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Ludic Scopes for Environmental Crisis and Education

Giorgio Osti

aims to add a further perspective, less “hard” than that quoted, and more joyful. Of course, power and inequalities explain much of environmental issues. But they neglect ludic dimensions of human interactions. To introduce in the debate a play

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Enjoying an Emerging Alternative World

Ritual in Its Own Ludic Right

André Droogers

Ritual can be rehabilitated in its own right by emphasizing what it has in common with play: the ludic evocation of a simultaneous shadow reality. What is more, ritual can be understood as an enjoyable form of playing with realities. More than a solemn occasion, useful because of its social and cultural functions, ritual is a festive enactment of a counterreality. Connectionist ideas on the parallel processing of schemas and repertoires lend themselves for mapping the properties of ritual in its own ludic right. The human mind allows for a rapid comparison by the parallel—and not serial or sequential— processing of alternative schemas for thought, action, and emotion. An ethnographic illustration is taken from a boys’ initiation ritual among the Wagenia (Congo).

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To Die Right: The Impact of Ludic Forms on the Engagement with Characters

Henriette Heidbrink

This article raises the question to what extent ludic forms affect the audience's engagement with characters. By introducing the analytic method of morphologic observation, the interrelation between ludic forms and narrative context becomes the main focus. Moreover, this allows a closer look at the filmic characters that are also affected by the integration of ludic forms. By exploring films that deal with the death of a main character and would usually call for tragic effects, the article shows how ludic forms partially inhibit the typical engagement with characters. Other forms of blocking empathy are discussed and the article closes with some thoughts on the consequences of ludic films on reception and pedagogic or therapeutic potential.

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For a New Materialist Analytics of Time

Laura Bear

sociality. The word ‘tricking’ evokes tricksters. Tricksters, of course, are subversive, and by taking a role in aesthetic play they disrupt the cosmic order ( Gates 1988 ). In this Special Issue, this ludic element is visible in the manipulation of time

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Authority, Aesthetics, and the Wisdom of Foolishness

Simon Coleman and Ruy Llera Blanes

With characteristic playfulness, the subject of this volume’s portrait, Gananath Obeyesekere, calls his contribution a celebration of ‘foolishness’. But this is indeed a fertile foolishness. It implies not only an admission that the ethnographer lacks omniscience, but also a positive freedom to engage passionately in comparison, to avoid disciplinary overspecialization, to understand that the “non-rational is not necessarily irrational,” and to acknowledge the power of art and literature as potential inspirations for our work. Of course, as Obeyesekere admits, the ludic and the ironic also entail risks, as they can provoke anger in others. Nonetheless, his words have many echoes in this volume, particularly in their invocation of the power of the aesthetic combined with the ironic, exemplified by reference to the fool in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. They also provoke thoughtful reflections from our three commentators on Obeyesekere’s work, Douglas Hollan, Luís Quintais, and Unni Wikan.

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The Perils and Joys of Translation

Barry Davis

From its very beginnings the character of Yiddish was marked by its role as translator and interpreter of religious texts. Although there were secular writings, they were not substantial until the nineteenth century. One hundred years ago the primary role of translation was to present the outside world to Yiddish-speaking Jews, and libraries were full of translations of the international classics. Today the main role is the reverse: translation from Yiddish to other languages to gain access to that lost Jewish world. Functional translation into Yiddish is still required, mainly for Hasidim/Haredim, for example in the field of health or (in Israel) civil defence. Yiddish has clearly influenced other languages spoken by Jews, where one finds Yiddish words or calques, particularly in Hebrew and English. The concept of 'postvernacular Yiddish' has arisen to describe the contemporary use of Yiddish by speakers of these other languages. Both in the past and the present, Yiddish has been represented stereotypically, and often as an essentially 'ludic' language. One of the functions of literary translation ought to be to combat these stereotypes and demonstrate the richness and flexibility of Yiddish, as of any other language.

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The Form of Freedom in Plato's Laws

An Interpretation

Diego von Vacano

The article argues that Plato's Laws contain an implicit conception of freedom, particularly in Book III. It proposes that, while the concept is not treated systematically by Plato, it merits attention due to its presence in the text. I argue that there is a Form of Freedom in the book. It is comprised of two dimensions: an organic and a civic component. They are mediated by human agency. However, freedom in its ideal form is only possible for a select intellectual elite that can grasp these two dimensions. This elite is composed of a few wise elder men who take up the task of lawmaking as a ludic or playful enterprise. I also argue that degeneration away from true freedom is possible when political elites mislead a community away from Plato's ideal, such as with Cyrus in Persia. Ultimately, Plato's idea of freedom tells us that liberty is only truly available to a select few, not to a broad citizenry. Thus, freedom and democracy are not tied intimately but are opposed to each other.

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In Search of a Lost Childhood

Holocaust, Play and Filiation in Sigalit Landau's Works

Eliad Moreh-Rosenberg

present and from her father's experience to her own feelings, marked by the difficulty of communicating with him. In the last part of this article, having established a better understanding of the impact of the Holocaust on Sigalit Landau and her ludic

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Kamikaze Truckers in Postwar Japan

Joshua Hotaka Roth

intense and enthusiastic participation, and are often spatially and temporally delimited from other parts of everyday life. Johan Huizinga famously described this delimited space and time as the “magic circle” of play. 7 Writing about play, or the ludic

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‘Are We Coming to Make a Documentary or a Surrealist Film?’

Demythifying Luis Buñuel’s Tierra sin pan in Fermín Solís’s Buñuel en el laberinto de las tortugas

Marc Ripley

ludic and largely lacks the acerbic tone of satire. As a hypertext of Buñuel’s movie, Solís’s text can be considered within a parodic relationship with Tierra sin pan , following Gérard Genette’s nomenclature. Although Genette identifies three discrete