Between the Acts

No. 1 - Year 7 - 12/2016

Editorial

The papers collected within this entr'acte issue use different perspectives and standpoints to explore what happens between the acts – regardless of whether these are acts of a play, acts of speech or some other kind of social intercourse, or – broadly speaking – various acts/actions/activities that pertain to fictional worlds. It could arguably be expected that between the acts there is nothing of significance – utter silence and empty rows of seats in a theatre hall – or some form of light entertainment at best. These spatiotemporal lacunae, vacancies left gaping for however short a time, still possess the power, as all the papers in this issue seem to indicate, to construct and project new meanings of their own, or at the very least create potential for re-interpreting the adjacent ideas and contents, as well as exploring the problems of context, causality and sequence. ..

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Featuring

Kuća je imala tri sobe, dva dnevna boravka, kupaonicu, blagovaonicu, kuhinju, sobu za sluškinju, podrum, terasu i dvorište.Što je za Eduarda značilo dvorište?Značilo je zemlju kojom je jurio orući štapom, iskopanu krhotinu stakla iz kojeg je izišao crv prepolovljen napola, ali koji se još micao, uvijek moguće postojanje kakva blaga, lokve blatnjave vode u vrijeme kiša, papirnati brodić, jednog mrava u njemu, liniju mrava koju je pratio da vidi kamo idu. Išli su u mravinjak. Manga sapatinho, manga manga-coracao-de-boi. Šećerna jabuka, goiaba, gabiroba. Kokošinjac. Bijela kokoš bila je njegova, bilo je jasno iz imena: „Eduarda!”Stisnula bi se i dopustila mu da je uzme u ruke. Katkad bi snijela jaje. Kada bi odlazio u školu, Eduardo bi je ostavljao ispod lavora. Jednom zgodom otac mu je rekao da to nije u redu: zar bi volio da netko to radi tebi? I kokoši pate. Jedne nedjelje za vrijeme ručka zatekao je Eduardu na stolu, s nogama u zraku, pečenu. Pojeo ju je kroz suze. Da, pate, no svi ih jedu i misle da je to u redu....

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Critics have widely explored John Fowles’ The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Graham Swift’s Waterland, and A. S. Byatt’s Possession. These novels are generally treated as outstanding historiographic metafictions since they self-consciously adopt the notion of history and simultaneously problematize historical understanding. For Hayden White, the historian is inevitably impositional and every narrativized history is relative. Following White, Linda Hutcheon defines postmodern historical fiction as the type of fiction that self-reflexively and paradoxically makes use of the notion of history and simultaneously denies its truthfulness. The present article attempts to analyze, compare, and contrast John Fowles’ The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Graham Swift’s Waterland and A. S. Byatt’s Possession: A Romance in light of the theories of White and Hutcheon to show that in spite of problematization of the possibility of recovering the past as it actually was, these novels treat the concept of history differently. ...

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This essay examines the long-standing and far-reaching influence of Oscar Wilde’s public persona – both historical and mythical – on author Beverley Nichols. Nichols, famous during his lifetime for both his non-fiction and reportage, has sustained his fame primarily through his Allways and Merry Hall gardening trilogies. These feature a semi-autobiographical version of the author who is self-styled as a spiritual successor who pays homage to, and extends the legacy of, Oscar Wilde and his endless bon mots, serving up irony, humor, and social commentary in an engaging, urbane manner while further shaping the Wildean identity that prevailed as an iconic gay style throughout much of the last century and that endures, in some forms, even today. Keywords: queer theory, Oscar Wilde, Beverley Nichols, Pet Shop Boys, queer identityOscar Wilde’s final words as his three harrowing trials and, indeed, his remarkably verbal life drew near their close – “And I? May I say nothing, my Lord?” – serve as a potent reminder of the many forces that conspired to silence the man, his work, and the desire he came to represent, for better or worse, to so many. Nearly a century after that utterance, his words continue to resonate, as a refrain, perhaps even a plaintive cry, for the Pet Shop Boys (PSB hereafter) and many others, suggesting that Wilde, as the long-reigning patron saint of queer men, still holds sway in matters of self-styling and queer identity formation based in nostalgia. From the spectacle of his downfall emerged a mythical Wilde – martyr, champion of queer desire, arbiter of style and wit – based in the biographical as much as the fanciful, who inspires Wilde nostalgia even today. Beverley Nichols, especially in his two mid-century “gardening” trilogies, pays homage to the cultural construct we call Oscar Wilde with his endless bon mots, serving up irony, humor, and social commentary in an engaging, urbane manner while further shaping the Wildean identity that prevailed as an iconic queer style throughout much of the last century and that enjoys nostalgic revivals by artists like PSB over a century later. ...

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