John McGahern is one of those writers whose work continues to be appreciated across a range of readerships. As a writer who eschewed the notion of himself as 'artist' he addressed his task through a commitment to style, what he called the 'revelation of the personality through language'. McGahern's work began to receive critical attention only from when Denis Sampson's seminal study, Outstaring Nature's Eye: The Fiction of John McGahern was published in 1993. This book focuses on the physical landscape to show how the inadequacy of the State that emerged after 1922 is reflected in the characters' shifting relationship with the landscape, the connection has been made vulnerable through trauma and painful memory. It explores this sense of resentment and disillusionment in McGahern's novels, drawing parallels between the revolutionary memories and McGahern's own family experience. McGahern's All Over Ireland offers a number of fine stories, mostly set in Ireland, and dealing with distinctly Irish themes. He wrote a novel that is an example of openness, compassion and understanding for any form of strangeness. The vision of education and of the shaping of identity found in his writing is not an idiosyncratic one - it is consistent with much of the best thought within the tradition of liberal education. The book provides an intriguing comparison between McGahern and Flannery O'Connor, illustrating how diverse stories share an underlying current of brutality, demonstrating their respective authors' preoccupation with a human propensity towards evil.
One key aspect of characterization is the construction of character psychology, the
attribution to fictional representations of beliefs and desires, personality traits,
and moods and emotions. Characters are products of social cognition, the human
propensity for making sense of others. However, they are also products of artists who
fashion them to appeal to our nature as social beings. Through an analysis of Todd
Solondz‘s Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995), this paper describes three processes of
social cognition which are crucial for audiovisual characterization: folk psychology,
causal attribution, and emotion expressions.
: authority and vision
the deep American South, known for her economical, dead-pan, reportorial
style. Yet McGuinness ably reveals the striking similarities to be found
when the stories are read in the context of Catholic origins. The essay
illustrates how two stories so diverse in style, but sharing an underlying
current of brutality, demonstrate their respective authors’ preoccupation
with a humanpropensity towards evil.
Through a close reading of ‘Oldfashioned’, a story that explores displacement and cultural shifts, David Clare (Chapter 7) considers McGahern
This book also addresses the artificiality, otherness and alienation encoded in the
binary machine–human, a ‘techno-dualistic account of ourselves, as software running
on the hardware of our bodies’ stemming from ‘an immemorial humanpropensity to
identify ourselves with, explain ourselves through, our most advanced machines’.4
Frequently articulated in the language of theatre and performance, this discourse is
underpinned by the all too modern dychotomies artificial versus natural, machine
versus human, inorganic versus organic. The futuristi were eager to explore
argue that death anxiety drives the creation of social structures, which
then imagine stability, permanency and meaning (and, in so doing,
sublimate death anxiety). Borrowing from Heidegger and Agamben, the
humanpropensity for language was connected to the uniquely human
cognisance of death – and the argument was made that language
functions to perform and assert the permanence of meaning and
’ in the sciences and humanities, in which scholars from diverse disciplines have fixed their attention on matters of emotion, affect, and feeling. The volume also participates in a nascent movement to recalibrate historical studies of emotions, which have suffered from what Darrin McMahon has called a ‘negative bias’.
McMahon suggests a number of broad contributing causes for this bias, including what psychologists have argued is the humanpropensity to be more affected by and remember negative stimuli, but most of
to behave meaningfully or to find
meaning. Their solution was act in ‘good faith’, always in
cognisance of absurdity rather than taking part in the charade that it
can be effaced.
Heidegger approached mortality through language, and
language through mortality. He argued that the unique human awareness of
mortality is intimately linked to the unique humanpropensity for
rhetorical splitting that surround the idea of value take place
exclusively in the realm of abstraction, where the humanpropensity for
making value judgements can have free rein. As soon as the discussion
moves to the conditions in which transcendent values might be actualised
in effective social practice, the contingencies of particular social and
historical conditions mitigate the claims to universality or
Classical Hindu law and the ethics of conservatism
Donald R. Davis
organs of sense as the tools of one’s passions occurs ubiquitously in Hindu
literature, common to both rule-centred traditions such as Dharmaśāstra and
ascetic traditions that seek a salvific freedom above all category and distinction.
We find an example of the humanpropensity to seek self-serving ways around
the established rules in Medhātithi’s discussion of social class and
hierarchy, that is, caste. The determination of class pedigree and birth status was of
central importance to a tradition in which the main pillar
Composition and repetition in John Schlesinger’s Billy Liar
B. F. Taylor
now needs to move this situation forward
towards some kind of resolution. But there is more to say here.
The public nature of this spectacle adds an element of cruelty to what
we see. It was only a matter of time before Billy’s lies would be revealed
for what they were but the way in which he is now exposed is painful to
watch. This final image returns us to the poignant image of Billy standing by the milk machine and the repetition tells us something about the
humanpropensity for sadness, loneliness, and quiet desperation.
Billy and Liz leave the dance hall and go