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Jésus Tronch

Within the historical context of the Spanish Civil War, 1936–39, ineffectuality, vacillation and irresolution in social and political commitment came under scrutiny as a kind of ‘Hamletism’. Catalan journalist and writer Paulino Masip (1899–1963) cites Hamlet as a type in his article ‘Carta a un español escéptico’ [‘Letter to a sceptical Spaniard’] in the Barcelona-based newspaper La Vanguardia on 16 September 1937, as does José Bergamín (1895–1983) in his contribution to the 2nd International Congress of Writers in Defence of Culture, published in the monthly review Hora de España in August 1937. A theatre production of Hamlet in Valencia in December 1937 reveals similar conflicts and anxieties. In the novel El diario de Hamlet García [The Diary of Hamlet García], written during his exile in Mexico, Masip criticizes wartime Hamletism and reflects upon the dilemmas the civil war imposed on him, contemporary intellectuals and the civilian population of Madrid.

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Maureen Mulligan

This article contrasts two accounts by women written between 1936 and 1939 describing their experiences of Spain during the Spanish Civil War. The aim is to question how far travel writers have a political and ethical relation to the place they visit and to what extent they deal with this in their texts. The global politics of travel writing and the distinction between colonial and cosmopolitan travel writers affect the way a foreign culture is articulated for the home market through discursive and linguistic strategies. The texts are Kate O’Brien’s Farewell Spain (1937) and Gamel Woolsey’s Death’s Other Kingdom: A Spanish Village in 1936 (1939). The conclusions suggest women adopt a range of positions toward the Spanish conflict, depending on their personal commitment and their contact with local people, but their concern to articulate the experience of others in time of crisis has a strong ethical component.

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Bringing Lebanon’s Civil War Home to Anglophone Literature

Alameddine’s Appropriation of Shakespeare’s Tragedies

Yousef Awad

In I, The Divine (2001) and An Unnecessary Woman (2013), Arab American novelist Rabih Alameddine borrows lines, characters, themes, motifs and tropes from Macbeth and King Lear to portray the horrendous experiences his protagonists undergo during and after Lebanon’s fifteenyear civil war. In An Unnecessary Woman, traumatic memories of the war leave Aaliya Saleh reclusive and isolated, sharing a building with three other women whom she dubs ‘the three witches’; in I, The Divine, Sarah Nour El-Din, the youngest of three daughters of a Lebanese-American couple, feels alienated and displaced and eventually chooses self-imposed exile. Alameddine frames Aaliya’s and Sarah’s stories within narratives of chaos, anarchy and sweeping violence reminiscent of Macbeth and Lear. Reading Alameddine’s novels as appropriations of Shakespeare’s tragedies valorizes the novelist’s contrapuntal vision and demonstrates how Arab writers in diaspora, writing in English for an international readership, strategically draw on Western canonical texts to represent the experiences of Arab characters.

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Dina A. Amanzholova

This article examines the movement for the achievement of national and regional autonomy for the indigenous peoples of Siberia. Concentrating on East Siberia, the author discusses the various conflicts between advocates of autonomy - political, territorial and cultural - in the region, and the various warring factions during the Revolution, Civil War and the early 1920s. She demonstrates how the native peoples did not necessarily understand the political ambitions of the leaders and politicians. She also demonstrates how difficult it was for the general principle of national self-determination to be achieved with so many conflicting interests during a period of nation-wide upheaval and civil war. Underlying this were also the perennial contradictions between the political aims of the centre and the local interests of the outlying regions and peoples. In conclusion, the author suggests that many of the problems of Siberian autonomous movements in the early twentieth century re-appeared at its end.

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Blurred memories

War and disaster in a Buddhist Sinhala village

Mara Benadusi

This article analyzes the regimes of truth and efforts at falsification that emerged aft er the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka, where the experience of fear, the blurring of memory, and the fabrication of identity became normalized during the course of a long civil war. By shedding light on the memorialization processes in a Buddhist Sinhala village on the border of the northeastern Tamil zones, the article shows how the tsunami has reinforced governmental devices for controlling peoples and territories, insinuating itself into the core of the enduring process of securitization of fear in Sri Lanka. Yet, however much the politics of memory tends to cloud matters, the article also demonstrates that it never goes uncontested, as long as subjects can channel their capacity for action in unexpected directions.

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War and Memory

The Israeli Communist Commemoration of the Spanish Civil War, 1936–1986

Amir Locker-Biletzki

The Spanish Civil War of 1936–1939 aroused strong responses in the Jewish Yishuv in Palestine. The support for the Spanish Republic—prevalent in the Zionist left as well as among the Communists—resulted in young Jews and Arabs volunteering to fight in Spain. These volunteers, primarily Jewish Communists, became part of a cult created around the war by the Communist Party. This article will examine the content of this cult while relating it to parallel groups in the West and in East Germany. Through this analysis, the ideological elements, heroes, modes of memory, and dissemination of the memory of the war will be explored.

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Broken Tongues

Race, Sacrifice, and Geopolitics in the Far East in Vsevolod Ivanov’s Bronepoezd No. 14-69

Roy Chan

Vsevolod Ivanov's 1922 Bronepoezd No. 14-69 spawned subsequent renditions in Russian and Chinese. The novella narrates the successful effort of a group of Red partisans in seizing an armored train delivering reinforcements in order to quell a rebellion in a Far Eastern town. This article examines the story's Chinaman (kitaets) Sin-Bin-U, a Red volunteer motivated by a desire to avenge himself against the Japanese. The most prominent marker of Sin-Bin-U's Chineseness is his tortured Russian, rendered nearly incomprehensible by his accent. Focusing on Sin-Bin-U's figuration, this article argues that Ivanov's tale and its subsequent incarnations in Russian and Chinese create a literary evocation of the complexities of linguistic hybridity, cultural contestation, and sovereign crisis in the Far East. Sin-Bin-U is thus interpreted as a paradoxical persona who oscillates between being an allegorical figuration of an internationalized Soviet subjectivity and a token of imperialist strife and victimization.

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Rohan Bastin

The current moment, seen by some as an interregnum between societies of discipline and control, is marked by intense forms of religious fanaticism and iconoclasm that are striving to create new forms of the state. This is evident in the militancy and political engagement of Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka, who promote war against Tamil separatists as well as violent resistance to the proselytization identified with global civil society agencies that, due to the war and the 2004 tsunami disaster, have been active in the country. The article looks at this rising Buddhist militancy, which is associated with a political party that is linked to the more famous party known as the JVP. It argues that instead of resisting the formation of the new global civil society, the iconoclasm of this Buddhist political formation is facilitating its establishment.

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“Eyes Shut, Muted Voices”

Narrating and Temporalizing the Post–Civil War Era through a Monument

Dimitra Gefou-Madianou

This article addresses the irreconcilability of memory in the context of the still contested history of the Greek Civil War of the 1940s. Drawing from ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Attica, the article analyzes past critical events that in many ways contest the concept of the linearity of time. The study explores the events surrounding the establishment of a monument in commemoration of the torching of a village by the German Nazis and the civil war, both of which have been indelibly engraved in people’s memories. Observing these happenings in simultaneity has enabled narratives to be understood, not simply as remembrances, but also as temporalities.

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Cartographies of Communicability and the Anthropological Archive

Civil War Executions and the Harvard Irish Study

Brigittine French

This article traces ideological constructions of communication that enable powerful actors to determine what counts as silences, lies and surpluses in efficacious narratives about violence (Briggs 2007) in order to elucidate occlusions regarding legacies of the Civil War in the Irish Free State. It does so through a precise triangulation of multiple competing and overlapping narratives from unpublished fieldnotes, interviews, published ethnographies and other first-person accounts. The inquiry highlights social memories of the Irish Civil War that have been 'assumed, distorted, misunderstood, manipulated, underestimated, but most of all, ignored' (Dolan 2003: 2). The article argues that the excesses of the anthropological archive make the recuperation of a multiplicity of collective memories possible through a linguistic anthropological perspective that enumerates the kind of erasures at play in contentious memory-making moments, highlights polyvocality in metapragmatic discourse and tracks the gaps in entextualisation processes of historical narratives about political turmoil.