B. Literature, Tome XVI, No. 1, 2010

“A Belief in the Unthinkable”: The Age of the Conglomerates as Critical Dystopia
Alexander Charles Oliver Hall
Kent State University, Ohio, U.S.A.

With the Social Security program in the United States in shambles and corporate corruption a near cliché, Thomas Nevins’s 2008 debut The Age of the Conglomerates is as timely as it is haunting. The novel uses precisely these two issues-corruption and the potential failure of Social Security-as the catalyst for its critically dystopian world. In the context of the early 21st century, the critical dystopia is an ample narrative framework for provoking an emergence of the utopian imagination. Its use of contemporary concerns as the ground for the dystopic world coupled with a hopeful ending work to promote social dreaming.

Thomas Nevins, critical dystopia, social security, The Age of the Conglomerates, United States, science fiction
PhD Student, “Ştefan cel Mare” University, Suceava

The concept of exile has always been connected to the idea of space. To be exiled means to reinforce from within the dichotomic relation between an always changing inside and outside. On the other hand, in an era of simultaneity where everything overlaps, space itself can no longer be conceptualized in dual terms, but is subject to multiple readings and enhances various meanings. We argue that the concept of exile is undoubtedly related to that of heterotopia, and the present paper aims at developing and proving the aforementioned claim emphasizing on Andrei Codrescu's interpretation of exile as space.

exile, heterotopia, space, deterritorialization, rhizome
Dystopian Society, Utopian Ideal? The role of buildings for the arts as VEHICLES of control and THE consumer utopia
Carol Cooper
University of Wolverhampton, United Kingdom

Utopia is a reaction to the existing dystopian state. In seeking to create utopia, museums and galleries re-construct events, items and aspirations through artefacts and configured spaces. This in turn is a reinforcement of the dystopian state that exists beyond their jurisdiction. Buildings for the arts have been used as a means to control the behaviour of the dystopian society. They could be considered synonymous to the utopian translation of “no place,” with their assorted exhibits, cross-section of users or the disciplines taught, organised as re-assembled collections. This paper considers the changing appearance and roles of these buildings as a reflection of the dystopian society from 1850-2000.

Architecture, consumerism, control, education, galleries, museums, revolution
Come, Armageddon! Come!: Queer Nihilism and the Margin of the Urban
Daniel Portland
New York University, U.S.A

With the specter of the current economic crisis looming and the increasing legality of gay marriage, this paper will consider the symbolic significance and potentialities of urban space for a queer politics. More specifically, in the wake of argumentation that would locate "gays" in a "creative class" and position them as model scapegoats for cycles of gentrification, or more euphemistically, urban renewal, I will propose an alternative political economy that negates speculative real estate markets. In its stead will emerge a model of queer relationality that is self-supporting rather than self-propagating and an urban space that is topological rather than revisionist.

children, gentrification, nihilism, queer, urban
“Zion Fiction”. Repainting the Old-New Land
Nissim Gal
University of Haifa

In this article I discuss two bodies of work that represent different phases in the visual art and culture of the Zionist utopia. The first part of the article discusses the early work of the artist Ephraim Moses Lilien (1874-1925) and the way in which the utopian perception was constructed in the early visual language of Zionism. In the second part of the article I present the work of Eliahou Eric Bokobza, as an example of Israel present-day art that deconstructs and openly criticizes the early Zionist art, on both ethical and political grounds. The article introduces the early Zionist aesthetic by presenting Lilien’s work, as well as the post-Zionist visual plot that Bokobza portrays from a post-colonial standpoint. The Zionist dream is rendered in Bokobza’s contemporary critical art as a science fiction story taking place in a new future, in a new space, in which the new is a multicultural present/future mixing east and west in a pseudo-mythical visual language.

Zionist utopia, Lilien, Bokobza, post-zionism, post-colonialism, visual discourse
The Dystopian Family in Brazil
Dominick Grace
Brescia University College, Italy

Brazil, Terry Gilliam's seminal dystopian film, invokes various dystopian tropes, but it brings to these an unexpected focus on the family. The film's indictment of family structures in dystopia is a key element. Family structures recur as images of the literal reproduction of the dystopian world. Families in the film demonstrate the intergenerational perpetuation of dystopia, from the Buttle children deprived of their father, through the street urchins playing games of terrorist interrogation, and Jack Lint going off to torture people while his daughter plays in his office. Key scenes associate the dysfunctional state with the dysfunctional family.

dystopia, Gilliam, Brazil, Freud, satire
The Handmaid’s Tale: Topos as Dystopia and/or Utopia
Ecaterina PĂTRAŞCU
Spiru Haret University, Bucharest

Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale is a critical dystopia, a cautionary story in terms of those issues that may transform normality and the familial (topos) into either a utopia or a dystopia. These issues concern fanaticism, the belief in absolute truth, righteousness by all means and, last but not least, obliteration of genuine communication. At the other end, there stands openness to the other, acceptance of truth variants and acknowledgement of the difference. The article deals with the dialectics of transformation and reevaluation of reality.

critical dystopia, fundamentalism, postmodernism, puritanism, utopia
Naples and Lagos: Postmodern Representations in Tahar Ben Jelloun’s Labyrinthe des Sentiments and Sefi Atta’s Everything Good will Come
Richard Oko AJAH
University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Every writer engages in what we call the politics of space in order to give life to his/her characters in a framework of time. The knowledge of geography and cartography of a known given space strengthens the writer’s art of characterization and plotting. For example, the Moroccan writer Tahar Ben Jelloun describes panoramically the Italian city of Naples, using a poetic lens that enables him to unveil the city as compendium of complexes. Geographical location aside, this European city shares common features with Lagos as painted by the Nigerian diasporic writer, Sefi Atta. Using postmodern literary lenses, this article traces comparatively what makes both cities a place of paradoxes and an epicenter of postmodernity.

postmodernism, geography, space, chaos, schizophrenia, culture
„Dunărea de Jos” University, Galaţi

Le XXème siècle a fait surgir, dans le contexte traumatique des deux guerres et de l’expansion des grandes «religions séculières», une utopie politique se fondant sur la rationalisation de quelques mythèmes de souche millénariste, tels que le «Royaume de justice» lénino-stalinien ou la patrie arienne nazie. En édifiant un monde fictionnel à l’envers, le roman politique en tant que dystopie totalitaire procède à une déstructuration du discours et des scénarios de cette utopie. Par le biais de la satire, le roman politique dénonce la «dérive idolâtrique» qui entraîne, au niveau de l’imaginaire politique, les déviations pathologiques responsables de la transformation de l’utopie en dystopie.

utopie, dystopie, idéologie, imaginaire politique, roman politique
„Ştefan cel Mare” University, Suceava

What’s at stake in the investigation of the real is the exhaustion of all its forms, sustained by the hope of identifying the thing in itself. Caragiale cannot help but feeling things, observing things closely, and moving every tiny detail into the foreground until it becomes monstrous (even at the psychic level) because he is obsessed by the truth that matter hides. This suspicion turns everything into an illusion. Hence, an inferno of suspicion and of imagination.

Caragiale, representation, nothingness, irony
Ovidiu Morar
„Ştefan cel Mare” University, Suceava

This approach follows the main stages of the dramatic work of Dumitru Solomon, one of the greatest Romanian playwrights of the last decades, starting with the sketches published in 1967, continuing with the so-called „philosophical plays” published in 1984, and ending with the postmodern farces written in the last years. The mechanisms of the dramatic action, the comic modes and procedures, the tragic implications of the conflicts, the intertextuality and the ironic play with the theatrical conventions are also analyzed in the attempt to emphasize the basic principles of Dumitru Solomon’s theatrical aesthetics.

theatre, parody, convention
Florian BRATU
„Ştefan cel Mare” University, Suceava

This article emphasizes some important aspects of the essay, seen here as a genre based on the absolute freedom of thought. Our analysis focuses on the essays of the Romanian writer Emil Cioran, who served as a model for philosophical and literary essay writing.

essay, genre, freedom of thought, Emil Cioran
Liliana-Stela Balan
PhD Student, „Ştefan cel Mare” University, Suceava

L'essai se propose à mettre en discussion la problématique générée du phénomène de la globalisation du discours des écrivains de l'exil. Un cas intéressant constitue Dumitru Radu Popa. Celui-ci quitte son pays en 1985 et, après une année passée en France, il s'établit aux Etats-Unis. L'espace social, culturel et, pas dernièrement, littéraire américain transforme l'écriture issue de ceux venus de l'ancienne Europe. La transformation supportée est tout à fait bénéfique, les thèmes de la réalité sont abordés sans complexes, sans la crainte de la facilité. La sincérité du ton, trait si difficilement dissimulée en Roumanie d'une vieille manie de la forme sophistiquée, y trouve naturellement sa voie. On va analyser comment se modifie le discours de Dumitru Radu Popa, qui, après la transplantation dans le périmètre américain, devient une infusion de style léger, made in USA, apparemment destiné à un lecteur d'autre mer, mais en réalité adressé au publique roumain.

exil, globalisation, réalité, métamorphose, intertextualié, Dumitru Radu Popa
Emilia Colescu
PhD Student, „Ştefan cel Mare” University, Suceava

This article rejoins the texts of the cult story critics which can be perceived as a true model to the young searcher anxious to improve his knowledge in this domain. This volume contains an Introduction and four parts which represent a scientific approach of the authors who dedicated their work in writing books for children. The introduction is made by Jean Perrot, the critic who dedicated this study to Marc Soriano, the one who was considered to be the innovator in this scientific field, rediscovering thus Madame d'Aulnoy's fairy tales, Charles Perrault's ironic cult stories, Madame de Beaumont's didactic approach and the countess of Segur's realistic fairy-tales. Each part is considered to be a very interesting approach, thus we are allowed to perceive the inner nature of the cult story. The first part is dedicated to Chrles Perrault, the XVIIth century fairy-tales author, the second part is a renewal of Madame d'Aulnoy's «la mode des contes de fées» [fairy-tales mode], in the third part we can distinguish a diachronically perspective concerning the creation and interpretation of the ladies' fairy-tales and finally in the last part we can see how the children's literature, especially the fairy-tales, is translated in different languages and thus reinterpreted.

the cult story, the fairy-tales, fairy-tales mode, books for children, the fantastic, folklore and modernism, the realistic fairy-tales, the ironic fairy-tales
Cristina HETRIUC
PhD Student, „Ştefan cel Mare” University, Suceava

Panaït Istrati`s literary works can be divided into two categories: those that describe the Romanian culture and those that focuse on the description of other civilizations as Greek, Oriental, Ottoman, Balkan; the writing language is always the French. The author identifies the specific cultural elements and maintains them in French using strategies as literal translation and reports of foreign words. The writer presents other cultures in an ethical manner. This article analysis the modality in which the Balkan culture is reproduced in French.

specific cultural elements, report, literal translation, translation strategies
Petronela MUNTEANU
PhD Student, „Ştefan cel Mare” University, Suceava

Translation is a complex problem which manifests itself in various aspects, but the dimension that will interest us in this article is primarily cultural, as we believe that the purpose of translation is not strictly the linguistic expression but the text taken in its dynamics, in its communicative context. We will see that the translators prefer either the source culture or the target culture, but our thinking is in the dominant paradigm of translation, according to which translators must look for strategies to bridge the cultural distance, to reconsider our relationship to the Other.

culture, cultural translation, sourciers, ciblistes, national and foreign
Dan Patrascu
PhD Student, „Ştefan cel Mare” University, Suceava

This approach is meant to analyse Didactica Nova from the perspective of the themes and the textual and existential openings they may contain. The book is at the same time autobiography, novel and also a catalogue of images. In Didactica Nova the theory which shapes itself in Radu Petrescu`s works, according to which writing about life is a more important deed than life itself, is fully proved.

autobiography, memories, image, diary