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Mari Rysst

The article is based on ethnographic fieldwork in two field sites in Oslo, Norway, that involved a sample of sixty-seven children. I discuss how ten year-old girls do gender and romance in the light of “junior” and “senior” (hetero)sexuality in the social context of romance. Considering the Norwegian media's worry concerning a presumed sexualization of childhood and the disappearance of childhood, I describe in detail what happens between partners in what is known as a going-out-with-relationship. These relationships, primarily characterized by play and not by physical intimacy, illustrate that sexual innocence in childhood still exists.

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“And much more I am soryat for my good knyghts”

Fainting, Homosociality, and Elite Male Culture in Middle English Romance

Rachel E. Moss

In Middle English romances, public and semi-public displays of emotion are used by elite men to strengthen and promote hegemonic masculinity. This article examines how male fainting, as an act witnessed and sometimes replicated by an audience of men, serves to reinforce homosocial bonds, and to highlight the heroic qualities that make these characters capable of such deep, public sorrow. Late medieval patriarchy is dependent upon the homosocial bonding of elite men, and as such lionizes not only friendship between individual men, but also their collective unity as a body bound by social, political, and emotional ties. Fainting, as a performative act, provides a physical representation of both this collective identity and of specific virtues associated with male nobility.

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Offshore Desires

Mobility, Liquidity and History in Shakespeare’s Mediterranean

Rui Carvalho Homem

This article probes the ability of Shakespearean drama to provide expressive resources for coming to terms (conceptually, discursively) with current crises. These include both the power games of global finance, and those disasters that ostensibly concern other strands of geopolitics. The article focuses on two plays, The Comedy of Errors and Pericles, the actions of which unfold in the eastern Mediterranean – an area of the world associated, in the late modern imagination, either with mobility as pleasure (mass tourism and its apparatus) or mobility as crisis (disputed territories, the plight of displaced populations). It highlights the close bonds between prevalent modes – satire and farce in The Comedy of Errors, romance in Pericles – and the plays’ distinct strategies for representing human mobility: the sense of agency proper to acquisitive urges, the victimhood of forced displacement.

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Christina Oesterheld

This article illustrates the impact of generic differences and changes in the social and political context on the use of emotion concepts such as love and passion in selected Urdu novels from 1869 until 1945. While Nazir Ahmad (1830/31–1912) and Rashid-ul Khairi (1868–1936) in their domestic novels tend to stress the control of passions, particularly in familial relationships, Abdul Halim Sharar (1860–1926) in his Islamic novels/historical romances allows for romantic attraction and propagates religious fervor, bringing him closer to the emotion vocabulary used in contemporary Urdu journalism. This format was later expanded by Nasim Hijazi (1914–1996), who sought to strengthen the enthusiasm of fellow Muslims in their fight for Pakistan. In this highly popular genre strong feelings and passions serve to arouse intense feeling for the Muslim community.

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Beyond the Male Romance

Repetition as Failure and Success in Apocalypse Now

Andrew Michael Roberts and Peter Easingwood

The question posed by Francis Coppola’s film Apocalypse Now is a very Conradian one: what does this experience mean? Apart of Conrad’s achievement as a writer was to introduce epistemological and existential questions into narratives of adventure. In this way Conrad transformed the nineteenth-century masculine romance of exploration, conquest, war and heroism into a modernist form capable of raising profound philosophical and political issues. While Coppola’s film is not a version of Heart of Darkness so much as a radical reworking of Conrad’s novella in the context of the Vietnam War, Conrad’s text played a crucial part both in the initial idea of the film and in the problematic final stages of its production when the director, tormented by the inability to find a satisfactory ending, returned again and again to Conrad’s text. In this paper we want to suggest that the concern with the problem of meaning which Coppola derives from Conrad initially led the director astray, in a search for existential meaning in a situation where only a politicised account could be ethically responsive. Eventually, however, Conrad’s sense of meaning as above all problematic and elusive helped Coppola to introduce into his film a questioning of its own processes which rescued it from some of the simplistic or ideologically blind features of many Vietnam war films. In particular, it led the film to engage fruitfully if uncertainly with the issues raised by the very project of the representation of war: the complicity of the spectator, the problem of the aestheticisation of violence, the problem of communicability itself. In making this argument we draw on the miasma of inter-texts which surrounds Apocalypse Now like a Conradian ‘misty halo’: these include, not only Heart of Darkness itself, but Eleanor Coppola’s film Hearts of Darkness and her book Notes on the Making of Apocalypse Now, as well as Dispatches, the documentary narrative about Vietnam by Michael Herr, who wrote the voice-over narrative for Coppola’s film.

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Melville's Omoo

Romance and Reality

Robert C. Suggs

Previous analyses of Melville's Typee and Omoo revealed significant problems in accuracy and extensive paraphrasing from unacknowledged sources. The present article reconsiders Omoo, drawing on relevant literature of the period and on linguistic, geographic and ethnographic information unavailable to earlier critical studies. Melville claims that Omoo is an objective account of what he actually witnessed, but the entire work contains very little direct experience. Instead, it is a romantic fiction, largely composed of paraphrased excerpts, principally from a single author. Melville's lengthy description of Aime'o (Mo'ore'a) consists mainly of paraphrased material and fantasy. Thus, this author concludes that Melville was confined to Tahiti for his entire stay in the Society Islands, and left Tahiti under less than favorable circumstances.

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Anne-Marie Picard

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The Adventures of Miss Ross

Interventions into, and the Tenacity of, Romantic Travel Writing in Southwest Persia

Barbara Cooke

This article concerns the written life of Dr Elizabeth Ness Macbean Ross (1878–1915). Ross's posthumously published memoir about this time, A Lady Doctor in Bakhtiari Land (1921), challenges the masculine, monomythic stance of her travel-writing forebears Sir Henry Layard and Sir Richard Burton and anticipates contemporary texts in which the encounter between “traveling“ self and “native” other destabilizes, rather than reaffirms, the traveler's sense of identity and authority. The article also briefly examines a set of stories the Times ran on Dr Ross, which attempted to appropriate her for a dominant narrative of the Middle East reliant on a languid orientalism, on the one hand, and tales of derring-do, on the other; a narrative which persists to the present day, and which the forgotten A Lady Doctor in Bakhtiari Land works hard to resist.

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"i HATE HATE HATE being single" and "why is getting a bf so hard for me?"

Reproducing heteronormative femininity on gURL.com

Jacqueline Ryan Vickery

This article examines the prominent romantic and sexual scripts—the most common being that of a "prince charming" waiting for a girl—found on the "being single" message board of gURL.com. A discourse and textual analysis of the message board is conducted in order to analyze how girls are performing their (hetero)sexual identities. This provides insight into current notions of contemporary girlhood and romantic/sexual expectations. Findings suggest that girls believe that being single is "caused" by something—most often that a girl is not pretty enough or not outgoing enough—so singledom is "blamed" on a lack of (appropriate) femininity. Also, if a girl fails at femininity then it is assumed that she might also be failing at heterosexuality. Girls seem to believe that by becoming more conventionally feminine (outgoing and attractive), singledom can be "fixed" and thus heteronormativity and femininity are reaffirmed.

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Couples in the Global Margins

Sexuality and Marriage between Egyptian Men and Western Women

Nadeem Karkabi

This article examines relations between older Western women and younger Egyptian men in South Sinai, Egypt. Eschewing the label 'female sex tourism', it analyses the practices that these couples adopt in order to legitimate their relationships and further refers to alternative modifications of urfi marriages and polygenic relations. The article argues that these partnerships, as practised in the Sinai periphery, have come into existence in an effort to overcome changes caused by globalisation in the original cultures of these men and women and present alternatives to the otherwise difficult choices that they face in their mainstream societies.