Connotations : a Journal for Critical Debate

Articles from Vol. 15, No. 1-3, 2005

A Modest Letter in Response to the Great Gatsby, Bakhtin's Carnival, and Professor Bevilacqua*
Dear Editors:Many thanks for forwarding me this article and providing me with an opportunity to respond to it. I not only appreciate the print forum you have offered in Connotations, but also found myself highly engaged with the author's argument and...
"Anti-Novel" as Ethics: Lindsey Collen's the Rape of Sita1
When The Rape of Sita came out in 1993 it was immediately attacked by a group of fundamentalists and by the State.2 The main objection, from people who had not even read the novel, was to the title itself, simply for its linking the Hindu goddess Sita,...
Bakhtin and History: A Response to Winifred Bevilacqua*
Winifred Bevilacqua provides a superb analysis of the overall plot of Gatsby as a Bakhtinian Carnival: the temporary enthroning of a carnival king and queen (Gatsby and Myrtle) replacing the authoritative king and queen of the noncarnival world, Tom...
How to Listen to Mamet: A Response to Maurice Charney*
At the end of his reading of Boston Marriage, Maurice Charney asks: "Is Mamet parodying himself?" (87). It's a good question, in part because it's more than a rhetorical one-as the uncertainty of Charney's conclusion implies. What Charney is certain...
Mamet's Self-Parody: A Response to Maurice Charney*
In his article, Maurice Charney asserts that, whatever else David Mamet may be doing in his plays-and in Oleanna and Boston Marriage, specificaUy-he parodies himself. That is, Mamet's work is persistently self-referential: at every of their own dramatic...
On Cheney on Spenser's Ariosto*
Calling Spenser's reprises of Ariosto "parody" initially strikes me as wrongheaded. But it is striking nonetheless, and that is not a bad way to capture a reader's attention. It may not exactly fit the rhetorician's terminology for an apt strategy in...
"OOOO That Eliot-Joycean Rag1": A Fantasia2 upon Reading English Music
Fathers, Sons and Vegetation MythIn "The Relics of Learning," his review of Peter Ackroyd's English Music, James Buchan institutes a comparison between Ackroyd and a hypothetical postmodernist architect, who, asked to buUd a tool shed, would encrust...
Perversions and Reversals of Childhood and Old Age in J. M. Coetzee's Age of Iron
IntroductionThis paper is based on a critical rereading of J. M. Coetzee's Age of Iron. 'Surprise' as the central aspect of investigation is understood and used here in the sense of 'textual surprise': elements of unexpectedness or unorthodoxy within...
P. G. Wodehouse Linguist?1
One of the world's great comic writers, "English literature's performing flea" (according to Sean O'Casey), a linguist? Surely not. In the first place, we Brits have traditionally been resistant to learning foreign languages (on the grounds that English...
Pivots, Reversals, and Things in the Aesthetic Economy of Howells's the Rise of Silas Lapham
And some certain significance lurks in all things, else all things are little worth, and the round world itself but an empty cipher, except to sell by the cartload, as they do hills about Boston, to fill up some morass in the Milky Way. (Herman Melville,...
Shakespeare's Country Opposition: Titus Andronicus in the Early Eighteenth Century
Since the play's first performance in the early 1590s, Titus Andronicus has enjoyed a rather uneven performance history. William Shakespeare's first revenge tragedy achieved some considerable popularity in the playwright's lifetime, with regular performances...
Stylistic Self-Consciousness versus Parody in David Mamet: A Response to Maurice Charney*
Defining parody as "a form of imitation for satirical purposes," Maurice Charney in his essay "Parody-and Self-Parody in David Mamet" notes that it is an "acute, stylistic self-consciousness" such as Mamet's that "makes parody, and especially self-parody,...
The American Carnival of the Great Gatsby*
ITo argue that F. Scott Fitzgerald's long-held masterpiece The Great Gatsby (1925) produces in the United States of the 1920s a replication of Bakhtinian forms of carnival excess and release is an interesting, and indeed productive, deployment of Bakhtin's...
The Tempest in the Trivium
To the delight of his audiences, both past and present, Shakespeare rarely created names of stubbornly obscure origin. In his last play, however, it seems he did just that. I refer, namely, to Sycorax-witch-mother of Caliban and, though absent, arch...
Unscrambling Surprises
"A sense of place was everything to William Faulkner," is the way Jay Parini begins his new biography of Faulkner (2004) entitled One Matchless Time; "and more than any other American novelist in the twentieth century, he understood how to mine the details...
Vladimir Nabokov and the Surprise of Poetry: Reading the Critical Reception of Nabokov's Poetry and "The Poem" and "Restoration"*
Vladimir Nabokov is a surprising poet.1 As a question of audience awareness, for many readers, the very designation of Nabokov as a poet comes as a revelation. Although an author amply admired for his ability to styUse and shape to formal perfection...
Waugh's Conrad and Victorian Gothic: A Reply to Martin Stannard and John Howard Wilson*
I am delighted that my article on Waugh, Conrad and Eliot has prompted such detailed, erudite, and thoughtful responses from Martin Stannard, Waugh's biographer, and John Howard Wilson, the editor of the Evelyn Waugh Newsletter and Studies. There is...
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