Studia Anglica Posnaniensia, 2019 vol. 54


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    Shakespeare’s "The Tempest" revisited: Nietzsche and the myth of the New World
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2019) Burzyńska, Katarzyna
    The Tempest is the only play in the Shakespearean canon that is open to a purely “Americanist” reading. Although Prospero’s island is located somewhere in the Mediterranean, numerous critics claimed that it deals with the New World (Hulme & Sherman 2000: 171). The paper revisits the existing interpretations, focusing on the turbulent relationship between Prospero and other inhabitants of the island: Caliban, Miranda, and Ariel. In the article I propose a rereading of their relation in the spirit of Friedrich Nietzsche’s perspectivism, utilising Nietzsche’s key philosophical concepts like the Apollonian/Dionysian elements and der Übermensch (the overman). In his vast canon, Nietzsche refers to Native Americans only once and in passing. However, his call for the revaluation of all values seems to be an apt point of departure for a discussion on early colonial relations. Nietzsche’s perspectivism enables to reread both the early colonial encounters and character relations on Shakespeare’s island. Hence, in an attempt at a “combined analysis”, the paper looks at Prospero as the potential overman and also offers a reading of the English source texts that document early encounters between the English and native inhabitants of North America (Walter Raleigh, Richard Hakluyt, Thomas Harriot, Robert Gray).
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    Punctuation in Early Modern English scientific writing: The case of two scientific text types in GUL, MS Hunter 135
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2019) Romero Barranco, Jesüs
    Among the different topics studied by palaeography, punctuation has traditionally been disregarded by scholars for being considered arbitrary and unsystematic (Salmon 1988: 285). However, some studies carried out over the last few decades have demonstrated that the English punctuation system underwent a process of standardisation which started in the Middle English period, from a purely rhetorical to a grammatical function. Moreover, it was towards the sixteenth century when a set of punctuation marks was introduced (i.e. the semicolon), a fact that restricted the functions of major punctuation marks up to that time, such as the period and the comma (Salmon 1999: 40). The present paper analyses the punctuation system in Glasgow University Library, MS Hunter 135 (ff. 34r–121v), a volume that is most suitable for such a study as it contains two different text types belonging to the genre of medical writing: a surgical treatise and a collection of medical recipes. The results confirm that the different punctuation marks are unevenly distributed in the texts under study and, more importantly, their main functions are found at different levels within the text.
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    On intensive endophoric devices in English
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2019) Krivochen, Diego
    This paper deals with the syntactic and semantic properties of a specific kind of anaphoric device (AD) in English, instantiated by Prn+SELF lexical items (himself/herself/itself…; ‘SELF’ henceforth), which do not behave like anaphors in the sense of Binding Theory either syntactically or semantically. These devices have received the name of intensives in the grammatical literature (Leskosky 1972; Siemund 2000, among many others). We will look at the syntactic behaviour of so-called intensives in different syntactic contexts, and refine the classification of these ADs taking into consideration (a) how each type of intensive is derived, (b) the kinds of syntactic rules that can affect them, and (c) their meaning.
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    Marlow’s gaze in "Lord Jim" by Joseph Conrad: Between light and shadows
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2019) Sokołowska, Katarzyna
    In Lord Jim Marlow functions not only as a narrator who spins the yarn about the morally problematic case of the young sailor, but also as an interpreter who struggles to register impressions as faithfully as possible thus translating the visual into the discursive. Marlow’s double function establishes the novel as a text about the search to understand and to acquire reliable knowledge about Jim and his dilemma. Levin’s distinction of the two styles of vision, the assertoric gaze and the aletheic gaze, offers a neat conceptualization for Marlow’s visual practices which affect his interpretation of Jim. Levin defines the assertoric gaze as a fixed stare which involves the hegemony of a single standpoint, whereas the aletheic gaze, decentred and subversive, cherishes ambiguity and tends to roam about to accommodate multiple points of view. Levin relates this distinction to the two concepts of truth that Heidegger examines in his critique of the metaphysics of presence: truth as proposition, correspondence, or correctness and truth as aletheia or unconcealment as well as the two types of discourse, the hermeneutical discourse of poetizing and the discourse of statements. If Plato and Descartes defined truth and knowledge in terms of a total visibility, Heidegger insists that the path to truth involves confronting shadows and recognizing that they are necessary for the disclosure of being. Within this philosophical framework it is possible to reassess both Marlow’s failure to form an unequivocal explanation of Jim and his growing epistemological scepticism as a departure from the correspondence theory of truth. The encounter with Jim brings Marlow to interrogate his own strategies of grasping the truth and subverts the focus on light as its visual equivalent.
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    The Middle English creolization hypothesis: Persistence, implications, and language ideology
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2019) O'Neil, David
    Bailey and Maroldt (1977) and Domingue (1977) were the first to argue that language contact during the Middle Ages between Old English and both Old Norse and Norman French resulted in linguistic creolization. This theory, known as the Middle English creolization hypothesis, implies that Middle English, and perhaps Modern English as well, should be classified as a creole. Though frequently discredited on historic, linguistic, and terminological grounds, the creolization hypothesis has attracted interest for longer than might be expected. This paper argues that the persistence of the hypothesis may be ideologically motivated. The first section examines connotations of the term “creole” and applies these connotations to an analysis of the initial presentations of the creolization hypothesis. The second and third section of the paper review and analyze the forty-year history of the debate, focusing separately on arguments for creolization (and koinezation) between Anglo-Norman French and Old Norse, respectively. The fourth and final section examines challenges presented by the concept of creole exceptionalism to common attitudes about language equality and the theory of Universal Grammar. It is argued that these issues attract greater interest when contextualized within a discussion of a “major” world language such as English than when creolization is understood as an atypical process restricted to “peripheral” languages such as Haitian Creole. This paper also references relevant political issues such as the current controversy among medievalists about the field’s historic lack of inclusivity.
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    On the factors influencing EFL students’ intercultural competence
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2019) Sobkowiak, Paweł
    Cultural intelligence (CQ) as a micro-level construct describing intercultural competence has garnered growing attention in academic literature recently, resulting in an increase in research. This paper reports on the empirical research which, using as a survey instrument the Cultural Intelligence Scale (CQS) developed by Earley and Ang (2003), examined intercultural competencies of Polish EFL students at the tertiary education, measured by the level of CQ. In addition, the investigation aimed to analyze whether individual difference variables such as gender, educational level, linguistic proficiency, multilingualism, motivation to study English, and study abroad experience are significant predictors of students’ level of CQ. The results show that the respondents’ intercultural competence has been developed only to a small degree. Further, CQ is positively related to gender, educational level, foreign language proficiency, the number of foreign languages known, motivation to study English, and study abroad experience. Some practical applications of the study findings for the Polish tertiary education have been presented.
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    The Titanic series: Reflections on Cambridge University Press’s edition of the literary works of Joseph Conrad
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2019) Watts, Cedric
    Cambridge University Press’s vast project to produce authoritative new editions of the literary works of Joseph Conrad is now well advanced; but the project is flawed. I maintain that this is the Titanic of editions: big, costly, important, and disastrous. I specify “the literary works”, because I am not concerned with the admirable volumes of Conrad’s letters. The industrious Cambridge editors have done excellent work in correcting longstanding errors and in bringing to light much textual material which was previously lost. The edition is therefore indispensable. The editors have, however, deleted much house styling and correction: “successive layers of non-authorial intervention affecting wording and ‘accidentals’ – punctuation, spelling and word-division”. The result of the Cambridge editorial procedures is a Conradian prose which is often impoverished and is sometimes even ungrammatical and uncouth. In removing much punctuation, the editors have often removed logical clarity and rhetorical effectiveness. In this essay, therefore, I use a sequence of comparisons to demonstrate the presence of a pattern of flaws. The sequences are taken from Notes on Life and Letters, ’Twixt Land and Sea / Tales, Last Essays, Lord Jim, and The Nigger of the “Narcissus”. I compare extracts from the Cambridge texts with extracts taken from other editions.
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    Interpreting Charles Lamb’s ‘neat-bound books’
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2019) Wright, Laura; Langmuir, Christopher
    In this paper we consider a much-quoted phrase published by the essayist Charles Lamb (1775–1834) in the London Magazine in 1822 about a desirable quality in books: that they should be ‘strong-backed and neat-bound’. We identify meanings of modifier neat as evidenced by different communities of practice in early nineteenth-century newspapers, and in particular we present meanings of neat as used in certain Quaker writings known to have been read with approval by Lamb. By this method we assemble a series of nuanced meanings that the phrase neat-bound would have conveyed to contemporary readers – specifically, the readership of the London Magazine.
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    “The darts to wound with endless love!” On Hannah Cowley’s response to Frances Burney’s "Evelina"
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2019-06-19) Paluchowska-Messing, Anna
    The paper traces the intertextual echoes of Frances Burney’s debut novel, "Evelina", in "The Belle’s Stratagem", a play by Burney’s contemporary Hannah Cowley. The latter was certainly an avid admirer of Burney. In one of her poems she pays tribute to the novelist and praises her ability to achieve uncommon subtlety in the depiction of characters in her writing: “What pen but Burney’s …/… draws from nature with a skill so true” (Escott 2012: 38). The paper, however, argues that the connection between the writers and their literary productions goes much further than the obeisance paid to Burney in Cowley’s admiring verses. The congruence between the plots of "Evelina" and "The Belle’s Stratagem", and, in some instances, the very wording used in the two texts, poses immediate questions about its significance in Cowley’s popular play (which was first produced in 1780, two years after the publication of Burney’s debut). The conclusions suggest that Cowley deliberately drew Burney’s novel into a discussion on viable models of femininity and matrimony in contemporary society. But they also point to a wider phenomenon, namely, the extent to which the relationship between the eighteenth-century theatre and novel was reciprocal. While several recent studies discuss the influence of the theatre on the novel, little has been said on the importance of the novel for the development of the contemporary drama. This new reading of Cowley’s "The Belle’s Stratagem" as a response to Burney’s "Evelina" shows the immediacy with which a literary dialogue could be opened by authors and appreciated by audiences on the vibrant eighteenth-century cultural scene.
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    Theory-inspired rather than theory-based criticism: Towards a semeiocritical method for the interpretation of literature
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2019-06-19) Besbes, Khaled
    The present article is written almost a decade and a half after the reticent announcement of the death of literary theory by a number of scholars around the world. But during all these years, the humanities have not managed to drive Theory out of the seminar rooms of English departments, nor have the anti-theory proponents managed to remove it from the syllabi of English studies or even from the shelves of specialized libraries. After all these years, English studies academicians find themselves still doing Theory: holding conferences on how to conduct literary studies, organizing debates on how to launch new approaches that could possibly replace critical theories, and encouraging research into less-theorized methods of literary interpretation that could respond to the ineluctable need for a method in studying literature. For good or ill, whether we admit it or not, the echoes of literary theories continue to linger behind the scenes of all debates about literature and literary studies. The question is therefore not how to bring those echoes to silence, but rather how to find a way out of the post-theory deadlock by proposing what I have chosen to name the semeiocritical method as a theory-inspired, rather than theory-based approach to literature. The present article seeks to answer two questions: (1) how can we benefit from the lessons of literary theory without systematically doing theory or being methodically loyal to theories? and (2) how can we maximize the effects of literary interpretation in such a way as to cover as many aspects as possible of the signifying processes in the literary text while maintaining interpretive consistency?
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    Social (in)justice, or the condition of global capitalism in "The Lost Child" (2015) by Caryl Phillips
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2019-06-19) Frątczak-Dąbrowska, Marta
    The present article is a critical rereading of Caryl Phillips’s latest novel "The Lost Child" (2015). It looks at the text as both a literary comment on the crisis of today’s global capitalism and as an acute socio-economic analysis of the crisis’ roots and effects. It is being argued that, by placing "Wuthering Heights" (1847) as an intertext for his contemporary novel and by linking the figure of Heathcliff with African slavery and contemporary poverty, Caryl Phillips aims to emphasise the affinity between the socio-economic conditioning of the nineteenth- and twentieth-century England, as well as between the contemporary and historical experience of economic marginalisation. Thus, he shows global capitalism as a universal experience of long modernity and asks some vital questions about its shape and its future. The following analysis, in line with recent scholarship in the field of postcolonial studies, combines postcolonial criticism with socio-economic theories and argues that the novel deserves a place in the ongoing debates on the condition of the global economy, social (in)justice and (in)equality, which nowadays become part of the postcolonial literary scholarship.
Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Biblioteka Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego