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  1. Fulfilling desires : the spatial problems of Disney princesses and why their husbands-to-be are so much better off

    In 2013 Disney released its 53rd animated movie "Frozen". (Very) loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale "The Snow Queen", it tells the story of two sisters, one of which, Elsa, has the power to manipulate ice. Instead of making her the... mehr

     

    In 2013 Disney released its 53rd animated movie "Frozen". (Very) loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale "The Snow Queen", it tells the story of two sisters, one of which, Elsa, has the power to manipulate ice. Instead of making her the real villain of the film, Disney opted for a misunderstood and suppressed young woman, who flees her castle, which she deems a prison, when her subjects find out about her powers. Her younger sister Anna vows to bring her back and to show everyone that her "sister's not a monster. [i]t was an accident. [...] So [Anna] needs to go after her." "Frozen" is the story of the re-bonding of two sisters and Elsa even saves her kid sister eventually by showing Anna that she truly loves her and not some prince. According to Stephen Holden, it is supposed to be a story that "shakes up the hyper-romantic "princess" formula that has stood Disney in good stead for decades and that has grown stale." Holden's review reverberates a general agreement that "Frozen" is finally a movie that can be truly enjoyed by both sexes and that does not promote the idea that love triumphs over anything else.

     

    Hinweise zum Inhalt: kostenfrei
    Quelle: CompaRe
    Sprache: Englisch
    Medientyp: Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
    Format: Online
    DDC Klassifikation: Literatur und Rhetorik (800)
    Lizenz: Veröffentlichungsvertrag für Publikationen
  2. Boxes within boxes and a useless map : spatial (and temporal) phenomena in the "Kingkiller Chronicles"

    At first glance, "The Name of the Wind" and "The Wise Man's Fear", volumes I and II of Patrick Rothfuss' as yet incomplete trilogy "Kingkiller Chronicles", appear to fulfill many conventions of heroic fantasy. The books are set in a world called the... mehr

     

    At first glance, "The Name of the Wind" and "The Wise Man's Fear", volumes I and II of Patrick Rothfuss' as yet incomplete trilogy "Kingkiller Chronicles", appear to fulfill many conventions of heroic fantasy. The books are set in a world called the Four Corners (of civilization), consisting mostly of feudal states, a mostly rural and agrarian landscape. This world has a distinct but slightly vague "old-timey" atmosphere – there is little technology, transport is mainly by horse-power, there seem to be no fire-arms and no media. However, a form of postal service exists, science and medicine are taught at university and women have access to university education, so it is hard to place this fictional universe within a "real-life" historical epoch.

     

    Hinweise zum Inhalt: kostenfrei
    Quelle: CompaRe
    Sprache: Englisch
    Medientyp: Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
    Format: Online
    DDC Klassifikation: Literatur und Rhetorik (800)
    Lizenz: Veröffentlichungsvertrag für Publikationen
  3. "I was hemmed in by people not in my city" : power, space and identity in China Miéville's "The City and the City"

    From New Corbuzon to UnLondon, China Miéville's works show a preoccupation with the city which transcends the function of setting and serves as a subtext to the plot. As one of the most prominent representatives of weird fiction Miéville constructs... mehr

     

    From New Corbuzon to UnLondon, China Miéville's works show a preoccupation with the city which transcends the function of setting and serves as a subtext to the plot. As one of the most prominent representatives of weird fiction Miéville constructs cityscapes that fascinate the reader with their eccentricity and strangeness, but also with their social, historical and architectural complexity. In "Perdido Street Station" the eponymous landmark in New Corbuzon is essential for the denouement of the plot rather than merely a backdrop. The city is a character in its own right. This is also and especially true for Miéville's 2009 novel "The City and the City". Here, the city seems at first normal, then alien and in conclusion utterly quotidian. The way the literary space and place is built permeates everything in the novel: the way the characters act, the crime plot, the philosophy and mood. At the core, "The City and the City" captures the everyday creation and maintenance of social space and illustrates the human capacity to deal with conflicting, layered realities of communal life and the human condition.

    The "City and the City" is set in the twin city states of Besźel and Ul Qoma that occupy much of the same geographical space, but are perceived as two very different cities. The borders between the cities are invisible and intangible, but reinforced by citizens by "unseeing" and "unsensing" the other one. Meaning: someone in Besźel must ignore everything Ul Qoman even what is right next to them. Some parts of the cityscape are totally in one city but quite a few are "cross-hatched", meaning in either city depending on what is unseen. Unsight is an acquired habit, but one that is performed unconsciously. To unsee the other city is an integral part of being a citizen and important in the socialiation of children. Acknowledging the other city even accidentally is a serious crime called breaching punished by an all-seeing, all-powerful agency named Breach. Why and how the state of separation between the cities came to pass is unknown: an event ambiguously called "cleavage" split or united the cities.

    "The City and the City" won several awards for fantasy writing, although it is fantastic only in one aspect and – plotwise – the novel is crime fiction: a police procedural with noir and hard-boiled touches – genres that lay claim on gritty realism. It is precisely this uncertainty of genre that allows a subversive reading of the text and contributes to the social criticism therein. In the novel Inspector Tyador Borlú from Besźel investigates the murder of foreign student Mahalia Greary across the cities and uncovers a conspiracy to exploit the cities' cultural heritage for profit.

     

    Hinweise zum Inhalt: kostenfrei
    Quelle: CompaRe
    Sprache: Englisch
    Medientyp: Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
    Format: Online
    DDC Klassifikation: Literatur und Rhetorik (800)
    Lizenz: Veröffentlichungsvertrag für Publikationen
  4. Dream worlds and cyberspace : intersubjective tertiary reality in fantasy and science fiction

    What is real? Or rather, is that which we perceive with our senses "real", in the sense that it objectively exists? This question has kept philosophy and literature busy for centuries. An obvious answer is mirrored by language: The German verb... mehr

     

    What is real? Or rather, is that which we perceive with our senses "real", in the sense that it objectively exists? This question has kept philosophy and literature busy for centuries. An obvious answer is mirrored by language: The German verb "Wissen" for instance, as well as the English "to wit", derive from Proto-Germanic *witanan, "to have seen": We know that which we have seen. Equivalent verbs in Romanic languages derive from Latin "sapere", "to taste, have taste". Sensory input determines our knowledge of the world - a practical truth proven also in scientific experiments.

    For Plato, of course, it wasn't so simple. In his allegory of the cave, he shows that "to see" doesn't necessarily mean "to know" in the sense of "to have a correct view of objective reality". His cave dwellers perceive only shadows of artificial objects on a wall, while the true light of reality remains outside, unseen and unknown. Their knowledge of "the world" is an illusion, a fiction existing only in their (and the fiction-makers') heads – a shared sensory experience misleading to a limited, distorted and conventional view of reality. Because we're bound to the physical world by the limitations of our bodies, sensory experience is no valid proof for its ultimate reality.

     

    Hinweise zum Inhalt: kostenfrei
    Quelle: CompaRe
    Sprache: Englisch
    Medientyp: Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
    Format: Online
    DDC Klassifikation: Literatur und Rhetorik (800)
    Lizenz: Veröffentlichungsvertrag für Publikationen
  5. Diabolus ex machina : Bulgakov's modernist devil
    Erschienen: 30.12.2014

    In 1937, when Bulgakov was working on Master i Margarita and suffering from rejection by the theatre community, an old friend appealed to him: "Вы ведь государство в государстве. Сколько это может продолжаться? Надо сдаваться, все сдались. Один вы... mehr

     

    In 1937, when Bulgakov was working on Master i Margarita and suffering from rejection by the theatre community, an old friend appealed to him: "Вы ведь государство в государстве. Сколько это может продолжаться? Надо сдаваться, все сдались. Один вы остались. Это глупо." And indeed "государство в государстве" ("a state within a state") is an appropriate way of describing a man who was feverishly working on a modernist novel at the height of socialist realism. The very fact that Master i Margarita was written in the oppressive environment of the 1930s makes it a unique modernist work, for it emerges as a protest against socialist realism and a defense of artistic freedom. In this respect the modernist qualities of Bulgakov's novel acquire a new dimension because Master i Margarita becomes a kind of artistic devil, fulfilling the traditional diabolic role of opposing authority. This is why Woland, as a character, is the metonymic expression of the novel's revolt.

     

    Hinweise zum Inhalt: kostenfrei
    Quelle: CompaRe
    Sprache: Englisch
    Medientyp: Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
    Format: Online
    Lizenz: Veröffentlichungsvertrag für Publikationen