ALEXANDER McCALL SMITH AND LITERARY CHARACTERS IN HIS DETECTIVE FICTIONNika Pavlinič
, 2013, undergraduate thesis
Abstract: Alexander McCall Smith's novels are gaining more and more readers in Slovenia as well as around the world; the most popular of his works is The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, which currently consists of 13 books.
For this thesis I wanted to find out what is the main appeal of the series and what are the reasons behind its popularity.
Although the two most important characters in the novels are detectives and the series revolves around different types of crime and their solving, the novels are not typical detective fiction. They do not feature any murder cases, and the two detectives deal only with everyday problems, such as theft, fraud, adultery, and searching for missing people. Mma Ramotswe, the protagonist, is a private detective who solves crime with humour, intuition, and without any detective knowledge.
The novels take place in the Southern African country of Botswana; therefore, the works feature appealing descriptions of Botswana’s scenery and customs but do not deal extensively with Botswana’s biggest problem: AIDS. Therefore they do not provide the reader with a completely accurate description of the country.
The literary characters are well-made; an important characteristic of this series is that characters are shown as good people – even Mma Ramotswe, when solving cases, mostly relies on human kindness and consciousness that the right thing has to be done. The author does not show the characters only as good people, but as human beings with bad and good sides.
Keywords: Alexander McCall Smith, Botswana, detective fiction, Mma Ramotswe, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency
Published in DKUM: 01.02.2021; Views: 511; Downloads: 17
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A Cultural Studies Analysis of American and Japanese Crime FictionDoris Sorgar
, 2020, master's thesis
Abstract: This thesis uses techniques of comparative literature aiming to ascertain whether the culture of a country is reflected in that country’s literature (more specifically, its crime fiction). The thesis is divided into two parts. The theoretical part introduces crime fiction as a genre, its development, and compares cultural characteristics of Japanese and Americans. The practical part is a comparison of three American and three Japanese crime fiction novels with a focus on cultural reflections. These countries developed relatively historically independently, have distinctly different cultures, and enjoy
somewhat contradictory reputations when it comes to safety.
Keywords: crime fiction, American literature, Japanese literature
Published in DKUM: 23.07.2020; Views: 700; Downloads: 96
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Art as a Source of Horror in H. P. Lovecraft`s StoriesDeja Bečaj
, 2019, master's thesis
Abstract: H. P. Lovecraft (1890–1937) is one of the most prominent horror fiction writers of all time, who is still heavily influencing many writers of weird fiction and other artists with his Cthulhu Mythos and elaboratively wordy writing style. During his studious childhood he came into acquaintance with a broad spectrum of literature and artists, with which he kept up to speed throughout his life. This knowledge in combination with profound love for architecture; paintings and sculptures of the old masters, his contemporaries but especially the romantic period, trickled significantly into his writing and built stories rich in art historical background and references to the works of art he encountered in his life. Artists, whose styles and influences are most prominent in his works are Henry Fuseli (1741–1825), Francisco Goya (1746–1828), Gustave Doré (1832–1883), Sidney Sime (1867–1941), Aubrey Beardsley (1872–1898), Nicholas Roerich (1874–1947), Anthony Angarola (1893–1929) and his friend Clark Ashton Smith (1893–1961), while his inspiration for monsters and events in the stories also stem from ancient Greece and Rome, and lean on medieval art for the representations of pure carnage. The art appearing in his works can be divided into three groups: art which is a creation of the Great Old Ones – the pantheon of Lovecraftian deities; the truth-revealing creations, which expose the true nature of humans and beings portrayed in the art and art created by humans who experienced cosmic horror. Cosmic horror is the underlying concept of every story in Lovecraft’s opus. Its nihilistic stance towards humankind and exposing it to the dangers of the uncharted planes, bring out the worst fears in the readers by confronting them with the unknown. Art is in this context used as a device which can enhance the mysterious events, open the doors between what we know and what we are not supposed to know, and a tool to blame for thrusting individuals into madness or even death, which on multiple occasions seems the most merciful way out of the horrid situation.
Keywords: H. P. Lovecraft, Cosmic horror, Weird fiction, Art, Role of art
Published in DKUM: 28.08.2019; Views: 1338; Downloads: 127
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Thought Experiments, Fiction, and Literary GenresTadej Todorović
, 2017, master's thesis
Abstract: The thesis explores the relationship between thought experiments and fiction. It argues that thought experiments should be looked at as a sub-category of fiction, as this would enable fiction to be regarded as a source of knowledge and simultaneously preserve the special status of thought experimenting in philosophy. Furthermore, the thesis explores how the notion of thought experiments as a sub-category of fiction can illuminate and resolve certain issues in the classification of the literary genre utopia. Namely, it focuses on how to differentiate between eutopias, anti-utopias, and dystopias. By splitting the category of thought experiments into constructive and destructive thought experiments, it shows that eutopias can be perceived as being built upon constructive thought experiments, and anti-utopias and dystopias as being built upon destructive thought experiments, which suggests that dystopia is a sub-category of anti-utopia. Moreover, the developed theory is tested by showing how Le Guin’s The Dispossessed, Huxley’s Brave New World, and Atwood’s Maddaddam series, examples of anti-utopias and dystopias, are built upon destructive thought experiments, which substantiates our claim extensively.
Keywords: literary cognitivism, thought experiments, fiction, utopia, eutopia, dystopia, anti-utopia
Published in DKUM: 19.10.2017; Views: 941; Downloads: 168
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High-school Students' Use of Fantasy and Science Fiction Reading for EscapismJanja Papac
, 2017, master's thesis
Abstract: The thesis “High-school Students’ Use of Fantasy and Science Fiction Reading for Escapism” encompasses findings connected to adolescence and young adult literature. We present the emotional, cognitive and social characteristics of adolescence. We take a look at the influence that childhood traumas and defense mechanisms may have on adolescents. We also present findings connected to escapism and reading therapy. The genres from the title – fantasy and science fiction - are described, as well as their history. We also described fairytales and folktales. We took a closer look at the Harry Potter book series and the opinion some critics have about its influence on youth, as well as some well-known fairytales children can identify with. In the empirical part, we presented the results of a survey created to examine the reading habits and motivation of high-school students. We found that high-school students’ general satisfaction with life does not greatly influence their choice of reading materials.
Keywords: high-school students, adolescence, literature, fantasy, science fiction, fairytales, escapism, reading therapy
Published in DKUM: 13.10.2017; Views: 1109; Downloads: 142
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Psyche's daughter of today: Sara Jeannette Duncan and the new womanMichelle Gadpaille
, 2007, original scientific article
Abstract: The Canadian novelist Sara Jeannette Duncan (1861-1922) constructed a New Woman heroine in the fin-de- siècle novel, A Daughter of Today (1894). Writtenin the popular mode of the transatlantic novel, the work engages in debate on the appropriate construction of femininity in art and public life. The heroine, Elfrida Bell, descends from artist, to muse, to model, to paintedimage-a descent framed by a rival male artist and a hostile London art scene. Represented as Psyche, the heroine undergoes a quest and failure similar to the mythical one. Adaptation of the Psyche myth clarifies the position of Duncan in the spectrum of gender ideologies of the fin-de-siècle.
Keywords: Canadian literature, Canadian fiction, Psyche, Sara Jeannette Duncan, New Woman
Published in DKUM: 16.05.2017; Views: 583; Downloads: 331
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Military jargon in the Slovenian translation of Hostile watersSimon Zupan
, Marko Štefanič
, 2014, original scientific article
Abstract: The article examines Slovenian translations of military jargon in the non-fiction novel Hostile Waters. In the introductory part, jargon is presented as a linguistic category as well as its main features in the novel. Next, select examples from the original text are compared to their Slovenian equivalents. The focus is on collocations and lexically dense nominal phrases. The comparison finds that most translation shifts in the target text occur because of incorrect interpretation of technical jargon expressions in the original. As a result, the target text reader perceives certain situations differently than the source text reader.
Keywords: translation, military jargon, translation shifts, non-fiction novel, Hostile Waters
Published in DKUM: 16.05.2017; Views: 1340; Downloads: 340
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Elementary ratiocination : anticipating Sherlock Holmes in a Slovene settingMichelle Gadpaille
, 2014, original scientific article
Abstract: The paper reevaluates an obscure, German-language crime novel from the nineteenth century and its better-known English translation: Carl Adolf Streckfuss’s Das einsame Haus: nach den Tagebüchern des Herrn Professor Döllnitz: Roman (1888), translated as The Lonely House (1907). Although written in German by an author from Berlin, the novel is set on the territory of Slovenia. The paper situates the novel geographically and historically, while considering its place in the developing genres of crime and later detective fiction. Moreover, the novel’s depiction of intra- ethnic tension in the Slovenian village where the crime occurs will be shown to reflect the ethnic tensions on the frontiers of Austro-Hungarian territory, and to align with later trends in English detective fiction towards the use of ethnic taxonomies in constructing and solving crime.
Keywords: English literature, detective fiction, crime fiction, 19th cent.
Published in DKUM: 16.05.2017; Views: 957; Downloads: 132
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The influence of Arthur Conan Doyle on the literary creations of Agatha Christie – comparative characterization of the protagonistsMaja Drozg
, 2016, undergraduate thesis
Abstract: Arthur Conan Doyle is the father of one of the most famous detectives of all times, Sherlock Holmes, and it is evident to the readers and connoisseurs of detective novels that by inventing Sherlock Holmes, he influenced many other authors at the beginning of the 20th century, one of whom is Agatha Christie. Christie is mostly famous for her detective fiction featuring Hercule Poirot, a Belgian detective, who is similar to Holmes in many respects. These protagonists are extensively responsible for the success and popularity of detective stories from the beginning of the 20th century. It is their personal characteristics, as well as the form of detective fiction that have attracted readers of all social classes and educational levels.
In my graduation thesis I will focus on demonstrating the personal characteristics of the protagonists of each of the famous series of stories to prove that the origin of Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Hastings and Japp was to a large extent a possible consequence of Christie’s knowing and having studied Doyle’s Holmes, Watson and Lestrade.
Keywords: Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, Hercule Poirot, Watson, Lestrade, Hastings, Japp, 20th-century novel, detective fiction
Published in DKUM: 12.09.2016; Views: 1628; Downloads: 149
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Male and Female Response to Crisis in Ann Radcliffe's Gothic RomancesTadej Braček
, 2016, doctoral dissertation
Abstract: The thesis systematically enumerates and analyses the responses to external and internal (psychological) crises experienced by the characters in Ann Ward Radcliffe’s gothic romances. In this respect, it represents an original contribution to the scholarship in the field of English literature studies. The novels it deals with are The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne, A Sicilian Romance, The Romance of the Forest, The Mysteries of Udolpho and The Italian.
The introduction explains the theory of gothic romance and explores the schism between the north and south of Europe, where the former is considered as a stable and moderate part of the continent, and the latter as full of passion and instability. The north and south also represent the gap between Protestant and Roman-Catholic Europe. Catholic clergy, dwelling in the south, are mostly pictured as morally debauched and as having a hidden agenda, even if they first appear to help others. Such an example is Padre Abate from A Sicilian Romance.
The dissertation asserts that responses are not so much defined by gender itself, but by the benevolence or malignancy of the characters. Benevolent characters are more sensitive and react more turbulently in the physical sense in instances of crisis, e.g. by fainting or becoming ill. Such is the case for all female protagonists: Mary, Julia, Adeline, Emily and Ellena. Heroes and heroines are affected by nature and find solace in it, while malevolent ones are not affected by nature at all and seek comfort in earthly pleasures of human origin. Such examples are the Marquises de Mazzini and de Montalt, and Signor Montoni.
Negative characters’ reactions to crisis are vehement and aimed to change not themselves, but other people or circumstances. Their malignancy, mixed with covertness, as they want to keep up appearances, is the agency that drives their responses. Their reactions are not rational, and since Radcliffe’s romances are novels of Enlightenment where reason reigns supreme, it is not difficult to foretell that such characters are doomed to perish. They indeed do so, either by their own hand, as in the cases of Schedoni and the Marquis de Montalt, or at the hands of others, such as Baron Malcolm and the Marquis de Mazzini. Nearly all of them repent at the end of their lives and wish to amend their wrongdoings. The exceptions are Maria de Mazzini and Schedoni. The former accuses her own husband, who caught her cheating on him, for her unfortunate situation, whereas the latter, once a confessor, dies without remorse or absolution. Positive characters seeks comfort in God before they die, and their turning to Him is often associated with the realization that He is the creator of magnificent nature.
However, there is one substantial difference between male and female responses to crises. Males tend to be more active in seeking solutions, while women, even if they desire to be saved, primarily depend on men to make it happen, or, if they show some resistance, they submit to male power to avoid consequences. The one who acts on her own is the nun Olivia, who arranges Ellena’s escape from the convent of San Stefano.
In its conclusion, the thesis stresses the importance of Anne Radcliffe’s works for world literature and suggests that they should be included in the current curricula and broader literary studies, as well as translated into Slovenian.
Keywords: Ann Ward Radcliffe, gothic fiction, romances, males, females, crisis, response
Published in DKUM: 29.08.2016; Views: 1439; Downloads: 135
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