All posts tagged: literature

mirrors: in pluralism, syncretism and construction

Image: The Battle of Algiers (Film) This essay attempts to explore/ deconstruct how Assia Djebar’s socialization informed her literary style in her novel “Children of the New World.” Polarities of praise and criticism Djebar has received, point to how her formative experiences (cultural, political, gendered) have informed the structure and artistry of the novel in ways not often seen in other writers’ works. However, the aesthetic approaches used by Djebar in writing this novel are perhaps equally (more interestingly) derived by how the tools of her socialization aided in achieving her intended goals with this book. Assia Djebar’s Background Born in 1936 in then French Algeria, Djebar was educated at the École Normale Supérieure, and became part of a generation of writers who not only came of age during a series of colonial independence movements, but also whose socialization was shaped by a range of influences — in Djebar’s case, Western, Arab and Berber. The only woman amongst the Algerian literary pioneers of her generation, her work included novels, essays, documentary films and plays, all …

where control ends and freedom begins…

This essay explores the permeability of space within technologically constructed realities, in the quest of finding where control ends and freedom begins (for an individual or subculture). The role technology plays within the constructed realities represented in “The Truman Show” and “Neuromancer,” points to media (models, spaces, content, interactions) as being purveyors of cultural control. The concept of ‘culture’ is defined as “an ensemble of beliefs and practices that form a given culture, function as a pervasive technology of control, a set of limits within which social behaviour must be contained, a repertoire of models to which individuals must conform” (Greenblatt 225). In this discussion, technology has two functions: a technical role in the construction of spaces and the impact the space has on the people who use it. This will be explored in the constructed realities evident in ¨The Truman Show¨ and ¨Neuromancer.¨ The attention to detail in the crafting of “The Truman Show,” enables the audience to peel away layers like an onion, in its examination of the manipulation vs. complicity debate in …

verdeccia

Verdeccia’s play, Fronteras Americanas/American Borders illustrates Stuart Hall’s fluid construction of identity, encompassing a variable process in diaspora experience, which changes over time. Yet, it seems Verdeccia uses all four models in a sequence; perhaps suggesting the diaspora experience has stages. Once he began feeling the overarching culture and the limitations his Hispanic/Latino origins placed on him in his new place of origin, he then began to call our the stereotypes in an effort to dispel them. He encapsulates all the stereotypes, explored by his alter ego “Wideload”, when discussing Latin films (p. 47), which bring together all the preconceptions he is currently faced with. Yet, while attempting to dispel the stereotypes, for a moment perhaps, he exists in the place of “us” and “them.” By bringing the boundary to the surface — something I assert is necessary to cope with the boundary and determine what one can really do about it’s existence –- he creates a divisiveness. The mechanism of using “Wideload” is a luxury most of us do not have –- an alter …

kite fighting

Kite fighting is a sport, which traditionally uses unstable, single-line kites. Tension is used for control, while an abrasive line defends against other kites. The skins of fighter kites are often made from thin papers, the spars of light, flexible wood. When flown with a taut line, the wind pressure, paradoxically giving the kite stability, deforms it. With the line of tension reduced, the kite becomes unstable, rocking from side-to-side. Sometimes it begins to spin. By reapplying tension at the right moment, the kite increases in stability, shifts in direction, moving towards where the flyer desires. Kite fighting is perhaps an apt analogy to describe the structure and mobility of Indian families. The males of the extended family create an interwoven kite tapestry, becoming both a shield and a sail. The women form the spars holding the shape of the kite and keeping it together under pressure, while the children trail behind in the tails. The older generations hold the line taut, steering the family against external pressure in an advantageous direction for all. In …