Albena Bakratcheva

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Albena Bakratcheva

The American Renaissance Then and Now: Emerson’s “The American Scholar” Revisited

“… the scholar is the delegated intellect… he is Man Thinking… He and only he knows the world”, Emerson announced of the American intellectual in his Phi Beta Kappa oration delivered at Cambridge on August 31, 1837. Emerson’s fellow poet and biographer Oliver Wendell Holmes called “The American Scholar” “our intellectual Declaration of Independence”. How much of a literary nationalist performance Emerson’s oration was intended to be and was? How debatable, in fact, the “Americanness” of the “American Scholar” is? To what extent is the Emersonian Scholar thinkable beyond, or without his “Americanness”? Dealing with these and consequent issues I will argue that Emerson’s “American Scholar” is an inseparable compound name for an ideal figure whose attractiveness has and will always come before all from an inherent sense of American belonging and that it is the youthful enthusiasm of belonging that has made Emerson’s rhetorical construct “transcend” with the time – both pleasingly and effectively – into an American cultural hallmark.

Alexandra Zheleva

Кризата на утопичния модел в “Пътешествията и приключенията на Жак Масе” от Симон Тисо дьо Пато

В “Пътешествията и приключенията на Жак Масе” (1710 г.) Симон Тисо дьо Пато дестабилизира основните жанрови характеристики на класическата повествователна утопия. Докладът си поставя за цел да открои подривното прилагане на жанровия модел и произтичащата от това когнитивна и интерпретативна криза, която поставя под въпрос не само културните традиции на Стария свят, но и утопичната другост като компенсативен културен противовес. В този смисъл произведението на родения в Лондон френски протестант може да се разглежда като израз на констатираната от Пол Азар “криза на европейското съзнание” в края на XVII и началото на XVIII век.

Amelia Licheva

Шекспир според българските учебници по литература

Как се учи Шекспир у нас преди и след 89-а година - подлежи ли на идеологизация; кои са каноничните Шекспирови творби според българското училище; какви техни интерпретации се предлагат и получават ли българските ученици един адекватен, осъвременен прочит на английския класик през тях - това са част от въпросите, с които този текст ще се занимае. Ще бъдат направени и паралели с начина, по който Шекспир се изучава в масовите и специализираните училища; ще се потърсят и сравнения с моделите в интерпретирането и преподаването му в други страни.

Angel Igov

A Day in the City (3 Times): Ulysses, Mrs. Dalloway, and Saturday

Two canonical modernist novels each construct a single day in a meticulously represented urban setting, thus defamiliarizing city life. In the beginning of the 21st century, Ian McEwan's Saturday picks up the method of Ulysses and Mrs. Dalloway to raise disturbing questions about social conflict, culture, imagination, and understanding.

While Ulysses works with(in) the setting of early 20th-century Dublin, Mrs. Dalloway with that of post-Great-War London, and Saturday with that of post-9/11 London, there are thematic and methodological parallels between the three novels, and Saturday self-consciously weaves an intricate intertextual web which not only relates it to Joyce's and Woolf's works but supports its thematic preoccupation with literature and tradition.

The paper compares the three novels, taking into account the differences in historical and literary context. Intertextual links between Saturday and the earlier two novels are explored, together with deeper typological similarities, as well as the relation between the fictional and the “real” space of the cities in question. The paper extrapolates parts of the researcher's work on the construction of city space in modernist and postmodernist novels from his PhD dissertation in progress, Fictional models of the City in Contemporary British Novels (Ian McEwan and Martin Amis).

Atanas Manchorov

The Interaction of Oral and Written Discourse in Medieval Manuscript Culture

The present article seeks to examine the proper place of romance as it takes into account the major genres of oral and written culture. As romance develops during the transition from one age to another, from one medium to another, and from one reception strategy to another, the terms orality and literacy become of central importance to our understanding of the generic canon. Attention has been drawn to the adaptation of medieval written genres to individual reading – a process which was relatively slow and because of which the term “boundary” should be re-examined inasmuch as it cannot maintain its conceptual integrity except in typological descriptions satisfying the needs of a normative poetics. As medieval romance contains traces of orality, it becomes a cross-sectional area of two types of discourse (oral and written) which, however, should not be regarded as radically opposite. In view of the mixed type of literary communication and reception in manuscript culture, both verbal approaches are essential to the process of creativity. The fusion of heterogeneous elements and practices of composition in the same work is looked upon as strong evidence of the place of Middle English narrative poetry between the poles of epic and novel, and of the necessity of historicizing genre development through the study of “intermediary” genres.

Balz Engler

Shakespearean passages

 I am going to deal with issues in discussing Shakespeare reception outside the realm of literature and the theatre. In doing so, I shall draw on my work on the HyperHamlet project ( The focus will be (a) on different types of encountering Shakespeare’s plays, and the way these affect the status of his works, (b) on the problems of how allusions may be recognized and acknowledged as such. The discussion will be based on, and illustrated by, examples from Caribbean culture, including an election campaign in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the Shakespeare Mas in Carriacou, Grenada.

Boika Sokolova

“Lay on Macduff”: Doing Away with Macbeth in Performance (2000-2010)

The death of a protagonist emotionally colours the resolution of a play’s conflict and performance takes great care of this crucial moment. Its staging can often swing the overall perception of the play. Macbeth, Shakespeare’s childless tyrant, ‘in blood/Stepped in so far, that should [he] wade no more/ Returning were as tedious as go o’er’ (3.4.138-140), meets his end at the hands of Macduff whose wife and children he has murdered. With this act of revenge the play achieves one of its fearful and unsettling symmetries, a partial sense of dramatic closure and justice.

In this paper I look at how Macbeth’s death has been handled in three British productions mounted during the last decade. The aim is to map out emerging tendencies in reinventing Shakespeare’s resolution for the contemporary stage as well as to analyse the inevitable consequences of directorial decisions in shaping the play’s moral world.

The productions discussed here were directed by Greg Doran at the RSC, (1999/2000, with Anthony Sher), John Caird, at the Almeida (2005, with Simon Russell Beale) and by Rupert Goold, at the RSC, (2008, with Patrick Stewart).

Boris Parashkevov

За етимологичната дублетност в английски

След като изработих и издадох два лексикона, представящи етимологичните дублети в немски и в български, с този доклад бих искал да насоча вниманието към ситуацията в богатия на този вид дублети английски език. С доклада си поставям за цел накратко да изясня понятието етимологична дублетност, да представя критериите за тяхното издирване и чрез няколко речникови статии да илюстрирам този лексикологичен феномен на фона на лингвокултурологията.  

За по-конкретно запознаване с проблематиката и с идеята за изготвяне на лексикон на етимологичните дублети в английския език прилагам следната анотация:   

In linguistics, the term doublets means ‘either of two words that derive ultimately from the same source but by different processes: regal, royal; skirt, shirt (Webster’s New World Dictionary, New York, 1984, p. 409), ‘one of two or more words (as guard and ward) in the same language derived by different routes of transmission from the same source’ (Webster’s New Encyclopedic Dictionary, Springfield, Massachusetts, 2002, p. 546). That is to say that the appearance of doublets is based on the splitting of a word. Thereforе, it is actually a particular way of word formation which can be defined as word fission. There are many types of processes that give rise to doublets: in consequence of the fission of a Proto-Germanic word in English (onea(n) – once from P.Gmc. *ainaz ‘one’), shirtskirt from P.Gmc. *skurtijon ‘a short garment’, skirt through O.N. skyrta), of repeated borrowing (regal royal < Lat. regalis and through O.Fr. roial; chief – chef < (O.)Fr. chief/chef < Lat. caput), of truncation (publicpub, caravanvan, vampire - vamp). The task of etymology is to reveal the processes of rise of doublets and to present them in a separate lexicon with appropriate data about their origin.

Boryana Bratanova

Paths of Grammaticalization in English

The paper belongs to the subject area of linguistics and language studies. It aims at exploring cases of semantic bleaching when a lexeme loses its referential meaning and acquires mainly grammatical function. This complex linguistic phenomenon, known as grammaticalization, dwells in the larger area of language change with focus both on semantics and morphosyntax. The paper outlines some major grammaticalization processes in English and focuses on the study of collocations and constructions. The tentative hypothesis raised in the paper is that due to its complexity, grammaticalization cannot be considered a homogeneous phenomenon. Apart from prototypical cases of grammaticalized units, there are also cases of units which are further away along the grammaticalization scale. Finally some conclusions are provided concerning the level of grammaticalization of present-day English.

Carla Dente

The Practices of Actors and Lawyers:

Stability of texts, rules and relationships and Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors
The theatre and the law. The quotation from Hamlet ‘For the law of writ, and the liberty, these are the only men’ [Ham. II, 2: 399] appears to be both a fair definition of the actor’s trade, divided as it was between written scripts composed according to codified, accepted rules, and more metamorphic scenarios of indirect Italian origin (Commedia dell’Arte), and a correct allusion to lawyers and their trade, while it provides an alerting lexical link between the theatrical and the juridical contexts in early modern England. If the process of legal education was divided between formal and vocational training, and the latter, in its turn, was divided between oral and written exercises, the Theatre is similarly split between dramaturgy, often inspired by classical tradition, and performance styles, which were acquired through the actors’ experience and practice. Moreover, as time passed and the plays in repertoire grew in number and complexity, the practice of rehearsals became more and more necessary, as did written promptbooks which helped towards the repetition of the theatrical event.

The same can be said of legal learning exercises which were transformed from oral performance at the Inns into written notes circulating among students with the object of improving their performances as lawyers.

The Law and the theatre were, in fact, two separate but certainly not opposed universes of discourse, that marked their separate developments from essentially oral cultural practices to written ones, with a close, reciprocal interaction which may be seen as affording constant opportunities of cross-fertilization.

The Inns of Court and Chancery - the Third University - concentrated on discussions and oral exercises in legal practice, regarded as a suitable training for the Bar. The Inns of Court also offered the same educational plan to gentlemen of the ruling classes who freely mixed with the apprentice lawyers. (Pearce 1848, more recently Arlidge 2000).

A point that can be made is that the exploration of specific practices such as moots and readings, aimed at the realization of vocational legal education may well prove useful in establishing the common link in the chain connecting the two distinct, though comparable, practices of juridical training and theatre training.

Simulation for educational purposes is what the legal learning exercises were all about, and by analogy, the conclusion could be drawn that simulation for the purpose of educating the audience could equally and legitimately be that which was practiced in the theatre. This position would immensely contribute to the movement towards moral legitimization the theatre had undertaken as a consequence of the antitheatrical debate: the transposition of the theatre practices to the field of the Law, and back, may have helped to achieve a better awareness of the need to accept and foster explicit didacticism as the recognized social function of the theatre.

Arguably, therefore, the strategies and tactics adopted in the fields of Law and of the Theatre were closely and significantly connected. In his works Shakespeare reveals his involvement with the world and the practices of the Inns. I have elsewhere discussed an episode in 1 HVI, (II, 4) where the final section of a moot was staged. I have also on another occasion referred to what in King Lear appears to be the representation of a whole sequence of successive steps in a legal procedure, with which the Inns’ people would certainly have been familiar, through the means of repeated oral learning exercises. Here, instead, I would like to focus on The Comedy of Errors in the light of Shakespeare’s awareness of the juridical and social relevance of the ‘promise’ as a legal institution connected to an oral contract which, though unwritten, exerted binding force for the contractors. The issue of conflict over business transactions is of crucial, permanent importance in a growing commercial society where contracts, or very often simply promises of services and payments, lay behind many lively flourishing economic activities. Contracts, oral or written, were the principal means of defining and controlling business and personal relations in a commercial society, a fact which is mirrored in the fictional world of Ephesus, where the Law intervenes when the stability of the market is threatened by failure to conform to the law of contract. Discussion of the episode of the golden chain, around which a various web of relationships are concentrated. Final vision of harmony that allowed Shakespeare to transform a farce into a comedy: the menacing laws of the market and the liminal figure of the merchant needed further thought and development, and Shakespeare would wait until the end of the century to deal with these in a much more powerful fashion in The Merchant of Venice.

Christo Stamenov

Conflicting Choices in Translation across Linguistic and Cultural Boundaries /Differences

Short stories by one of the Bulgarian classic authors Yordan Yovkov (1880-1934) have been rendered into English by at least four translators (John Burnip, Michael Holman, Marco Mincoff, Marguerite Alexieva), native speakers of either English or Bulgarian. In trying to bridge the linguistic and cultural gaps the translator inevitably faces choices of conflicting requirements and principles often, but not necessarily, resolved by some sort of compromise.

On the basis of empirical material excerpted from Yovkov’s original texts and their English translations, the paper examines some of these choices and principles (such as loyalty to the original vs. the desire to reach the target readership, keeping the foreign flavor vs. facilitating the reader, the problem of realia, etc.) and the concrete solutions offered by the translators.

Cleo Protochristova

От „благите дъждове” и „топлия зефир” до „най-жестокия месец” – за литературните тематизации на април

Като се фокусира върху известната алюзия от началните стихове на „Пустата земя” към Пролога на „Кентърбърийски разкази”, настоящото изследване прави опит да рационализира своеобразието в литературните тематизации на месец април. конкретното интертекстуално съотнасяне се интерпретира паралелно в няколко аспекта: реконструират се и се съпоставят контекстите на двете произведения; проследяват се производните му интертекстуални обвързвания в литературата и други естетически или по-общо културни практики; разсъждава се върху „литературогеничността” на април; осмисля се сложната комбинация от приемственост и несъвместимости в естетическото отношение към природно и календарно, която се проявява при съпоставката между двете разностадиални състояния на културата, представени емблематично от творбите на Джефри Чосър и Т. С. Елиът.

Конкретният казус е използван като отправна точка за по-обстойни наблюдения върху литературната тематизация на месеците в перспективата на проблема за отношението между литература и календар.

Dariya Karapetkova

Ефектът „Байрон” и преводите на Кирил Христов

В състояние ли е личността на преводача на двама знакови чуждестранни автори да потвърди теорията за сходствата между тях? Когато става дума за Кирил Христов, отговорът е утвърдителен, но той не е достатъчен, за да разкрие колко е ефективна рецепцията на автори като Уго Фосколо и Байрон в трета държава – ефективна не само за по-доброто им осмисляне, но и за литературните дебати във въпросната държава, както и за израстването на собствените й културни фигури.

Desislava Cheshmedzhieva

Readers’ Response to Articles on Ethnic Minorities in the Bulgarian and the British Press

Based on a corpus of over 13000 newspaper texts and using Critical Discourse Analysis the paper looks at readers’ response to articles on ethnic minorities in Bulgaria and the UK.

The press and especially the readers’ blogs and comment sections provide an interesting field of study as not many of the readers truly take in what a specific article says but prefer to express their own opinion, thereby providing both editors and researchers in the field of media studies with a feedback not only on the influence of a particular article but on the position of a section of the society on the matter discussed.

Based on the conducted analysis I came to the conclusion that the readers who express their opinion in the feedback sections of the electronic versions of the newspapers are mostly negative to the ethnic minorities even in cases when the article they are responding to shows positive attitude to the minorities in question.

Key words: press, readers’ response, interethnic relations, CDA, ethnic minorities, xenophobia

Diana Yankova

Transnational Legal Texts: Communication Challenges

There have been little or no substantive studies of the important linguistic elements in EU law and their implications for the understanding and application of the law; language and communication issues have not been informed by scholarly discussion (cf. Tosi 2005:388, McAuliffe 2006).

The idiosyncratic communicative situation within which EU legal texts are created is shown to have an immediate bearing on the texts produced. Within this context, the concepts of text type, original text, translation, text producer, text recipient, etc., acquire new meaning and merit new interpretation.

The focus of the talk is the specific functional, linguistic and communicative characteristics of the legal genre in the context of European legal texts as representing a unique set of features and conditions. The linguistic situation in Europe and the language policy in the EU will be considered with special emphasis on the translation regime of EU institutions.

Dimitar Kambourov

Корделата на сърцето: истина и уместност в "Крал Лир" и "Хамлет"

Идеята е двете  трагедии да се препрочетат като поставящи в центъра си двама протагонисти, Корделия и Хамлет, които в последна сметка са неудържими като положителни герои. Защо непомерните се оказват асоциални и защо заслужават трагичния си дял. И защо критическите и сценичните интерпретации през вековете полагат толкова усилия да "поправят" и "изправят" тези творби. Какви са последствията за литературата от страна на враждебните й дискурси от тези коригирания и прекроявания на текстуалната й плът.
Evgenia Pancheva

Faery Selves: the Ecstasies of Redrosse, the Stasis of Guyon

It is a truism that Spenser’s Faerie Queene is a key text of early modern self-fashioning. Adopting a phenomenological focus on the self in terms of its “static” (self-coincident, self-sufficient, autonomous) and ec-static (self-transcendent, self-abandoning) hypostases, the paper discusses the unfolding of the model selves of Redcrosse in Book I and Guyon in Book II. As knights of Holinesse and Temperaunce, they seem meant to epitomize such opposite modes of being-in-the-world. With the unfolding of the self’s experience in Faery londe, however, the binary opposition of Stoically static and mystically ecstatic soul-body composites is so transcended as to both subvert and enrich the poem’s originally more rigid taxonomy of allegorical selves.

Galina Avramova

Identity as a Pastiche in Timothy Findley’s Pilgrim

Pilgrim, published in 1999, is yet another compelling book of the highly praised Canadian author Timothy Findley, in which he mixes fiction and fact. It is a challenging and masterfully written novel, narrating the life of a person, named Pilgrim, who seems to have lived for 4000 years. This is a provocative and richly layered work vigorously questioning our understanding of reality and the unconscious. The multi-voiced narrative moves through time and space and tackles a variety of different questions such as the meaning of history, the essence of human nature and most specifically the question of identity.

The present paper will try to establish whether there is a particular identity type which the protagonist, Pilgrim, belongs to or whether he is rather a mixture of many identities, eventually being robbed of such. In discussing the above we shall make an effort to ascertain that after all, despite the fact that his identity appears to be a pastiche of different things, Pilgrim defines something definitive and embodies fundamental truths which is perhaps his true identity.

Georgi Kapriev

Византийската философия: културно-контекстуални преводи и преноси

Текстът дефинира "византийската философия" като специфична тенденция сред философските проекти във Византия. Разглежда я като особен културно-контекстуален превод-пренос на Аристотелови и неоплатонически тези и извежда базирането й върху християнската догматика като нейна аксиоматична база. Демонстрира се и се коментира типът съвременна рецепция на положения от тази философия, който се опитва да ги "преведе" на езика на модерната и постмодерната научна традиция на Запада и да ги вгради в актуални научни изследвания, далеч не само в областта на философията.

Georgi Niagolov

Labours Lost or Labours Won? Teaching Shakespeare through Performance at Sofia University

Over the last thirty years teaching through performance has established itself as a useful approach to Shakespeare’s dramatic works all over the world. So far, this approach has not been used systematically at Sofia University. To fill this gap an experimental workshop was launched in 2011 to test up-to-date performance-based classroom practices and establish interdisciplinary collaborations, as well as to explore the potential of these activities for enhancing student learning. The more immediate objective of the workshop was to stage an amateur production of Love’s Labour’s Lost involving students as much as possible in theatre-related decision-making processes, such as adapting the play text, designing costumes, props, special effects, directing individual scenes as well as the whole production, etc. The paper reports on the achievements and failures of the workshop and invites discussion in the more general context of the modern crisis in the humanities as we know them (at least at Sofia University) and the necessary paradigm shift from passive to active learning with a stronger emphasis on using creative pedagogies for fostering healthy self-confidence, developing transferable skills and gaining social intelligence alongside teaching content.

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