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Achebe's Spatial Temporalities

Literary Chronotopes in Things Fall Apart and Arrow of God

Harry Olufunwa

Human perception is most commonly shaped by the ostensible "concrete" nature of things, that is, by their existence at specific moments of time and in particular locations in space. In spite of longstanding philosophical enquiry into the issue of "whether time has a continuous or discontinuous structure", there is clearly a close correspondence between the progression of time and moment in space.

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Rebecca Posusta

The ability to control where and how any given space will be occupied is a coveted but elusive privilege for the heroines of Jane Austen's novels. Though blessed with an admirable blend of independence of mind, spirit and moral fortitude, they are women for whom the privilege of space is often either an intangible desire or an oppressive reality. In Persuasion, Austen deliberately creates a problem with space. She purposefully contradicts what is expected in public and private behaviour by presenting a heroine who is at first constricted by her place; who begins to expand the number of spaces she is able to occupy; and then, finally, begins to defy her place. This article explores how this use of physical and psychological space in Persuasion evolves and how Austen involves her heroine in the discourse of social change through both narrative description and a new accessibility of psychological landscape.

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‘Shakespeare Had the Passion of an Arab’

The Appropriation of Shakespeare in Fadia Faqir’s Willow Trees Don’t Weep

Hussein A. Alhawamdeh

patriarchal dramatization of women in Shakespeare and offers new liberating spaces for Arab Jordanian female characters. The ‘assimilation’ process, as defined by Al-Shetawi, fits only the characterization of Raneen, Najwa’s mother, and later is disrupted by

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Kipling's Singing Voice

Setting the Jungle Books

Stephen Benson

Bringing the jungle to book, in the case of Kipling’s Jungle Books, involves representing it by the book, according to an organic, hierarchical division of the space. We first meet the toddler Mowgli when he has just learnt to walk, so initially he must be spoken for, but the narrative then skips ‘ten or eleven whole years’ (43), by which time Mowgli has grown into his voice and the central discursive space of the jungle, that of the ‘Free People’. Around this space are organised peripheral sites and inhabitants which serve to establish and maintain its legalised centrality.

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Leena Kore Schröder

In spite of recent post-modernist challenges to the binary Cartesian spatio-temporal model, the concept of space – how it is produced, and how we situate ourselves within it – still tends to be eclipsed by the more dynamic and fluid concept of time. Space is cumbersomely solid compared with a temporality that has been attractively insubstantial, at least since the onset of modernism: it carries rather old-fashioned suggestions not only of continuity and stability, but also of existing as something apart from and different from the lives and events which find their location in it. For as long as such distinctions are maintained, the interdependent relations which produce and determine our social and cultural spaces remain overlooked. These are false distinctions which distort a fuller understanding of the relations between writer, text and external world, and they are particularly damaging to someone like John Betjeman, whose work has come to be identified with a specifically nostalgic world of Englishness. It is precisely this familiar world that needs to become the location for a revision of Betjeman and the production of English space.

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James Brown

The idea of 'mental maps' can be used to explore the way in which readers reconstruct place and landscape in Austen's fiction. Notwithstanding valuable research on Austen and landscape, that reconstruction is difficult because Austen seldom describes landscape and we are cut off from her assumptions about it by the reshaping of nature by Romanticism and by the Industrial Revolution. Austen had a practical as well as an aesthetic awareness of land, and sought to represent it accurately. Her interest in the landscape is explored by comparison with William Cobbett. To examine how space and landscape in Austen's novels are reimagined today, the article discusses three films based on them: Sense and Sensibility (1995), and versions of Emma produced by ITV and BBC (1996, 2009). In these films space is readily constructed expressively, psychologically or symbolically, but a dimension of Austen's realism is lost, and is replaced with elements of fantasy.

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Introduction

Reading and Writing in Prison

Anne Schwan

The aims of this special issue on ‘Reading and Writing in Prison’ are twofold: to insist on the cultural significance of paying serious critical attention to the genre of prison writing beyond canonical authors (such as Oscar Wilde) and to showcase reading and writing in prison as a space for radical pedagogy and social transformation – potential transformation not only for those ‘inside’ but also those going into prisons as facilitators, be they creative practitioners, academics, or university students.

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Moroccan Shakespeare and the Celebration of Impasse

Nabil Lahlou's Ophelia Is Not Dead

Khalid Amine

A corpus of plays related to Shakespeare has developed within the newly established genre of drama in Morocco since its independence in 1956. Most of these dramas are part of the process of constructing Moroccan cultural/theatrical identity. The various Shakespearean manifestations are, indeed, attempts to make a theatrical space by altering or reproducing the Shakespearean myth. However, in order to conceive of Moroccan dramatic texts related to Shakespeare as cultural utterances, we must read them with and within the parameters of a series of overlapping discursive contexts. These contexts, as I hope to demonstrate, create the conditions within which these hybridized texts take on their complex cultural signifi cation.

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'For I must nothing be'

Kings, Idols, and the Double-Body of the Sign in Early Modern England

Patricia Canning

The importance of the 'word' in sixteenth century theology cannot be overestimated in both its literal and literary manifestations. As the incarnation of divinity, it is given form and material substance through scripture. From a Reformed perspective, this presents a theological anomaly: God is both form (word) and meaning (Word). As a duplicated representation of divinity encoding both nominal and intrinsic properties I propose that the 'W/word' can be read idolatrously. This article considers the implications of such a reading in the theological arena of early modern England. It focuses on the ways in which a theory of duplicated representation, or what I call, the 'double-body of the sign', strengthens while it also problematises early modern conceptions of authority. To date, few scholars have examined and debated these ideas through a stylistic framework using contemporary linguistic models. Focusing on the unstable signification that underpins monarchical and divine authority, I offer an analysis of William Shakespeare's Richard II which aims to address this critical lacuna. Reading Foucault and Kantorowicz, for example, alongside Fauconnier and Turner, I pay particular attention to the ways in which the relationship or bond of resemblance between signifier and signified animates the space in which tension, contradiction, and ultimately, schism can operate to disrupt the process of signification. It is this space within which representation can both exploit and be exploited politically, religiously, and culturally, having the power to destabilise monarchical authority and more devastatingly, the foundations of the Reformed argument.

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Race and Intimacy

Albert Murray's South to a Very Old Place

Carolyn M. Jones

In her essay, ‘Place in Fiction’, Eudora Welty describes place as identity.1 We put a poetic claim on, give a name to, a part of landscape that has put a claim on us. Place, therefore, is space to which meaning has been ascribed2 – as Scott Romine expresses it ‘a network of imperatives, codes, norms, limitations, duties, obligations and relationships’.3 As we name, therefore, we create, as Welty describes it, a crossroads, ‘a proving ground’.4 That place is the South, and the South is the ground of the novel. Yet, so often, as Barbara Ladd reminds us, place can become ‘something phantasmagoric … something longed lost and longed for … a locus of desire’ – a dream rather than a reality. Can place, she asks, function, become viable, dynamic and vital?