American Propaganda and the First World War: Megaphone or Gagging Order?
As Europe descended into war in 1914, a variety of observers from politicians to soldiers wondered how the United States of America would react. Public opinion in the country is hard to gauge, partly because modern polling had yet to be introduced, but also because of the ‘melting pot’ of nationalities spread across a vast geographic region with different cultures and traditions. ‘Hyphenated’ Americans who ‘shared’ nationalities were common, meaning that the nation’s government had to tread carefully in reacting to the conflict. Of course, 1917 saw America finally enter the war on the side of the Allies. This was despite President Woodrow Wilson’s campaign slogan of 1916- ‘He Kept Us Out Of War’. Almost immediately after she joined the conflict, a multi-million dollar propaganda drive was launched, spearheaded by the Committee of Public Information (CPI). Its aim was to spread the positive reasons for America’s involvement, both at home and abroad. Movies, speeches, books, adverts and a variety of other means were employed. But did America need such convincing? Were the perceived ‘isolationist’ tendencies of Americans, quoted so often by dissenting Senators, an illusion? This article will explore these issues, first examining the CPI in detail to provide a detailed look at propaganda, before discussing what we know of the American people’s feelings towards the conflict, concluding whether propaganda was a gagging order against dissent to create the illusion of support, or merely a megaphone giving the majority opinion an even louder voice.
Keywords: History – America - Public Opinion - World War One
Illusions of the other’s Nature as My Own: A Critique of a Theory of Embodied Cognition
This paper examines the workings of ‘altercentricity’ in The Taming of the Shrew. The concept of altercentricity derives from the discovery of the ‘mirror neuron’ system in humans in 2010, and comprises putting oneself in the place of the other, feeling their emotions as if they were one’s own; altercentricity is especially manifest in mimicking the other’s gestures. I examine these gestural processes both within Shakespeare’s plays as characters identify with each other and in terms of the materialisation of characters’ gestures as audience’s affect. Altercentricity thus provides us with a theory of accessing the other’s mind, however it does not as yet provide an adequate theory of deception by the other, or the difference between accessing the minds of real others and illusory or fictional others (such as characters performed onstage). Early modern paradigms of the wife and husband as one person with one will, and as one flesh, resonate strongly with this idea of altercentricity. They also destablised this relationship, and grappled with the problem that the idealised picture of spouses as having one will and one flesh was a fiction, an illusion. The literary focus of this paper is The Taming of the Shrew. Gesturally, Kate and Petruchio take it in turns to play one another. Cognitively, too, Kate and Petruchio come to take the same point of view. Yet the reality they experience is challenged by a (meta)theatrical awareness of illusion.
Keywords: Illusion – Reality - Embodied Cognition – Shakespeare
Reality and Illusion: commonalities of perception in the search for truth in selected texts, a linguistic approach
The quest to find, refine and classify what is real and what is true is as old as civilization itself. Through various artistic media and philosophical metamorphoses to modern times, this quest permeates cultural consciousness. To achieve it, has been the goal of every society on earth. Links have been drawn to all fields from the mathematics of Pythagoras or Fibonacci to the musical harmony of the spheres. These Physical and Metaphysical properties link Aesthetics to Ethics, Nature with Nurture, stimulus with response and balance in argument and thought to behavioural codes. In a series of diachronous texts, this paper attempts to identify a number of these areas and the attempts made by humanity to replicate and explain what is held as true and worthy of regard. It will further focus in part on the influence of Deonic modality in characterizing what is seen as a true statement or action and how that impinges on human action. This approach is enhanced by an acknowledgement of the connections that exist in the continuity of tradition underpinned in the Bible in shaping global mindsets and the debt also to the Greco- Roman Classical tradition, in its understanding of formal rhetorical practices with regard to the esoteric, linguistic, behavioral and political aspects of the greater concept of truth. Therefore, punctiliousness in language, physical attraction and attention to codes of behavior can all be related to the greater social good.
Keywords: Language - Rhetoric – Modality - Deontic logic
Invisible Authors and Other Illusionists: Hungarian Translation in the First Half of the Twentieth Century
Lawrence Venuti’s concept of the translator’s invisibility is widely used in Translation Studies to describe contemporary British and American translation. It denotes a translation model in which a transparent target text masquerades as non-translation and creates the illusion of access to an unadulterated original. East European translation has not been shaped by the same historical forces as its Western counterpart, and therefore its theorisation requires a different critical vocabulary. East European literary cultures have been influenced by a collective sense of inferiority in relation to the West, Communist politics, and the need to construct a national identity through art, all of which has led to the development of a cultural paradigm that accords great importance to translation, and views it as a creative, rather than derivative, process. This approach to translation was particularly strong in Hungary in the first half of the twentieth century, when literary translators enjoyed great prestige and freedom in their treatment of source texts. Many notable translators of the time published in the literary journal Nyugat [West]. Their works reveal assumptions about the nature and purpose of translation that are very different from contemporary Western attitudes. This translator-centred practice is illustrated by Dezső Kosztolányi’s translation of ‘The Raven’, while the debate surrounding the 1955 publication of the complete works of Shakespeare in Hungarian demonstrates a high degree of prestige accorded to translation.
Keywords: invisible translator – Venuti - Hungarian translation - Nyugat, Kosztolányi
Kristina H. Reardon
Portrayals of Childhood Innocence in Contemporary Israeli Fiction
This paper examines Israeli short stories and novellas from the late twentieth century which feature child narrators. In particular, it references and analyzes: A. B. Yehoshua’s novel A Late Divorce (1984); Yehudit Katzir’s short story ‘Disneyel’ (1987); and Amos Oz’s novellas Panther in the Basement (1995), The Hill of Evil Counsel (1974), and Mr. Levi (1975). Using the portrayals of the children narrators of the Romantic period as scaffolding for the analysis of modern Jewish narrators, the paper seeks to prove that the authors do not sentimentalise them but rather position the children as mediators between illusion and reality. Navigating between their psychological perceptions and the socio-political realities of the tumultuous state in which they live, these children begin to lose innocence as they better understand adult life. Ironically, they move into the reality of the adult world while realizing its inherent flaws in comparison with the illusions of their innocent childhoods. Bleak endings subvert the ideas of sentimentality in these works, while the spectacle of childhood is elevated to a complex psychological condition. In the end, however, the children are leaving childhood and are left staring into a dark, uncertain, but real future—in much the same way that the Israeli nation is.
Keywords: Israel - Child Narrators - Yehudit Katzir - Amos Oz - A. B. Yehoshua
Shifting Identities through Various Places: Perceptional and Spatial Geographies of Horror Literature and Andreas Roman’s Mörkrädd and Vigilante
In much horror fiction, spaces and our perceptions associated with those spaces popularly play a central role in a novel’s effect. Thus, my paper aims to examine differences between perception of physical and psychological spaces in the scope of two characters dealing with fear and psychosis in Swedish horror author, Andreas Roman’s novels, Mörkrädd (Afraid of the Dark) and Vigilante. First, I attempt to provide an insight into how we can define these spaces as geographies and then utilize theories of perception and identity to connect how we relate to these geogrpahies, primarily focusing on theories of Yi-Fu Tuan and Zygmunt Baumann. After establishing a sense of relationship to geogrpahies, physical and psychological, then the paper analyzes Roman’s main protagonists within their respective novels, to identify and connect how these characters interact and exist within their geographies. By utilizing this approach, the paper then contends how we readers can apply these theories of perception, identity and geography between physical and psychological spaces to our everyday lives in the reality in which we live.
Keywords: Andreas Roman - Horror Literature - Zygmunt Baumann – Fear - Psychosis
The reality of imagining the Holocaust: David Levinthal’s Mein Kampf
Many of us who did not experience the Holocaust confront depictions of the reality of that horror. Yet survivors such as Elie Wiesel suggest that its reality cannot be known by those who did not experience it. Not a survivor himself, American photographer David Levinthal nonetheless appears to ‘retell’ the concentration camp in his work Mein Kampf, first exhibited in 1994. This article proposes that he is not in fact attempting to transform the experience of survivors into knowledge of the Holocaust but is instead exploring what we do with their, and others’, attempts to make that transformation. Drawing on theory concerned with the miniature such as Susan Stewart’s work, it explores his employment of toys to create miniature scenes of both pageantry and the horror and what this reveals about the act of imagining the Holocaust. It moves on to consider the effect of the blurring found in Levinthal’s images and how our responses are shaped by his chosen medium. Finally it examines what Levinthal suggests about the way Holocaust iconography influences our necessarily vicarious experience of the event. It suggests, in conclusion, the ways in which Mein Kampf can inform our encounters with representations of the Holocaust’s reality.
Keywords: Holocaust – Photography – Imagination – Levinthal - Toys
Wisam Khalid Abdul Jabbar
The Subversive Homeric Reality in Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida
This paper argues that Troilus and Cressida is a problem play as Shakespeare subverts the heroic attribute in the Homeric narrative of the play. By drawing on the Greek conceptualization of the Mythos and Logos as two worldviews, this paper examines how these two contrasting notions of reality disturb the conventions of a tragedy. As Shakespeare dismisses the world of Mythos as subjective and intuitive, the world of the Logos takes over by asserting its own rationality. Shakespeare undermines the heroic nature of some Homeric heroes as he ridicules their idealized, and yet irrational acts. Shakespeare’s derision of the heroic age takes an allegorical bent, as represented by Mythos versus Logos, which unseats the tragic elements. The conflictual nature between the world of myth against that of reason stigmatizes any attempt to ascribe the play to one particular genre.
Keywords: Shakespeare – Mythos – Logos – Troilus – Cressida - Homer
Kevin J. Brown
Illusion, Reality, and the Pursuit of Justice and the Common Good
One of the central features to be found in the modern pursuit of justice is the primacy of the individual. Under the liberal paradigm, the individual is understood as the basic unit of society and should be freed to author their own meaning and pursue their own conception of the good. However, should one’s pursuit consist of communal goods, the liberal endowments of equality, fairness, and rights found in contemporary western societies are illusory attributes to bring about the realization of such a desire. After arguing this point, this paper ends with the suggestion that, in reality, a liberal social arrangement does not produce communal considerations and the common good so much as it requires it, offering what we might call a “bounded” autonomy. A bounded autonomy allows for one to conceive of and pursue their ends with consideration to shared-norms and communal ties that contribute to the agent’s identity. The conceptual shift from unencumbered autonomy to a bounded autonomy is a shift from illusion to reality in the pursuit of justice and the common good.
Keywords: Social Arrangements - Liberalism, Common Good – Equality – Fairness – Rights – Virtue
Sandra Dopico Ardao
The Imaginative Gateway into a Psychological Realism: A Study of Carlos Saura’s 1970’s Films
This article examines the development of a psychological-realist style in the 1970’s films of the Spanish cinema director Carlos Saura. He worked under the cultural censorship of Franco’s regime (1936-1975), a fact that forced the director to craft an ingenious visual narrative style in order to get his critical vision of the Spanish society across. The particularly harsh restrictions of the 1970’s administration culminated in a series of enigmatic psychological dramas in which Saura developed a symbolic and poetic psychological realism which allowed him a greater personal and critical expression. In this light, we study the development of Saura’s realistic aesthetics in a direct connection with the socio-political changes in Francoist Spain. El Jardín de las Delicias (1970), La Prima Angélica (1973) and Cría Cuervos (1975) are analysed in order to understand how the director discloses a new conception of reality in which the psyche struggles to differentiate between the factual and the illusory, memories and dreams, fantasies and sensations. All these multiple dimensions of the real, together with the influence of the Spanish realist tradition, are considered the key factors that enrich Saura’s notion of the real, crafting what we see as a powerful cinematographic style which achieved high levels of critical expression despite the oppressive regime.
Keywords: Carlos Saura – Spain – Cinema – Censorship – Realism
Vanessa Aliniaina Rasoamampianina
Scientific Knowledge versus Encyclopaedic Knowledge: Which Aspects of Science to Present inside Encyclopaedias?
This is an empirical study which explores the contrast between the perceived unquestionable nature of encyclopaedic knowledge and the actual but complex and tentative nature of scientific knowledge. Knowing in which way science should be presented inside encyclopaedias is of key importance for any encyclopaedia author. A survey conducted with 75 authors who recently contributed articles on climate change allowed me to describe current views and practices. Although previous literature advocates that the actual nature of science should be reflected within encyclopaedias, at least partially, contemporary authors did not always agree. In fact, some authors tended to simplify the presentation of scientific knowledge and to avoid some types of information. The survey also explored various parameters which could have influenced these authors. Finally, suggestions towards the improvement of science communication are provided.
Keywords: Encyclopaedia - Encyclopaedic Knowledge - Scientific Knowledge - Science Communication - Climate Change Communication