Vol. 6, 2005




Literatures and Cultures in English between Nationalism and Internationalism


Associate Editor’s Note




Anglo-centric Attitudes: Reconstructing Englishness in the Age of Devolution




A Map of the State of Ohio



The Revolution Will Be Televised: Global Media Construction of the 1989 Revolution in Romania



Disenchanted Ireland: The Parody of the Cathleen ni Houlihan Motif in James Joyce’s “A Mother”



Metaphors for Reading the Postcolonial: Salman Rushdie’s Poetics of a Political Genre



Coming out of Oblivion: History and Identity in Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassins and Alias Grace (II)



Straw Dogs and the Aesthetics of Violence (II)



The Space of Connection: Notes on an Interview with Paul Auster



Contemporary Translation Theories: Romanian Contributions to Poetry Translation Theory

OVIDIU MATIU            


A Romanian’s Irish Cultural Studies Newsletter: A Case Study in the International Reception of Irish National Identity





Contemporary Writing in English: An Uncommon Dialogue

CRISTINA-EVA SANDRU on Writing across Worlds: Contemporary Writers Talk edited by Susheila Nasta and Contemporary British and Irish Fiction: An Introduction through Interviews edited by Sharon Monteith, Jenny Newman and Pat Wheeler                                                                                                          


Book Announcement  

Great Tales of Liberia: As Told by Wilton Sankawulo. Lucian Blaga University, Sibiu, 2004. Preface by Leland Conley Barrows and Reader’s Introduction by Ileana Cristea

Notes on Contributors



A Map of the State of Ohio



The Ohio State University


For my friend Chad Barnett




The postmodern space that Foucault called heterotopia, previously a product of imaginative literature (Borges, Calvino), has become a fact of our everyday spatial experience. The present essay revisits the author’s treatment, in his earlier book, Postmodernist Fiction (1987), of a particular postmodern space, the one identified with the real-world American state of Ohio – a “middling” place, devoid of features (at least as far as the collective imagination is concerned). Ohio, in works of fiction by such postmodernists as Kenneth Patchen, Donald Barthelme, Kenneth Koch, Guy Davenport, and others, is subjected to various forms of “ontological improvisation,” including such strategies as the superimposition of spaces, the sliding in of new spaces under familiar place-names, and the creation of apocryphal landmarks. This fictional construction of the space of Ohio converges with reality when, beginning from the end of the ‘80s, postmodern architects such as Peter Eisenman, Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid transform the built space of Ohio through a series of extraordinary buildings that, in effect, realize in actual materials the imagined spaces of the earlier postmodernist writers.


Keywords: place, postmodern space, order, representation, heterotopia, electronic media, the internet

The Revolution Will Be Televised: Global Media Construction of the 1989 Revolution in Romania



Prescott College, Arizona



It was like nothing that ever was. Only more so.

(Jim Thompson in Pop. 1280)





The paper is an applied analysis of the apparatuses at work in media representations and their reverberations on global communication to the media construction of the Romanian revolution. Building on Baudrillard’s demystifications of ‘operationalism’, we apply a discourse analytic method to look at the contaminating effects of virtually assisted information technologies, as apparent in the act of commemoration, in particular in the 16th celebration of the Romanian revolution. We argue that, in the Romanian context, extant practices of virtual de-realisation not only invalidate the content of the historical events, but function as liberating (and transactive) ritual re-enactments of the myth of the revolution.


Keywords: communication technologies, media, techno-structure, globality, virtual reality, form, simulation


Disenchanted Ireland: The Parody of the Cathleen ni Houlihan Motif in James Joyce’s “A Mother”



University of Bucharest


Set against the background of an alleged culturally revived Ireland, James Joyce’s short-story subtly pinpoints the ineffective and even non-existent “artistic reform” undertaken at the time. The present paper aims to analyse the cultural milieu of Ireland mirrored by the Cathleen ni Houlihan archetype understood as a feminine figure thought of by the Jacobite poets of the eighteenth century or for the Blessed Virgin celebrated by Anglo-Irish literature. Filtered through Genette’s concept of mimotext and Linda Hutcheon’s use(s) of parody, the paper renders the image of Ireland – embodied by Kathleen, an amateur artist – as part of the modernist Weltanschauung and forma mentis according to which the city and its history, cultural foundations, cultural and national identity, mentality and social practices have lost their historic, and historicised, signification, forging a space of alienation and estrangement, both translated as disenchantment.


Keywords: James Joyce, Irish revival, Mother Ireland, nationalism, cultural crisis, parody, allegory


Metaphors for Reading the Postcolonial: Salman Rushdie’s Poetics of a Political Genre

MICHAELA NICULESCUUniversity of Bucharest


The paper is informed by the critical thinking of cultural difference and postcolonial discourse in that it reflects an uneasiness of the speaking and acting subject, a displacement felt in relation to his/ her “own” symbolic system in Salmon Rushdie’s work. It is definitely intent on opening up a space (linguistic, discursive) which should ideally host story-telling as thinking in different idioms and different cultures at once, at the heart of a “same” national language.

Rushdie conceives of the Indian space, or so the argument will go, as a possible source for starting to think of societies as physical and imaginary realms in which difference reigns. Cultural difference, as a necessarily discriminative process of signification, can be opposed to cultural diversity which, as a concept, presupposes an “epistemological object” which can be known or experienced. Rushdie’s difference emerges as an actualization of a patchwork of images and names stored in a comic hero’s authorial memory and rendered explosively manifest through the abundance of dates and the accuracy of context-presentation. The formal option is simultaneously a polemical one: Rushdie’s magic realism is read as criticism of the sexual, ethnic, linguistic and religious suppression exerted within imperialistic social and political formations.

Keywords: Cultural difference, colonialism, discourse, history, language, narrative, poetics

The Space of Connection: Notes on an Interview with Paul Auster

 JAMES PEACOCKUniversity of Edinburgh


This paper is a report – partly anecdotal, partly analytical – on an interview with the Brooklyn writer Paul Auster conducted in March 2005. Taking for his central theme “connection” as a metaphysical, literary-historical and political concept, James Peacock argues that Auster’s primary concern is the struggle to break free of a paralysing, closed and melancholic textuality and re-engage with the other. The exchange of stories effected in reading and writing proves to be critical in this ongoing struggle. Combining quotations from the interview with analysis of that material in the light of secondary sources such as the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, the author suggests that even a complex notion such as democracy is ultimately bound up, for Auster, in the reciprocity of narrative. 

Keywords: Paul Auster, interview, connection, democracy, melancholia, love, writing

Contemporary Translation Theories: Romanian Contributions to Poetry Translation Theory


Lucian Blaga University, Sibiu

AbstractThis paper deals with several contemporary theories on poetry translation, focusing on a few Romanian theoretical contributions to the field. Some theoreticians state that translation is one of the most complex higher order activities of the human brain. We argue that translation does not involve only the human intellect but also love, passion and the translator’s human divine ego (daimon); the modern reader cannot be perceived anymore like a passive receiver of a text, but as its active evaluator and must be re-evaluated and invited to join the process of creation. In order to support our approach we consider a number of translation theories as well as several concepts, such as intertextuality, logopoeia, melopoeia, phanopoeia. Our conclusion is that the artistic effect of poetry is based on its intrinsic musical and artistic value, and thus the translation, to be successful, must function as a poem in the similar way it does in the source language. 

Keywords: translation, code, logopoeia, melopoeia, phanopoeia, poetry, core

A Romanian’s Irish Cultural Studies Newsletter: A Case Study in the International Reception of Irish National IdentityIOANA ZIRRAUniversity of Bucharest

Abstract The paper reflects on the reception of Irish cultural identity in Romania, in the academic frame. First we shall offer a report on the identity themes or issues tackled, subsequently we will show how these themes or features can be worked into an interpretive, imagological model based on the literary reception/interpretation of the national themes through their communication at international level.Keywords: Irish diaspora, identity, race, religion, borders, divides, imagology, political economy, military history


Contemporary Writing in English: An Uncommon Dialogue



Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu/University of Wales, Aberystwyth


Writing across Worlds: Contemporary Writers Talk. Edited by Susheila Nasta. London: Routledge, 2004; ISBN 0-415-34567-7, pp 384, £10, 99 Pb

Contemporary British and Irish Fiction: An Introduction through Interviews. Edited by Sharon Monteith, Jenny Newman and Pat Wheeler. London: Arnold, 2004; ISBN 0-340-76087-7, pp 180, 14.99£ Pb

Book Announcement  

Great Tales of Liberia: As Told by Wilton Sankawulo. Sankawulo, Wilton. Sibiu: Lucian Blaga University Press, 2004. Preface byLeland Conley Barrows, pp. ii-viii (English) and pp. ix-xiv (Romanian) and Reader’s Introduction byIleana Cristea, pp. xv-xvii (English) and pp. xviii-xxi (Romanian). ISBN 973-651-838-8 (xxv-302 pp.).


As part of an ongoing cooperation between the Lucian Blaga University and Cuttington University of Liberia (West Africa), we at the Journal of American, British and Canadian Studies are pleased to announce the publication of Liberian statesman and author Wilton Sankawulo’s first-time collection of Liberian folktales with our University Press. Professor Sankawulo received a Doctorate, honoris causa, in Literature from LBUS on 23 May, 2001. The information that follows has been excerpted from the introductory comments to the book, contributed by Dr. Leland C. Barrows (then a Programme Specialist and Senior Editor at UNESCO-CEPES, now a Professor of History at Voorhees College, Denmark, South Carolina, USA) and Dr. Ileana Cristea of LBUS.


The coordinator of this academic cooperation project is Prof. Dr. Eric Gilder. Readers interested in finding out more about the initiative are invited to contact him at eric.gilder@ulbsibiu.ro.


ISSN 1841-1487 (Print)
ISSN 1841-964X (Online)
© The Academic Anglophone Society of Romania, 2010
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