 2014 ‹http://theconversation.com/the-amount-of-hidden-sugar-in-your-diet-might-shock-you-21867›. Mackeown, Elizabeth. “Cold Turkey?” [Letter]. New Scientist 2787 (2010): 31. Martindale, Diane. “Burgers on the Brain.” New Scientist 2380 (2003): 26–29. Mason, David, and Ian Knowd. “The Emergence of Urban Agriculture: Sydney, Australia.” The International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 8.1–2 (2010): 62–71. Neal, Bruce, Jacqui Webster, and Sebastien Czernichow. “Sanguine About Salt Reduction.” European Journal of Preventative Cardiology 19.6 (2011): 1324–1325. Nelson, Greg, Jayaram Chandrashekar, Mark A. Hoon, Luxin Feng, Grace Zhao, Nicholas J. P. Ryba, & Charles S. Zuker. “An Amino-Acid Taste Receptor.” Nature 416 (2002): 199–202. O’Callaghan, Tiffany. “Sugar on Trial: What You Really Need to Know.” New Scientist 2954 (2011): 34–39. Rogers, Jenny. Ed. The Taste of Health: The BBC Guide to Healthy Cooking. London, UK: British Broadcasting Corporation, 1985. Rogers, Michael A. “Novel Structuring Strategies for Unsaturated Fats—Meeting the Zero-Trans, Zero-Saturated Fat Challenge: A Review.” Food Research International 42.7 August (2009): 747–753. Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation. London, UK: Penguin, 2002. Super Size Me. Dir. Morgan Spurlock. Samuel Goldwyn Films, 2004. Stafford, Julie. Taste of Life. Richmond, Vic: Greenhouse Publications Ltd, 1983. Stark, Jill. “Australia Now World’s Fattest Nation.” The Age 20 June (2008). 2 Feb. 2014 ‹http://www.theage.com.au/news/health/australia-worlds-fattest-nation/2008/06/19/1213770886872.html›. Trivedi, Bijal. “Junkie Food: Tastes That Your Brain Cannot Resist.” New Scientist 2776 (2010): 38–41. Wang, Jiali, Silvana Obici, Kimyata Morgan, Nir Barzilai, Zhaohui Feng, & Luciano Rossetti. “Overfeeding Rapidly Increases Leptin and Insulin Resistance.” Diabetes 50.12 (2001): 2786–2791. Warin, Megan. “Foucault’s Progeny: Jamie Oliver and the Art of Governing Obesity.” Social Theory & Health 9.1 (2011): 24–40. Weber, Christopher L., and H. Scott Matthews. “Food-miles and the Relative Climate Impacts of Food Choices in the United States.” Environmental Science & Technology 42.10 (2008): 3508–3513. Wessell, Adele, and Donna Lee Brien. Eds. Rewriting the Menu: the Cultural Dynamics of Contemporary Food Choices. Special Issue 9, TEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Programs October 2010. World Health Organisation. Closing the Gap: Policy into Practice on Social Determinants of Health [Discussion Paper]. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: World Conference on Social Determinants of Health, World Health Organisation, 19–21 October 2011.

39

Woldeyes, Yirga Gelaw. "“Holding Living Bodies in Graveyards”: The Violence of Keeping Ethiopian Manuscripts in Western Institutions." M/C Journal 23, no.2 (May13, 2020). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1621.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

IntroductionThere are two types of Africa. The first is a place where people and cultures live. The second is the image of Africa that has been invented through colonial knowledge and power. The colonial image of Africa, as the Other of Europe, a land “enveloped in the dark mantle of night” was supported by western states as it justified their colonial practices (Hegel 91). Any evidence that challenged the myth of the Dark Continent was destroyed, removed or ignored. While the looting of African natural resources has been studied, the looting of African knowledges hasn’t received as much attention, partly based on the assumption that Africans did not produce knowledge that could be stolen. This article invalidates this myth by examining the legacy of Ethiopia’s indigenous Ge’ez literature, and its looting and abduction by powerful western agents. The article argues that this has resulted in epistemic violence, where students of the Ethiopian indigenous education system do not have access to their books, while European orientalists use them to interpret Ethiopian history and philosophy using a foreign lens. The analysis is based on interviews with teachers and students of ten Ge’ez schools in Ethiopia, and trips to the Ethiopian manuscript collections in The British Library, The Princeton Library, the Institute of Ethiopian Studies and The National Archives in Addis Ababa.The Context of Ethiopian Indigenous KnowledgesGe’ez is one of the ancient languages of Africa. According to Professor Ephraim Isaac, “about 10,000 years ago, one single nation or community of a single linguistic group existed in Ethiopia, Eritrea, and the Horn of Africa” (The Habesha). The language of this group is known as Proto-Afroasiatic or Afrasian languages. It is the ancestor of the Semitic, Cush*tic, Nilotic, Omotic and other languages that are currently spoken in Ethiopia by its 80 ethnic groups, and the neighbouring countries (Diakonoff). Ethiopians developed the Ge’ez language as their lingua franca with its own writing system some 2000 years ago. Currently, Ge’ez is the language of academic scholarship, studied through the traditional education system (Isaac, The Ethiopian). Since the fourth century, an estimated 1 million Ge’ez manuscripts have been written, covering religious, historical, mathematical, medicinal, and philosophical texts.One of the most famous Ge’ez manuscripts is the Kebra Nagast, a foundational text that embodied the indigenous conception of nationhood in Ethiopia. The philosophical, political and religious themes in this book, which craft Ethiopia as God’s country and the home of the Ark of the Covenant, contributed to the country’s success in defending itself from European colonialism. The production of books like the Kebra Nagast went hand in hand with a robust indigenous education system that trained poets, scribes, judges, artists, administrators and priests. Achieving the highest stages of learning requires about 30 years after which the scholar would be given the rare title Arat-Ayina, which means “four eyed”, a person with the ability to see the past as well as the future. Today, there are around 50,000 Ge’ez schools across the country, most of which are in rural villages and churches.Ge’ez manuscripts are important textbooks and reference materials for students. They are carefully prepared from vellum “to make them last forever” (interview, 3 Oct. 2019). Some of the religious books are regarded as “holy persons who breathe wisdom that gives light and food to the human soul”. Other manuscripts, often prepared as scrolls are used for medicinal purposes. Each manuscript is uniquely prepared reflecting inherited wisdom on contemporary lives using the method called Tirguamme, the act of giving meaning to sacred texts. Preparation of books is costly. Smaller manuscript require the skins of 50-70 goats/sheep and large manuscript needed 100-120 goats/sheep (Tefera).The Loss of Ethiopian ManuscriptsSince the 18th century, a large quantity of these manuscripts have been stolen, looted, or smuggled out of the country by travellers who came to the country as explorers, diplomats and scientists. The total number of Ethiopian manuscripts taken is still unknown. Amsalu Tefera counted 6928 Ethiopian manuscripts currently held in foreign libraries and museums. This figure does not include privately held or unofficial collections (41).Looting and smuggling were sponsored by western governments, institutions, and notable individuals. For example, in 1868, The British Museum Acting Director Richard Holms joined the British army which was sent to ‘rescue’ British hostages at Maqdala, the capital of Emperor Tewodros. Holms’ mission was to bring treasures for the Museum. Before the battle, Tewodros had established the Medhanialem library with more than 1000 manuscripts as part of Ethiopia’s “industrial revolution”. When Tewodros lost the war and committed suicide, British soldiers looted the capital, including the treasury and the library. They needed 200 mules and 15 elephants to transport the loot and “set fire to all buildings so that no trace was left of the edifices which once housed the manuscripts” (Rita Pankhurst 224). Richard Holmes collected 356 manuscripts for the Museum. A wealthy British woman called Lady Meux acquired some of the most illuminated manuscripts. In her will, she bequeathed them to be returned to Ethiopia. However, her will was reversed by court due to a campaign from the British press (Richard Pankhurst). In 2018, the V&A Museum in London displayed some of the treasures by incorporating Maqdala into the imperial narrative of Britain (Woldeyes, Reflections).Britain is by no means the only country to seek Ethiopian manuscripts for their collections. Smuggling occurred in the name of science, an act of collecting manuscripts for study. Looting involved local collaborators and powerful foreign sponsors from places like France, Germany and the Vatican. Like Maqdala, this was often sponsored by governments or powerful financers. For example, the French government sponsored the Dakar-Djibouti Mission led by Marcel Griaule, which “brought back about 350 manuscripts and scrolls from Gondar” (Wion 2). It was often claimed that these manuscripts were purchased, rather than looted. Johannes Flemming of Germany was said to have purchased 70 manuscripts and ten scrolls for the Royal Library of Berlin in 1905. However, there was no local market for buying manuscripts. Ge’ez manuscripts were, and still are, written to serve spiritual and secular life in Ethiopia, not for buying and selling. There are countless other examples, but space limits how many can be provided in this article. What is important to note is that museums and libraries have accrued impressive collections without emphasising how those collections were first obtained. The loss of the intellectual heritage of Ethiopians to western collectors has had an enormous impact on the country.Knowledge Grabbing: The Denial of Access to KnowledgeWith so many manuscripts lost, European collectors became the narrators of Ethiopian knowledge and history. Edward Ullendorff, a known orientalist in Ethiopian studies, refers to James Bruce as “the explorer of Abyssinia” (114). Ullendorff commented on the significance of Bruce’s travel to Ethiopia asperhaps the most important aspect of Bruce’s travels was the collection of Ethiopic manuscripts… . They opened up entirely new vistas for the study of Ethiopian languages and placed this branch of Oriental scholarship on a much more secure basis. It is not known how many MSS. reached Europe through his endeavours, but the present writer is aware of at least twenty-seven, all of which are exquisite examples of Ethiopian manuscript art. (133)This quote encompasses three major ways in which epistemic violence occurs: denial of access to knowledge, Eurocentric interpretation of Ethiopian manuscripts, and the handling of Ge’ez manuscripts as artefacts from the past. These will be discussed below.Western ‘travellers’, such as Bruce, did not fully disclose how many manuscripts they took or how they acquired them. The abundance of Ethiopian manuscripts in western institutions can be compared to the scarcity of such materials among traditional schools in Ethiopia. In this research, I have visited ten indigenous schools in Wollo (Lalibela, Neakutoleab, Asheten, Wadla), in Gondar (Bahita, Kuskwam, Menbere Mengist), and Gojam (Bahirdar, Selam Argiew Maryam, Giorgis). In all of the schools, there is lack of Ge’ez manuscripts. Students often come from rural villages and do not receive any government support. The scarcity of Ge’ez manuscripts, and the lack of funding which might allow for the purchasing of books, means the students depend mainly on memorising Ge’ez texts told to them from the mouth of their teacher. Although this method of learning is not new, it currently is the only way for passing indigenous knowledges across generations.The absence of manuscripts is most strongly felt in the advanced schools. For instance, in the school of Qene, poetic literature is created through an in-depth study of the vocabulary and grammar of Ge’ez. A Qene student is required to develop a deep knowledge of Ge’ez in order to understand ancient and medieval Ge’ez texts which are used to produce poetry with multiple meanings. Without Ge’ez manuscripts, students cannot draw their creative works from the broad intellectual tradition of their ancestors. When asked how students gain access to textbooks, one student commented:we don’t have access to Birana books (Ge’ez manuscripts written on vellum). We cannot learn the ancient wisdom of painting, writing, and computing developed by our ancestors. We simply buy paper books such as Dawit (Psalms), Sewasew (grammar) or Degwa (book of songs with notations) and depend on our teachers to teach us the rest. We also lend these books to each other as many students cannot afford to buy them. Without textbooks, we expect to spend double the amount of time it would take if we had textbooks. (Interview, 3 Sep. 2019)Many students interrupt their studies and work as labourers to save up and buy paper textbooks, but they still don’t have access to the finest works taken to Europe. Most Ge’ez manuscripts remaining in Ethiopia are locked away in monasteries, church stores or other places to prevent further looting. The manuscripts in Addis Ababa University and the National Archives are available for researchers but not to the students of the indigenous system, creating a condition of internal knowledge grabbing.While the absence of Ge’ez manuscripts denied, and continues to deny, Ethiopians the chance to enrich their indigenous education, it benefited western orientalists to garner intellectual authority on the field of Ethiopian studies. In 1981, British Museum Director John Wilson said, “our Abyssinian holdings are more important than our Indian collection” (Bell 231). In reaction, Richard Pankhurst, the Director of Ethiopian Studies in Addis Ababa, responded that the collection was acquired through plunder. Defending the retaining of Maqdala manuscripts in Europe, Ullendorff wrote:neither Dr. Pankhurst nor the Ethiopian and western scholars who have worked on this collection (and indeed on others in Europe) could have contributed so significantly to the elucidation of Ethiopian history without the rich resources available in this country. Had they remained insitu, none of this would have been possible. (Qtd. in Bell 234)The manuscripts are therefore valued based on their contribution to western scholarship only. This is a continuation of epistemic violence whereby local knowledges are used as raw materials to produce Eurocentric knowledge, which in turn is used to teach Africans as though they had no prior knowledge. Scholars are defined as those western educated persons who can speak European languages and can travel to modern institutions to access the manuscripts. Knowledge grabbing regards previous owners as inexistent or irrelevant for the use of the grabbed knowledges.Knowledge grabbing also means indigenous scholars are deprived of critical resources to produce new knowledge based on their intellectual heritage. A Qene teacher commented: our students could not devote their time and energy to produce new knowledges in the same way our ancestors did. We have the tradition of Madeladel, Kimera, Kuteta, Mielad, Qene and tirguamme where students develop their own system of remembering, reinterpreting, practicing, and rewriting previous manuscripts and current ones. Without access to older manuscripts, we increasingly depend on preserving what is being taught orally by elders. (Interview, 4 Sep. 2019)This point is important as it relates to the common myth that indigenous knowledges are artefacts belonging to the past, not the present. There are millions of people who still use these knowledges, but the conditions necessary for their reproduction and improvement is denied through knowledge grabbing. The view of Ge’ez manuscripts as artefacts dismisses the Ethiopian view that Birana manuscripts are living persons. As a scholar told me in Gondar, “they are creations of Egziabher (God), like all of us. Keeping them in institutions is like keeping living bodies in graveyards” (interview, 5 Oct. 2019).Recently, the collection of Ethiopian manuscripts by western institutions has also been conducted digitally. Thousands of manuscripts have been microfilmed or digitised. For example, the EU funded Ethio-SPaRe project resulted in the digital collection of 2000 Ethiopian manuscripts (Nosnitsin). While digitisation promises better access for people who may not be able to visit institutions to see physical copies, online manuscripts are not accessible to indigenous school students in Ethiopia. They simply do not have computer or internet access and the manuscripts are catalogued in European languages. Both physical and digital knowledge grabbing results in the robbing of Ethiopian intellectual heritage, and denies the possibility of such manuscripts being used to inform local scholarship. Epistemic Violence: The European as ExpertWhen considered in relation to stolen or appropriated manuscripts, epistemic violence is the way in which local knowledge is interpreted using a foreign epistemology and gained dominance over indigenous worldviews. European scholars have monopolised the field of Ethiopian Studies by producing books, encyclopaedias and digital archives based on Ethiopian manuscripts, almost exclusively in European languages. The contributions of their work for western scholarship is undeniable. However, Kebede argues that one of the detrimental effects of this orientalist literature is the thesis of Semiticisation, the designation of the origin of Ethiopian civilisation to the arrival of Middle Eastern colonisers rather than indigenous sources.The thesis is invented to make the history of Ethiopia consistent with the Hegelian western view that Africa is a Dark Continent devoid of a civilisation of its own. “In light of the dominant belief that black peoples are incapable of great achievements, the existence of an early and highly advanced civilization constitutes a serious anomaly in the Eurocentric construction of the world” (Kebede 4). To address this anomaly, orientalists like Ludolph attributed the origin of Ethiopia’s writing system, agriculture, literature, and civilisation to the arrival of South Arabian settlers. For example, in his translation of the Kebra Nagast, Budge wrote: “the SEMITES found them [indigenous Ethiopians] negro savages, and taught them civilization and culture and the whole scriptures on which their whole literature is based” (x).In line with the above thesis, Dillman wrote that “the Abyssinians borrowed their Numerical Signs from the Greeks” (33). The views of these orientalist scholars have been challenged. For instance, leading scholar of Semitic languages Professor Ephraim Isaac considers the thesis of the Arabian origin of Ethiopian civilization “a Hegelian Eurocentric philosophical perspective of history” (2). Isaac shows that there is historical, archaeological, and linguistic evidence that suggest Ethiopia to be more advanced than South Arabia from pre-historic times. Various Ethiopian sources including the Kebra Nagast, the works of historian Asres Yenesew, and Ethiopian linguist Girma Demeke provide evidence for the indigenous origin of Ethiopian civilisation and languages.The epistemic violence of the Semeticisation thesis lies in how this Eurocentric ideological construction is the dominant narrative in the field of Ethiopian history and the education system. Unlike the indigenous view, the orientalist view is backed by strong institutional power both in Ethiopia and abroad. The orientalists control the field of Ethiopian studies and have access to Ge’ez manuscripts. Their publications are the only references for Ethiopian students. Due to Native Colonialism, a system of power run by native elites through the use of colonial ideas and practices (Woldeyes), the education system is the imitation of western curricula, including English as a medium of instruction from high school onwards. Students study the west more than Ethiopia. Indigenous sources are generally excluded as unscientific. Only the Eurocentric interpretation of Ethiopian manuscripts is regarded as scientific and objective.ConclusionEthiopia is the only African country never to be colonised. In its history it produced a large quantity of manuscripts in the Ge’ez language through an indigenous education system that involves the study of these manuscripts. Since the 19th century, there has been an ongoing loss of these manuscripts. European travellers who came to Ethiopia as discoverers, missionaries and scholars took a large number of manuscripts. The Battle of Maqdala involved the looting of the intellectual products of Ethiopia that were collected at the capital. With the introduction of western education and use of English as a medium of instruction, the state disregarded indigenous schools whose students have little access to the manuscripts. This article brings the issue of knowledge grapping, a situation whereby European institutions and scholars accumulate Ethiopia manuscripts without providing the students in Ethiopia to have access to those collections.Items such as manuscripts that are held in western institutions are not dead artefacts of the past to be preserved for prosperity. They are living sources of knowledge that should be put to use in their intended contexts. Local Ethiopian scholars cannot study ancient and medieval Ethiopia without travelling and gaining access to western institutions. This lack of access and resources has made European Ethiopianists almost the sole producers of knowledge about Ethiopian history and culture. For example, indigenous sources and critical research that challenge the Semeticisation thesis are rarely available to Ethiopian students. Here we see epistemic violence in action. Western control over knowledge production has the detrimental effect of inventing new identities, subjectivities and histories that translate into material effects in the lives of African people. In this way, Ethiopians and people all over Africa internalise western understandings of themselves and their history as primitive and in need of development or outside intervention. African’s intellectual and cultural heritage, these living bodies locked away in graveyards, must be put back into the hands of Africans.AcknowledgementThe author acknowledges the support of the Australian Academy of the Humanities' 2019 Humanities Travelling Fellowship Award in conducting this research.ReferencesBell, Stephen. “Cultural Treasures Looted from Maqdala: A Summary of Correspondence in British National Newspapers since 1981.” Kasa and Kasa. Eds. Tadesse Beyene, Richard Pankhurst, and Shifereraw Bekele. Addis Ababa: Ababa University Book Centre, 1990. 231-246.Budge, Wallis. A History of Ethiopia, Nubia and Abyssinia. London: Methuen and Co, 1982.Demeke, Girma Awgichew. The Origin of Amharic. Trenton: Red Sea Press, 2013.Diakonoff, Igor M. Afrasian Languages. Moscow: Nauka, 1988.Dillmann, August. Ethiopic Grammar. Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2005.Hegel, Georg W.F. The Philosophy of History. New York: Dover, 1956.Isaac, Ephraim. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church. New Jersey: Red Sea Press, 2013.———. “An Open Letter to an Inquisitive Ethiopian Sister.” The Habesha, 2013. 1 Feb. 2020 <http://www.zehabesha.com/an-open-letter-to-an-inquisitive-young-ethiopian-sister-ethiopian-history-is-not-three-thousand-years/>.Kebra Nagast. "The Queen of Sheba and Her Only Son Menyelik I." Trans. Wallis Budge. London: Oxford UP, 1932.Pankhurst, Richard. "The Napier Expedition and the Loot Form Maqdala." Presence Africaine 133-4 (1985): 233-40.Pankhurst, Rita. "The Maqdala Library of Tewodros." Kasa and Kasa. Eds. Tadesse Beyene, Richard Pankhurst, and Shifereraw Bekele. Addis Ababa: Ababa University Book Centre, 1990. 223-230.Tefera, Amsalu. ነቅዐ መጻህፍት ከ መቶ በላይ በግዕዝ የተጻፉ የእኢትዮጵያ መጻህፍት ዝርዝር ከማብራሪያ ጋር።. Addis Ababa: Jajaw, 2019.Nosnitsin, Denis. "Ethio-Spare Cultural Heritage of Christian Ethiopia: Salvation, Preservation and Research." 2010. 5 Jan. 2019 <https://www.aai.uni-hamburg.de/en/ethiostudies/research/ethiospare/missions/pdf/report2010-1.pdf>. Ullendorff, Edward. "James Bruce of Kinnaird." The Scottish Historical Review 32.114, part 2 (1953): 128-43.Wion, Anaïs. "Collecting Manuscripts and Scrolls in Ethiopia: The Missions of Johannes Flemming (1905) and Enno Littmann (1906)." 2012. 5 Jan. 2019 <https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00524382/document>. Woldeyes, Yirga Gelaw. Native Colonialism: Education and the Economy of Violence against Traditions in Ethiopia. Trenton: Red Sea Press, 2017.———. “Reflections on Ethiopia’s Stolen Treasures on Display in a London Museum.” The Conversation. 2018. 5 June 2018 <https://theconversation.com/reflections-on-ethiopias-stolen-treasures-on-display-in-a-london-museum-97346>.Yenesew, Asres. ትቤ፡አክሱም፡መኑ፡ አንተ? Addis Ababa: Nigid Printing House, 1959 [1951 EC].

40

Cruikshank, Lauren. "Articulating Alternatives: Moving Past a Plug-and-Play Prosthetic Media Model." M/C Journal 22, no.5 (October9, 2019). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1596.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

The first uncomfortable twinges started when I was a grad student, churning out my Master’s thesis on a laptop that I worked on at the library, in my bedroom, on the kitchen table, and at the coffee shop. By the last few months, typing was becoming uncomfortable for my arms, but as any thesis writer will tell you, your whole body is uncomfortable with the endless hours sitting, inputting, and revising. I didn’t think much of it until I moved on to a new city to start a PhD program. Now the burning that accompanied my essay-typing binges started to worry me more, especially since I noticed the twinges didn’t go away when I got up to chat with my roommate, or to go to bed. I finally mentioned the annoying arm to Sonja, a medical student friend of mine visiting me one afternoon. She asked me to pick up a chair in front of me, palms out. I did, and the attempt stabbed pain up my arm and through my elbow joint. The chair fell out of my hands. We looked at each other, eyebrows raised.Six months and much computer work later, I still hadn’t really addressed the issue. Who had time? Chasing mystery ailments around and more importantly, doing any less typing were not high on my likely list. But like the proverbial frog in slowly heated water, things had gotten much worse without my really acknowledging it. That is, until the day I got up from my laptop, stretched out and wandered into the kitchen to put some pasta on to boil. When the spaghetti was ready, I grabbed the pot to drain it and my right arm gave as if someone had just handed me a 200-pound weight. The pot, pasta and boiling water hit the floor with a scalding splash that nearly missed both me and the fleeing cat. Maybe there was a problem here.Both popular and critical understandings of the body have been in a great deal of flux over the past three or four decades as digital media technologies have become ever more pervasive and personal. Interfacing with the popular Internet, video games, mobile devices, wearable computing, and other new media technologies have prompted many to reflect on and reconsider what it means to be an embodied human being in an increasingly digitally determined era. As a result, the body, at various times in this recent history, has been theoretically disowned, disavowed, discarded, disdained, replaced, idealised, essentialised, hollowed out, re-occupied, dismembered, reconstituted, reclaimed and re-imagined in light of new media. Despite all of the angst over the relationships our embodied selves have had to digital media, of course, our embodied selves have endured. It remains true, that “even in the age of technosocial subjects, life is lived through bodies” (Stone 113).How we understand our embodiments and their entanglements with technologies matter deeply, moreover, for these understandings shape not only discourse around embodiment and media, but also the very bodies and media in question in very real ways. For example, a long-held tenet in both popular culture and academic work has been the notion that media technologies extend our bodies and our senses as technological prostheses. The idea here is that media technologies work like prostheses that extend the reach of our eyes, ears, voice, touch, and other bodily abilities through time and space, augmenting our abilities to experience and influence the world.Canadian media scholar Marshall McLuhan is one influential proponent of this notion, and claimed that, in fact, “the central purpose of all my work is to convey this message, that by understanding media as they extend man, we gain a measure of control over them” (McLuhan and Zingrone 265). Other more contemporary media scholars reflect on how “our prosthetic technological extensions enable us to amplify and extend ourselves in ways that profoundly affect the nature and scale of human communication” (Cleland 75), and suggest that a media technology such as one’s mobile device, can act “as a prosthesis that supports the individual in their interactions with the world” (Glitsos 161). Popular and commercial discourses also frequently make use of this idea, from the 1980’s AT&T ad campaign that nudged you to “Reach out and Touch Someone” via the telephone, to Texas Instruments’s claim in the 1990’s that their products were “Extending Your Reach”, to Nikon’s contemporary nudge to “See Much Further” with the prosthetic assistance of their cameras. The etymology of the term “prosthesis” reveals that the term evolves from Greek and Latin components that mean, roughly, “to add to”. The word was originally employed in the 16th century in a grammatical context to indicate “the addition of a letter or syllable to the beginning of a word”, and was adopted to describe “the replacement of defective or absent parts of the body by artificial substitutes” in the 1700’s. More recently the world “prosthesis” has come to be used to indicate more simply, “an artificial replacement for a part of the body” (OED Online). As we see in the use of the term over the past few decades, the meaning of the word continues to shift and is now often used to describe technological additions that don’t necessarily replace parts of the body, but augment and extend embodied capabilities in various ways. Technology as prosthesis is “a trope that has flourished in a recent and varied literature concerned with interrogating human-technology interfaces” (Jain 32), and now goes far beyond signifying the replacement of missing components. Although the prosthesis has “become somewhat of an all-purpose metaphor for interactions of body and technology” (Sun 16) and “a tempting theoretical gadget” (Jain 49), I contend that this metaphor is not often used particularly faithfully. Instead of invoking anything akin to the complex lived corporeal experiences and conundrums of prosthetic users, what we often get when it comes to metaphors of technology-as-prostheses is a fascination with the potential of technologies in seamlessly extending our bodies. This necessitates a fantasy version of both the body and its prostheses as interchangeable or extendable appendages to be unproblematically plugged and unplugged, modifying our capabilities and perceptions to our varying whims.Of course, a body seamlessly and infinitely extended by technological prostheses is really no body. This model forgoes actual lived bodies for a shiny but hollow amalgamation based on what I have termed the “disembodimyth” enabled by technological transcendence. By imagining our bodies as assemblages of optional appendages, it is not far of a leap to imagine opting out of our bodies altogether and using technological means to unfasten our consciousness from our corporeal parts. Alison Muri points out that this myth of imminent emancipation from our bodies via unity with technology is a view that has become “increasingly prominent in popular media and cultural studies” (74), despite or perhaps because of the fact that, due to global overpopulation and wasteful human environmental practices, “the human body has never before been so present, or so materially manifest at any time in the history of humanity”, rendering “contradictory, if not absurd, the extravagantly metaphorical claims over the past two decades of the human body’s disappearance or obsolescence due to technology” (75-76). In other words, it becomes increasingly difficult to speak seriously about the body being erased or escaped via technological prosthetics when those prosthetics, and our bodies themselves, continue to proliferate and contribute to the piling up of waste and pollution in the current Anthropocene. But whether they imply smooth couplings with alluring technologies, or uncoupling from the body altogether, these technology-as-prosthesis metaphors tell us very little about “prosthetic realities” (Sun 24). Actual prosthetic realities involve learning curves; pain, frustrations and triumphs; hard-earned remappings of mental models; and much experimentation and adaption on the part of both technology and user in order to function. In this vein, Vivian Sobchak has detailed the complex sensations and phenomenological effects that followed the amputation of her leg high above the knee, including the shifting presence of her “phantom limb” perceptions, the alignments, irritations, movements, and stabilities offered by her prosthetic leg, and her shifting senses of bodily integrity and body-image over time. An oversimplistic application of the prosthetic metaphor for our encounters with technology runs the risk of forgetting this wealth of experiences and instructive first-hand accounts from people who have been using therapeutic prosthetics as long as assistive devices have been conceived of, built, and used. Of course, prosthetics have long been employed not simply to aid function and mobility, but also to restore and prop up concepts of what a “whole,” “normal” body looks like, moves like, and includes as essential components. Prosthetics are employed, in many cases, to allow the user to “pass” as able-bodied in rendering their own technological presence invisible, in service of restoring an ableist notion of embodied normality. Scholars of Critical Disability Studies have pushed back against these ableist notions, in service of recognising the capacities of “the disabled body when it is understood not as a less than perfect form of the normative standard, but as figuring difference in a nonbinary sense” (Shildrick 14). Paralympian, actress, and model Aimee Mullins has lent her voice to this cause, publicly contesting the prioritisation of realistic, unobtrusive form in prosthetic design. In a TED talk entitled It’s Not Fair Having 12 Pairs of Legs, she showcases her collection of prosthetics, including “cheetah legs” designed for optimal running speed, transparent glass-like legs, ornately carved wooden legs, Barbie doll-inspired legs customised with high heel shoes, and beautiful, impractical jellyfish legs. In illustrating the functional, fashionable, and fantastical possibilities, she challenges prosthetic designers to embrace more poetry and whimsy, while urging us all to move “away from the need to replicate human-ness as the only aesthetic ideal” (Mullins). In this same light, Sarah S. Jain asks “how do body-prosthesis relays transform individual bodies as well as entire social notions about what a properly functioning physical body might be?” (39). In her exploration of how prostheses can be simultaneously wounding and enabling, Jain recounts Sigmund Freud’s struggle with his own palate replacement following surgery for throat cancer in 1923. His prosthesis allowed him to regain the ability to speak and eat, but also caused him significant pain. Nevertheless, his artificial palate had to be worn, or the tissue would shrink and necessitate additional painful procedures (Jain 31). Despite this fraught experience, Freud himself espoused the trope of technologically enhanced transcendence, pronouncing “Man has, as it were, become a prosthetic god. When he puts on all his auxiliary organs, he is truly magnificent.” However, he did add a qualification, perhaps reflective of his own experiences, by next noting, “but those organs have not grown on him and they still give him much trouble at times” (qtd. in Jain 31). This trouble is, I argue, important to remember and reclaim. It is also no less present in our interactions with our media prostheses. Many of our technological encounters with media come with unacknowledged discomforts, adjustments, lag, strain, ill-fitting defaults, and fatigue. From carpal tunnel syndrome to virtual reality vertigo, our interactions with media technologies are often marked by pain and “much trouble” in Freud’s sense. Computer Science and Cultural Studies scholar Phoebe Sengers opens a short piece titled Technological Prostheses: An Anecdote, by reflecting on how “we have reached the post-physical era. On the Internet, all that matters is our thoughts. The body is obsolete. At least, whoever designed my computer interface thought so.” She traces how concentrated interactions with computers during her graduate work led to intense tendonitis in her hands. Her doctor responded by handing her “a technological prosthesis, two black leather wrist braces” that allowed her to return to her keyboard to resume typing ten hours a day. Shortly after her assisted return to her computer, she developed severe tendonitis in her elbows and had to stop typing altogether. Her advisor also handed her a technological prosthesis, this time “a speech understanding system that would transcribe my words,” so that she could continue to work. Two days later she lost her voice. Ultimately she “learned that my body does not go away when I work. I learned to stop when it hurt […] and to refuse to behave as though my body was not there” (Sengers). My own experiences in grad school were similar in many ways to Sengers’s. Besides the pasta problem outlined above, my own computer interfacing injuries at that point in my career meant I could no longer turn keys in doors, use a screwdriver, lift weights, or play the guitar. I held a friend’s baby at Christmas that year and the pressure of the small body on my arm make me wince. My family doctor bent my arm around a little, then shrugging her shoulders, she signed me up for a nerve test. As a young neurologist proceeded to administer a series of electric shocks and stick pins into my arms in various places, I noticed she had an arm brace herself. She explained that she also had a repetitive strain injury aggravated by her work tasks. She pronounced mine an advanced repetitive strain injury involving both medial and lateral epicondylitis, and sent me home with recommendations for rest, ice and physiotherapy. Rest was a challenge: Like Sengers, I puzzled over how one might manage to be productive in academia without typing. I tried out some physiotherapy, with my arm connected to electrodes and currents coursing through my elbow until my arm contorted in bizarre ways involuntarily. I tried switching my mouse from my right side to my left, switching from typing to voice recognition software and switching from a laptop to a more ergonomic desktop setup. I tried herbal topical treatments, wearing an extremely ugly arm brace, doing yoga poses, and enduring chiropractic bone-cracking. I learned in talking with people around me at that time that repetitive strains of various kinds are surprisingly common conditions for academics and other computer-oriented occupations. I learned other things well worth learning in that painful process. In terms of my own writing and thinking about technology, I have even less tolerance for the idea of ephemeral, transcendent technological fusions between human and machine. Seductive slippages into a cyberspatial existence seem less sexy when bumping your body up against the very physical and unforgiving interface hurts more with each keystroke or mouse click. The experience has given me a chronic injury to manage carefully ever since, rationing my typing time and redoubling my commitment to practicing embodied theorising about technology, with attention to sensation, materiality, and the way joints (between bones or between computer and computant) can become points of inflammation. Although pain is rarely referenced in the myths of smooth human and technological incorporations, there is much to be learned in acknowledging and exploring the entry and exit wounds made when we interface with technology. The elbow, or wrist, or lower back, or mental health that gives out serves as an effective alarm, should it be ignored too long. If nothing else, like a crashed computer, a point of pain will break a flow of events typically taken for granted. Whether it is your screen or your pinky finger that unexpectedly freezes, a system collapse will prompt a step back to look with new perspective at the process you were engaged in. The lag, crash, break, gap, crack, or blister exposes the inherent imperfections in a system and offers up an invitation for reflection, critical engagement, and careful choice.One careful choice we could make would be a more critical engagement with technology-as-prosthesis by “re-membering” our jointedness with technologies. Of course, joints themselves are not distinct parts, but interesting articulated systems and relationships in the spaces in-between. Experiencing our jointedness with technologies involves recognising that this is not the smooth romantic union with technology that has so often been exalted. Instead, our technological articulations involve a range of pleasures and pain, flows and blockages, frictions and slippages, flexibilities and rigidities. I suggest that a new model for understanding technology and embodiment might employ “articulata” as a central figure, informed by the multiple meanings of articulation. At their simplest, articulata are hinged, jointed, plural beings, but they are also precarious things that move beyond a hollow collection of corporeal parts. The inspiration for an exploration of articulation as a metaphor in this way was planted by the work of Donna Haraway, and especially by her 1992 essay, “The Promises of Monsters: A Regenerative Politics for Inappropriate/d Others,” in which she touches briefly on articulation and its promise. Haraway suggests that “To articulate is to signify. It is to put things together, scary things, risky things, contingent things. I want to live in an articulate world. We articulate; therefore we are” (324). Following from Haraway’s work, this framework insists that bodies and technologies are not simply components cobbled together, but a set of relations that rework each other in complex and ongoing processes of articulation. The double-jointed meaning of articulation is particularly apt as inspiration for crafting a more nuanced understanding of embodiment, since articulation implies both physiology and communication. It is a term that can be used to explain physical jointedness and mobility, but also expressive specificities. We articulate a joint by exploring its range of motion and we articulate ideas by expressing them in words. In both senses we articulate and are articulated by our jointed nature. Instead of oversimplifying or idealising embodied relationships with prostheses and other technologies, we might conceive of them and experience them as part of a “joint project”, based on points of connexion that are not static, but dynamic, expressive, complex, contested, and sometimes uncomfortable. After all, as Shildrick reminds us, in addition to functioning as utilitarian material artifacts, “prostheses are rich in semiotic meaning and mark the site where the disordering ambiguity, and potential transgressions, of the interplay between the human, animal and machine cannot be occluded” (17). By encouraging the attentive embracing of these multiple meanings, disorderings, ambiguities, transgressions and interplays, my aim moving forward is to explore the ways in which we might all become more articulate about our articulations. After all, I too want to live in an articulate world.ReferencesAT&T. "AT&T Reach Out and Touch Someone Commercial – 1987." Advertisem*nt. 13 Mar. 2014. YouTube. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OapWdclVqEY>.Cleland, Kathy. "Prosthetic Bodies and Virtual Cyborgs." Second Nature 3 (2010): 74–101.Glitsos, Laura. "Screen as Skin: The Somatechnics of Touchscreen Music Media." Somatechnics 7.1 (2017): 142–165.Haraway, Donna. "Promises of Monsters: A Regenerative Politics for Inappropriate/d Others." Cultural Studies. Eds. Lawrence Grossberg, Cary Nelson and Paula A. Treichler. New York: Routledge, 1992. 295–337.Jain, Sarah S. "The Prosthetic Imagination: Enabling and Disabling the Prosthetic Trope." Science, Technology, & Human Values 31.54 (1999): 31–54.McLuhan, Eric, and Frank Zingrone, eds. Essential McLuhan. Concord: Anansi P, 1995.Mullins, Aimee. Aimee Mullins: It’s Not Fair Having 12 Pairs of Legs. TED, 2009. <http://www.ted.com/talks/aimee_mullins_prosthetic_aesthetics.html>.Muri, Allison. "Of sh*t and the Soul: Tropes of Cybernetic Disembodiment in Contemporary Culture." Body & Society 9.3 (2003): 73–92.Nikon. "See Much Further! Nikon COOLPIX P1000." Advertisem*nt. 1 Nov. 2018. YouTube. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtABWZX0U8w>.OED Online. "prosthesis, n." Oxford UP. June 2019. 1 Aug. 2019 <https://www-oed-com.proxy.hil.unb.ca/view/Entry/153069?redirectedFrom=prosthesis#eid>.Sengers, Phoebe. "Technological Prostheses: An Anecdote." ZKP-4 Net Criticism Reader. Eds. Geert Lovink and Pit Schultz. 1997.Shildrick, Margrit. "Why Should Our Bodies End at the Skin?: Embodiment, Boundaries, and Somatechnics." Hypatia 30.1 (2015): 13–29.Sobchak, Vivian. "Living a ‘Phantom Limb’: On the Phenomenology of Bodily Integrity." Body & Society 16.3 (2010): 51–67.Stone, Allucquere Roseanne. "Will the Real Body Please Stand Up? Boundary Stories about Virtual Cultures." Cyberspace: First Steps. Ed. Michael Benedikt. Cambridge: MIT P, 1991. 81–113.Sun, Hsiao-yu. "Prosthetic Configurations and Imagination: Dis/ability, Body and Technology." Concentric: Literacy and Cultural Studies 44.1 (2018): 13–39.Texas Instruments. "We Wrote the Book on Classroom Calculators." Advertisem*nt. Teaching Children Mathematics 2.1 (1995): Back Matter. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/41196414>.

41

Neilsen, Philip. "An extract from "The Internet of Love"." M/C Journal 5, no.6 (November1, 2002). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2012.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

There are three stages in internet dating: first, the emailing back and forth; second, the phone conversation; and third, the meeting for 'coffee'. But before we discuss the three stages, here are some hints about the preliminary work you have to do. At the outset, you have to trawl through the thousands of people who have placed their profiles on the site. This is aided by limiting your search to a certain age spread, and your city or region. Then you can narrow it down further by checking educational background, whether they have kids, whether they write in New Age jargon, etc You have to try to assess, from their self-descriptions, which ones are likely to be compatible. You also scrutinise their photos, of course, as they will yours — but don't trust these images entirely — more on that later. Self-description. Almost without exception, women and men who describe their main interests as 'romantic walks on the beach and candle-lit dinners' have no real interests and as much personality as a lettuce. Those who say what matters to them is "good food and wine with a classy guy/lady" have a personality, but it's a repugnant one. Here is a useful binary opposition that could provide a useful key to gauging compatibility: people vary in terms of their degree of interiority and exteriority. People with interiority have the ability to think a little abstractly, can discuss emotions, probably read books as well as watch films. They analyse life rather than just describing it. People mainly given to exteriority find their pleasure in doing things — like boating or nightclubs or golf. They see themselves in the world in a different way. Of course, we are all a mixture of the two — and perhaps the best bet is someone who isn't at one extreme end of the spectrum or the other. Useful tip 1. The 'spiritual woman': for reasons unclear, and despite the fact that Australia is one of the most pagan nations on Earth, a disproportionate number of women, rather than men, claim to be religious. Perhaps because in general, women are still more inclined to interiority than men. But most religious women don't expect a partner to be. Instead, the people to be very careful about are the New Agers — they are a large and growing sub-group and apparently spend much of their time devouring books on spirituality, personal growth and self-love. If you have any sort of intellect, or are just a middling humanist who occasionally ponders "Is this all there is? " these people will drive you nuts with their vague platitudes about knowing their inner child. On the other hand, if they seem terrific in all other respects, you can probably gain their respect by saying in a reflective manner, "Is this all there is?" If you can arrange to be gazing at the star-stained night sky while saying this, all the better. This may seem calculating, but we are all putting on a performance when courting. A lot of single people have self-esteem and loneliness issues, and a personal God, the universe, and astrology make them feel less lonely. Useful tip 2: say that although you don't subscribe to mainstream religion, you feel close to some kind of spirituality when gardening — and add how you love to plant herbs. Some okay herbs to mention are: Rosemary, Thyme, Sage. Chuck a couple of these weed-like green things in your garden just in case. Useful tip 3: no matter what else you do, at all costs avoid anyone who smacks of fundamentalism. This cohort takes the Bible literally, think dinosaurs roamed the planet only a few years before Shakespeare, want gay people to admit they are an abomination - and above all, fundos cannot be reasoned with — not in your lifetime. They are deeply insecure and frightened people — which is sad, so be sympathetic to their plight - but don't get drawn into the vortex. Besides, talking about the approach of Armageddon every date gets a bit tedious. Education: It is usually best to pick someone who has an approximately similar level of education to yourself. Having a tertiary education often gives a person a different way of seeing themselves, and of perceiving others. On the other hand, it is possible to do a five year degree in a narrow professional area and know nothing at all useful about human beings and how they operate. (Ref: engineers, dentists, gynaecologists). There are high school graduates who are better-read and more intelligent than most products of a university. So it is up to the individual case. It is a plus to be interested in your partner's work, but not essential. It can be a minus to be in the same field. Ask yourself this: if you were living with this person and you asked them at night how their day had been, would the answer send you to sleep in less than a minute? A lovely man or woman who is an accountant will likely wax lyrical about having just discovered a $245 error in a billing data base. Their face will be flushed with pride. Can your respond appropriately? How often? Or the love of your life may work in an oncology ward, and regale you with the daily triumph of removing sputum from the chests of the moribund. Are you strong enough for that? And worst of all, you may go out with a writer or poet, who regularly drones on about how their rival always gets friendly reviews from his/her newspaper mates, even though they write books full of derivative, precious crap. Sense of humour (SOH): Most men and women will claim in their profile to have a sense of humour — to love to laugh — and, surprisingly often, to have a 'wicked sense of humour'. This is a difficult personal quality to get a bearing on. You may yourself be the kind of person who tricks themselves into thinking their date has a great sense of humour simply because they laughed at your jokes. That is not having a SOH. Having a SOH is possessing the ability to make others laugh — it is active as well as passive. Do they make you laugh? Are their emails touched with wit and whimsy — or just shades of cute? Is one of their close friends, the one who actually possesses a SOH, helping write their emails? It has been known to happen. You will gain a better sense of the SOH situation during the phone call, and definitely during the coffee. Interests: Most internet websites give people the chance to describe themselves by jotting down their favourite music, books, movies, sport. Often this is pretty much all you will know about what interests them, and it is an imperfect instrument. Many internet dating women say they like all music except heavy metal. Why there is this pervasive, gut-wrenching female fear of the E, A and B chords played loudly is a mystery. Anyway, some of those bands even throw in a G or C#m. But who cares. If you are a bloke, hide your Acca Dacca CDs and buy some world music CDs. New Agers of either sex will have collections full of warbling pan pipes, waterfalls and bird calls. If they are a great person in other respects, then you'll just have to get used to the flock of magpies and whip birds in the dining or bedroom. Photographs: Now, the photo on the profile is only a vague guide. It is useful for confirming the person belongs to hom*o sapiens, but not a lot else. Some people get a professional pic taken, but most include happy snaps, and that is a blow struck for candidness. The more the photo looks like a "glamour" shot, the softer the focus, the less reliable it is. You can get some idea of whether someone is attractive, handsome, cute or weird from the photo. But — and this is really important — they will always look different in the flesh. They will have grown a beard, cut or streaked their hair, and you will for the first time notice they have a nose the size of the AMP building. Fortunately for men, though women are not oblivious to the looks factor, they tend to be more tolerant and less shallow about it. There is a recent trend for women and men with children to put he most attractive and least manic one in the profile photo with them. This signifies: a) love me, love my kid, because I'm proud of James/Jessica/Jade; b) family values; c) at least my kid only has one head. Stage One. The first stage is in some ways the most enjoyable. It is low risk, low stress, you have the pleasurable experience of a comfortable adventure. There is anticipation, getting to know someone, being complimented on your fascinating emails and witty humour (if it's going well), and all the while wearing an old t-shirt and dirty, checked shorts or fluffy slippers. There is the extreme luxury of re-inventing yourself, of telling your favourite story (your own life-story) again and again to a new audience, the little joys of self-disclosures, the discoveries of like-interests, the occasion when they add at the bottom of their letter "looking forward to hearing from you soon". The writing stage is where you try to establish whether you have intellectual, emotional and cultural compatibility — and whether the person is sincere and relatively well-balanced (I stress 'relatively' — no one is perfect). The discovery process is one of exchanging increasingly personal information — work history, enthusiasms and dislikes, family background. She will want to know whether you are 'over' your last girlfriend/partner/wife. Not surprisingly. A lot of internet men are still bitter about their ex — either that, or they rave on about the saintliness of their ex. If encouraged, women will also tell you about the bastard who refused to pay maintenance. There are clearly a lot of those bastards out there. Both of these practices are unwise on the first coffee if you don't want to scare your potential partner off. In reality, you probably are still seething with hurt and injustice as a result of your last dumping, and maybe even the one before that. You may lie in bed at night thinking nostalgically of your ex's face — but this is a dark secret which you must never reveal. People will ask you to be open, but they don't want that open. Involve your friends: without exception, your close friends will enjoy being part of the process when you are deciding which men or women to contact on the internet. You first make a long short list by browsing through the hundreds of profiles. Print off those profiles, then get your friends to sort through them with you. If you have experience in being on selection panels for jobs, this will help. It is a quite complex matter of weighing up a whole range of variables. For example, candidate A will be gorgeous and sexy, have compatible interests, bearable taste in music, be the right age, but have two small children and live on the other side of town. Candidate B will be less attractive, but still look pretty good, have no children, and a very interesting job. Candidate C will be attractive, have two teenage children with whom he/she shares custody, a worthy but dull job, but seems to have an especially self-aware and witty personality. It's tough work rating these profiles, and the best you can do is whittle them down to a top three, and write to all of them. In the emailing stage, you will get more data to either enhance or diminish their desirability. And remember, no one is perfect: if you find someone with a beautiful brain and body who loves Celine Dion — just put up with it. As Buddhists point out, suffering cannot be avoided if you are to live a full life. But let your friends help you with that selection process — they will remind you of important issues that somehow escape your attention; such as: you really don't like other people's children in reality, just in theory. The last time you went out with someone who was newly broken up or divorced he/she hadn't got over his/her girlfriend/husband. Anyone who describes themselves as a 'passionate playmate' is probably unbalanced and tries to find male/female acceptance through over-sexualising or infantalising themselves. It means nothing that someone describes their children as "beautiful" — all mothers/fathers think that, even of the most ghastly, moronic offspring. You really don't like nightclubs any more and you are an awkward dancer. The last time you fell in love with, and tried to rescue, someone with serious emotional 'issues', it led to unimaginable misery, and you swore in future to leave such rescues to the professionals. And so on. Listen to your friends — they know you. And your bad choices impinge on their lives too. Writing is a powerful means of constructing a 'self' to project to others. There is a Thomas Hardy story about a young man who meets a beautiful girl at a fair — but he must return to London. They agree to write to each other. Only the beautiful girl is illiterate, so she asks her employer, an older woman, to ghost-write her love letters to the young man, and the employer kindly agrees. The young man falls in love with the soul and mind of the sensitive and intelligent writer of the letters and assumes the beautiful young girl has authored them. The employer also falls in love with him through his letters. Only on the day he marries the girl does he discover that he has married the wrong woman. This tale tells us about the richness of the written word, but it omits an important point — you can be intrigued and drawn to someone through his or her e-mails, but find on meeting him or her that there is no chemistry at all. Works Cited This creative non-fiction article was based on primary research. The largest Australian internet dating service is RSVP (www.rsvp.com.au). I mainly used that for my research and ensuing coffees/participant observation. There are other sites I checked out, including: www.datenet.com.au www.AussieMatchMaker.com.au www.findsomeone.com.au www.VitalPartners.com.au www.personals.yahoo.com.au There are also internet dating site guides such as: www.shoptheweb.com.au/dating.shtml www.theinternetdatingguide.com www.moonlitwalks.com www.singlesites.com/Australian_Dating.htm Citation reference for this article Substitute your date of access for Dn Month Year etc... MLA Style Neilsen, Philip. "An extract from 'The Internet of Love'" M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 5.6 (2002). Dn Month Year < http://www.media-culture.org.au/0211/internet.php>. APA Style Neilsen, P., (2002, Nov 20). An extract from "The Internet of Love". M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture, 5,(6). Retrieved Month Dn, Year, from http://www.media-culture.org.au/0211/internet.html

42

Kaden, Hamish. "The Interminable Son." M/C Journal 2, no.3 (May1, 1999). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1756.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

Today, tomorrow, the dead, the unborn, the sick and dying. And me, can you see me? The thirty-five-year-old man, cross-legged in the large white tent where we speak of the dead? Another face in the hundred other faces. The walls are thick with thankas, pastel pinks and icy hells, skulls cups and lotus flowers. Mothers are rocking babies, fathers creak like old bones. We all inch forward to hear the large monk in yellow robes who says how forty-nine days after death we seek material form, see a range of lights, a chimera of colours. We drift to where our parents are making love and take form in the womb. To be reborn a human, he reminds us, is very, very rare. Breath in, breath out. Meaning of life through a contemplation on death. He says we need to remember to remember, but right now I wish I could forget. Me, on a midwinter night, in Christchurch. Twelve years old, naked and deep in the bath as a yellow cloud of piss bleeds out around my white and skinny knees. Downstairs, there are noises, milk bottles chinking, a coal shovel scraping, Pink Floyd and a maunder of women's voices. Back from a conference, they laugh and fret. Cars arrive, the door bell rings, and someone is met with cajoling welcome. Tonight it is busy, when for the last three days the house had been dead of life; just my brother in his room, my stepfather, Earl, fixing shelves in the bathroom, and me continually thinking about the conference, all those women, overseas speakers, delegates and workshops. Three thousand. To me it may as well have been the world. Everyone had gone. My mother, her friends, my sister. Even my gran had managed an afternoon on Sunday. "Yes darling," she said, mightily impressed, "all those girls rah-rah-rahing. Your mother up on stage. It was all quite a show." When they came in, I was sitting on the bench, picking a scab on my elbow. I remember, my mother, searching in her pockets for cigarettes and wrestling off her jacket. Her face had been tired and her eyes were sullen. Smoke eddied past her forehead as she reached up and unfastened her long tail of hair. Berwyn Sallychurch, six foot, pale and bony, was boasting about her workshop, 'Women and Guilt'. She was hunched over her hands, fixing herself a cracker and cheese when Earl came in from outside. He had his cotton work hat on, baggy corduroys and his hands looked cold and were splattered with paint. He stood in the middle of the room of women, cardboard roll, several brushes and a scrunched up sheet of paper in his hand. He bid them all a sheepish hello, to which my mother quickly smiled back, I examined my shoe, before he moved to the fire, tossed the rubbish into the red mouth of the fire and stabbed it with the poker. Berwyn was explaining how a woman broke down in the middle of her workshop. "The bit where I had them all writing down their childhoods, she starts up, wailing like an siren." "What did you do?" My mother rid her cigarette of ash with a quick flick of her finger. "Do!" Berwyn raised her hand. "What can you do? I said to her, 'Darling, you've got a lifetime of patriarchal conditioning to live down. It's gunna take a while.'" Berwyn went on saying how she asked the crying woman if she masturbat*d and how well the woman had responded to her question. Heads nodded, tea was poured, Earl skulked out the door. Another winter night, how I remember, all those noises, my mother's tired face, me in bath later on, trying to figure out this thing about asking someone if they masturbat*d, and really, who on earth would want to know? Footsteps up the stairs, then back down again, the door opening to myriad of sounds, cut through by my mother's indelible voice, just before the door slams. "f*ckin' silly bitch. When will she learn?" Who is the silly bitch? I lie back and consider. Patricia Hickey, the smut protector? She always gets a hiss and spit when she comes on the tellie. Or Lady Drayton, ex-mayoress, who has a thing for councillors and other women's husbands? One of the pro-life Spuckies, rabbit-breeding Catholic. It is hard to tell. There are so many silly bitches to choose from. The wall is tiled and chipped. It is peppered with splash marks and finger prints. On the shelf a tube of toothpaste is uncapped and oozing. Tooth brushes are scattered like pick-up sticks. There are two pictures tacked to the tiles. One is of a chart of all the kings and queens of England. The other picture, a real picture, is torn out of a magazine and its edges are frayed and have turned a shade of yellow. This is the one I look at. It isn't like the other pictures downstairs though, the ones in the hippy guides to mud huts and home births. There are no doctors with masks on, mothers grunting, hands being held, babies being squeezed out the lady's hole. I wouldn't show my friends. It's no fun. No fun at all. She is dead and flat on her face, arms out with her dress around her large, white buttocks. Blood is running out between her legs and at the bottom, beneath a twist of plastic tube, black letters say 'ABORTION -- A WOMAN'S RIGHT TO CHOOSE. KEEP IT OFF THE STREETS'. Everyday I see her, brushing my teeth, wiping my face, sitting on the loo. She is a reminder of how lucky I am, that she could be my mum or my sister, the lady who sent us a turkey at Christmas because she was religious and there was nothing else she could do; or maybe the one from last night when I answered the phone and she said 'Is your mum there darling?' distant and weepy. 'Please! Please! Can I speak to your mother?' From my wet, white toes to her grim, grainy print and world of lonely silence, my eyes and imagination move. How could they? The boyfriend, the husband, the doctors, Patricia Hickey, the stupid Catholics? How could they let her die? The tent flukes in the afternoon breeze. I can hear the sound of the waves and the occasional car. Figures pass by, feet on the sandy soil as I sit here aware that it has taken me three days; three days up the grassy slope, past the brazier wafting juniper and incense, past this shrine for the dead, three days looking down at my bare feet, their pale weave of bones, their callused heels upon the litter of green blades, the oak needles, ants and earth? Before me is a box containing many names, a masonite board and many different photos. The monk said he would give prayers for the unborn as well as the dead, and now the box is full and I must wedge my paper in. It contains a small offering, my mother's name, date of birth, date of death and a reason. As if we need a reason. My mother had her reasons. They were wrapped around her life like a shawl. At the National Archive that day, they were all that was left of a forty-seven-year-old life. In scribbles and scraps, cutouts and clippings, she was 'a notorious pioneer in New Zealand women's health, a fighter for justice, a heroine of reform', neatly assembled into two concertina folders. I sat at a neat desk in a large room with a head full of questions and a book full of scribbles. Proud? Of course I was proud. But when certain words fell off certain people's tongues, my skin crept and toes cramped. No. That woman they chorussed, the 'wonderful' 'strong' and 'gutsy' mother of mine, wasn't mine at all. She was theirs, sewn into their political imagination with the thread of nostalgia, traces of jealousy and fear. Hundred of pages attesting to her work: the back-breaking tedium of abortion politics, accounts, tax files, divvying up of funds, the 1977 Women's Conference, speakers to attend, registrations, flight details for women going to Australia, hotels booked, operating doctors. Q tried to get into Christchurch Women's Hospital. Refused. Found back street abortionist. Used catheter. Told to leave it in for a week -- bled badly. Emergency case Ch'ch Women's. Nearly died. Mrs M is a 44-year-old Maori woman, solo mother of 9. Husband left after service and never returned. She said herself that her children were a 'bit out of hand'. Just suffered a disc protrusion in her last pregnancy and spent six months in hospital severely depressed. In all the woman saw 7 doctors in order to obtain termination. The delays in appointments resulted in her being 16 weeks pregnant at the time of operation. Done for $250. I looked out the window at a seagull battling in the Wellington wind and could imagine my mother, labouring over a pad of paper and ashtray late at night. I wanted to hold her hand, share the load, tell her not to cry. I removed the file marked 'Personal' and was pulled out of my lament. It was brimming with letters, cringeful, naïve, mock militant letters that were bleedingly written and poorly spelt out. For me, they signalled a journey from boy to man along a fraught and fractured path. Letters from my mother's best friend to my mother, around the time they met, drunk in adoration, political vision and parochial feminist forecasts of 'Sisterhood' and 'Herstory'. From the halcyon high to inimical low, deceipt, and brokenheartedness, I could pin-point the letter written to my mother at the time of my seduction. "Dear Elizabeth," my new lover wrote. "You unmitigated bitch." Dozens of letters I stuffed in my sock, sick at the thought, feeling the camera in the corner, as if it were the eye of the world, laughing, goading and snickering at me, the feminist's son. 'Mine! Mine!' I want to shout. 'These letters are mine. No-one else's. Ya hear me. Got it!' And though I wanted it, no librarian's hand appeared on my shoulder, no one tried to stop me stealing. It was just me in that large room, and a small camera no one was even watching. From out of my shirt pocket I remove the photo and pin it to the masonite board. My mother, beside all the other photos of the dead, the polaroids and black and whites, has her hand on her chin and looks towards the early night sky. She wanted to see the Kauri trees before she died and her boyfriend drove them north. Her hand supports her chin and her face is alabaster in a red silhouette of sunset and trees. She wears a light-blue jumper and her black hair has not yet fallen out. That hair, once raven black and key to her bold symetry and audacious manner, dropped out in feathery lumps and left her like a small girl with frail shoulders and yellow skin. So many dead to ponder. My mother haunted by her past, was frightened to die. But for now at least, despite her driven face and questioning eyes, I see peace and a moment of closure. I breathe in, I breathe out. Citation reference for this article MLA style: Hamish Kaden. "The Interminable Son." M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2.3 (1999). [your date of access] <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9905/son.php>. Chicago style: Hamish Kaden, "The Interminable Son," M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2, no. 3 (1999), <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9905/son.php> ([your date of access]). APA style: Hamish Kaden. (1999) The interminable son. M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2(3). <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9905/son.php> ([your date of access]).

43

Campbell, Sian Petronella. "On the Record: Time and The Self as Data in Contemporary Autofiction." M/C Journal 22, no.6 (December4, 2019). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1604.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

In January of this year, artist Christian Marclay’s 24-hour video installation The Clock came to Melbourne. As Ben Lerner explains in 10:04, the autofictional novel Lerner published in 2014, The Clock by Christian Marclay “is a clock: it is a twenty-four hour montage of thousands of scenes from movies and a few from TV edited together so as to be shown in real time; each scene indicates the time with a shot of a timepiece or its mention in dialogue, time in and outside of the film is synchronized” (52). I went to see The Clock at ACMI several times, with friends and alone, in the early morning and late at night. Each time I sank back into the comfortable chairs and settled into the communal experience of watching time pass on a screen in a dark room. I found myself sucked into the enforced narrative of time, the way in which the viewer – in this case myself, and those sharing the experience with me – sought to impose a sort of meaning on the arguably meaningless passing of the hours. In this essay, I will explore how we can expand our thinking of the idea of autofiction, as a genre, to include contemporary forms of digital media such as social media or activity trackers, as the authors of these new forms of digital media act as author-characters by playing with the divide between fact and fiction, and requiring their readers to ascertain meaning by interpreting the clues layered within. I will analyse the ways in which the meaning of autofictional texts—such as Lerner’s 10:04, but also including social media feeds, blogs and activity trackers—shifts depending on their audience. I consider that as technology develops, we increasingly use data to contextualise ourselves within a broader narrative – health data, media, journalistic data. As the sociologist John B. Thompson writes, “The development of the media not only enriches and transforms the process of self-formation, it also produces a new kind of intimacy which did not exist before … individuals can create and establish a form of intimacy which is essentially non-reciprocal” (208). New media and technologies have emerged to assist in this process of self-formation through the collection and publication of data. This essay is interested in analysing this process of self-formation, and its relationship to the genre of autofiction.Contemporary Digital Media as AutofictionWhile humans have always recorded themselves throughout history, with the rise of new technologies the instinct to record the self is increasingly becoming an automatic one; an instinct we can tie to what media theorist Nick Couldry terms as “presencing”: an “emerging requirement in everyday life to have a public presence beyond one’s bodily presence, to construct an objectification of oneself” (50). We are required to participate in ‘presencing’ by opting-in to new media; it is now uncommon – even unfavourable – for someone not to engage in any forms of social media or self-monitoring. We are now encouraged to participate in ‘presencing’ through the recording and online publication of data that would have once been considered private, such as employment histories and activity histories. Every Instagram photo, Snapchat or TikTok video contributes to an accumulating digital presence, an emerging narrative of the self. Couldry notes that presencing “is not the same as calling up a few friends to tell them some news; nor, although the audience is unspecific, is it like putting up something on a noticeboard. That is because presencing is oriented to a permanent site in public space that is distinctively marked by the producer for displaying that producer’s self” (50).In this way, we can see that in effect we are all becoming increasingly positioned to become autofiction authors. As an experimental form of literature, autofiction has been around for a long time, the term having first been introduced in the 1970s, and with Serge Doubrovsky widely credited with having introduced the genre with the publication of his 1977 novel Fils (Browning 49). In the most basic terms, autofiction is simply a work of fiction featuring a protagonist who can be interpreted as a stand-in for its author. And while autofiction is also confused with or used interchangeably with other genres such as metafiction or memoir, the difference between autofiction and other genres, writes Arnaud Schmitt, is that autoficton “relies on fiction—runs on fiction, to be exact” (141). Usually the reader can pick up on the fact that a novel is an autofictional one by noting that the protagonist and the author share a name, or key autobiographical details, but it is debatable as to whether the reader in fact needs to know that the work is autofictional in the first place in order to properly engage with it as a literary text.The same ideas can be applied to the application of digital media today. Kylie Cardell notes that “personal autobiographical but specifically diaristic (confessional, serial, quotidian) disclosure is increasingly positioned as a symptomatic feature of online life” (507). This ties in with Couldry’s idea of ‘presencing’; confession is increasingly a requirement when it comes to participation in digital media. As technology advances, the ways in which we can present and record the self evolve, and the narrative we can produce of the self expands alongside our understanding of the relationship between fact and fiction. Though of course we have always fabricated different narratives of the self, whether it be through diary entries or letter-writing, ‘presencing’ occurs when we literally present these edited versions of ourselves to an online audience. Lines become blurred between fiction and non-fiction, and the ability to distinguish between ‘fake’ and ‘real’ becomes almost impossible.Increasingly, such a distinction fails to seem important, and in some cases, this blurred line becomes the point, or a punchline; we can see this most clearly in TikTok videos, wherein people (specifically, or at least most typically, young people—Generation Z) play with ideas of truth and unreality ironically. When a teenager posts a video of themselves on TikTok dancing in their school cafeteria with the caption, “I got suspended for this, don’t let this flop”, the savvy viewer understands without it needing to be said that the student was not actually suspended – and also understands that even less outlandish or unbelievable digital content is unreliable by nature, and simply the narrative the author or producer wishes to convey; just like the savvy reader of an autofiction novel understands, without it actually being said, that the novel is in part autobiographical, even when the author and protagonist do not share a name or other easily identifiable markers.This is the nature of autofiction; it signals to the reader its status as a work of autofiction by littering intertextual clues throughout. Readers familiar with the author’s biography or body of work will pick up on these clues, creating a sense of uneasiness in the reader as they work to discern what is fact and what is not.Indeed, in 10:04, Lerner flags the text as a work of autofiction by sketching a fictional-not-fictional image of himself as an author of a story, ‘The Golden Vanity’ published in The New Yorker, that earned him a book deal—a story the ‘real’ Ben Lerner did in fact publish, two years before the publication of 10:04: “a few months before, the agent had e-mailed me that she believed I could get a “strong six-figure” advance based on a story of mine that had appeared in The New Yorker” (Lerner 4).In a review of 10:04 for the Sydney Review of Books, Stephanie Bishop writes:we learn that he did indeed write a proposal, that there was a competitive auction … What had just happened? Where are we in time? Was the celebratory meal fictional or real? Can we (and should we) seek to distinguish these categories?Here Lerner is ‘presencing’, crafting a multilayered version of himself across media by assuming that the reader of his work is also a reader of The New Yorker (an easy assumption to make given that his work often appears in, and is reviewed in, The New Yorker). Of course, this leads to the question: what becomes of autofiction when it is consumed by someone who is unable to pick up on the many metareferences layered within its narrative? In this case, the work itself becomes a joke that doesn’t land – much like a social media feed being consumed by someone who is not its intended audience.The savvy media consumer also understands that even the most meaningless or obtuse of media is all part of the overarching narrative. Lerner highlights the way we try and impose meaning onto (arguably) meaningless media when he describes his experience of watching time pass in Marclay’s The Clock:Big Ben, which I would come to learn appears frequently in the video, exploded, and people in the audience applauded… But then, a minute later, a young girl awakes from a nightmare and, as she’s comforted by her father (Clark Gable as Rhett Butler), you see Big Ben ticking away again outside their window, no sign of damage. The entire preceding twenty-four hours might have been the child’s dream, a storm that never happened, just one of many ways The Clock can be integrated into an overarching narrative. Indeed it was a greater challenge for me to resist the will to integration. (Lerner 52-53)This desire to impose an overarching narrative that Lerner speaks of – and which I also experienced when watching The Clock, as detailed in the introduction to this essay – is what the recording of the self both aims to achieve and achieves by default; it is the point and also the by-product. The Self as DataThe week my grandmother died, in 2017, my father bought me an Apple Watch. I had recently started running and—perhaps as an outlet for my grief—was looking to take my running further. I wanted a smart watch to help me record my runs; to turn the act of running into data that I could quantify and thus understand. This, in turn, would help me understand something about myself. Deborah Lupton explains my impulse here when she writes, “the body/self is portrayed as a conglomerate of quantifiable data that can be revealed using digital devices” (65). I wanted to reveal my ‘self’ by recording it, similar to the way the data accumulated in a diary, when reflected upon, helps a diarist understand their life more broadly. "Is a Fitbit a diary?”, asks Kylie Cardell. “The diary in the twenty-first century is already vastly different from many of its formal historical counterparts, yet there are discursive resonances. The Fitbit is a diary if we think of diary as a chronological record of data, which it can be” (348). The diary, as with the Apple Watch or Fitbit, is simply just a record of the self moving through time.Thus I submitted myself to the task of turning as much of myself into digital data as was possible to do so. Every walk, swim, meditation, burst of productivity, lapse in productivity, and beat of my heart became quantified, as Cardell might say, diarised. There is a very simple sort of pleasure in watching the red, green and blue rings spin round as you stand more, move more, run more. There is something soothing in knowing that at any given moment in time, you can press a button and see exactly what your heart is doing; even more soothing is knowing that at any given time, you can open up an app and see what your heart has been doing today, yesterday, this month, this year. It made sense to me that this data was being collected via my timepiece; it was simply the accumulation of my ‘self,’ as viewed through the lens of time.The Apple Watch was just the latest in a series of ways I have tasked technology with the act of quantifying myself; with my iPhone I track my periods with the Clue app. I measure my mental health with apps such as Shine, and my daily habits with Habitica. I have tried journaling apps such as Reflectly and Day One. While I have never actively tracked my food intake, or weight, or sex life, I know if I wanted to I could do this, too. And long before the Apple Watch, and long before my iPhone, too, I measured myself. In the late 2000s, I kept an online blog. Rebecca Blood notes that the development of blogging technology allowed blogging to become about “whatever came to mind. Walking to work. Last night’s party. Lunch” (54). Browning expands on this, noting that bloggingemerged as a mode of publication in the late ’90s, expressly smudging the boundaries of public and private. A diaristic mode, the blog nonetheless addresses (a) potential reader(s), often with great intimacy — and in its transition to print, as a boundary-shifting form with ill-defined goals regarding its readership. (49)(It is worth noting here that while of course many different forms of blogging exist and have always existed, this essay is only concerned with the diaristic blog that Blood and Browning speak of – arguably the most popular, and at least the most well known, form of blog.)My blog was also ostensibly about my own life, but really it was a work of autofiction, in the same way that my Apple Watch data, when shared, became a work of autofiction – which is to say that I became the central character, the author-character, whose narrative I was shaping with each post, using time as the setting. Jenny Davis writes:if self-quantifiers are seeking self-knowledge through numbers, then narratives and subjective interpretations are the mechanisms by which data morphs into selves. Self-quantifiers don’t just use data to learn about themselves, but rather, use data to construct the stories that they tell themselves about themselves.Over time, I became addicted to the blogging platform’s inbuilt metrics. I would watch with interest as certain posts performed better than others, and eventually the inevitable happened: I began – mostly unconsciously – to try and mould the content of my blogs to achieve certain outcomes – similar to the way that now, in 2019, it is hard to say whether I use an app to assist myself to meditate/journal/learn/etc, or whether I meditate/journal/learn/etc in order to record myself having done so.David Sedaris notes how the collection of data subconsciously, automatically leads to its manipulation in his essay collection, Calypso:for reasons I cannot determine my Fitbit died. I was devastated when I tapped the broadest part of it and the little dots failed to appear. Then I felt a great sense of freedom. It seemed that my life was now my own again. But was it? Walking twenty-five miles, or even running up the stairs and back, suddenly seemed pointless, since, without the steps being counted and registered, what use were they? (Sedaris, 49)In this way, the data we collect on and produce about ourselves, be it fitness metrics, blog posts, Instagram stories or works of literature or art, allows us to control and shape our own narrative, and so we do, creating what Kylie Cardell describes as “an autobiographical representation of self that is coherent and linear, “excavated” from a mass of personal data” (502).Of course, as foregrounded earlier, it is important to highlight the way ideas of privacy and audience shift in accordance with the type of media being consumed or created. Within different media, different author-characters emerge, and the author is required to participate in ‘presencing’ in different ways. For instance, data that exists only for the user does not require the user, or author, to participate in the act of ‘presencing’ at all – an example of this might be the Clue app, which records menstruation history. This information is only of interest to myself, and is not published or shared anywhere, with anyone. However even data intended for a limited audience still requires participation in ‘presencing’. While I only ‘share’ my Apple Watch’s activity with a few people, even just the act of sharing this activity influences the activity itself, creating an affect in which the fact of the content’s consumption shapes the creation of the content itself. Through consumption of Apple Watch data alone, a narrative can be built in which I am lazy, or dedicated, an early riser or a late sleeper, the kind of person who prefers setting their own goals, or the kind of person who enjoys group activities – and knowing that this narrative is being built requires me to act, consciously, in the experience of building it, which leads to the creation of something unreal or fictional interspersed with factual data. (All of which is to admit that sometimes I go on a run not because I want to go on a run, but because I want to be the sort of person who has gone on a run, and be seen as such: in this way I am ‘presencing’.)Similarly, the ephemeral versus permanent nature of data shared through media like Snapchat or Instagram dictates its status as a work of autofiction. When a piece of data – for instance, a photograph on Instagram – is published permanently, it contributes to an evolving autofictional narrative. The ‘Instagrammed’ self is both real and unreal, both fictional and non-fictional. The consumer of this data can explore an author’s social media feed dating back years and consume this data in exactly the way the author intends. However, the ‘stories’ function on Instagram, for instance, allows the consumption of this data to change again. Content is published for a limited amount of time—usually 24 hours—then disappears, and is able to be shared with either the author’s entire group of followers, or a select audience, allowing an author more creative freedom to choose how their data is consumed.Anxiety and AutofictionWhy do I feel the need to record all this data about myself? Obviously, this information is, to an extent, useful. If you are a person who menstruates, knowing exactly when your last period was, how long it lasted and how heavy it was is useful information to have, medically and logistically. If you run regularly, tracking your runs can be helpful in improving your time or routine. Similarly, recording the self in this way can be useful in keeping track of your moods, your habits, and your relationships.Of course, as previously noted, humans have always recorded ourselves. Cardell notes that “although the forms, conditions, and technology for diary keeping have changed, a motivation for recording, documenting, and accounting for the experience of the self over time has endured” (349). Still, it is hard to ignore the fact that ultimately, we seem to be entering some sort of age of digital information hoarding, and harder still to ignore the sneaking suspicion that this all seems to speak to a growing anxiety – and specifically, an anxiety of the self.Gayle Greene writes that “all writers are concerned with memory, since all writing is a remembrance of things past; all writers draw on the past, mine it as a quarry. Memory is especially important to anyone who cares about change, for forgetting dooms us to repetition” (291). If all writers are concerned with memory, as Greene posits, then perhaps we can draw the conclusion that autofiction writers are concerned with an anxiety of forgetting, or of being forgotten. We are self-conscious as authors of autofictional media; concerned with how our work is and will continue to be perceived – and whether it is perceived at all. Marjorie Worthington believes that that the rise in self-conscious fiction has resulted in an anxiety of obsolescence; that this anxiety in autofiction occurs “when a cultural trope (such as 'the author' is deemed to be in danger of becoming obsolete (or 'dying')” (27). However, it is worth considering the opposite – that an anxiety of obsolescence has resulted in a rise of self-conscious fiction, or autofiction.This fear of obsolescence is pervasive in new digital media – Instagram stories and Snapchats, which once disappeared forever into a digital void, are now able to be saved and stored. The fifteen minutes of fame has morphed into fifteen seconds: in this way, time works both for and against the anxious author of digital autofiction. Technologies evolve quicker than we can keep up, with popular platforms becoming obsolete at a rapid pace. This results in what Kylie Cardell sees as an “anxiety around the traces of lives accumulating online and the consequences of 'accidental autobiography,' as well as the desire to have a 'tidy,' representable, and 'storied' life” (503).This same desire can be seen at the root of autofiction. The media theorist José van Dijck notes thatwith the advent of photography, and later film and television, writing tacitly transformed into an interior means of consciousness and remembrance, whereupon electronic forms of media received the artificiality label…writing gained status as a more authentic container of past recollection. (15)Autofiction, however, disrupts this tacit transformation. It is a co-mingling of a desire to record the self, as well as a desire to control one’s own narrative. The drive to represent oneself in a specific way, with consideration to one’s audience and self-brand, has become the root of social media, but is so pervasive now that it is often an unexamined, subconscious one. In autofiction, this drive is not subconscious, it is self-conscious.ConclusionAs technology has developed, new ways to record, present and evaluate the self have emerged. While an impulse to self-monitor has always existed within society, with the rise of ‘presencing’ through social media this impulse has been made public. In this way, we can see presencing, or the public practice of self-performing through media, as an inherently autofictional practice. We can understand that the act of presencing stems from a place of anxiety and self-consciousness, and understand that is in fact impossible to create autofiction without self-consciousness. As we begin to understand that all digital media is becoming inherently autofictional in nature, we’re increasingly required to force to draw our own conclusions about the media we consume—just like the author-character of 10:04 is forced to draw his own conclusions about the passing of time, as represented by Big Ben, when interacting with Marclay’s The Clock. By analysing and comparing the ways in which the emerging digital landscape and autofiction both share a common goal of recording and preserving an interpretation of the ‘self’, we can then understand a deeper understanding of the purpose that autofiction serves. ReferencesBishop, Stephanie. “The Same but Different: 10:04 by Ben Lerner.” Sydney Review of Books 6 Feb. 2015. <https://sydneyreviewofbooks.com/10-04-ben-lerner/>.Blood, Rebecca. "How Blogging Software Reshapes the Online Community." Communications of the ACM 47.12 (2004): 53-55.Browning, Barbara. "The Performative Novel." TDR: The Drama Review 62.2 (2018): 43-58. Davis, Jenny. “The Qualified Self.” Cyborgology 13 Mar. 2013. <http://thesocietypages.org/cyborgology/2013/03/13/the-qualified-self/>.Cardell, Kylie. “The Future of Autobiography Studies: The Diary.” a/b: Auto/Biography Studies 32.2 (2017): 347-350.Cardell, Kylie. “Modern Memory-Making: Marie Kondo, Online Journaling, and the Excavation, Curation, and Control of Personal Digital Data.” a/b: Auto/Biography Studies 32.3 (2017): 499-517.Couldry, Nick. Media, Society, World: Social Theory and Digital Media Practice. Great Britain: Polity Press, 2012.Greene, Gayle. “Feminist Fiction and the Uses of Memory.” Signs 16.2 (1991): 290-321.Lerner, Ben. 10:04. London: Faber and Faber, 2014.Lerner, Ben. “The Golden Vanity.” The New Yorker 11 June 2012. <https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/06/18/the-golden-vanity>.Lupton, Deborah. “You Are Your Data: Self-Tracking Practices and Concepts of Data.” Lifelogging. Ed. Stefan Selke. Wiesbaden: Springer, 2016. 61-79.Schmitt, Arnaud. “David Shields's Lyrical Essay: The Dream of a Genre-Free Memoir, or beyond the Paradox.” a/b: Auto/Biography Studies 31.1 (2016): 133-146.Sedaris, David. Calypso. United States: Little Brown, 2018.Thompson, John B. The Media and Modernity: A Social Theory of the Media. California: Stanford University Press, 1995.Van Dijck, José. Mediated Memories in the Digital Age. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2007.Worthington, Marjorie. The Story of "Me": Contemporary American Autofiction. Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 2018.

44

O'Meara, Radha, and Alex Bevan. "Transmedia Theory’s Author Discourse and Its Limitations." M/C Journal 21, no.1 (March14, 2018). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1366.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

As a scholarly discourse, transmedia storytelling relies heavily on conservative constructions of authorship that laud corporate architects and patriarchs such as George Lucas and J.J. Abrams as exemplars of “the creator.” This piece argues that transmedia theory works to construct patriarchal ideals of individual authorship to the detriment of alternative conceptions of transmediality, storyworlds, and authorship. The genesis for this piece was our struggle to find a transmedia storyworld that we were both familiar with, that also qualifies as “legitimate” transmedia in the eyes of our prospective scholarly readers. After trying to wrangle our various interests, fandoms, and areas of expertise into harmony, we realized we were exerting more effort in this process of validating stories as transmedia than actually examining how stories spread across various platforms, how they make meanings, and what kinds of pleasures they offer audiences. Authorship is a definitive criterion of transmedia storytelling theory; it is also an academic red herring. We were initially interested in investigating the possible overdeterminations between the healthcare industry and Breaking Bad (2008-2013). The series revolves around a high school chemistry teacher who launches a successful meth empire as a way to pay for his cancer treatments that a dysfunctional US healthcare industry refuses to fund. We wondered if the success of the series and the timely debates on healthcare raised in its reception prompted any PR response from or discussion among US health insurers. However, our concern was that this dynamic among medical and media industries would not qualify as transmedia because these exchanges were not authored by Vince Gilligan or any of the credited creators of Breaking Bad. Yet, why shouldn’t such interfaces between the “real world” and media fiction count as part of the transmedia story that is Breaking Bad? Most stories are, in some shape or form, transmedia stories at this stage, and transmedia theory acknowledges there is a long history to this kind of practice (Freeman). Let’s dispense with restrictive definitions of transmediality and turn attention to how storytelling behaves in a digital era, that is, the processes of creating, disseminating and amending stories across many different media, the meanings and forms such media and communications produce, and the pleasures they offer audiences.Can we think about how health insurance companies responded to Breaking Bad in terms of transmedia storytelling? Defining Transmedia Storytelling via AuthorshipThe scholarly concern with defining transmedia storytelling via a strong focus on authorship has traced slight distinctions between seriality, franchising, adaptation and transmedia storytelling (Jenkins, “Transmedia Storytelling;” Johnson, “Media Franchising”). However, the theoretical discourse on authorship itself and these discussions of the tensions between forms are underwritten by a gendered bias. Indeed, the very concept of transmediality may be a gendered backlash against the rising prominence of seriality as a historically feminised mode of storytelling, associated with television and serial novels.Even with the move towards traditionally lowbrow, feminized forms of trans-serial narrative, the majority of academic and popular criticism of transmedia storytelling reproduces and reinstates narratives of male-centred, individual authorship that are historically descended from theorizations of the auteur. Auteur theory, which is still considered a legitimate analytical framework today, emerged in postwar theorizations of Hollywood film by French critics, most prominently in the journal Cahiers du Cinema, and at the nascence of film theory as a field (Cook). Auteur theory surfaced as a way to conceptualise aesthetic variation and value within the Fordist model of the Hollywood studio system (Cook). Directors were identified as the ultimate author or “creative source” if a film sufficiently fitted a paradigm of consistent “vision” across their oeuvre, and they were thus seen as artists challenging the commercialism of the studio system (Cook). In this way, classical auteur theory draws a dichotomy between art and authorship on one side and commerce and corporations on the other, strongly valorising the former for its existence within an industrial context dominated by the latter. In recent decades, auteurist notions have spread from film scholarship to pervade popular discourses of media authorship. Even though transmedia production inherently disrupts notions of authorship by diffusing the act of creation over many different media platforms and texts, much of the scholarship disproportionately chooses to vex over authorship in a manner reminiscent of classical auteur theory.In scholarly terms, a chief distinction between serial storytelling and transmedia storytelling lies in how authorship is constructed in relation to the text: serial storytelling has long been understood as relying on distributed authorship (Hilmes), but transmedia storytelling reveres the individual mastermind, or the master architect who plans and disseminates the storyworld across platforms. Henry Jenkins’ definition of transmedia storytelling is multifaceted and includes, “the systematic dispersal of multiple textual elements across many channels, which reflects the synergies of media conglomeration, based on complex story-worlds, and coordinated authorial design of integrated elements” (Jenkins, “Transmedia Storytelling”). Jenkins is perhaps the most pivotal figure in developing transmedia studies in the humanities to date and a key reference point for most scholars working in this subfield.A key limitation of Jenkins’ definition of transmedia storytelling is its emphasis on authorship, which persists in wider scholarship on transmedia storytelling. Jenkins focuses on the nature of authorship as a key characteristic of transmedia productions that distinguishes them from other kinds of intertextual and serial stories:Because transmedia storytelling requires a high degree of coordination across the different media sectors, it has so far worked best either in independent projects where the same artist shapes the story across all of the media involved or in projects where strong collaboration (or co-creation) is encouraged across the different divisions of the same company. (Jenkins, “Transmedia Storytelling”)Since the texts under discussion are commonly large in their scale, budget, and the number of people employed, it is reductive to credit particular individuals for this work and implicitly dismiss the authorial contributions of many others. Elaborating on the foundation set by Jenkins, Matthew Freeman uses Foucauldian concepts to describe two “author-functions” focused on the role of an author in defining the transmedia text itself and in marketing it (Freeman 36-38). Scott, Evans, Hills, and Hadas similarly view authorial branding as a symbolic industrial strategy significant to transmedia storytelling. Interestingly, M.J. Clarke identifies the ways transmedia television texts invite audiences to imagine a central mastermind, but also thwart and defer this impulse. Ultimately, Freeman argues that identifiable and consistent authorship is a defining characteristic of transmedia storytelling (Freeman 37), and Suzanne Scott argues that transmedia storytelling has “intensified the author’s function” from previous eras (47).Industry definitions of transmediality similarly position authorship as central to transmedia storytelling, and Jenkins’ definition has also been widely mobilised in industry discussions (Jenkins, “Transmedia” 202). This is unsurprising, because defining authorial roles has significant monetary value in terms of remuneration and copyright. In speaking to the Producers Guild of America, Jeff Gomez enumerated eight defining characteristics of transmedia production, the very first of which is, “Content is originated by one or a very few visionaries” (PGA Blog). Gomez’s talk was part of an industry-driven bid to have “Transmedia Producer” recognised by the trade associations as a legitimate and significant role; Gomez was successful and is now recognised as a transmedia producer. Nevertheless, his talk of “visionaries” not only situates authorship as central to transmedia production, but constructs authorship in very conservative, almost hagiographical terms. Indeed, Leora Hadas analyses the function of Joss Whedon’s authorship of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (2013-) as a branding mechanism and argues that authors are becoming increasingly visible brands associated with transmedia stories.Such a discourse of authorship constructs individual figures as artists and masterminds, in an idealised manner that has been strongly critiqued in the wake of poststructuralism. It even recalls tired scholarly endeavours of divining authorial intention. Unsurprisingly, the figures valorised for their transmedia authorship are predominantly men; the scholarly emphasis on authorship thus reinforces the biases of media industries. Further, it idolises these figures at the expense of unacknowledged and under-celebrated female writers, directors and producers, as well as those creative workers labouring “below the line” in areas like production design, art direction, and special effects. Far from critiquing the biases of industry, academic discourse legitimises and lauds them.We hope that scholarship on transmedia storytelling might instead work to open up discourses of creation, production, authorship, and collaboration. For a story to qualify as transmedia is it even necessary to have an identifiable author? Transmedia texts and storyworlds can be genuinely collaborative or authorless creations, in which the harmony of various creators’ intentions may be unnecessary or even undesirable. Further, industry and academics alike often overlook examples of transmedia storytelling that might be considered “lowbrow.” For example, transmedia definitions should include Antonella the Uncensored Reviewer, a relatively small-scale, forty-something, plus size, YouTube channel producer whose persona is dispersed across multiple formats including beauty product reviews, letter writing, as well as interactive sex advice live casts. What happens when we blur the categories of author, celebrity, brand, and narrative in scholarship? We argue that these roles are substantially blurred in media industries in which authors like J.J. Abrams share the limelight with their stars as well as their corporate affiliations, and all “brands” are sutured to the storyworld text. These various actors all shape and are shaped by the narrative worlds they produce in an author-storyworld nexus, in which authorship includes all people working to produce the storyworld as well as the corporation funding it. Authorship never exists inside the limits of a single, male mind. Rather it is a field of relations among various players and stakeholders. While there is value in delineating between these roles for purposes of analysis and scholarly discussion, we should acknowledge that in the media industry, the roles of various stakeholders are increasingly porous.The current academic discourse of transmedia storytelling reconstructs old social biases and hierarchies in contexts where they might be most vulnerable to breakdown. Scott argues that,despite their potential to demystify and democratize authorship between producers and consumers, transmedia stories tend to reinforce boundaries between ‘official’ and ‘unauthorized’ forms of narrative expansion through the construction of a single author/textual authority figure. (44)Significantly, we suggest that it is the theorisation of transmedia storytelling that reinforces (or in fact constructs anew) an idealised author figure.The gendered dimension of the scholarly distinction between serialised (or trans-serial) and transmedial storytelling builds on a long history in the arts and the academy alike. In fact, an important precursor of transmedia narratives is the serialized novel of the Victorian era. The literature of Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot and Harriet Beecher Stowe was published in serial form and among the most widely read of the Victorian era in Western culture (Easley; Flint 21; Hilmes). Yet, these novels are rarely given proportional credit in what is popularly taught as the Western literary canon. The serial storytelling endemic to television as a medium has similarly been historically dismissed and marginalized as lowbrow and feminine (at least until the recent emergence of notions of the industrial role of the “showrunner” and the critical concept of “quality television”). Joanne Morreale outlines how trans-serial television examples, like The Dick Van Dyke Show, which spread their storyworlds across a number of different television programs, offer important precursors to today’s transmedia franchises (Morreale). In television’s nascent years, the anthology plays of the 1940s and 50s, which were discrete, unconnected hour-length stories, were heralded as cutting-edge, artistic and highbrow while serial narrative forms like the soap opera were denigrated (Boddy 80-92). Crucially, these anthology plays were largely created by and aimed at males, whereas soap operas were often created by and targeted to female audiences. The gendered terms in which various genres and modes of storytelling are discussed have implications for the value assigned to them in criticism, scholarship and culture more broadly (Hilmes; Kuhn; Johnson, “Devaluing”). Transmedia theory, as a scholarly discourse, betrays similarly gendered leanings as early television criticism, in valorising forms of transmedia narration that favour a single, male-bodied, and all-powerful author or corporation, such as George Lucas, Jim Henson or Marvel Comics.George Lucas is often depicted in scholarly and popular discourses as a headstrong transmedia auteur, as in the South Park episode ‘The China Problem’ (2008)A Circle of Men: Fans, Creators, Stories and TheoristsInterestingly, scholarly discourse on transmedia even betrays these gendered biases when exploring the engagement and activity of audiences in relation to transmedia texts. Despite the definitional emphasis on authorship, fan cultures have been a substantial topic of investigation in scholarly studies of transmedia storytelling, with many scholars elevating fans to the status of author, exploring the apparent blurring of these boundaries, and recasting the terms of these relationships (Scott; Dena; Pearson; Stein). Most notably, substantial scholarly attention has traced how transmedia texts cultivate a masculinized, “nerdy” fan culture that identifies with the male-bodied, all-powerful author or corporation (Brooker, Star Wars, Using; Jenkins, Convergence). Whether idealising the role of the creators or audiences, transmedia theory reinforces gendered hierarchies. Star Wars (1977-) is a pivotal corporate transmedia franchise that significantly shaped the convergent trajectory of media industries in the 20th century. As such it is also an anchor point for transmedia scholarship, much of which lauds and legitimates the creative work of fans. However, in focusing so heavily on the macho power struggle between George Lucas and Star Wars fans for authorial control over the storyworld, scholarship unwittingly reinstates Lucas’s status as sole creator rather than treating Star Wars’ authorship as inherently diffuse and porous.Recent fan activity surrounding animated adult science-fiction sitcom Rick and Morty (2013-) further demonstrates the macho culture of transmedia fandom in practice and its fascination with male authors. The animated series follows the intergalactic misadventures of a scientific genius and his grandson. Inspired by a seemingly inconsequential joke on the show, some of its fans began to fetishize a particular, limited-edition fast food sauce. When McDonalds, the actual owner of that sauce, cashed in by promoting the return of its Szechuan Sauce, a macho culture within the show’s fandom reached its zenith in the forms of hostile behaviour at McDonalds restaurants and online (Alexander and Kuchera). Rick and Morty fandom also built a misogynist reputation for its angry responses to the show’s efforts to hire a writer’s room that gave equal representation to women. Rick and Morty trolls doggedly harassed a few of the show’s female writers through 2017 and went so far as to post their private information online (Barsanti). Such gender politics of fan cultures have been the subject of much scholarly attention (Johnson, “Fan-tagonism”), not least in the many conversations hosted on Jenkins’ blog. Gendered performances and readings of fan activity are instrumental in defining and legitimating some texts as transmedia and some creators as masterminds, not only within fandoms but also in the scholarly discourse.When McDonalds promoted the return of their Szechuan Sauce, in response to its mention in the story world of animated sci-fi sitcom Rick and Morty, they contributed to transmedia storytelling.Both Rick and Morty and Star Wars are examples of how masculinist fan cultures, stubborn allegiances to male authorship, and definitions of transmedia converge both in academia and popular culture. While Rick and Morty is, in reality, partly female-authored, much of its media image is still anchored to its two male “creators,” Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon. Particularly in the context of #MeToo feminism, one wonders how much female authorship has been elided from existing storyworlds and, furthermore, what alternative examples of transmedia narration are exempt from current definitions of transmediality.The individual creator is a social construction of scholarship and popular discourse. This imaginary creator bears little relation to the conditions of creation and production of transmedia storyworlds, which are almost always team written and collectively authored. Further, the focus on writing itself elides the significant contributions of many creators such as those in production design (Bevan). Beyond that, what creative credit do focus groups deserve in shaping transmedia stories and their multi-layered, multi-platformed reaches? Is authorship, or even credit, really the concept we, as scholars, want to invest in when studying these forms of narration and mediation?At more symbolic levels, the seemingly exhaustless popular and scholarly appetite for male-bodied authorship persists within storyworlds themselves. The transmedia examples popularly and academically heralded as “seminal” centre on patrimony, patrilineage, and inheritance (i.e. Star Wars [1977-] and The Lord of the Rings [1937-]). Of course, Harry Potter (2001-2009) is an outlier as the celebrification of J.K. Rowling provides a strong example of credited female authorship. However, this example plays out many of the same issues, albeit the franchise is attached to a woman, in that it precludes many of the other creative minds who have helped shape Harry Potter’s world. How many more billions of dollars need we invest in men writing about the mysteries of how other men spread their genetic material across fictional universes? Moreover, transmedia studies remains dominated by academic men geeking out about how fan men geek out about how male creators write about mostly male characters in stories about … men. There are other stories waiting to be told and studied through the practices and theories of transmedia. These stories might be gender-inclusive and collective in ways that challenge traditional notions of authorship, control, rights, origin, and property.Obsession with male authorship, control, rights, origin, paternity and property is recognisible in scholarship on transmedia storytelling, and also symbolically in many of the most heralded examples of transmedia storytelling, such as the Star Wars saga.Prompting Broader DiscussionThis piece urges the development of broader understandings of transmedia storytelling. A range of media scholarship has already begun this work. Jonathan Gray’s book on paratexts offers an important pathway for such scholarship by legitimating ancillary texts, like posters and trailers, that uniquely straddle promotional and feature content platforms (Gray). A wave of scholars productively explores transmedia storytelling with a focus on storyworlds (Scolari; Harvey), often through the lens of narratology (Ryan; Ryan and Thon). Scolari, Bertetti, and Freeman have drawn together a media archaeological approach and a focus on transmedia characters in an innovative way. We hope to see greater proliferation of focuses and perspectives for the study of transmedia storytelling, including investigations that connect fictional and non-fictional worlds and stories, and a more inclusive variety of life experiences.Conversely, new scholarship on media authorship provides fresh directions, models, methods, and concepts for examining the complexity and messiness of this topic. A growing body of scholarship on the functions of media branding is also productive for reconceptualising notions of authorship in transmedia storytelling (Bourdaa; Dehry Kurtz and Bourdaa). Most notably, A Companion to Media Authorship edited by Gray and Derek Johnson productively interrogates relationships between creative processes, collaborative practices, production cultures, industrial structures, legal frameworks, and theoretical approaches around media authorship. Its case studies begin the work of reimagining of the role of authorship in transmedia, and pave the way for further developments (Burnett; Gordon; Hilmes; Stein). In particular, Matt Hills’s case study of how “counter-authorship” was negotiated on Torchwood (2006-2011) opens up new ways of thinking about multiple authorship and the variety of experiences, contributions, credits, and relationships this encompasses. Johnson’s Media Franchising addresses authorship in a complex way through a focus on social interactions, without making it a defining feature of the form; it would be significant to see a similar scholarly treatment of transmedia. At the very least, scholarly attention might turn its focus away from the very patriarchal activity of discussing definitions among a coterie and, instead, study the process of spreadability of male-centred transmedia storyworlds (Jenkins, Ford, and Green). Given that transmedia is not historically unique to the digital age, scholars might instead study how spreadability changes with the emergence of digitality and convergence, rather than pontificating on definitions of adaptation versus transmedia and cinema versus media.We urge transmedia scholars to distance their work from the malignant gender politics endemic to the media industries and particularly global Hollywood. The confluence of gendered agendas in both academia and media industries works to reinforce patriarchal hierarchies. The humanities should offer independent analysis and critique of how media industries and products function, and should highlight opportunities for conceiving of, creating, and treating such media practices and texts in new ways. As such, it is problematic that discourses on transmedia commonly neglect the distinction between what defines transmediality and what constitutes good examples of transmedia. This blurs the boundaries between description and prescription, taxonomy and hierarchy, analysis and evaluation, and definition and taste. Such discourses blinker us to what we might consider to be transmedia, but also to what examples of “good” transmedia storytelling might look like.Transmedia theory focuses disproportionately on authorship. This restricts a comprehensive understanding of transmedia storytelling, limits the lenses we bring to it, obstructs the ways we evaluate transmedia stories, and impedes how we imagine the possibilities for both media and storytelling. Stories have always been transmedial. What changes with the inception of transmedia theory is that men can claim credit for the stories and for all the work that many people do across various sectors and industries. It is questionable whether authorship is important to transmedia, in which creation is most often collective, loosely planned (at best) and diffused across many people, skill sets, and sectors. While Jenkins’s work has been pivotal in the development of transmedia theory, this is a ripe moment for the diversification of theoretical paradigms for understanding stories in the digital era.ReferencesAlexander, Julia, and Ben Kuchera. “How a Rick and Morty Joke Led to a McDonald’s Szechuan Sauce Controversy.” Polygon 4 Apr. 2017. <https://www.polygon.com/2017/10/12/16464374/rick-and-morty-mcdonalds-szechuan-sauce>.Aristotle. Aristotle's Poetics. New York: Hill and Wang, 1961. Barsanti, Sami. “Dan Harmon Is Pissed at Rick and Morty Fans Harassing Female Writers.” The AV Club 21 Sep. 2017. <https://www.avclub.com/dan-harmon-is-pissed-at-rick-and-morty-fans-for-harassi-1818628816>.Bevan, Alex. “Nostalgia for Pre-Digital Media in Mad Men.” Television & New Media 14.6 (2013): 546-559.Boddy, William. Fifties Television: The Industry and Its Critics. Chicago: U of Illinois P, 1993.Bourdaa, Mélanie. “This Is Not Marketing. This Is HBO: Branding HBO with Transmedia Storytelling.” Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA Postgraduate Network, 7.1 (2014). <http://www.ojs.meccsa.org.uk/index.php/netknow/article/view/328>.Brooker, Will. Star Wars. London: BFI Classics, 2009. ———. Using the Force: Creativity, Community and Star Wars Fans. New York: Bloomsbury, 2003.Burnett, Colin. “Hidden Hands at Work: Authorship, the Intentional Flux and the Dynamics of Collaboration.” In A Companion to Media Authorship, eds. Jonathan Gray and Derek Johnson, 112-133. Oxford: Wiley, 2013.Clark, M.J. Transmedia Television: New Trends in Network Serial Production. New York: Bloomsbury, 2012.Cook, Pam. “Authorship and Cinema.” In The Cinema Book, 2nd ed., ed. Pam Cook, 235-314. London: BFI, 1999.Dena, Christy. Transmedia Practice: Theorising the Practice of Expressing a Fictional World across Distinct Media and Environments. PhD Thesis, University of Sydney. 2009.Dehry Kurtz, B.W.L., and Mélanie Bourdaa (eds). The Rise of Transtexts: Challenges and Opportunities. New York: Taylor and Francis, 2016.Evans, Elizabeth. Transmedia Television: Audiences, New Media and Daily Life. New York: Taylor and Francis, 2011.Easley, Alexis. First Person Anonymous. New York: Routledge, 2016.Flint, Kate. “The Victorian Novel and Its Readers.” In The Cambridge Companion to the Victorian Novel, ed. Deirdre David, 13-35. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2012. Freeman, Matthew. Historicising Transmedia Storytelling: Early Twentieth Century Storyworlds. New York: Taylor and Francis, 2016.Gordon, Ian. “Comics, Creators and Copyright: On the Ownership of Serial Narratives by Multiple Authors.” In A Companion to Media Authorship, eds. Jonathan Gray and Derek Johnson, 221-236. Oxford: Wiley, 2013.Gray, Jonathan. Show Sold Separately: Promos, Spoilers and Other Media Texts. New York: New York UP, 2010.Gray, Jonathan, and Derek Johnson (eds.). A Companion to Media Authorship. Chichester: Wiley, 2013.Hadas, Leora. “Authorship and Authenticity in the Transmedia Brand: The Case of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA Postgraduate Network, 7.1 (2014). <http://www.ojs.meccsa.org.uk/index.php/netknow/article/view/332>.Harvey, Colin. Fantastic Transmedia: Narrative, Play and Memory across Fantasy Storyworlds. London: Palgrave, 2015.Hills, Matt. “From Chris Chibnall to Fox: Torchwood’s Marginalised Authors and Counter-Discourses of TV Authorship.” In A Companion to Media Authorship, eds. Jonathan Gray and Derek Johnson, 200-220. Oxford: Wiley, 2013.Hilmes, Michelle. “Never Ending Story: Authorship, Seriality and the Radio Writers Guild.” In A Companion to Media Authorship, eds. Jonathan Gray and Derek Johnson, 181-199. Oxford: Wiley, 2013.Jenkins, Henry. “Transmedia 202: Further Reflections.” Confessions of an Aca-Fan. 31 July 2011. <http://henryjenkins.org/blog/2011/08/defining_transmedia_further_re.html>.———. “Transmedia Storytelling 101.” Confessions of an Aca-Fan. 21 Mar. 2007. <http://henryjenkins.org/blog/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html>.———. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: New York University Press, 2006.———, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green. Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture. New York: New York UP, 2013.Johnson, Derek. Media Franchising: Creative License and Collaboration in the Culture Industries. New York: New York UP, 2013.———. “Fan-tagonism: Factions, Institutions, and Constitutive Hegemonies of Fandom.” In Fandom: Identities and Communities in a Mediated World, eds. Jonathan Gray, Cornell Sandvoss, and C. Lee Harrington, 285-300. New York: New York UP, 2007.———. “Devaluing and Revaluing Seriality: The Gendered Discourses of Media Franchising.” Media, Culture & Society, 33.7 (2011): 1077-1093. Kuhn, Annette. “Women’s Genres: Melodrama, Soap Opera and Theory.” In Feminist Television Criticism: A Reader, eds. Charlotte Brunsdon and Lynn Spigel, 225-234. 2nd ed. Maidenhead: Open UP, 2008.Morreale, Joanne. The Dick Van Dyke Show. Detroit, MI: Wayne State UP, 2015.Pearson, Roberta. “Fandom in the Digital Era.” Popular Communication, 8.1 (2010): 84-95. DOI: 10.1080/15405700903502346.Producers Guild of America, The. “Defining Characteristics of Trans-Media Production.” PGA NMC Blog. 2 Oct. 2007. <http://pganmc.blogspot.com.au/2007/10/pga-member-jeff-gomez-left-assembled.html>.Rodham Clinton, Hillary. What Happened. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2017.Ryan, Marie-Laure. “Transmedial Storytelling and Transficitonality.” Poetics Today, 34.3 (2013): 361-388. DOI: 10.1215/03335372-2325250. ———, and Jan-Noȅl Thon (eds.). Storyworlds across Media: Toward a Media-Conscious Narratology. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 2014.Scolari, Carlos A. “Transmedia Storytelling: Implicit Consumers, Narrative Worlds, and Branding in Contemporary Media Production.” International Journal of Communication, 3 (2009): 586-606.———, Paolo Bertetti, and Matthew Freeman. Transmedia Archaeology: Storytelling in the Borderlines of Science Fiction. London: Palgrave, 2014.Scott, Suzanne. “Who’s Steering the Mothership?: The Role of the Fanboy Auteur in Transmedia Storytelling.” In The Participatory Cultures Handbook, edited by Aaron Delwiche and Jennifer Jacobs Henderson, 43-52. London: Routledge, 2013.Stein, Louisa Ellen. “#Bowdown to Your New God: Misha Collins and Decentered Authorship in the Digital Age.” In A Companion to Media Authorship, ed. Jonathan Gray and Derek Johnson, 403-425. Oxford: Wiley, 2013.

45

Aly, Anne, and Mark Balnaves. "The Atmosfear of Terror." M/C Journal 8, no.6 (December1, 2005). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2445.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

Since September 11, Muslims in Australia have experienced a heightened level of religiously and racially motivated vilification (Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission). These fears were poignantly expressed in a letter to the Editor of The West Australian newspaper from a Muslim woman shortly after the London terror attacks: All I want to say is that for those out there who might have kamikaze ideas of doing such an act here in Australia, please think of others (us) in your own community. The ones who will get hurt are your own, especially we the women who are an obvious target in the public and have to succumb to verbal abuse most of the time. Dealing with abuse and hatred from some due to 9/11 and Bali is not something I want to go through again. (21) The atmosfear of terror finds many expressions among the Muslim communities in Australia: the fear of backlash from some sectors of the wider community; the fear of subversion of Islamic identity in meeting the requirements of a politically defined “moderate” Islam; the fear of being identified as a potential terrorist or “person of interest” and the fear of potentially losing the rights bestowed on all other citizens. This fear or fears are grounded in the political and the media response to terrorism that perpetuates a popular belief that Muslims, as a culturally and religiously incompatible “other”, pose a threat to the Australian collective identity and, ostensibly, to Australia’s security. At the time of publication, for example, there was mob violence involving 5,000 young people converging on Sydney’s Cronulla beach draped in Australian flags singing Waltzing Matilda and Advance Australia Fair as well as chanting “kill the Lebs”, “no more Lebs” (Lebanese). The mob was itself brought together by a series of SMS messages, appealing to participants to “help support Leb and Wog bashing day” and to “show solidarity” against a government-identified “threat to Aussie identity” (The West Australian). Since September 11 and the ensuing war on terror, a new discourse of terrorism has emerged as a way of expressing how the world has changed and defining a state of constant alert (Altheide). “The war on terror” refers as much to a perpetual state of alertness as it does to a range of strategic operations, border control policies, internal security measures and public awareness campaigns such as “be alert, not alarmed”. According to a poll published in The Sydney Morning Herald in April 2004, 68 per cent of Australians believed that Australia was at threat of an imminent terrorist attack (Michaelsen). In a major survey in Australia immediately after the September 11 attacks Dunn & Mahtani found that more than any other cultural or ethnic group, Muslims and people from the Middle East were thought to be unable to fit into Australia. Two thirds of those surveyed believed that humanity could be sorted into natural categories of race, with the majority feeling that Australia was weakened by people of different ethnic origins. Fifty-four per cent of those surveyed, mainly women, said they would be concerned if a relative of theirs married a Muslim. The majority of the Muslim population, not surprisingly, has gone into a “siege mentality” (Hanna). The atmosfear of terror in the Western world is a product of the media and political construction of the West as perpetually at threat of a terrorist attack from a foreign, alien, politically defined “other”, where “insecurity…is the new normal” (Massumi 31). Framed in a rhetoric that portrays it as a battle for the Western values of democracy and freedom, the “war on terror” becomes not just an event in space and time but a metonym for a new world order, drawing on distinctions between “us” and “them” and “the West” and “others” (Osuri and Banerjee) and motivating collective identity based on a construction of “us” as victims and “them” as the objects of fear, concern and suspicion. The political response to the war on terror has inculcated an atmosfear of terror where Australian Muslims are identified as the objects of this fear. The fear of terrorism is being modulated through government and the popular media to perpetuate a state of anxiety that finds expression in the heightened levels of concern and suspicion over a perceived threat. In the case of the war on terror, this threat is typically denoted as radical Islam and, by inference, Australian Muslims. In his exposition of political fear, Corey Robin notes that a central element of political fear is that it is often not read as such – rendering it alien to analysis, critical debate and understanding. Nowhere is this more salient than in the rhetoric on the war on terror characterised by the familiar invocation of terms like democracy and freedom to make distinctions between “the West and the rest” and to legitimise references to civilised and uncivilised worlds. In his speech delivered at the United Nations Security Council Ministerial Session on Terrorism on 20 January 2003, Colin Powell invoked the rhetoric of a clash of civilisations and urged, “we must rid the civilised world of this cancer … We must rise to the challenge with actions that will ride the globe of terrorism and create a world in which all God’s children can live without fear”. It is this construction of the war on terror as a global battle between “the West and the rest” that enables and facilitates the affective response to political fear – a reaffirmation of identity and membership of a collective. As Robin states: Understanding the objects of our fear as less than political allows us to treat them as intractable foes. Nothing can be done to accommodate them: they can only be killed or contained. Understanding the objects of our fear as not political also renews us as a collective. Afraid, we are like the audience in a crowded theatre confronting a man falsely shouting fire: united, not because we share similar beliefs of aspiration but because we are equally threatened. (6) This response has found expression in the perception of Muslims as an alien, culturally incompatible and utterly threatening other, creating a state of social tension where the public’s anxiety has been and continues to be directed at Australian Muslims who visibly represent the objects of the fear of terror. The Australian Government’s response to the war on terror exemplifies what Brian Massumi terms “affective modulation” whereby the human response to the fear of terror, that of a reinforcement and renewal of collective identity, has been modulated and transformed from an affective response to an affective state of anxiety – what the authors term the atmosfear of terror. Affect for Massumi can be inscribed in the flesh as “traces of experience” – an accumulation of affects. It is in this way that Massumi views affect as “autonomous” (Megan Watkins also makes this argument, and has further translated Massumi's notions into the idea of pedagogic affect/effect). In the Australian context, after more than four years of collected traces of experiences of images of threat, responses to terrorism have become almost reflexive – even automated. Affective modulation in the Australian context relies on the regenerative capacity of fear, in Massumi’s terms its “ontogenetic powers” (45) to create an ever-present threat and maintain fear as a way of life. The introduction of a range of counter-terrorism strategies, internal-security measures, legislative amendments and policies, often without public consultation and timed to coincide with “new” terror alerts is testimony to the affective machinations of the Australian government in its response to the war on terror. Virilio and Lotringer called “pure war” the psychological state that happens when people know that they live in a world where the potential for sudden and absolute destruction exists. It is not the capacity for destruction so much as the continual threat of sudden destruction that creates this psychology. Keith Spence has stated that in times of crisis the reasoned negotiation of risk is marginalised. The counter-terrorism legislation introduced in response to the war on terror is, arguably, the most drastic anti-libertarian measures Australia has witnessed and constitutes a disproportionate response to Australia’s overall risk profile (Michaelsen). Some of these measures would once have seemed an unthinkable assault on civil liberties and unreasonably authoritarian. Yet in the war on terror, notes Jessica Stern, framed as a global war of good versus evil, policies and strategies that once seemed impossible suddenly become constructed as rationale, if not prudent. Since September 11, the Australian government has progressively introduced a range of counter-terrorism measures including over 30 legislative amendments and, more recently, increased powers for the police to detain persons of interest suspected of sedition. In the wake of the London bombings, the Prime Minister called a summit with Muslim representatives from around the nation. In the two hours that they met, the summit developed a Statement of Principles committing members of Muslim communities to combat radicalisation and pursue “moderate” Islam. As an affective machination, the summit presents as a useful political tool for modulating the existing anxieties in the Australian populace. The very need for a summit of this nature and for the development of a Statement of Principles (later endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments or COAG) sends a lucid message to the Australian public. Not only are Australian Muslims responsible for terrorism but they also have the capacity to prevent or minimise the threat of an attack in Australia. Already the focus of at least a decade of negative stereotyping in the popular Australia media (Brasted), Australian Muslims all too quickly and easily became agents in the Government’s affective tactics. The policy response to the war on terror has given little consideration to the social implications of sustaining a fear of terrorism, placing much emphasis on security- focused counter-terrorism measures rather than education and dialogue. What governments and communities need to address is the affective aspects of the atmosfear of terror. Policy makers can begin by becoming self-reflexive and developing an understanding of the real impact of fear and the affective modulation of this fear. Communities can start by developing an understanding of how policy induced fear is affecting them. To begin this process of reflection, governments and communities need to recognise fear of terrorism as a political tool. Psychological explanations for fear or trauma are important, especially if we are to plan policy responses to them. However, if we are to fight against policy-induced fear, we need to better understand and recognise affective modulation as a process that is not reducible to individual psychology. Viewed from the perspective of affect, the atmosfear of terror reveals an attempt to modulate public anxiety and sustain a sense of Australia as perpetually at threat from a culturally incompatible and irreconcilable “other”. References Altheide, David. L. “Consuming Terrorism.” Symbolic Interaction 27.3 (2004): 289–308. Brasted, Howard, V. “Contested Representations in Historical Perspective: Images of Islam and the Australian Press 1950-2000”. In A. Saeed & S. Akbarzadeh, Muslim Communities in Australia. Sydney: U of NSW P, 2001. Dunn, K.M., and M. Mahtani. “Media Representations of Ethnic Minorities.” Progress in Planning 55.3 (2001): 63–72. Dunn, K.M. “The Cultural Geographies of Citizenship in Australia.” Geography Bulletin 33.1 (2001): 4–8. “Genesis of Cronulla’s Ugly Sunday Began Years Ago.” The West Australian 2005: 11. Green, Lelia. “Did the World Really Change on 9/11?” Australian Journal of Communication 29.2 (2002): 1–14. Hanna, D. 2003. “Siege Mentality: Current Australian Response.” Salam July-Aug. (2003): 12–4. Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. Ismaa – Listen: National Consultations on Eliminating Prejudice against Arab and Muslim Australians. Sydney: Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, 2004. Kerbaj, Richard. “Clerics Still Preaching Hatred of West.” The Australian 3 Nov. 2005. Kinnvall, Catarina. “Globalization and Religious Nationalism: Self, Identity, and the Search for Ontological Security.” Political Psychology 25.5 (2004): 741. “Letters to the Editor.” The West Australian 25 July 2005: 21. Massumi, Brian. “Fear (The Spectrum Said).” Positions 13.1 (2005): 31–48. Massumi, Brian. “The Autonomy of Affect.” In P. Patton, ed., Deleuze: A Critical Reader. Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell, 1996. “Meeting with Islamic Community Leaders, Statement of Principles.” 23 Aug. 2005. http://www.pm.gov.au/news/media_releases/media_Release1524.html> Michaelsen, Christopher. “Antiterrorism Legislation in Australia: A Proportionate Response to the Terrorist Threat?” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 28.4 (2005): 321–40. Osuri, Goldie, and Subhabrata Bobby Banerjee. “White Diasporas: Media Representations of September 11 and the Unbearable Whiteness of Being in Australia.” Social Semiotics 14.2 (2004): 151–71. Powell, Colin. “Ridding the World of Global Terrorism: No Countries or Citizens are Safe.” Vital Speeches of the Day 69.8 (2003): 230–3. Robin, Corey. Fear: The History of a Political Idea. New York: Oxford UP, 2004. Spence, Keith. “World Risk Society and War against Terror.” Political Studies 53.2 (2005): 284–304. Stern, Jessica. “Fearing Evil.” Social Research 71.4 (2004): 1111–7. “Terrorism Chronology.” Parliament of Australia Parliamentary Library. http://www.aph.gov.au/library/intguide/law/terrorism.htm> Tomkins, Silvan. Affect, Imagery and Consciousness. New York: Springer Publishing, 1962. Virilio, Paul, and Sylvere Lotringer. Pure War. New York: Semio-text(e), 1997. Watkins, Megan. “Pedagogic Affect/Effect: Teaching Writing in the Primary Years of School.” Presented at Redesigning Pedagogy: Research, Policy, Practice Conference. Singapore: National Institute of Education, 31 May 2005. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Aly, Anne, and Mark Balnaves. "The Atmosfear of Terror: Affective Modulation and the War on Terror." M/C Journal 8.6 (2005). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0512/04-alybalnaves.php>. APA Style Aly, A., and M. Balnaves. (Dec. 2005) "The Atmosfear of Terror: Affective Modulation and the War on Terror," M/C Journal, 8(6). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0512/04-alybalnaves.php>.

46

Highmore, Ben. "Listlessness in the Archive." M/C Journal 15, no.5 (October11, 2012). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.546.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

1. Make a list of things to do2. Copy list of things left undone from previous list3. Add items to list of new things needing to be done4. Add some of the things already done from previous list and immediately cross off so as to put off the feeling of an interminable list of never accomplishable tasks5. Finish writing list and sit back feeling an overwhelming sense of listlessnessIt started so well. Get up: make list: get on. But lists can breed listlessness. It can’t always be helped. The word “list” referring to a sequence of items comes from the Italian and French words for “strip”—as in a strip of material. The word “list” that you find in the compound “listlessness” comes from the old English word for pleasing (to list is to please and to desire). To be listless is to be without desire, without the desire to please. The etymologies of list and listless don’t correspond but they might seem to conspire in other ways. Oh, and by the way, ships can list when their balance is off.I list, like a ship, itemising my obligations to job, to work, to colleagues, to parenting, to family: write a reference for such and such; buy birthday present for eighty-year-old dad; finish article about lists – and so on. I forget to add to the list my necessary requirements for achieving any of this: keep breathing; eat and drink regularly; visit toilet when required. Lists make visible. Lists hide. I forget to add to my list all my worries that underscore my sense that these lists (or any list) might require an optimism that is always something of a leap of faith: I hope that electricity continues to exist; I hope my computer will still work; I hope that my sore toe isn’t the first sign of bodily paralysis; I hope that this heart will still keep beating.I was brought up on lists: the hit parade (the top one hundred “hit” singles); football leagues (not that I ever really got the hang of them); lists of kings and queens; lists of dates; lists of states; lists of elements (the periodic table). There are lists and there are lists. Some lists are really rankings. These are clearly the important lists. Where do you stand on the list? How near the bottom are you? Where is your university in the list of top universities? Have you gone down or up? To list, then, for some at least is to rank, to prioritise, to value. Is it this that produces listlessness? The sense that while you might want to rank your ten favourite films in a list, listing is something that is constantly happening to you, happening around you; you are always in amongst lists, never on top of them. To hang around the middle of lists might be all that you can hope for: no possibility of sudden lurching from the top spot; no urgent worries that you might be heading for demotion too quickly.But ranking is only one aspect of listing. Sometimes listing has a more flattening effect. I once worked as a cash-in-hand auditor (in this case a posh name for someone who counts things). A group of us (many of whom were seriously stoned) were bussed to factories and warehouses where we had to count the stock. We had to make lists of items and simply count what there was: for large items this was relatively easy, but for the myriad of miniscule parts this seemed a task for Sisyphus. In a power-tool factory in some unprepossessing town on the outskirts of London (was it Slough or Croydon or somewhere else?) we had to count bolts, nuts, washers, flex, rivets, and so on. Of course after a while we just made it up—guesstimates—as they say. A box of thousands of 6mm metal washers is a hom*ogenous set in a list of heterogeneous parts that itself starts looking hom*ogenous as it takes its part in the list. Listing dedifferentiates in the act of differentiating.The task of making lists, of filling-in lists, of having a list of tasks to complete encourages listlessness because to list lists towards exhaustiveness and exhaustion. Archives are lists and lists are often archives and archived. Those that work on lists and on archives constantly battle the fatigue of too many lists, of too much exhaustiveness. But could exhaustion be embraced as a necessary mood with which to deal with lists and archives? Might listlessness be something of a methodological orientation that has its own productivity in the face of so many lists?At my university there resides an archive that can appear to be a list of lists. It is the Mass-Observation archive, begun at the end of 1936 and, with a sizeable hiatus in the 1960s and 1970s, is still going today. (For a full account of Mass-Observation, see Highmore, Everyday Life chapter 6, and Hubble; for examples of Mass-Observation material, see Calder and Sheridan, and Highmore, Ordinary chapter 4; for analysis of Mass-Observation from the point of view of the observer, see Sheridan, Street, and Bloome. The flavour of the project as it emerges in the late 1930s is best conveyed by consulting Mass-Observation, Mass-Observation, First Year’s Work, and Britain.) It was begun by three men: the filmmaker Humphrey Jennings, the poet and sociologist Charles Madge, and the ornithologist and anthropologist-of-the-near Tom Harrisson. Both Jennings and Madge were heavily involved in promoting a form of social surrealism that might see buried forces in the coincidences of daily life as well as in the machinations and contingency of large political and social events (the abdication crisis, the burning of the Crystal Palace—both in late 1936). Harrisson brought a form of amateur anthropology with him that would scour football crowds, pub clientele, and cinema queues for ritualistic and symbolic forms. Mass-Observation quickly recruited a large group of voluntary observers (about a thousand) who would be “the meteorological stations from whose reports a weather-map of popular feeling can be compiled” (Mass-Observation, Mass-Observation 30). Mass-Observation combined the social survey with a relentless interest in the irrational and in what the world felt like to those who lived in it. As a consequence the file reports often seem banal and bizarre in equal measure (accounts of nightmares, housework routines, betting activities). When Mass-Observation restarted in the 1980s the surrealistic impetus became less pronounced, but it was still there, implicit in the methodology. Today, both as an on-going project and as an archive of previous observational reports, Mass-Observation lives in archival boxes. You can find a list of what topics are addressed in each box; you can also find lists of the contributors, the voluntary Mass-Observers whose observations are recorded in the boxes. What better way to give you a flavour of these boxes than to offer you a sample of their listing activities. Here are observers, observing in 1983 the objects that reside on their mantelpieces. Here’s one:champagne cork, rubber band, drawing pin, two hearing aid batteries, appointment card for chiropodist, piece of dog biscuit.Does this conjure up a world? Do we have a set of clues, of material evidence, a small cosmology of relics, a reduced Wunderkammer, out of which we can construct not the exotic but something else, something more ordinary? Do you smell camphor and imagine antimacassars? Do you hear conversations with lots of mishearing? Are the hearing aid batteries shared? Is this a single person living with a dog, or do we imagine an assembly of chiropodist-goers, dog-owners, hearing aid-users, rubber band-pingers, champagne-drinkers?But don’t get caught imagining a life out of these fragments. Don’t get stuck on this list: there are hundreds to get through. After all, what sort of an archive would it be if it included a single list? We need more lists.Here’s another mantelpiece: three penknives, a tube of cement [which I assume is the sort of rubber cement that you get in bicycle puncture repair kits], a pocket microscope, a clinical thermometer.Who is this? A hypochondriacal explorer? Or a grown-up boy-scout, botanising on the asphalt? Why so many penknives? But on, on... And another:1 letter awaiting postage stamp1 diet book1 pair of spare spectacles1 recipe for daughter’s home economics1 notepad1 pen1 bottle of indigestion tablets1 envelope containing 13 pence which is owed a friend1 pair of stick-on heels for home shoe repairing session3 letters in day’s post1 envelope containing money for week’s milk bill1 recipe cut from magazine2 out of date letters from schoolWhat is the connection between the daughter’s home economics recipe and the indigestion tablets? Is the homework gastronomy not quite going to plan? Or is the diet book causing side-effects? And what sort of financial stickler remembers that they owe 13p; even in 1983 this was hardly much money? Or is it the friend who is the stickler? Perhaps this is just prying...?But you need more. Here’s yet another:an ashtray, a pipe, pipe tamper and tobacco pouch, one decorated stone and one plain stone, a painted clay model of an alien, an enamelled metal egg from Hong Kong, a copper bracelet, a polished shell, a snowstorm of Father Christmas in his sleigh...Ah, a pipe smoker, this much is clear. But apart from this the display sounds ritualistic – one stone decorated the other not. What sort of religion is this? What sort of magic? An alien and Santa. An egg, a shell, a bracelet. A riddle.And another:Two 12 gauge shotgun cartridges live 0 spread Rubber plantBrass carriage clockInternational press clock1950s cigarette dispenser Model of Panzer MKIV tankWWI shell fuseWWI shell case ash tray containing an acorn, twelve .22 rounds of ammunition, a .455 Eley round and a drawing pinPhoto of Eric Liddell (Chariots of Fire)Souvenir of Algerian ash tray containing marbles and beach stonesThree 1930s plastic duck clothes brushesLetter holder containing postcards and invitations. Holder in shape of a cow1970s Whizzwheels toy carWooden box of jeweller’s rottenstone (Victorian)Incense holderWorld war one German fuse (used)Jim Beam bottle with candle thereinSol beer bottle with candle therein I’m getting worried now. Who are these people who write for Mass-Observation? Why so much military paraphernalia? Why such detail as to the calibrations? Should I concern myself that small militias are holding out behind the net curtains and aspidistra plants of suburban England?And another:1930s AA BadgeAvocado PlantWooden cat from Mexico*kahlua bottle with candle there in1950s matchbook with “merry widow” co*cktail printed thereonTwo Britain’s model cannonOne brass “Carronade” from the Carron Iron Works factory shopPhotography pass from Parkhead 12/11/88Grouse foot kilt pinBrass incense holderPheasant featherNovitake cupBlack ash tray with beach pebbles there inFull packet of Mary Long cigarettes from HollandPewter co*cktail shaker made in ShanghaiI’m feeling distance. Who says “there in” and “there on?” What is a Novitake cup? Perhaps I wrote it down incorrectly? An avocado plant stirs memories of trying to grow one from an avocado stone skewered in a cup with one “point” dunked in a bit of water. Did it ever grow, or just rot? I’m getting distracted now, drifting off, feeling sleepy...Some more then – let’s feed the listlessness of the list:Wood sculpture (Tenerife)A Rubber bandBirdJunior aspirinToy dinosaur Small photo of daughterSmall paint brushAh yes the banal bizarreness of ordinary life: dinosaurs and aspirins, paint brushes and rubber bands.But then a list comes along and pierces you:Six inch piece of grey eyeliner1 pair of nail clippers1 large box of matches1 Rubber band2 large hair gripsHalf a piece of cough candy1 screwed up tissue1 small bottle with tranquillizers in1 dead (but still in good condition) butterfly (which I intended to draw but placed it now to rest in the garden) it was already dead when I found it.The dead butterfly, the tranquillizers, the insistence that the mantelpiece user didn’t actually kill the butterfly, the half piece of cough candy, the screwed up tissue. In amongst the rubber bands and matches, signs of something desperate. Or maybe not: a holding on (the truly desperate haven’t found their way to the giant tranquillizer cupboard), a keeping a lid on it, a desire (to draw, to place a dead butterfly at rest in the garden)...And here is the methodology emerging: the lists works on the reader, listing them, and making them listless. After a while the lists (and there are hundreds of these lists of mantle-shelf items) begin to merge. One giant mantle shelf filled with small stacks of foreign coins, rubber bands and dead insects. They invite you to be both magical ethnographer and deadpan sociologist at one and the same time (for example, see Hurdley). The “Martian” ethnographer imagines the mantelpiece as a shrine where this culture worships the lone rubber band and itinerant button. Clearly a place of reliquary—on this planet the residents set up altars where they place their sacred objects: clocks and clippers; ammunition and amulets; coins and pills; candles and cosmetics. Or else something more sober, more sombre: late twentieth century petite-bourgeois taste required the mantelpiece to hold the signs of aspirant propriety in the form of emblems of tradition (forget the coins and the dead insects and weaponry: focus on the carriage clocks). And yet, either way, it is the final shelf that gets me every time. But it only got me, I think, because the archive had worked its magic: ransacked my will, my need to please, my desire. It had, for a while at least, made me listless, and listless enough to be touched by something that was really a minor catalogue of remainders. This sense of listlessness is the way that the archive productively defeats the “desire for the archive.” It is hard to visit an archive without an expectation, without an “image repertoire,” already in mind. This could be thought of as the apperception-schema of archival searching: the desire to see patterns already imagined; the desire to find the evidence for the thought whose shape has already formed. Such apperception is hard to avoid (probably impossible), but the boredom of the archive, its ceaselessness, has a way of undoing it, of emptying it. It corresponds to two aesthetic positions and propositions. One is well-known: it is Barthes’s distinction between “studium” and “punctum.” For Barthes, studium refers to a sort of social interest that is always, to some degree, satisfied by a document (his concern, of course, is with photographs). The punctum, on the other hand, spills out from the photograph as a sort of metonymical excess, quite distinct from social interest (but for all that, not asocial). While Barthes is clearly offering a phenomenology of viewing photographs, he isn’t overly interested (here at any rate) with the sort of perceptional-state the viewer might need to be in to be pierced by the puntum of an image. My sense, though, is that boredom, listlessness, tiredness, a sort of aching indifference, a mood of inattentiveness, a sense of satiated interest (but not the sort of disinterest of Kantian aesthetics), could all be beneficial to a punctum-like experience. The second aesthetic position is not so well-known. The Austrian dye-technician, lawyer and art-educationalist Anton Ehrenzweig wrote, during the 1950s and 1960s, about a form of inattentive-attention, and a form of afocal-rendering (eye-repelling rather than eye-catching), that encouraged eye-wandering, scanning, and the “‘full’ emptiness of attention” (Ehrenzweig, The Hidden Order 39). His was an aesthetics attuned to the kind of art produced by Paul Klee, but it was also an aesthetic propensity useful for making wallpaper and for productively connecting to unconscious processes. Like Barthes, Ehrenzweig doesn’t pursue the sort of affective state of being that might enhance such inattentive-attention, but it is not hard to imagine that the sort of library-tiredness of the archive would be a fitting preparation for “full emptiness.” Ehrenzweig and Barthes can be useful for exploring this archival mood, this orientation and attunement, which is also a disorientation and mis-attunement. Trawling through lists encourages scanning: your sensibilities are prepared; your attention is being trained. After a while, though, the lists blur, concentration starts to loosen its grip. The lists are not innocent recipients here. Shrapnel shards pull at you. You start to notice the patterns but also the spaces in-between that don’t seem to fit sociological categorisations. The strangeness of the patterns hypnotises you and while the effect can generate a sense of sociological-anthropological hom*ogeneity-with-difference, sometimes the singularity of an item leaps out catching you unawares. An archive is an orchestration of order and disorder: however contained and constrained it appears it is always spilling out beyond its organisational structures (amongst the many accounts of archives in terms of their orderings, see Sekula, and Stoler, Race and Along). Like “Probate Inventories,” the mantelpiece archive presents material objects that connect us (however indirectly) to embodied practices and living spaces (Evans). The Mass-Observation archive, especially in its mantelpiece collection, is an accretion of temporalities and spaces. More crucially, it is an accumulation of temporalities materialised in a mass of spaces. A thousand mantelpieces in a thousand rooms scattered across the United Kingdom. Each shelf is syncopated to the rhythms of diverse durations, while being synchronised to the perpetual now of the shelf: a carriage clock, for instance, inherited from a deceased parent, its brass detailing relating to a different age, its mechanism perpetually telling you that the time of this space is now. The archive carries you away to a thousand living rooms filled with the momentary (dead insects) and the eternal (pebbles) and everything in-between. Its centrifugal force propels you out to a vast accrual of things: ashtrays, rubber bands, military paraphernalia, toy dinosaurs; a thousand living museums of the incidental and the memorial. This vertiginous archive threatens to undo you; each shelf a montage of times held materially together in space. It is too much. It pushes me towards the mantelshelves I know, the ones I’ve had a hand in. Each one an archive in itself: my grandfather’s green glass paperweight holding a fragile silver foil flower in its eternal grasp; the potions and lotions that feed my hypochondria; used train tickets. Each item pushes outwards to other times, other spaces, other people, other things. It is hard to focus, hard to cling onto anything. Was it the dead butterfly, or the tranquillizers, or both, that finally nailed me? Or was it the half a cough-candy? I know what she means by leaving the remnants of this sweet. You remember the taste, you think you loved them as a child, they have such a distinctive candy twist and colour, but actually their taste is harsh, challenging, bitter. There is nothing as ephemeral and as “useless” as a sweet; and yet few things are similarly evocative of times past, of times lost. Yes, I think I’d leave half a cough-candy on a shelf, gathering dust.[All these lists of mantelpiece items are taken from the Mass-Observation archive at the University of Sussex. Mass-Observation is a registered charity. For more information about Mass-Observation go to http://www.massobs.org.uk/]ReferencesBarthes, Roland. Camera Lucida. Translated by Richard Howard. London: Fontana, 1984.Calder, Angus, and Dorothy Sheridan, eds. Speak for Yourself: A Mass-Observation Anthology 1937–1949. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1985.Ehrenzweig, Anton. The Psychoanalysis of Artistic Vision and Hearing: An Introduction to a Theory of Unconscious Perception. Third edition. London: Sheldon Press, 1965. [Originally published in 1953.]---. The Hidden Order of Art. London: Paladin, 1970.Evans, Adrian. “Enlivening the Archive: Glimpsing Embodied Consumption Practices in Probate Inventories of Household Possessions.” Historical Geography 36 (2008): 40-72.Highmore, Ben. Everyday Life and Cultural Theory. London: Routledge, 2002.---. Ordinary Lives: Studies in the Everyday. Abingdon: Routledge, 2011.Hubble, Nick. Mass-Observation and Everyday Life: Culture, History, Theory, Houndmills and New York: Palgrave, 2006.Hurdley, Rachel. “Dismantling Mantelpieces: Narrating Identities and Materializing Culture in the Home.” Sociology 40, 4 (2006): 717-733Mass-Observation. Mass-Observation. London: Fredrick Muller, 1937.---. First Year’s Work 1937-38. London: Lindsay Drummond, 1938.---. Britain. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1939.Sekula, Allan. “The Body and the Archive.” October 39 (1986): 3-64.Sheridan, Dorothy, Brian Street, and David Bloome. Writing Ourselves: Mass-Observation and Literary Practices. Cresskill, New Jersey: Hampton Press, 2000.Stoler, Ann Laura. Race and the Education of Desire: Foucault’s History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things. Durham and London: Duke UP, 1995. Stoler, Ann Laura. Along the Archival Grain: Epistemic Anxieties and Colonial Common Sense. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2009.

47

Williams, Graeme Henry. "Australian Artists Abroad." M/C Journal 19, no.5 (October13, 2016). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1154.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

At the start of the twentieth century, many young Australian artists travelled abroad to expand their art education and to gain exposure to the modern art movements of Europe. Most of these artists were active members of artist associations such as the Victorian Artists Society or the New South Wales Society of Artists. Male artists from Victoria were generally also members of the Melbourne Savage Club, a club with a strong association with the arts.This paper investigates the dual function of the club, as a space where the artists felt “at home” in the familiar environment that the club offered whilst they were abroad and, at the same time, a meeting space where they could engage in a stimulating artistic environment and gain introductions to leading figures in the art world. For those artists who chose England, London’s arts clubs played a large role, for it was in these establishments that they discussed, exhibited, shared, and met with their English counterparts. The club environment in London would have a significant impact on male Australian artists, as it offered a space where they were integrated into the English art world, which enhanced their experience whilst abroad.Artists were seldom members of Australia’s early gentlemen’s clubs, however, in the late nineteenth century Melbourne, artists formed less formal social groupings with exotic names such as the Prehistoric Order of Cannibals, the Buonarotti Club, and the Ishmael Club (Mead). Melbourne artists congregated in these clubs until the Melbourne Savage Club, modelled on the London Savage Club (1857)—a club whose membership was restricted to practitioners in the performing and visual arts—opened its doors in 1894.The Melbourne Savage Club had its origins in the Metropolitan Music Club, established in the late 1880s by a group of professional and amateur musicians and music lovers. The club initially admitted musicians and people from the dramatic professions free-of-charge, however, author Randolph Bedford (1868–1941) and artist Alf Vincent (1874–1915) were not content to be treated on a different basis to the musicians and actors, and two months after Vincent joined the club, at a Special General Meeting, the club resolved to vary Rule 6, “to admit landscape or portrait painters and sculptors without entrance fee” (Melbourne Savage Club). At another Special General Meeting, a year later, the rule was altered to admit “recognised members of the musical, dramatic and artistic professions and sculptors without payment of entrance fee” (Melbourne Savage Club).This resulted in an immediate influx of prominent Victorian male artists (Williams) and the Melbourne Savage Club became their place of choice to gather and enjoy the fellowship the club offered and to share ideas in a convivial atmosphere. When the opportunity arose for them to travel to London in the early twentieth century, they met in London’s famous art clubs. Membership of the Melbourne Savage Club not only conferred rights to visit reciprocal clubs whilst in London, but also facilitated introductions to potential patrons. The London clubs were the venue of choice for visiting artists to meet their fellow artist expatriates and to share experiences and, importantly, to meet with their British counterparts, exhibit their works, and establish valuable contacts.The London Savage Club attracted many Australian expatriates. Not only is it the grandfather of London’s bohemian clubs but also it was the model for arts clubs the world over. Founded in 1857, the qualification for admission was (and still is) to be, “a working man in literature or art, and a good fellow” (Halliday vii). If a candidate met these requirements, he would be cordially received “come whence he may.” This was embodied in the club’s first rules which required applicants for membership to be from a restricted range of pursuits relating to the arts thought to be commensurate with its bohemian ideals, namely art, literature, drama, or music.The second London arts club that attracted expatriate Australian artists was the New English Arts Club, founded in 1886 by young English artists returning from studying art in Paris. Members of The New English Arts Club were influenced by the Impressionist style as opposed to the academic art shown at the Royal Academy. As a meeting place for Australia’s expatriate artists, the New English Arts Club had a particular influence, as it exposed them to significant early Modern artist members such as John Singer Sargent (1856–1925), Walter Sickert (1860–1942), William Orpen (1878–1931) and Augustus John (1878–1961) (Corbett and Perry; Thornton; Melbourne Savage Club).The third, and arguably the most popular with the expatriate Australian artists’ club, was the Chelsea Arts Club, a bohemian club formed in 1891 by local working artists looking for a place to go to “meet, talk, eat and drink” (Cross).Apart from the American-born founding member, James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903), amongst the biggest Chelsea names at the time of the influx of travelling young Australian artists were modernists Sir William Orpen, Augustus John, and John Sargent. The opportunity to mix with these leading British contemporary artists was irresistible to these antipodean artists (55).When Melbourne artist, Miles Evergood (1871–1939) arrived in London from America in 1910, he had been an active exhibiting member of the Salmagundi Club, a New York artists’ club. Almost immediately he joined the New English Arts Club and the Chelsea Arts Club. Hammer tells of him associating with “writer Israel Zangwill, sculptor Jacob Epstein, and anti-academic artists including Walter Sickert, Augustus John, John Lavery, John Singer Sargent and C.R.W. Nevison, who challenged art values in Britain at the beginning of the century” (Hammer 41).Arthur Streeton (1867–1943) used the Chelsea Arts Club as his postal address, as did many expatriate artists. The Melbourne Savage Club archives contain letters and greetings, with news from abroad, written from artist members back to their “Brother Savages” (Various).In late 1902, Streeton wrote to fellow artist and Savage Club member Tom Roberts (1856–1931) from London:I belong to the Chelsea Arts Club now, & meet the artists – MacKennel says it’s about the most artistic club (speaking in the real sense) in England. … They all seem to be here – McKennal, Longstaff, Mahony, Fullwood, Norman, Minns, Fox, Plataganet Tudor St. George Tucker, Quinn, Coates, Bunny, Alston, K, Sonny Pole, other minor lights and your old friend and admirer Smike – within 100 yards of here – there must be 30 different studios. (Streeton 94)Whilst some of the artists whom Streeton mentioned were studying at either the Royal Academy or the Slade School, it was the clubs like the Chelsea Arts Club where they were most likely to encounter fellow Australian artists. Tom Roberts was obviously attentive to Streeton’s enthusiastic account and, when he returned to London the following year to work on his commission for The Big Picture of the 1901 opening of the first Commonwealth Parliament, he soon joined. Roberts, through his expansive personality, became particularly active in London’s Australian expatriate artistic community and later became Vice-President of the Chelsea Arts Club. Along with Streeton and Roberts, other visiting Melbourne Savage Club artists joined the Chelsea Arts Club. They included, John Longstaff (1861–1941), James Quinn (1869–1951), George Coates (1869–1930), and Will Dyson (1880–1938), along with Sydney artists Henry Fullwood (1863–1930), George Lambert (1873–1930), and Will Ashton (1881–1963) (Croll 95). Smith describes the exodus to London and Paris: “It was the Chelsea Arts Club that the Heidelberg School established its last and least distinguished camp” (Smith, Smith and Heathcote 152).Streeton, who retained his Chelsea Arts Club membership when he returned for a while to Australia, wrote to Roberts in 1907, “I miss Chelsea & the Club-boys” (Streeton 107). In relation to Frederick McCubbin’s pending visit he wrote: “Prof McCubbin left here a week ago by German ‘Prinz Heinrich.’ … You’ll introduce him at the Chelsea Club and I hope they make him an Hon. Member, etc” (Streeton et al. 85). McCubbin wrote, after an evening at the Chelsea Arts Club, following a visit to the Royal Academy: “Tonight, I am dining with Australian artists in Soho, and shall be there to greet my old friends. How glad I am! Longstaff will be there, and Frank Stuart, Roberts, Fullwood, Pontin, Coates, Quinn, and Tucker’s brother, and many others from all around” (MacDonald, McCubbin and McCubbin 75). Impressed by the work of Turner he wrote to his wife Annie, following avisit to the Tate Gallery:I went yesterday with Fullwood and G. Coates and Tom Roberts for a ramble … to the Tate Gallery – a beautiful freestone building facing the river through a portico into the gallery where the lately found turners are exhibited – these are not like the greater number of pictures in the National Gallery – they represent his different periods, but are mostly in his latest style, when he had realised the quality of light (McCubbin).Clearly Turner’s paintings had a profound impression on him. In the same letter he wrote:they are mostly unfinished but they are divine – such dreams of colour – a dozen of them are like pearls … mist and cloud and sea and land, drenched in light … They glow with tender brilliancy that radiates from these canvases – how he loved the dazzling brilliancy of morning or evening – these gems with their opal colour – you feel how he gloried in these tender visions of light and air. He worked from darkness into light.The Chelsea Arts Club also served as a venue for artists to entertain and host distinguished visitors from home. These guests included; Melbourne Savage Club artist member Alf Vincent (Joske 112), National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) Trustee and popular patron of the arts, Professor Baldwin Spencer (1860–1929), Professor Frederick S. Delmer (1864–1931) and conductor George Marshall-Hall (1862–1915) (Mulvaney and Calaby 329; Streeton 111).Artist Miles Evergood arrived in London in 1910, and visited the Chelsea Arts Club. He mentions expatriate Australian artists gathering at the Club, including Will Dyson, Fred Leist (1873–1945), David Davies (1864–1939), Will Ashton (1881–1963), and Henry Fullwood (Hammer 41).Most of the Melbourne Savage Club artist members were active in the London Savage Club. On one occasion, in November 1908, Roberts, with fellow artist MacKennal in the Chair, attended the Australian Artists’ Dinner held there. This event attracted twenty-five expatriate Australian artists, all residing in London at the time (McQueen 532).These London arts clubs had a significant influence on the expatriate Australian artists for they became the “glue” that held them together whilst abroad. Although some artists travelled abroad specifically to take up places at the Royal Academy School or the Slade School, only a minority of artists arriving in London from Australia and other British colonies were offered positions at these prestigious schools. Many artists travelled to “try their luck.” The arts clubs of London, whilst similarly discerning in their membership criteria, generally offered a visiting “brother-of-the-brush” a warm welcome as a professional courtesy. They featured the familiar rollicking all-male “Smoke Nights” a feature of the Melbourne Savage Club. With a greater “artist” membership than the clubs in Australia, expatriate artists were not only able to catch up with their friends from Australia, but also they could associate with England’s finest and most progressive artists in a familiar congenial environment. The clubs were a “home away from home” and described by Underhill as, “an artistic Earl’s Court” (Underhill 99). Most importantly, the clubs were a centre for discourse, arguably even more so than were the teaching academies. Britain’s leading modernist artists were members of the Chelsea Arts Club and the New English Arts Club and mixed freely with the visiting Australian artists.Many Australian artists, such as Miles Evergood and George Bell (1878–1966), held anti-academic views similar to English club members and embraced the new artistic trends, which they would bring back to Australia. Streeton had no illusions about the relative worth of the famed institutions and the exhibitions held by clubs such as the New English. Writing to Roberts before he joins him in London, he describes the Royal Academy as having, “an inartistic atmosphere” and claims he “hasn’t the least desire to go again” (Streeton 77). His preference lay with a concurrent “International Exhibition”, which featured works by Rodin, Whistler, Condor, Degas, and others who were setting the pace rather than merely continuing the academic traditions.Architect Hardy Wilson (1881–1955) served as secretary of The Chelsea Arts Club. When he returned to Australia he brought back with him a number of British works by Streeton and Lambert for an exhibition at the Guild Hall Melbourne (Underhill 92). Artists and Bohemians, a history of the Chelsea Arts Club, makes special reference of its world-wide contacts and singles out many of its prominent Australian members for specific mention including; Sir John William (Will) Ashton OBE, later Director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and Will Dyson, whose illustrious career as an Australian war artist was described in some detail. Dyson’s popularity led to his later appointment as Chairman of the Chelsea Arts Club where he initiated an ambitious rebuilding program, improving staff accommodation, refurbishing the members’ areas, and adding five bedrooms for visiting members (Bross 87-90).Whilst the influence of travel abroad on Australian artists has been noted, the importance of the London Clubs has not been fully explored. These clubs offered artists a space where they felt “at home” and a familiar environment whilst they were abroad. The clubs functioned as a meeting space where they could engage in a stimulating artistic environment and gain introductions to leading figures in the art world. For those artists who chose England, London’s arts clubs played a large role, for it was in these establishments that they discussed, exhibited, shared, and met with their English counterparts. The club environment in London had a significant impact on male Australian artists as it offered a space where they were integrated into the English art world which enhanced their experience whilst abroad and influenced the direction of their art.ReferencesCorbett, David Peters, and Lara Perry, eds. English Art, 1860–1914: Modern Artists and Identity. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000.Croll, Robert Henderson. Tom Roberts: Father of Australian Landscape Painting. Melbourne: Robertson & Mullens, 1935.Cross, Tom. Artists and Bohemians: 100 Years with the Chelsea Arts Club. 1992. 1st ed. London: Quiller Press, 1992.Gray, Anne, and National Gallery of Australia. McCubbin: Last Impressions 1907–17. 1st ed. Parkes, A.C.T.: National Gallery of Australia, 2009.Halliday, Andrew, ed. The Savage Papers. 1867. 1st ed. London: Tinsley Brothers, 1867.Hammer, Gael. Miles Evergood: No End of Passion. Willoughby, NSW: Phillip Mathews, 2013.Joske, Prue. Debonair Jack: A Biography of Sir John Longstaff. 1st ed. Melbourne: Claremont Publishing, 1994.MacDonald, James S., Frederick McCubbin, and Alexander McCubbin. The Art of F. McCubbin. Melbourne: Lothian Book Publishing, 1916.McCaughy, Patrick. Strange Country: Why Australian Painting Matters. Ed. Paige Amor. The Miegunyah Press, 2014.McCubbin, Frederick. Papers, Ca. 1900–Ca. 1915. Melbourne.McQueen, Humphrey. Tom Roberts. Sydney: Macmillan, 1996.Mead, Stephen. "Bohemia in Melbourne: An Investigation of the Writer Marcus Clarke and Four Artistic Clubs during the Late 1860s – 1901.” PhD thesis. Melbourne: University of Melbourne, 2009.Melbourne Savage Club. Secretary. Minute Book: Melbourne Savage Club. Club Minutes (General Committee). Melbourne: Savage Archives.Mulvaney, Derek John, and J.H. Calaby. So Much That Is New: Baldwin Spencer, 1860–1929, a Biography. Carlton, Vic.: Melbourne University Press, 1985.Smith, Bernard, Terry Smith, and Christopher Heathcote. Australian Painting, 1788–2000. 4th ed. South Melbourne, Vic.: Oxford University Press, 2001.Streeton, Arthur, et al. Smike to Bulldog: Letters from Sir Arthur Streeton to Tom Roberts. Sydney: Ure Smith, 1946.Streeton, Arthur, ed. Letters from Smike: The Letters of Arthur Streeton, 1890–1943. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1989.Thornton, Alfred, and New English Art Club. Fifty Years of the New English Art Club, 1886–1935. London: New English Art Club, Curwen Press 1935.Underhill, Nancy D.H. Making Australian Art 1916–49: Sydney Ure Smith Patron and Publisher. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1991.Various. Melbourne Savage Club Correspondence Book: 1902–1916. Melbourne: Melbourne Savage Club.Williams, Graeme Henry. "A Socio-Cultural Reading: The Melbourne Savage Club through Its Collections." Masters of Arts thesis. Melbourne: Deakin University, 2013.

48

Harris, Alana. "Mobility, Modernity, and Abroad." M/C Journal 19, no.5 (October13, 2016). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1157.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

IntroductionWhat does it mean to be abroad in the modern Australian context? Australia has developed as a country where people increasingly travel both domestically and abroad. Tourism Research Australia reports that 9.6 million resident departures are forecast for 2015-16 and that this will increase to 13.2 million in 2024–25 (Tourism Forecast). This article will identify the development of the Australian culture of travel abroad, the changes that have taken place in Australian society and the conceptual shift of what it means to travel abroad in modern Australia.The traditions of abroad stem from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Grand Tour notion where Europeans and Britons travelled on or to the continent to expand their knowledge and experience. While travel at this time focused on history, culture and science, it was very much the domain of the upper classes (Cooper). The concept of the tourist is often credited with Thomas Cook’s first package tour in 1841, which used railways to facilitate trips for pleasure (Cooper). Other advances at the time popularised the trip abroad. Steamships, expanded rail and road networks all contributed to an age of emerging mobility which saw the development of travel to a multi-dimensional experience open to a great many more people than ever before. This article explores three main waves of influence on the Australian concept of abroad and how each has shifted the experience and meaning of what it is to travel abroad.Australians Abroad The post-war period saw significant changes to Australian society, particularly advances in transport, which shaped the way Australians travelled in the 1950s and 1960s. On the domestic front, Australia began manufacturing Holden cars with Prime Minister Ben Chifley unveiling the first Holden “FX” on 29 November 1948. Such was its success that over 500,000 Holden cars were produced by the end of the next decade (Holden). Throughout the 1950s and 1960s the government established a program to standardise railway gauges around the country, making direct travel between Melbourne and Sydney possible for the first time. Australians became more mobile and their enthusiasm for interstate travel flowed on to international transport (Lee).Also, during the 1950s, Australia experienced an influx of migrants from Southern Europe, followed by the Assisted Passage Scheme to attract Britons in the late 1950s and through the 1960s (“The Changing Face of Modern Australia”). With large numbers of new Australians arriving in Australia by ship, these ships could be filled for their return journey to Britain and Europe with Australian tourists. Travel by ship, usually to the “mother country,” took up to two months time, and communication with those “back home” was limited. By the 1960s travelling by ship started to give way to travel by air. The 1950s saw Qantas operate Royal flights for Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh for their Australian tour, and in 1956 the airline fleet of 34 propeller drive aircraft carried a record number of passengers to the Melbourne Olympics. On 14 January 1958 Qantas launched the first world service from Melbourne flying the Kangaroo Route (via India) and the Southern Cross Route (via the United States) and before long, there were eight such services operating weekly (Qantas). This developing network of international air services connected Australia to the world in a way it had not been previously (Lee).Such developments in Australian aviation were significant on two fronts. Firstly, air travel was a much faster, easier, and more glamorous means of travel (Bednarek) despite the cost, comfort, safety, and capacity issues. The increase in air travel resulted in a steady decline of international travel by boat. Secondly, air travel abroad offered Australians from all walks of life the opportunity to experience other cultures, ideas, fashions, and fads from abroad. These ideas were fed into a transforming Australian society more quickly than they had been in the past.Social change during the late 1950s and into the 1960s connected Australia more closely to the world. The Royal Tour attracted the attention of the British Empire, and the Melbourne Olympics drew international attention. It was the start of television in Australia (1956) which gave Australians connectivity in a way not experienced previously. Concurrent with these advances, Australian society enjoyed rising standards of living, increased incomes, a rise in private motorcar ownership, along with greater leisure time. Three weeks paid holiday was introduced in NSW in 1958 and long service leave soon followed (Piesse). The confluence of these factors resulted in increased domestic travel and arguably altered the allure of abroad. Australians had the resources to travel in a way that they had not before.The social desire for travel abroad extended to the policy level with the Australian government’s 1975 introduction of the Working Holiday Programme (WHP). With a particular focus on young people, its aim was to foster closer ties and cultural exchange between Australia and partner countries (Department of Immigration and Boarder Protection). With cost and time commitments lessened in the 1960s and bilateral arrangements for the WHP in the 1970s, travel abroad became much more widespread and, at least in part, reduced the tyranny of distance. It is against the backdrop of increasingly connected transport networks, modernised communication, and rapid social change that the foundation for a culture of mobility among Australians was further cemented.Social Interactions AbroadDistance significantly shapes the experience of abroad. Proximity has a long association with the volume and frequency of communication exchange. Libai et al. observed that the geographic, temporal, and social distance may be much more important than individual characteristics in communication exchange. Close proximity fosters interpersonal interaction where discussion of experiences can lead to decision-making and social arrangements whilst travelling. Social interaction abroad has been grounded in similarity, social niceties, a desire to belong to a social group of particular travellers, and the need for information (Harris and Prideaux). At the same time, these interactions also contribute to the individual’s abroad experience. White and White noted, “the role of social interaction in the active construction of self as tourist and the tourist experience draws attention to how tourists self-identify social worlds in which they participate while touring” (43). Similarly, Holloway observed of social interaction that it is “a process of meaning making where individuals and groups shape understandings and attitudes through shared talk within their own communities of critique” (237).The unique combination of social interaction and place forms the experiences one has abroad. Cresswell observed that the geographical location and travellers’ sense of place combine to produce a destination in the tourism context. It is against this backdrop of material and immaterial, mobile and immobile, fixed and fluid intersections where social relations between travellers take place. These points of social meeting, connectivity and interaction are linked by way of networks within the destination or during travel (Mavric and Urry) and contribute to its production of unique experiences abroad.Communicating Abroad Communication whilst abroad, has changed significantly since the turn of the century. The merging of the corporeal and technological domains during travel has impacted the entire experience of travel. Those who travelled to faraway lands by ship in the 1950s were limited to letter writing and the use of telegrams for urgent or special communication. In the space of less than 60 years, the communication landscape could not look more different.Mobile phones, tablets, and laptops are all carried alongside the passport as the necessities of travel. Further, Wi-Fi connectivity at airports, on transport, at accommodation and in public spaces allows the traveller to continue “living” at home—at least in the technological sense—whilst physically being abroad. This is not just true of Australians. Global Internet use has grown by 826.9% from 361 million users in 2000 to 3.3 billion users in 2015. In addition, there were 7.1 billion global SIM connections and 243 million machine-to-machine connections by the end of 2014 (GSMA Intelligence). The World Bank also reported a global growth in mobile telephone subscriptions, per 100 people, from 33.9 in 2005 to 96.3 in 2014. This also means that travellers can be socially present while physically away, which changes the way we see the world.This adoption of modern communication has changed the discourse of “abroad” in a number of ways. The 24-hour nature of the Internet allows constant connectivity. Channels that are always open means that information about a travel experience can be communicated as it is occurring. Real time communication means that ideas can be expressed synchronously on a one-to-one or one-to-many basis (Litvin et al.) through hits, clicks, messages, on-line ratings, comments and the like. Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp, Viber, Twitter, TripAdvisor, blogs, e-mails and a growing number of channels allow for multifaceted, real time communication during travel.Tied to this, the content of communicating the travel experience has also diversified from the traditional written word. The adage that “a picture tells a thousand words” is poignantly relevant here. The imagery contributes to the message and brings with it a degree of tone and perspective and, at the same time, adds to the volume being communicated. Beyond the written word and connected with images, modern communication allows for maps and tracking during the trip. How a traveller might be feeling can be captured with emojis, what they think of an experience can be assessed and rated and, importantly, this can be “liked” or commented on from those “at home.”Technologically-enhanced communication has changed the traveller’s experience in terms of time, interaction with place, and with people. Prior to modern communication, the traveller would reflect and reconstruct travel tales to be recounted upon their return. Stories of adventure and travels could be malleable, tailored to audience, and embellished—an individual’s recount of their individual abroad experience. However, this has shifted so that the modern traveller can capture the aspects of the experience abroad on screen, upload, share and receive immediate feedback in real time, during travel. It raises the question of whether a traveller is actually experiencing or simply recording events. This could be seen as a need for validation from those at home during travel as each interaction and experience is recorded, shared and held up for scrutiny by others. It also raises the question of motivation. Is the traveller travelling for self or for others?With maps, photos and images at each point, comments back and forth, preferences, ratings, records of social interactions with newfound friends “friended” or “tagged” on Facebook, it could be argued that the travel is simply a chronological series of events influenced from afar; shaped by those who are geographically distanced.Liquid Modernity and Abroad Cresswell considered tourist places as systems of mobile and material objects, technologies, and social relations that are produced, imagined, recalled, and anticipated. Increasingly, developments in communication and closeness of electronic proximity have closed the gap of being away. There is now an unbroken link to home during travel abroad, as there is a constant and real time exchange of events and experiences, where those who are travelling and those who are at home are overlapping rather than discrete networks. Sociologists refer to this as “mobility” and it provides a paradigm that underpins the modern concept of abroad. Mobility thinking accepts the movement of individuals and the resulting dynamism of social groups and argues that actual, virtual, and imagined mobility is critical to all aspects of modern life. Premised on “liquid modernity,” it asserts that people, objects, images, and information are all moving and that there is an interdependence between these movements. The paradigm asserts a network approach of the mobile (travellers, stories, experiences) and the fixed (infrastructure, accommodation, devices). Furthermore, it asserts that there is not a single network but complex intersections of flow, moving at different speed, scale and viscosity (Sheller and Urry). This is a useful way of viewing the modern concept of abroad as it accepts a level of maintained connectivity during travel. The technological interconnectivity within these networks, along with the mobile and material objects, contributes to overlapping experiences of home and abroad.ConclusionFrom the Australian perspective, the development of a transport network, social change and the advent of technology have all impacted the experience abroad. What once was the realm of a select few and a trip to the mother country, has expanded to a “golden age” of glamour and excitement (Bednarek). Travel abroad has become part of the norm for individuals and for businesses in an increasingly global society.Over time, the experience of “abroad” has also changed. Travel and non-travel now overlap. The modern traveller can be both at home and abroad. Modernity and mobility have influenced the practice of the overseas where the traveller’s experience can be influenced by home and vice-versa simultaneously. Revisiting the modern version of the “grand tour” could mean standing in a crowded gallery space of The Louvre with a mobile phone recording and sharing the Mona Lisa experience with friends and family at home. It could mean exploring the finest detail and intricacies of the work from home using Google Art Project (Ambroise).While the lure of the unique and different provides an impetus for travel, it is undeniable that the meaning of abroad has changed. In some respects it could be argued that abroad is only physical distance. Conversely overseas travel has now melded into Australian social life in such a way that it cannot be easily unpicked from other aspects. The traditions that have seen Australians travel and experience abroad have, in any case, provided a tradition of travel which has impacted modern, social and cultural life and will continue to do so.ReferencesAustralian Government. Austrade. Tourism Forecasts 2016. Tourism Research Australia, Canberra. Forest ACT: Australian Government July 2016. Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Working Holiday Maker Visa Programme Report. Forest, ACT: Australian Government. 30 June 2015. Australian Government. “The changing Face of Modern Australia – 1950s to 1970s.” Australian Stories, 25 Sep 2016 <http://www.australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/changing-face-of-modern-australia-1950s-to-1970s>. Bednarek, Janet. "Longing for the ‘Holden Age’ of Air Travel? Be Careful What You Wish For." The Conversation 25 Nov. 2014.Cooper, Chris. Essentials of Tourism. Sydney: Pearson Higher Education, 2013.Cresswell, Tim. On the Move: Mobility in the Modern Western World. New York: Taylor & Francis, 2006.Dubois, Ambroise. Mona Lisa, XVI century, Château du Clos Lucé. 1 Oct. 2016 <http://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/asset/mona-lisa-by-ambroise-dubois/fAEaTV3ZVjY_vw?hl=en>.GSMA Intelligence. The Mobile Economy 2015. London: GSMA (Groupe Spécial Mobile Association), 2015.Harris, Alana, and Bruce Prideaux. “The Potential for eWOM to Affect Consumer Behaviour in Tourism.” Handbook of Consumer Behaviour in Tourism. Melbourne: Routledge, in press.Holden. "Holden's Heritage & History with Australia.” Australia, n.d.Holloway, Donell, Lelia Green, and David Holloway. "The Intratourist Gaze: Grey Nomads and ‘Other Tourists’." Tourist Studies 11.3 (2011): 235-252.Lee, Robert. “Linking a Nation: Australia’s Transport and Communications 1788-1970.” Australian Heritage Council, 2003. 29 Sep. 2016 <https://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/ahc/publications/linking-a-nation/contents>.Libai, Barak, et al. "Customer-to-Customer Interactions: Broadening the Scope of Word of Mouth Research." Journal of Service Research 13.3 (2010): 267-282.Litvin, Stephen W., Ronald E. Goldsmith, and Bing Pan. "Electronic Word-of-Mouth in Hospitality and Tourism Management." Tourism Management 29.3 (2008): 458-468.Mavric, Misela, and John Urry. Tourism Studies and the New Mobilities Paradigm. London: Sage Publications, 2009.Piesse, R.D. “Travel & Tourism.” Year Book Australia. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 1966.Qantas. "Constellations." The Qantas Story. 1 Aug. 2016 <http://www.qantas.com/travel/airlines/history-constellations/global/enWeb>.Sheller, Mimi, and John Urry. "The New Mobilities Paradigm." Environment and Planning 38.2 (2006): 207-226.White, Naomi Rosh, and Peter B. White. "Travel as Interaction: Encountering Place and Others." Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management 15.1 (2008): 42-48.

49

Kabir, Nahid. "Depiction of Muslims in Selected Australian Media." M/C Journal 9, no.4 (September1, 2006). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2642.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties. —John Milton (1608-1674) Introduction The publication of 12 cartoons depicting images of Prophet Mohammed [Peace Be Upon Him] first in Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten on 30 September 2005, and later reprinted in European media and two New Zealand newspapers, sparked protests around the Muslim world. The Australian newspapers – with the exception of The Courier-Mail, which published one cartoon – refrained from reprinting the cartoons, acknowledging that depictions of the Prophet are regarded as “blasphemous by Muslims”. How is this apparent act of restraint to be assessed? Edward Said, in his book Covering Islam has acknowledged that there have been many Muslim provocations and troubling incidents by Islamic countries such as Iran, Libya, Sudan, and others in the 1980s. However, he contends that the use of the label “Islam” by non-Muslim commentators, either to explain or indiscriminately condemn “Islam”, ends up becoming a form of attack, which in turn provokes more hostility (xv-xvi). This article examines how two Australian newspapers – The Australian and The West Australian – handled the debate on the Prophet Muhammad cartoons and considers whether in the name of “free speech” it ended in “a form of attack” on Australian Muslims. It also considers the media’s treatment of Muslim Australians’ “free speech” on previous occasions. This article is drawn from the oral testimonies of Muslims of diverse ethnic background. Since 1998, as part of PhD and post-doctoral research on Muslims in Australia, the author conducted 130 face-to-face, in-depth, taped interviews of Muslims, aged 18-90, both male and female. While speaking about their settlement experience, several interviewees made unsolicited remarks about Western/Australian media, all of them making the point that Muslims were being demonised. Australian Muslims Many of Australia’s 281,578 Muslims — 1.5 per cent of the total population (Australian Bureau of Statistics) — believe that as a result of media bias, they are vilified in society as “terrorists”, and discriminated in the workplace (Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission; Dreher 13; Kabir 266-277). The ABS figures support their claim of discrimination in the workplace; in 1996 the unemployment rate for Muslim Australians was 25 per cent, compared to 9 per cent for the national total. In 2001, it was reduced to 18.5 per cent, compared to 6.8 per cent for the national total, but the ratio of underprivileged positions in the labour market remained almost three times higher than for the wider community. Instead of reflecting on Muslims’ labour market issues or highlighting the social issues confronting Muslims since 9/11, some Australian media, in the name of “free speech”, reinforce negative perceptions of Muslims through images, cartoons and headlines. In 2004, one Muslim informant offered their perceptions of Australian media: I think the Australian media are quite prejudiced, and they only do show one side of the story, which is quite pro-Bush, pro-Howard, pro-war. Probably the least prejudiced media would be ABC or SBS, but the most pro-Jewish, pro-America, would be Channel Seven, Channel Nine, Channel Ten. They only ever show things from one side of the story. This article considers the validity of the Muslim interviewee’s perception that Australian media representation is one-sided. On 26 October 2005, under the headline: “Draw a Cartoon about Mohammed and You Must Die”, The Australian warned its readers: ISLAM is no laughing matter. Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, is being protected by security guards and several cartoonists have gone into hiding after the newspaper published a series of 12 cartoons about the prophet Mohammed. According to Islam, it is blasphemous to make images of the prophet. Muslim fundamentalists have threatened to bomb the paper’s offices and kill the cartoonists (17). Militant Muslims The most provocative cartoons appearing in the Danish media are probably those showing a Muhammad-like figure wearing a turban shaped as a bomb with a burning fuse coming out of it, or a queue of smoking suicide bombers on a cloud with an Islamic cleric saying, “Stop stop we have run out of virgins”. Another showed a blindfolded Muslim man with two veiled Muslim women standing behind him. These messages appeared to be concerned with Islam’s repression of women (Jyllands-Posten), and possibly with the American channel CBS airing an interview in August 2001 of a Palestinian Hamas activist, Muhammad Abu Wardeh, who recruited terrorists for suicide bombings in Israel. Abu Wardeh was quoted as saying: “I described to him [the suicide bomber] how God would compensate the martyr for sacrificing his life for his land. If you become a martyr, God will give you 70 virgins, 70 wives and everlasting happiness” (The Guardian). Perhaps to serve their goals, the militants have re-interpreted the verses of the Holy Quran (Sura 44:51-54; 55:56) where it is said that Muslims who perform good deeds will be blessed by the huris or “pure being” (Ali 1290-1291; 1404). However, since 9/11, it is also clear that the Muslim militant groups such as the Al-Qaeda have become the “new enemy” of the West. They have used religion to justify the terrorist acts and suicide bombings that have impacted on Western interests in New York, Washington, Bali, Madrid amongst other places. But it should be noted that there are Muslim critics, such as Pakistani-born writer, Irshad Manji, Bangladeshi-born writer Taslima Nasreen and Somalian-born Dutch parliamentarian Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who have been constant critics of Muslim men’s oppression of women and have urged reformation. However, their extremist fellow believers threatened them with a death sentence for their “free speech” (Chadwick). The non-Muslim Dutch film director, Theo van Gogh, also a critic of Islam and a supporter of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, advocated a reduction in immigration into Holland, especially by Muslims. Both van Gogh and Hirsi Ali – who co-scripted and co-produced the film Submission – received death threats from Muslim extremists because the film exhibited the verses of the Quran across the chest, stomach and thighs of an almost naked girl, and featured four women in see-through robes showing their breasts, with texts from the Quran daubed on their bodies, talking about the abuse they had suffered under Islam (Anon 25). Whereas there may be some justification for the claim made in the film, that some Muslim men interpret the Quran to oppress women (Doogue and Kirkwood 220), the writing of the Quranic verses on almost-naked women is surely offensive to all Muslims because the Quran teaches Muslim women to dress modestly (Sura 24: 30-31; Ali 873). On 4 November 2004, The West Australian reported that the Dutch director Theo van Gogh was murdered by a 26-year-old Dutch-Moroccan Muslim on 2 November 2004 (27). Hirsi Ali, the co-producer of the film was forced to go into hiding after van Gogh’s murder. In the face of a growing clamour from both the Dutch Muslims and the secular communities to silence her, Ayaan Hirsi Ali resigned from the Dutch Parliament in May 2006 and decided to re-settle in Washington (Jardine 2006). It should be noted that militant Muslims form a tiny but forceful minority of the 1.4 billion Muslims worldwide. The Muslim majority are moderate and peaceful (Doogue and Kirkwood 79-80). Some Muslim scholars argue that there is specific instruction in the Quran for people to apply their knowledge and arrive at whatever interpretation is of greatest benefit to the community. It may be that stricter practitioners would not agree with the moderate interpretation of the Quran and vice versa (Doogue and Kirkwood 232). Therefore, when the Western media makes a mockery of the Muslim religion or their Prophet in the name of “free speech”, or generalises all Muslims for the acts of a few through headlines or cartoons, it impacts on the Muslims residing in the West. Prophet Muhammad’s Cartoons With the above-mentioned publication of Prophet Muhammad’s cartoons in Denmark, Islamic critics charged that the cartoons were a deliberate provocation and insult to their religion, designed to incite hatred and polarise people of different faiths. In February 2006, regrettably, violent reactions took place in the Middle East, Europe and in Asia. Danish embassies were attacked and, in some instances, were set on fire. The demonstrators chanted, “With our blood and souls we defend you, O Prophet of God!”. Some replaced the Danish flag with a green one printed with the first pillar of Islam (Kalima): “There is no god but God and Mohammed is the messenger of God”. Some considered the cartoons “an unforgivable insult” that merited punishment by death (The Age). A debate on “free speech” soon emerged in newspapers throughout the world. On 7 February 2006 the editorial in The West Australian, “World Has Had Enough of Muslim Fanatics”, stated that the newspaper would not publish cartoons of Mohammad that have drawn protests from Muslims around the world. The newspaper acknowledged that depictions of the prophet are regarded as “blasphemous by Muslims” (18). However, the editorial was juxtaposed with another article “Can Liberty Survive a Clash of Cultures?”, with an image of bearded men wearing Muslim head coverings, holding Arabic placards and chanting slogans, implying the violent nature of Islam. And in the letters page of this newspaper, published on the same day, appeared the following headlines (20): Another Excuse for Muslims to Threaten Us Islam Attacked Cartoon Rage: Greatest Threat to World Peace We’re Living in Dangerous Times Why Treat Embassies with Contempt? Muslim Religion Is Not So Soft Civilised World Is Threatened The West Australian is a state-based newspaper that tends to side with the conservative Liberal party, and is designed to appeal to the “man in the street”. The West Australian did not republish the Prophet Muhammad cartoon, but for 8 days from 7 to 15 February 2006 the letters to the editor and opinion columns consistently criticised Islam and upheld “superior” Western secular values. During this period, the newspaper did publish a few letters that condemned the Danish cartoonist, including the author’s letter, which also condemned the Muslims’ attack on the embassies. But the overall message was that Western secular values were superior to Islamic values. In other words, the newspaper adopted a jingoistic posture and asserted the cultural superiority of mainstream Australians. The Danish cartoons also sparked a debate on “free speech” in Australia’s leading newspaper, The Australian, which is a national newspaper that also tends to reflect the values of the ruling national government – also the conservative Liberal party. And it followed a similar pattern of debate as The West Australian. On 14 February 2006, The Australian (13) published a reader’s criticism of The Australian for not republishing the cartoons. The author questioned whether the Muslims deserved any tolerance because their Holy Book teaches intolerance. The Koran [Quran] (22:19) says: Garments of fire have been prepared for the unbelievers. Scalding water shall be poured upon their heads, melting their skins and that which is in their bellies. Perhaps this reader did not find the three cartoons published in The Australian a few days earlier to be ‘offensive’ to the Australian Muslims. In the first, on 6 February 2006, the cartoonist Bill Leak showed that his head was chopped off by some masked people (8), implying that Muslim militants, such as the Hamas, would commit such a brutal act. The Palestinian Hamas group often appear in masks before the media. In this context, it is important to note that Israel is an ally of Australia and the United States, whereas the Hamas is Israel’s enemy whose political ideology goes against Israel’s national interest. On 25 January 2006, the Hamas won a landslide victory in the Palestine elections but Israel refused to recognise this government because Hamas has not abandoned its militant ideology (Page 13). The cartoon, therefore, probably means that the cartoonist or perhaps The Australian has taken sides on behalf of Australia’s ally Israel. In the second cartoon, on 7 February 2006, Bill Leak sketched an Arab raising his sword over a school boy who was drawing in a classroom. The caption read, “One more line and I’ll chop your hand off!” (12). And in the third, on 10 February 2006, Bill Leak sketched Mr Mohammed’s shadow holding a sword with the caption: “The unacceptable face of fanaticism”. A reporter asked: “And so, Mr Mohammed, what do you have to say about the current crisis?” to which Mr Mohammed replied, “I refuse to be drawn on the subject” (16). The cartoonist also thought that the Danish cartoons should have been republished in the Australian newspapers (Insight). Cartoons are supposed to reflect the theme of the day. Therefore, Bill Leak’s cartoons were certainly topical. But his cartoons reveal that his or The Australian’s “freedom of expression” has been one-sided, all depicting Islam as representing violence. For example, after the Bali bombing on 21 November 2002, Leak sketched two fully veiled women, one carrying explosives under her veil and asking the other, “Does my bomb look big in this”? The cartoonist’s immediate response to criticism of the cartoon in a television programme was, “inevitably, when you look at a cartoon such as that one, the first thing you’ve got to do is remember that as a daily editorial cartoonist, you’re commenting first and foremost on the events of the day. They’re very ephemeral things”. He added, “It was…drawn about three years ago after a spate of suicide bombing attacks in Israel” (Insight). Earlier events also suggested that that The Australian resolutely supports Australia’s ally, Israel. On 13-14 November 2004 Bill Leak caricatured the recently deceased Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in The Weekend Australian (18). In the cartoon, God appeared to be displeased with him and would not allow him to enter paradise. Arafat was shown with explosives strapped to his body and threatening God by saying, “A cloud to myself or the whole place goes up….”. On the other hand, on 6 January 2006 the same cartoonist sympathetically portrayed ailing Israeli leader Ariel Sharon as a decent man wearing a black suit, with God willing to accept him (10); and the next day Sharon was portrayed as “a Man of Peace” (12). Politics and Religion Thus, the anecdotal evidence so far reveals that in the name of “freedom of expression”, or “free speech” The West Australian and The Australian newspapers have taken sides – either glorifying their “superior” Western culture or taking sides on behalf of its allies. On the other hand, these print media would not tolerate the “free speech” of a Muslim leader who spoke against their ally or another religious group. From the 1980s until recently, some print media, particularly The Australian, have been critical of the Egyptian-born Muslim spiritual leader Imam Taj el din al-Hilali for his “free speech”. In 1988 the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils bestowed the title of Mufti to Imam al- Hilali, and al-Hilali was elevated to a position of national religious leadership. Al-Hilali became a controversial figure after 1988 when he gave a speech to the Muslim students at Sydney University and accused Jews of trying to control the world through “sex, then sexual perversion, then the promotion of espionage, treason and economic hoarding” (Hewett 7). The Imam started being identified as a “Muslim chief” in the news headlines once he directly criticised American foreign policy during the 1990-91 Gulf crisis. The Imam interpreted US intervention in Kuwait as a “political dictatorship” that was exploiting the Gulf crisis because it was seen as a threat to its oil supply (Hewett 7). After the Bali bombings in 2002, the Howard government distributed information on terrorism through the “Alert and Alarmed” kit as part of its campaign of public awareness. The first casualty of the “Be alert, but not alarmed” campaign was the Imam al-Hilali. On 6 January 2003, police saw a tube of plastic protruding from a passenger door window and suspected that al-Hilali might have been carrying a gun when they pulled him over for traffic infringements. Sheikh al-Hilali was charged with resisting arrest and assaulting police (Morris 1, 4). On 8 January 2003 The Australian reminded its readers “Arrest Adds to Mufti’s Mystery” (9). The same issue of The Australian portrayed the Sheikh being stripped of his clothes by two policemen. The letter page also contained some unsympathetic opinions under the headline: “Mufti Deserved No Special Treatment” (10). In January 2004, al-Hilali was again brought under the spotlight. The Australian media alleged that al-Hilali praised the suicide bombers at a Mosque in Lebanon and said that the destruction of the World Trade Center was “God’s work against oppressors” (Guillatt 24). Without further investigation, The Australian again reported his alleged inflammatory comments. Under the headline, “Muslim Leader’s Jihad Call”, it condemned al-Hilali and accused him of strongly endorsing “terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas, during his visit to Lebanon”. Federal Labor Member of Parliament Michael Danby said, “Hilali’s presence in Australia is a mistake. He and his associates must give authorities an assurance he will not assist future homicide attacks” (Chulov 1, 5). Later investigations by Sydney’s Good Weekend Magazine and SBS Television found that al-Hilali’s speech had been mistranslated (Guillatt 24). However, the selected print media that had been very critical of the Sheikh did not highlight the mistranslation. On the other hand, the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell has been critical of Islam and is also opposed to Australia’s involvement in the Iraq war in 2003, but the print media appeared to ignore his “free speech” (Dateline). In November 2004, Dr Pell said that secular liberal democracy was empty and selfish, and Islam was emerging as an alternative world view that attracted the alienated (Zwartz 3). In May 2006, Dr Pell said that he tried to reconcile claims that Islam was a faith of peace with those that suggested the Quran legitimised the killings of non-Muslims but: In my own reading of the Koran [Quran], I began to note down invocations to violence. There are so many of them, however, that I abandoned this exercise after 50 or 60 or 70 pages (Morris). Muslim leaders regarded Dr Pell’s anti-Islam statement as “inflammatory” (Morris). However, both the newspapers, The Australian and The West Australian remained uncritical of Dr Pell’s “free speech” against Islam. Conclusion Edward Said believed that media images are informed by official definitions of Islam that serve the interests of government and business. The success of the images is not in their accuracy but in the power of the people who produce them, the triumph of which is hardly challenged. “Labels have survived many experiences and have been capable of adapting to new events, information and realities” (9). In this paper the author accepts that, in the Australian context, militant Muslims are the “enemy of the West”. However, they are also the enemy of most moderate Australian Muslims. When some selected media take sides on behalf of the hegemony, or Australia’s “allies”, and offend moderate Australian Muslims, the media’s claim of “free speech” or “freedom of expression” remains highly questionable. Muslim interviewees in this study have noted a systemic bias in some Australian media, but they are not alone in detecting this bias (see the “Abu Who?” segment of Media Watch on ABC TV, 31 July 2006). To address this concern, Australian Muslim leaders need to play an active role in monitoring the media. This might take the form of a watchdog body within the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils. If the media bias is found to be persistent, the AFIC might then recommend legislative intervention or application of existing anti-discrimination policies; alternatively, AFIC could seek sanctions from within the Australian journalistic community. One way or another this practice should be stopped. References Ali, Abdullah Yusuf. The Holy Quran: Text, Translation and Commentary. New Revised Ed. Maryland, USA: Amana Corporation, 1989. Anonymous. “Dutch Courage in Aftermath of Film-Maker’s Slaying.” The Weekend Australian 6-7 Nov. 2004. Chadwick, Alex. “The Caged Virgin: A Call for Change in Islam.” 4 June 2006 http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5382547>. Chulov, Martin. “Muslim Leader’s Jihad Call.” The Australian 19 Feb. 2004. Dateline. “Cardinal George Pell Interview.” SBS TV 6 April 2005. 7 June 2006 http://news.sbs.com.au/dateline/>. Dreher, Tanya. “Targeted”, Experiences of Racism in NSW after September 11, 2001. Sydney: University of Technology, 2005. Doogue, Geraldine, and Peter Kirkwood. Tomorrow’s Islam: Understanding Age-Old Beliefs and a Modern World. Sydney: ABC Books, 2005. Insight. “Culture Clash.” SBS TV 7 March 2006. 11 June 2006 http://news.sbs.com.au/insight/archive.php>. Guillatt, Richard. “Moderate or Menace.” Sydney Morning Herald Good Weekend 21 Aug. 2004. Hewett, Tony. “Australia Exploiting Crisis: Muslim Chief.” Sydney Morning Herald 27 Nov. 1990. Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. Ismaa – Listen: National Consultations on Eliminating Prejudice against Arab and Muslim Australians. Sydney: Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, 2004. Jyllands-Posten. 24 Jan. 2006. http://www.di2.nu/files/Muhammad_Cartoons_Jyllands_Posten.html>. Jardine, Lisa. “Liberalism under Pressure.” BBC News 5 June 2006. 12 June 2006 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/5042418.stm>. Kabir, Nahid. Muslims in Australia: Immigration, Race Relations and Cultural History. London: Kegan Paul, 2005. Media Watch. “Abu Who?” ABC Television 31 July 2006. http://abc.net.au/mediawatch/>. Morris, Linda. “Imam Facing Charges after Row with Police.” Sydney Morning Herald 7 Jan. 2003. Morris, Linda. “Pell Challenges Islam – O Ye, of Little Tolerant Faith.” Sydney Morning Herald 5 May 2006. Page, Jeremy. “Russia May Sell Arms to Hamas.” The Australian 18 Feb. 2006. Said, Edward. Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the Rest of the World. London: Vintage, 1981, 1997. Submission. “Film Clip from Short Submission.” Submission. 11 June 2006. http://www.ifilm.com/ifilmdetail/2655656?htv=12> The Age. “Embassies Torched over Cartoons.” 5 Feb. 2006. http://www.theage.com.au>. The Guardian. “Virgins? What Virgins?” 12 Jan. 2002. 4 June 2006 http://www.guardian.co.uk/>. Zwartz, Barney. “Islam Could Be New Communism, Pell Tells US Audience.” Sydney Morning Herald 12 Nov. 2004. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Kabir, Nahid. "Depiction of Muslims in Selected Australian Media: Free Speech or Taking Sides." M/C Journal 9.4 (2006). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0609/1-kabir.php>. APA Style Kabir, N. (Sep. 2006) "Depiction of Muslims in Selected Australian Media: Free Speech or Taking Sides," M/C Journal, 9(4). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0609/1-kabir.php>.

50

Brennan, Claire. "Australia's Northern Safari." M/C Journal 20, no.6 (December31, 2017). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1285.

Full text

APA, Harvard, Vancouver, ISO, and other styles

Abstract:

IntroductionFilmed during a 1955 family trip from Perth to the Gulf of Carpentaria, Keith Adams’s Northern Safari showed to packed houses across Australia, and in some overseas locations, across three decades. Essentially a home movie, initially accompanied by live commentary and subsequently by a homemade sound track, it tapped into audiences’ sense of Australia’s north as a place of adventure. In the film Adams interacts with the animals of northern Australia (often by killing them), and while by 1971 the violence apparent in the film was attracting criticism in letters to newspapers, the film remained popular through to the mid-1980s, and was later shown on television in Australia and the United States (Cowan 2; Adams, Crocodile Safari Man 261). A DVD is at present available for purchase from the website of the same name (Northern Safari). Adams and his supporters credited the film’s success to the rugged and adventurous landscape of northern Australia (Northeast vii), characterised by dangerous animals, including venomous spiders, sharks and crocodiles (see Adams, “Aussie”; “Crocodile”). The notion of Australia’s north as a place of rugged adventure was not born with Adams’s film, and that film was certainly not the last production to exploit the region and its wildlife as a source of excitement. Rather, Northern Safari belongs to a long list of adventure narratives whose hunting exploits have helped define the north of Australian as a distinct region and contrast it with the temperate south where most Australians make their lives.This article explores the connection between adventure in Australia’s north and the large animals of the region. Adams’s film capitalised on popular interest in natural history, but his film is only one link in a chain of representations of the Australian north as a place of dangerous and charismatic megafauna. While over time interest shifted from being largely concentrated on the presence of buffalo in the Northern Territory to a fascination with the saltwater crocodiles found more widely in northern Australia that interest in dangerous prey animals is significant to Australia’s northern imaginary.The Northern Safari before AdamsNorthern Australia gained a reputation for rugged, masculine adventure long before the arrival there of Adams and his cameras. That reputation was closely associated with the animals of the north, and it is generally the dangerous species that have inspired popular accounts of the region. Linda Thompson has recognised that before the release of the film Crocodile Dundee in 1986 crocodiles “received significant and sensational (although sporadic) media attention across Australia—attention that created associations of danger, mystery, and abnormality” (118). While Thompson went on to argue that in the wake of Crocodile Dundee the saltwater crocodile became a widely recognised symbol of Australia (for both Australians and non-Australians) it is perhaps more pertinent to consider the place of animals in creating a notion of the Australian north.Adams’s extended and international success (he showed his film profitably in the United States, Canada, England, Germany, South Africa, Rhodesia, and New Zealand as well as throughout Australia) suggests that the landscape and wildlife of northern Australia holds a fascination for a wide audience (Adams, Crocodile Safari Man 169-261). Certainly northern Australia, and its wild beasts, had established a reputation for adventure earlier, particularly in the periods following the world wars. Perhaps crocodiles were not the most significant of the north’s charismatic megafauna in the first half of the twentieth century, but their presence was a source of excitement well before the 1980s, and they were not the only animals in the north to attract attention: the Northern Territory’s buffalo had long acted as a drawcard for adventure seekers.Carl Warburton’s popular book Buffaloes was typical in linking Australians’ experiences of war with the Australian north and the pursuit of adventure, generally in the form of dangerous big game. War and hunting have long been linked as both are expressions of masculine valour in physically dangerous circ*mstances (Brennan “Imperial” 44-46). That link is made very clear in Warbuton’s account when he begins it on the beach at Gallipoli as he and his comrades discuss their plans for the future. After Warburton announces his determination not to return from war to work in a bank, he and a friend determine that they will go to either Brazil or the Northern Territory to seek adventure (2). Back in Sydney, a coin flip determines their “compass was set for the unknown north” (5).As the title of his book suggests, the game pursued by Warburton and his mate were buffaloes, as buffalo hides were fetching high prices when he set out for the north. In his writing Warburton was keen to establish his reputation as an adventurer and his descriptions of the dangers of buffalo hunting used the animals to establish the adventurous credentials of northern Australia. Warburton noted of the buffalo that: “Alone of all wild animals he will attack unprovoked, and in single combat is more than a match for a tiger. It is the pleasant pastime of some Indian princes to stage such combats for the entertainment of their guests” (62-63). Thereby, he linked Arnhem Land to India, a place that had long held a reputation as a site of adventurous hunting for the rulers of the British Empire (Brennan “Africa” 399). Later Warburton reinforced those credentials by noting: “there is no more dangerous animal in the world than a wounded buffalo bull” (126). While buffalo might have provided the headline act, crocodiles also featured in the interwar northern imaginary. Warburton recorded: “I had always determined to have a crack at the crocodiles for the sport of it.” He duly set about sating this desire (222-3).Buffalo had been hunted commercially in the Northern Territory since 1886 and Warburton was not the first to publicise the adventurous hunting available in northern Australia (Clinch 21-23). He had been drawn north after reading “of the exploits of two crack buffalo shooters, Fred Smith and Paddy Cahill” (Warburton 6). Such accounts of buffalo, and also of crocodiles, were common newspaper fodder in the first half of the twentieth century. Even earlier, explorers’ accounts had drawn attention to the animal excitement of northern Australia. For example, John Lort Stokes had noted ‘alligators’ as one of the many interesting animals inhabiting the region (418). Thus, from the nineteenth century Australia’s north had popularly linked together remoteness, adventure, and large animals; it was unsurprising that Warburton in turn acted as inspiration to later adventure-hunters in northern Australia. In 1954 he was mentioned in a newspaper story about two English migrants who had come to Australia to shoot crocodiles on Cape York with “their ambitions fed by the books of men such as Ion Idriess, Carl Warburton, Frank Clune and others” (Gay 15).The Development of Northern ‘Adventure’ TourismNot all who sought adventure in northern Australia were as independent as Adams. Cynthia Nolan’s account of travel through outback Australia in the late 1940s noted the increasing tourist infrastructure available, particularly in her account of Alice Springs (27-28, 45). She also recorded the significance of big game in the lure of the north. At the start of her journey she met a man seeking his fortune crocodile shooting (16), later encountered buffalo shooters (82), and recorded the locals’ hilarity while recounting a visit by a city-based big game hunter who arrived with an elephant gun. According to her informants: “No, he didn’t shoot any buffaloes, but he had his picture taken posing behind every animal that dropped. He’d arrange himself in a crouch, gun at the ready, and take self-exposure shots of himself and trophy” (85-86). Earlier, organised tours of the Northern Territory included buffalo shooter camps in their itineraries (when access was available), making clear the continuing significance of dangerous game to the northern imaginary (Cole, Hell 207). Even as Adams was pursuing his independent path north, tourist infrastructure was bringing the northern Australian safari experience within reach for those with little experience but sufficient funds to secure the provision of equipment, vehicles and expert advice. The Australian Crocodile Shooters’ Club, founded in 1950, predated Northern Safari, but it tapped into the same interest in the potential of northern Australia to offer adventure. It clearly associated that adventure with big game hunting and the club’s success depended on its marketing of the adventurous north to Australia’s urban population (Brennan “Africa” 403-06). Similarly, the safari camps which developed in the Northern Territory, starting with Nourlangie in 1959, promoted the adventure available in Australia’s north to those who sought to visit without necessarily roughing it. The degree of luxury that was on offer initially is questionable, but the notion of Australia’s north as a big game hunting destination supported the development of an Australian safari industry (Berzins 177-80, Brennan “Africa” 407-09). Safari entrepreneur Allan Stewart has eagerly testified to the broad appeal of the safari experience in 1960s Australia, claiming his clientele included accountants, barristers, barmaids, brokers, bankers, salesmen, journalists, actors, students, nursing sisters, doctors, clergymen, soldiers, pilots, yachtsmen, racing drivers, company directors, housewives, precocious children, air hostesses, policemen and jockeys (18).Later Additions to the Imaginary of the Northern SafariAdams’s film was made in 1955, and its subject of adventurous travel and hunting in northern Australia was taken up by a number of books during the 1960s as publishers kept the link between large game and the adventurous north alive. New Zealand author Barry Crump contributed a fictionalised account of his time hunting crocodiles in northern Australia in Gulf, first published in 1964. Crump displayed his trademark humour throughout his book, and made a running joke of the ‘best professional crocodile-shooters’ that he encountered in pubs throughout northern Australia (28-29). Certainly, the possibility of adventure and the chance to make a living as a professional hunter lured men to the north. Among those who came was Australian journalist Keith Willey who in 1966 published an account of his time crocodile hunting. Willey promoted the north as a site of adventure and rugged masculinity. On the very first page of his book he established his credentials by advising that “Hunting crocodiles is a hard trade; hard, dirty and dangerous; but mostly hard” (1). Although Willey’s book reveals that he did not make his fortune crocodile hunting he evidently revelled in its adventurous mystique and his book was sufficiently successful to be republished by Rigby in 1977. The association between the Australian north, the hunting of large animals, and adventure continued to thrive.These 1960s crocodile publications represent a period when crocodile hunting replaced buffalo hunting as a commercial enterprise in northern Australia. In the immediate post-war period crocodile skins increased in value as traditional sources became unreliable, and interest in professional hunting increased. As had been the case with Warburton, the north promised adventure to men unwilling to return to domesticity after their experiences of war (Brennan, “Crocodile” 1). This part of the northern imaginary was directly discussed by another crocodile hunting author. Gunther Bahnemann spent some time crocodile hunting in Australia before moving his operation north to poach crocodiles in Dutch New Guinea. Bahnemann had participated in the Second World War and in his book he was clear about his unwillingness to settle for a humdrum life, instead choosing crocodile hunting for his profession. As he described it: “We risked our lives to make quick money, but not easy money; yet I believe that the allure of adventure was the main motive of our expedition. It seems so now, when I think back to it” (8).In the tradition of Adams, Malcolm Douglas released his documentary film Across the Top in 1968, which was subsequently serialised for television. From around this time, television was becoming an increasingly popular medium and means of reinforcing the connection between the Australian outback and adventure. The animals of northern Australia played a role in setting the region apart from the rest of the continent. The 1970s and 1980s saw a boom in programs that presented the outback, including the north, as a source of interest and national pride. In this period Harry Butler presented In the Wild, while the Leyland brothers (Mike and Mal) created their iconic and highly popular Ask the Leyland Brothers (and similar productions) which ran to over 150 episodes between 1976 and 1980. In the cinema, Alby Mangels’s series of World Safari movies included Australia in his wide-ranging adventures. While these documentaries of outback Australia traded on the same sense of adventure and fascination with Australia’s wildlife that had promoted Northern Safari, the element of big game hunting was muted.That link was reforged in the 1980s and 1990s. Crocodile Dundee was an extremely successful movie and it again placed interactions with charismatic megafauna at the heart of the northern Australian experience (Thompson 124). The success of the film reinvigorated depictions of northern Australia as a place to encounter dangerous beasts. Capitalising on the film’s success Crump’s book was republished as Crocodile Country in 1990, and Tom Cole’s memoirs of his time in northern Australia, including his work buffalo shooting and crocodile hunting, were first published in 1986, 1988, and 1992 (and reprinted multiple times). However, Steve Irwin is probably the best known of northern Australia’s ‘crocodile hunters’, despite his Australia Zoo lying outside the crocodile’s natural range, and despite being a conservationist opposed to killing crocodiles. Irwin’s chosen moniker is ironic, given his often-stated love for the species and his commitment to preserving crocodile lives through relocating (when necessary, to captivity) rather than killing problem animals. He first appeared on Australian television in 1996, and continued to appear regularly until his death in 2006.Tourism Australia used both Hogan and Irwin for promotional purposes. While Thompson argues that at this time the significance of the crocodile was broadened to encompass Australia more generally, the examples of crocodile marketing that she lists relate to the Northern Territory, with a brief mention of Far North Queensland and the crocodile remained a signifier of northern adventure (Thompson 125-27). The depiction of Irwin as a ‘crocodile hunter’ despite his commitment to saving crocodile lives marked a larger shift that had already begun within the safari. While the title ‘safari’ retained its popularity in the late twentieth century it had come to be applied generally to organised adventurous travel with a view to seeing and capturing images of animals, rather than exclusively identifying hunting expeditions.ConclusionThe extraordinary success of Adams’s film was based on a widespread understanding of northern Australia as a type of adventure playground, populated by fascinating dangerous beasts. That imaginary was exploited but not created by Adams. It had been in existence since the nineteenth century, was particularly evident during the buffalo and crocodile hunting bubbles after the world wars, and boomed again with the popularity of the fictional Mick Dundee and the real Steve Irwin, for both of whom interacting with the charismatic megafauna of the north was central to their characters. The excitement surrounding large game still influences visions of northern Australia. At present there is no particularly striking northern bushman media personage, but the large animals of the north still regularly provoke discussion. The north’s safari camps continue to do business, trading on the availability of large game (particularly buffalo, banteng, pigs, and samba) and northern Australia’s crocodiles have established themselves as a significant source of interest among international big game hunters. Australia’s politicians regularly debate the possibility of legalising a limited crocodile safari in Australia, based on the culling of problem animals, and that debate highlights a continuing sense of Australia’s north as a place apart from the more settled, civilised south of the continent.ReferencesAdams, Keith. ’Aussie Bites.’ Australian Screen 2017. <https://aso.gov.au/titles/documentaries/northern-safari/clip2/>.———. ‘Crocodile Hunting.’ Australian Screen 2017. <https://aso.gov.au/titles/documentaries/northern-safari/clip3/>.———. Crocodile Safari Man: My Tasmanian Childhood in the Great Depression & 50 Years of Desert Safari to the Gulf of Carpentaria 1949-1999. Rockhampton: Central Queensland University Press, 2000.Bahnemann, Gunther. New Guinea Crocodile Poacher. 2nd ed. London: The Adventurers Club, 1965.Berzins, Baiba. Australia’s Northern Secret: Tourism in the Northern Territory, 1920s to 1980s. Sydney: Baiba Berzins, 2007.Brennan, Claire. "’An Africa on Your Own Front Door Step’: The Development of an Australian Safari.” Journal of Australian Studies 39.3 (2015): 396-410.———. “Crocodile Hunting.” Queensland Historical Atlas (2013): 1-3.———. "Imperial Game: A History of Hunting, Society, Exotic Species and the Environment in New Zealand and Victoria 1840-1901." Dissertation. Melbourne: University of Melbourne, 2005.Clinch, M.A. “Home on the Range: The Role of the Buffalo in the Northern Territory, 1824–1920.” Northern Perspective 11.2 (1988): 16-27.Cole, Tom. Crocodiles and Other Characters. Chippendale, NSW: Sun Australia, 1992.———. Hell West and Crooked. Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1990.———. Riding the Wildman Plains: The Letters and Diaries of Tom Cole 1923-1943. Sydney: Pan Macmillan, 1992.———. Spears & Smoke Signals: Exciting True Tales by a Buffalo & Croc Shooter. Casuarina, NT: Adventure Pub., 1986.Cowan, Adam. Letter. “A Feeling of Disgust.” Canberra Times 12 Mar. 1971: 2.Crocodile Dundee. Dir. Peter Faiman. Paramount Pictures, 1986.Crump, Barry. Gulf. Wellington: A.H. & A.W. Reed, 1964.Gay, Edward. “Adventure. Tally-ho after Cape York Crocodiles.” The World’s News (Sydney), 27 Feb. 1954: 15.Nolan, Cynthia. Outback. London: Methuen & Co, 1962.Northeast, Brian. Preface. Crocodile Safari Man: My Tasmanian Childhood in the Great Depression & 50 Years of Desert Safari to the Gulf of Carpentaria 1949-1999. By Keith Adams. Rockhampton: Central Queensland University Press, 2000. vi-viii.Northern Safari. Dir. Keith Adams. Keith Adams, 1956.Northern Safari. n.d. <http://northernsafari.com/>.Stewart, Allan. The Green Eyes Are Buffaloes. Melbourne: Lansdown, 1969.Stokes, John Lort. Discoveries in Australia: With an Account of the Coasts and Rivers Explored and Surveyed during the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle in the Years 1837-38-39-40-41-42-43. By Command of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, Also a Narrative of Captain Owen Stanley's Visits to the Islands in the Arafura Sea. London: T. and W. Boone, 1846.Thompson, Linda. “’You Call That a Knife?’ The Crocodile as a Symbol of Australia”. New Voices, New Visions: Challenging Australian Identities and Legacies. Eds. Catriona Elder and Keith Moore. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars, 2012: 118-134.Warburton, Carl. Buffaloes: Adventure and Discovery in Arnhem Land. Sydney: Angus & Robertson Ltd, 1934.Willey, Keith. Crocodile Hunt. Brisbane: Jacaranda Press, 1966.

You might also be interested in the bibliographies on the topic 'Letter-writing, Greek' for other source types:

Books

To the bibliography
Journal articles: 'Letter-writing, Greek' – Grafiati (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Fr. Dewey Fisher

Last Updated:

Views: 5513

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (62 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Fr. Dewey Fisher

Birthday: 1993-03-26

Address: 917 Hyun Views, Rogahnmouth, KY 91013-8827

Phone: +5938540192553

Job: Administration Developer

Hobby: Embroidery, Horseback riding, Juggling, Urban exploration, Skiing, Cycling, Handball

Introduction: My name is Fr. Dewey Fisher, I am a powerful, open, faithful, combative, spotless, faithful, fair person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.