Studia Anglica Posnaniensia, 2017 vol. 52.3


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Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
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    Laurence Housman's "The Moon-Flower" and Victorian mystic imagination
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2018-02) Wieliczko-Paprota, Emilia
    The paper explores the theme of mysticism in Laurence Housman’s fairy tale “The Moon-Flower” (1895). It presents the main assumptions of a Victorian inner journey toward a mystical union and analyses symbols which construct the inner landscape which undergoes a mystic transformation. The author attempts to show the metamorphosis of the fairy tale’s main characters and identify its roots in both fairy tale and religious traditions. It is argued that Victorian fairy tales reflect a credible quintessence of the universe. The retold tales of an archetypical quest full of powerful symbols uncover the sublime world hidden under the dull reality. Hence, “The Moon-Flower” is believed to tell the story of inner transformation and open the doors to the myriad stories which were told before and create countless possibilities of interpretation.
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    Travellers, connoisseurs, and Britons: Art commentaries and national discourse in the travel writings of Daniel Defoe and Tobias Smollett
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2018-02) Lipski, Jakub
    This article seeks to explore the interrelationship of two facets characterising eighteenth-century travel writing – art commentaries and national discourse. It is demonstrated that one of the reasons behind the travellers’ repetitious attempts to fashion themselves as connoisseurs was a need to re-affirm their national identity. To this end it offers an analysis of two travel texts coming from two different political moments – Daniel Defoe’s A Tour thro’ the Whole Island of Great Britain (1724–1726), constituting an attempt to read the British as a “great” and prosperous nation after the union of 1707, and Tobias Smollett’s idiosyncratic Travels through France and Italy (1766), shedding light on the British attitude towards the South in the aftermath of the Seven Years’ War and at the outset of the cult of feeling in Britain. It will also be argued that the numerous art commentaries throughout the narratives had a political agenda and supported the national discourse underpinning the texts.
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    “Next unto the gods my life shall be spent in contemplation of him”: Margaret Cavendish’s dramatised widowhood in "Bell in Campo" (i&ii)
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2018-02) Bronk, Katarzyna
    Margaret Cavendish (1623–1673) is nowadays remembered as one of the most outspoken female writers and playwrights of the mid-seventeenth-century; one who openly promoted women’s right to education and public displays of creativity. Thus she paved the way for other female artists, such as her near contemporary, Aphra Behn. Although in her times seen as a harmless curiosity rather than a paragon to emulate, Cavendish managed to publish her plays along with more philosophical texts. Thanks to the re-discovery of female artists by feminist revisionism, her drama is now treated as a valuable source of knowledge on the values and norms of her class, gender, and, more generally, English society in the seventeenth century. Cavendish’s two-partite play Bell in Campo (1662) is a fantasy on the world where women can fight united not only against misogyny but also against an actual enemy. While the two plays seem to be focused on the valiant Lady Victoria and her female “Noble Heroicks”, Bell in Campo likewise offers an odd subplot featuring two widows and their lives without their beloved husbands. In the secular discourse of the seventeenth century, widowhood has been seen as either liberating – as when the woman became the sole owner of her husband’s estate and goods, or regained her own, and thus more independent – or degrading – when she became the not-so-welcomed burden on her children’s shoulders and pockets. Other studies on widowhood likewise state its symbolic function, showing women as the bearers of memory, predominantly of the husband and his virtues, and often attending to the spouse’s site of memory. While discussing the cultural history of properly performed widowhood, seen as the final (st)age of a woman’s life, and taking into account Cavendish’s remarkable biography, the present paper offers a close study of her propositions for appropriate widowhood and its positioning in contrast to other states of womankind as presented in Bell in Campo. It will likewise take into account the more or less sublimated evidence for gerontophobia, particularly in relation to women, as shown in Cavendish’s play and seventeenth century culture.
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    The status of Old English 'dare' revisited
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2018-02) Gregersen, Sune
    The development of dare in the history of English has played an important role in the literature on grammatical change and (de)grammaticalization. This paper aims to clarify two issues regarding the syntax and semantics of dare in earlier English: when it is first attested with to-infinitives, and to what extent it can be said to have been semantically ‘bleached’ in a number of Old English attestations. The conclusions are, firstly, that dare is not attested with to-infinitives in Old English (pace Tomaszewska 2014), and that a number of Middle English attestations that have been suggested in the literature are not convincing (pace Visser 1963–73; Beths 1999; Molencki 2005). Secondly, it is argued that the co-occurrence of dare and verbs like gedyrstlæcan ‘venture, be bold, presume’ in Old English is not an indication of semantic ‘bleaching’ of dare, and that the verb was not more ‘auxiliarized’ in Old English than it is today.
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    Intensity of the reader’s voice in the reading aloud of fiction: Effects of the character’s gender
    (Adam Mickiewicz University, 2018-02) Stolarski, Łukasz
    The speaker’s gender is a crucial factor affecting the acoustic features of the voice. One such feature is voice intensity, also known as sound pressure level (SPL). Previous studies have indicated that the female voice may involve lower values of SPL than the male voice. Moreover, there are suggestions that the variability of voice intensity tends to be lower for women than for men as well. The major aim of this paper is to examine the effects of literary character’s gender on the reader’s SPL, measured in decibels (dB), and the variability of voice intensity, measured as the standard deviation (SD) of SPL, while reading prose aloud. The secondary aims are to investigate the general shifts of SPL and SD of SPL in dialogues independently of other variables and to consider the possible effects of the reader’s gender and the reader’s dialect. In order to accomplish these tasks, a representative sample of dialogue excerpts with male and female characters was used. Each fragment was located in the corresponding audiobook and analysed in terms of the two acoustic features under discussion. Typical values of SPL and the SD of SPL for different readers were measured in the entire chapters from which fragments were selected and the results were compared with those obtained from the extracts. In this way, it was possible to establish the relative shifts of SPL and the SD of SPL for each of the analysed fragments. Contrary to what had been expected, a statistical analysis of the results revealed no effects of the character’s gender on any of the response variables. However, conclusions concerning secondary aims were more definitive. A general trend to decrease the SD of SPL in dialogues in comparison to the rest of the text in a novel was observed. This tendency is independent of any of the factors included in the study. It was also observed that male American readers tend to lower their voice intensity when reading dialogues. All these findings may be applied in developing text to speech software.
Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Biblioteka Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego