English Abstracts 2/2005
English abstracts 22(2005):2
Pekka Pälli, Linguistic structure and cultural interpretation
Linguistics focuses on language, more specifically on linguistic structure. In practice, however, it is difficult to stay within the limits of structure, especially when the research in question involves making interpretations. In that case the cultural interpretation of language becomes essential. But neither cultural interpretations nor any other functional interpretations are detachable from the language used, from the linguistic structures employed in meaning production. It is linguistic structure that directs the subsequent interpretations, and forms the point of reference against which grounded interpretations of language use can be made. This means that linguistics focusing on linguistic structure is useful for other research orientations exploiting linguistic research materials. The article outlines this approach to the relationship of linguistic and cultural approaches by means of analysing the target and methodologies of linguistics, using one newspaper headline and one e-mail message as examples.
Mikko Lehtonen, The resurrection of the body – and the subsequent challenges to cultural studies
Late modern cultural studies are fascinated with the body, but the focus is restricted to the representations of the body, and above all the enjoying body. Valid theorizations from the cultural studies perspective of the material specificity of the human body are still to appear. The article provides us with a critical assessment of the dominant notion of language, which neglects the bodily basis of human symbolic action. Searching for alternative conceptualisations, the writer draws on Tim Ingold, anthropologist, and Merlin Donald, psychologist, and their views on man and humanization. At the end he takes up the question of the consequences for cultural studies of taking corporeality and synaesthecity seriously. As critique of logocentrism, cultural studies, for one, should reconceptualise man in such a way as to be able to look at language in the contexts of efforts to survive of the practical and worldly creature called man.
Translated by Urpo Kovala
Kaisa Hiltunen, Persistence of the memories. The problematic of subjective narration in Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Blue
The article discusses the methods of subjective narration in the Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski’s film Blue (1993), and the spectator’s experience of it, from a cognitive and a phenomenological perspective. Kieslowski’s narration is characterised as process-oriented art film narration as opposed to more goal-oriented narration. Ambiguity and lack of clear-cut cause and effect structures in such narratives makes the spectator unable to predict the events. In Blue, moments of unresolved emotional tension persist longer than usual, asking the spectator to find the intended meanings. This personal involvement in itself gives rise to feelings of subjectivity. Films can be analysed as attempts to present the world through a protagonist’s consciousness. In Blue, the world appears as the mindscape of the grief-stricken protagonist. This first-person point of view also affects the temporality of the narrative, making it adhere to the heroine’s inner time consciousness.
Translated by the author
PL 35, 40351 Jyväskylä
(014) 260 1317 (toimitussihteeri),
(014) 260 1310 (tilaukset)
Faksi (014) 260 1311