Sacrifice is an act and a concept of considerable importance to contemporary conflict. However, interpretations of the role and nature of sacrifice vary historically, culturally, and situationally. This article discusses the various ways that sacrifice has been interpreted in the anthropological literature, including an analysis of forms of conflict, negotiation, and sacrifice pertaining to Bougainville. Professional conciliators and government emissaries negotiating a solution to the Bougainville conflict brought into play ideologies and processes they often claimed were based on an understanding of indigenous ways of resolving conflict. A critical assessment of this claim discusses the possible effects of the co-option of ritual and traditional means of negotiation and considers what is lost in translation.
This article proposes that Q1 Hamlet is best understood as an early Gothic tragedy. It connects Catherine Belsey’s work on Shakespeare’s indebtedness to ‘old wives’ tales’ and ‘winter’s tales’ about ghosts with Terri Bourus’s evidence of Q1’s connections to Stratford-upon-Avon, the 1580s, and the beginnings of Shakespeare’s London career. It conducts a systematic lexical investigation of Q1’s Scene 14 (not present in Q2 or F), showing that the scene’s language is indisputably Shakespearian. It connects the dramaturgy of Q1 to the dramaturgy of Titus Andronicus, particularly in terms of issues about the staging of violence, previously explored by Stanley Wells. It also shows that Titus and Q1 Hamlet share an unusual interest in the barbarity and vengefulness of Gothic Europe (including Denmark and Norway).
Embracing Contamination in Twentieth-Century Crime Fiction
In Powers of Horror (1982), Julia Kristeva suggests that the corpse is ‘the utmost in abjection. It is death infecting life’. This categorical statement, while not intended for the genre of crime fiction, nonetheless does much to explain the power and appeal of the twentieth century’s most successful fictional formula. For Kristeva, the abject is ‘the in-between, the ambiguous, the composite’ (4); it is experienced as an encounter with ‘an other who precedes and possesses me’ (10) and it is ‘a border that has encroached upon everything’ (3). Borders both defend and confine. They are the necessary limits that protect the subject from psychosis, and they are that which deny us our desired return to a lost imaginary plenitude. Kristeva’s abject evokes seepage, it speaks to the instability of borders, and the impossibility of the pristine, the firm, the uncontaminated. And it is just this sense of unavoidable defilement, this tension between the maintenance and collapse of cultural and social boundaries, that underpins both the crime genre and our fascination with the form.
Miglena Nikolchina, Rodena ot glavata. Fabuli i siuzheti v zhenskata literaturna istoria (Born from the head: Plots and narratives in women’s literary history), Sofia: SEMA RSh, 2002, 188 pp., 5.99 BGN (pb), ISBN 954-8021-14-5
Miglena Nikolchina, Matricide in Language. Writing Theory in Kristeva and Woolf, New York: Other Press, 2004, 150 pp. $24.00 (pb), ISBN 1-59051-080-1
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