Literature across Frontiers- CFP
Aesthetique Journal for International Literary Enterprises (AJILE, E-ISSN 2456-1754), Volume 2, Number 1 invites scholarly articles and research papers from academicians, teachers and research scholars on “Literature across Frontiers”. AJILE is an international bi-annual peer reviewed electronic journal designed to give wings to the scholarly and academic aspirations of the literary community around the world. Each featured issue aims at furthering research and fostering academic deliberations clustered around a distinctive thrust area of contemporary literary and/or linguistic relevance.
Literature across Frontiers
“It is only by way of comparison that we know the truth precisely... All knowledge which is not obtained through the simple and pure intuition of an isolated thing is obtained by the comparison of two or more things among themselves. And almost all the work of human reason consists without doubt in making this operation possible.” Rene Descartes
This volume aspires to study literature across national borders, across time periods, across languages, across genres, across boundaries between literature and the other arts (music, painting, dance, film, etc.),and across disciplines (literature and psychology, philosophy, science, history, architecture, sociology, politics, etc.).
- Literature and other arts
- Convergences and contrasts
- Influence Studies
- Translation Studies
- Comparative Studies
- Adaptation and Pastiche
Some Key Terms and Concepts
Influence Study is an attempt to trace the influence of a writer (emitter) upon another (receiver). It is a fruitful study as it can throw a writer’s individual talent in relief against a tradition or it can unmask a plagiarist.
Types of Influence Study
- Study of direct borrowing (eg: How much has Shakespeare borrowed from Plutarch).
- Study of the influence of a group of writers from diverse cultures and ages (eg: The influence of Donne, Baudelaire and Laforgue on T.S.Eliot).
- Study of literatures in contact (eg: French, German and Italian literatures came into fruitful contact in Switzerland).
- Study of the influence of ideas (eg: Impact of German ideas on Romanticism).
Adaptation ranges from a convenient reworking of a foreign model to a commercial attempt at turning a foreign word to suit local taste. It involves translation of works in a foreign language.
Eg: Shakespeare’s adaptation of Plutarch, various film adaptations.
It refers to the practice of loosely stringing together ideas, traits and subject matter borrowed from different works. The intention is serious, not humorous.
Eg: The Wasteland by T.S.Eliot
Analogy or Parallel Study
While Influence Study presupposes a direct causal relationship between the emitter and the receiver, Analogy Study is concerned with the investigation of two authors or works without necessarily implying a direct causal relationship between them. The factors that account for analogies or parallels in themes, concepts or images are:
- Psychological Factor: The human mind has common ways of responding to experience (which Jung calls archetypes). Also, two authors may have a similar cast of mind.
- Socio-Historical Factor: Two societies may have reached a similar stage of development or faced with similar problems.
Eg: Arthur Hatto studied the theme of lovers meeting at night and parting at dawn in poetry. His conclusion is that the theme has been treated alike by poets, ancient or modern, Western or Chinese.
Reception Study aims at gauging the response to a writer’s work abroad. It is concerned with the relationship between a work and its ambience (which includes the readers, reviewers and the surrounding milieu). Reception Study should not be confused with reception theory which deals with the reader’s role in understanding literary works.
Translation may be defined as “a process in which a person who knows both the Source and the Receptor Language decodes the message of the Source Language (SL) and encodes it into an appropriate form of the Receptor Language (RL)”.
Significance of Translation
- It enables a comparatist to overcome linguistic barriers in the pursuit of scholarship.
- Translation can be seen as a sign, source and channel of influence.
- Through translation literary trends and movements spread rapidly.
- Translation enriches the Receptor Language by challenging its semantic potential.
A ‘genre’ may be defined as a body of literary works identifiable by the presence of certain well known conventions. It is a category of literary form. Geneology is the study of genres. As genres cross national boundaries, a comparatist is naturally interested in the study of genres and their history.
Intertextuality is the shaping of a text’s meanings by other texts. It can include an author’s borrowing and transformation of a prior text or a reader’s referencing of one text in reading another. The term “intertextuality” was coined by poststructuralist Julia Kristeva in 1966. The intertextual view of literature, as shown by Roland Barthes, supports the concept that the meaning of a text does not reside in the text, but is produced by the reader in relation not only to the text in question, but also the complex network of texts invoked in the reading process. Sometimes intertextuality is taken as plagiarism as in the case of Spanish writer Lucía Etxebarria whose poem collection Estación de Infierno (2001) was found to contain metaphors and verses from Antonio Colinas. Etxebarria claimed that she admired him and applied intertextuality.
Literature and Other Arts
Literature and other arts have frequently influenced, inspired and co-operated with one another. A study of these interrelations constitutes a legitimate aspect of comparative study.
Themes and motives from other arts often inspire writers. Keats for instance was inspired by Lorrain’s painting and the Elgin Marbles to write on “the Grecian Urn”. Blake’s verses are accompanying commentaries for his own drawings.
Similarly, literature has borrowed and blended forms and techniques from sister arts. The Opera, for example, is a dramatic composition blending drama and music. The Bharata Natyam blends not only dance and music but techniques of drama, painting and sculpture. That is, the dancer dances to the tune of music, employs gestures, postures, facial expressions and ‘mudras’ or symbols.
Sometimes literature attempts to achieve the effects of painting or music. Poetry, for instance, may turn out to be a word picture because of its sensuousness (as in Keats’ “The Eve of St. Agnes” or Rossetti’s “The Blessed Damozel”). Collins’ “Ode to Evening” is called a “sculpture poem” because of its slow metre and the totality of its effect. Again, poems are sometimes written in order to be set to music. However, ‘word pictures’ or lyrical poems can be no substitutes for painting or music as the medium or the mode is entirely different. Thus the relationship between literature and sister arts is strong, various and complex.
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