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Graham Holderness

In this issue of Critical Survey, the journal continues to publish cutting-edge research on Shakespeare and Renaissance literature, together with innovative work in modern literature and theatre studies.

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Islam, Travel, and Learning

A Case Study on Indonesian Muslim Student Diasporas in Saudi Arabia

Sumanto Al Qurtuby

Abstract

This article focuses on the study of the relationship between Islam, travel, and learning by conducting a case study on Indonesian Muslim students who studied (or are studying) in Saudi Arabia. Specifically, it examines the changing dynamics of these students who traveled, immigrated to, and studied in Saudi Arabia in search of knowledge from previous centuries to the contemporary era. This article shows that Indonesian students in this peninsula are deeply plural and complex, far from being a monolithic group in terms of social background, religious affiliation, political orientation, major field of study, and motive of their study, among other factors. Thus, the present article aims at demystifying and challenging the common beliefs and narratives which hold that Saudi Arabia–trained Indonesian students have been exporters of Islamist intolerance, radicalism, or even terrorism.

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L'humanisme et la question du langage

Sartre lecteur de Brice Parain

Hiroaki Seki

Abstract

In this paper we examine the dialogue between Sartre and one of his contemporaries, the philosopher of language, Brice Parain. First, after clarifying what is common and different in their backgrounds, we will see that Sartre and Parain share a common belief that language itself has taken ill, as a result of the First World War, an illness for which both feel a need to find a remedy. Secondly, we will show how Sartre's reading of Parain allowed him to construct a theory of language that is consistent with his own humanism and the principles of committed literature. Finally, we will examine the influence of the religious dimension of Parain's argument on Sartre's theory of authorship.

Résumé

Cet article examine un dialogue important mais peu étudié entre Sartre et le philosophe du langage Brice Parain. Les deux écrivains constatent un mal du langage, issu de la Grande Guerre de 1914-18 et de ses traumatismes que les mots proférés par les survivants sont incapables de prendre en charge. Dans ce monde « inhumain », où trouver un remède ? Pour Parain et Sartre le retour à n'importe quel humanisme implique une réflexion sur le langage. A travers sa lecture de Parain et ce qu'il propose, Sartre repense les bases de sa propre conception du langage d'une manière qui lui permet de développer son propre humanisme et les principes de la littérature engagée. Mais la dimension religieuse de l'argumentation de Parain, écartée par Sartre, laisse-t-elle des traces sur la conception sartrienne de l'auteur ?

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Andonis Piperoglou

Diane Comer. The Braided River: Migration and the Personal Essay (Otago University Press, 2019), 304 pp., ISBN 9781988531533, $35 (paperback).

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Provincial Shakespeare

Donald Wolfit, Marginality, and The Merry Wives of Windsor

Christopher Marlow

Abstract

With reference to aspects of the career of the twentieth-century actor-manager Donald Wolfit and the use of the concept of provincialism in English criticism, this article argues that idealist and universalist values are repeatedly valorised in order to devalue materialist and what might be called ‘provincial’ interpretations of Shakespeare's plays. I pay attention to conditions of production of early modern drama in the sixteenth century, and to Wolfit's Second World War performances of Shakespeare, the reception of which is offered as evidence for the persistence of a critical prejudice against what is understood as provincial marginality. The article concludes with a reading of The Merry Wives of Windsor that argues that the play supports the provincial values that have so often been dismissed by critics.

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Urooj Akailvi

Abstract

This article analyzes the means of self-representation, the conflicts between self/other, and the conscious and unconscious quest for identity by the writer. It attempts to understand travel narratives as being about the journey undertaken in a quest for identity by the traveler/writer, wherein apart from the physical journey of the author the emphasis is laid on the emotional and psychological journey within the author.

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Randolph Miller

Abstract

The popularity of Ultramontanism and the political energy provided by Sacred Heart piety gave French Catholicism of the post-Commune era a militant posture, one that republican socialists saw as antagonistic to their political objectives. This article shows that socialists responded by emasculating their Catholic opponents. Drawing on the materialist tradition that emerged from the Enlightenment and Revolution, and highlighting the resignation and emotive nature of radical Catholic piety, republican socialists maintained that religious belief was evidence of inadequate virility. Speaking to the anxieties of the period, which included concerns about racial degeneration and the adequacy of France on the world stage, this gendering of epistemological convictions allowed socialists to argue for the exclusion of religion and the religious male from French politics.

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Shakespeare’s Orientalism Revisited

A Postcolonial Study of the Appropriation of Arabic/Islamic Allusions and Matters in the Bard’s Oeuvre

Mahmoud F. Al-Shetawi

Abstract

This article attempts to document and examine the corpus of Arabic and Islamic allusions and references in Shakespeare's drama and poetry in line with postcolonial discourse and theory. The works of Shakespeare incorporate a large body of Arabic/Islamic matters, which the Bard has gleaned from different sources, such as travel literature, narratives of pilgrims, history annals and common tales of the Crusaders. However, these matters are sporadic in Shakespeare's works, woven into the fabric of various plays and poems. For example, Shakespeare has thematically used a set of allusions and references to the Arab world such as Arabian trees, the Prophet Mohammed, the Turk, Aleppo, Jerusalem, and many others. Shakespeare has also presented three Oriental characters in his plays: the Prince of Morocco, Shylock and Othello, each with distinctive ethnic and personal traits. A scrutiny of Arabic and Islamic matters in the works of Shakespeare from postcolonial critical perspectives reveals that Shakespeare has a vague idea about Arabs and the Orient at large. Therefore, Shakespeare represents the Orient as the other; his Orient is rather exotic and bizarre, posing as an impending menace to Europe.

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Something Gleaming

Exemplary Resistance and the Shadows of Complicity

Bronwyn Leebaw

Abstract

What kinds of lessons can be learned from stories of those who resisted past abuses and injustices? How should such stories be recovered, and what do they have to teach us about present day struggles for justice and accountability? This paper investigates how Levi, Broz, and Arendt formulate the political role of storytelling as response to distinctive challenges associated with efforts to resist systematic forms of abuse and injustice. It focuses on how these thinkers reflected on such themes as witnesses, who were personally affected, to varying degrees, by atrocities under investigation. Despite their differences, these thinkers share a common concern with the way that organised atrocities are associated with systemic logics and grey zones that make people feel that it would be meaningless or futile to resist. To confront such challenges, Levi, Arendt and Broz all suggest, it is important to recover stories of resistance that are not usually heard or told in ways that defy the expectations of public audiences. Their distinctive storytelling strategies are not rooted in clashing theories of resistance, but rather reflect different perspectives on what is needed to make resistance meaningful in contexts where the failure of resistance is intolerable.

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To travel is to Look, to Look is to Relate

Identity and Otherness in the Account of Otto Nordenskjöld (1902)

Eduardo Gallegos and Jaime Otazo

Abstract

Generally, analyzes of Otto Nordenskjöld's trip to the Antarctic (1901-1904) ignore the preparations that required a previous trip to Chilean-Argentine Patagonia (1894-1897). Even more, these analyzes forget the Colonial dimension of this expedition. This paper intends to fill this void considering for the analysis two images present in the Swedish travel story. The concept of iconology is proposed here as a link between the image (icons) and the story (logos). The aim is to analyze the iconology to discuss the meaningful configuration of an identity gaze—the Europeans—and a gaze on the otherness—the indigenous. The results show that in the iconology presented in the story and in the images, appear paradoxical elements that allow questioning the relevance of the identity-alterity dichotomy through the appearance of third spaces.