Numer 4.2 (2018)
Redaktor: Michał Lachman

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From the Editor
5 – 10
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Patrick McCullough
More Than a Soundtrack: Music as Meaning in Howards End
11 – 24
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E. M. Forster | Howards End | Ludwig van Beethoven | Symphony No. 5 in C minor | interart

Streszczenie

In Howards End, E. M. Forster experiments with intermediality through the mixture of literary and musical media. By doing so, the author attempts to make the novel greater than the sum of its parts. Recognizing this achievement in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C minor “due mainly to the relation between its movements” and because the movements “all enter the mind at once, and extend one another into a common entity,” Forster applies what the symphony accomplishes musically to fiction (1955, 164, 168). This technique he calls “repetition plus variation” (168). Like Beethoven’s iconic four note rhythmic phrase of three shorter notes of equal length followed by one longer note: “diddidy dum,” Forster repeats a phrase of his own that resonates throughout the novel: “Panic and Emptiness” (1989, 26). I argue that a reading of the novel without an attempt to understand Beethoven’s experimental and irreverent approach to the symphonic form, especially in the third and fourth movements, leaves the reader of Howards End with an incomplete understanding of Forster’s artistic vision. Forster’s intermedial strategy is to create a work whose purpose is “expansion…Not completion” (1955, 169). In contrast, the 1992 film adaptation of the novel relies on Beethoven’s Fifth as little more than diegetic accompaniment. In fact, the construction of the concert scene actively discourages an intermedial reading as sophisticated as in the novel. As a result, the film fails to communicate Forster’s idea that “the more the arts develop the more they depend on each other for definition” (1955, 149). Unlike the novel, the adaptation does not attempt to translate Beethoven’s rhythmic development into the medium of film, resulting in an adaptation that misunderstands Forster’s artistic vision.


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Rhode Island College, Providence, USA
Ivan Nyusztay
The Experiment of Rebelling in Beckett: The Impact of Camus and Havel
25 – 39
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Samuel Beckett | Václav Havel | uselessness | meaninglessness | absurd | rebellion | solidarity

Streszczenie

The infinite and useless struggles of Camus’s Sisyphus have long informed discussions of the philosophy and theatre of the absurd. In the Greek myth, which Camus reductively appropriates, Sisyphus relentlessly repeats his efforts to roll the rock up the hill, regardless of the sheer pointlessness of the endeavour. But what would be the consequences of a sudden termination of these struggles? What existential paradigm shift would be brought about if the rock finally stayed put at the peak, and what would be its repercussions in absurd drama? In Beckett’s short play, Catastrophe the Protagonist’s final gesture unexpectedly and irrevocably undermines the Director’s coercive strategies. Dedicated to Havel, this play is politically inspired and presents a positively subversive cadence unknown in his other works. This epiphanic moment clearly disqualifies precepts of the absurd advocated by Camus, like hopelessness, meaninglessness, or uselessness. In this study I first demonstrate how these notions, together with the French philosopher’s ideas of suicide, contradiction and selfhood are central to Beckett’s work. Next, turning to the post-absurdist work of Camus, I point out how the act of rebellion and solidarity constitute a response to the absurd, displacing uselessness and meaninglessness. Finally, I trace the double meaning of rebellion in Camus’s work and examine the Havel-inspired rebellion in the Beckett play together with the Beckett-inspired rebellion in Havel’s play. By approaching Beckett’s drama in this context I hope to demonstrate Beckett’s contribution to a major – if not the only – transition from absurd drama to post-absurdist theatre.


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Budapest Business School, Węgry
Thomas Thoelen
“my thoughts are elsewhere” Reading (In)Attention in Beckett’s The Unnamable
40 – 51
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Bernard Stiegler | Samuel Beckett | attention | Katherine N. Hayles | technogenesis | The Unnamable

Streszczenie

This essay examines Samuel Beckett’s novel The Unnamable from the perspective of what N. Katherine Hayles calls “deep attention” and “hyper attention,” by which she respectively refers to the ability of human attention to focus on a single object for a certain amount of time and to shift rapidly between multiple objects. Hayles furthermore associates “deep attention” with the practice of (close) reading a printed text and “hyper attention” with digital (screen) reading, moving from one browser tab or hyperlink to the next. In today’s highly mediatized society, needless to say, digital reading is becoming increasingly common (if not the norm altogether). According to Hayes, the result is that “hyper attention” is being privileged at the expense of “deep attention.” While Beckett’s The Unnamable predates the practice of digital reading by some time, it is the contention here that the novel is nevertheless extremely pertinent in this context because of how it suggests inattention to be the necessary condition for the possibility of attention, both in its deep and hyper varieties.


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Vrije Universiteit, Bruksela, Belgia
Jadwiga Uchman
Experiments with time structure in Tom Stoppard’s dramas
52 – 66
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Stoppard | radio and theatre drama | time | experiment

Streszczenie

The present study aims to analyse selected plays of Tom Stoppard for the stage and the radio from the perspective of experimenting with time structures. In all cases, chronological time schemes are abandoned and replaced by different constructs. In the radio drama Artist Descending a Staircase, the piece starts in the present then, over a sequence of scenes, moves several years backwards only to return to the present again at its end. Another radio play, Where Are They Now, interweaves scenes in which school graduates meet in the present with past moments when they were still at school. Travesties composes its account from the viewpoint of the memories of old Henry Carr, who is trying to recall the past but is not quite able to do so because of his erratic memory. In this stage drama, scenes from the past are introduced by the Old Carr’s appearance on the stage. Finally, Arcadia is set in two time periods which, at first, follow each other separately only to become fused at the end of the drama, when the characters from the past and the present dance a waltz together. In all cases, the specific treatment of time adds to the overall richness of the pieces’ texture.


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Uniwersytet Łódzki
Kevin King
Truth Out of Context: The Use of Found Footage in Let The Fire Burn
67 – 81
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Słowa kluczowe

MOVE | compilation documentary | authorial voice | documentary mode

Streszczenie

The documentary film Let The Fire Burn utilizes only preexisting news, deposition and documentary footage to chronicle the 1985 bombing of a radical political group’s headquarters by the city of Philadelphia. The article holds that the process of editing this compiled footage into a narrative sequence reflects the temporal process of contextual change in what both the filmmakers and viewers consider authorial voice of “truth” in 2013 as opposed to 1985. This new contextual viewpoint reflects the proliferation of digital footage from devices such as smart phones, police body cameras and surveillance cameras that have often exposed police and other officials in deceptive practices and falsehoods. This context creates the framework for a new perspective on the MOVE bombing, in which audiences detect a new “truth” behind contemporaneous news coverage and official statements on the event. Yet this new perspective can also be manipulated through the contextual assumptions of current audiences, ones that center upon the assumed validity of found footage over more formal content.


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Uniwersytet Łódzki
Pobierz cały numer
1 – 92
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Polish Association
pjes@pjes.edu.pl
ISSN 2543-5981
for the Study of English