Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things – A Stylistic Analysis of the Novel’s Beginning

The exploration as to how the formal characteristics of a text contribute to the creation of literary effect has given rise to the field of stylistics. Sharing analytical techniques from linguistics and literary criticism, the stylistic method can essentially be defined as consisting of a linguistic description of a certain text, followed by an interpretation in order to fully understand the work, before an evaluation as to assess whether it is of any artistic worth.

Stylistics has its origins in the formalist school, particularly in the work of the Russian linguist and literary theorist Roman Jakobson, who devised a list of language functions for determining the nature of any given text. The most important of these in relation to assessing literariness is the ‘poetic function’, which identifies language that is self-referential, in that it emphasizes the linguistic qualities of words themselves, ignoring other features of a particular work. Jakobson believed that the poetic function was the most prevalent in works which would be considered literary.

The poetic function primarily manifests itself through deviation and parallelism. These involve the foregrounding of language within a text by either deviating from established linguistic norms or noticeable repeating of words, phrases and grammatical structures.

The opening page of Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things includes many examples of deviation and parallelism. For example, in the first paragraph there is a complex and abundant use of alliteration and assonance. These are characteristic of parallel structures in text, here referring specifically to the repetition of consonant and vowel sounds respectively. Alliteration occurs with the repetition of the letter ‘r’ in the very short sentence: “Red bananas ripen” and of ‘b’ in the phrase “black crows gorge on bright mangoes”, while assonance is apparent in the reiteration of ‘i’ in the phrase “river shrinks” and ‘a’ in “fatly baffled”. Groups of words with associated meanings and similar phonetic or morphemic structures, called phonaesthemes, are also evident, for example in the words “glittering” and “glistening”.

Reviewing the parallel structures of a text forms part of a descriptive analysis, although to gain a deeper understanding the stylistician has to interpret the meaning of a work through the linguistic choices the author has made. One of the purposes of the repetition in the Roy passage is to subtly make connections between the subject matter conveyed. For example, the alliteration in the phrase “black crows gorge on bright mangoes” immediately juxtaposes the darkness of the crows with the brightness of the mangoes. This use of contrast creates a greater degree of semantic density, as the text becomes suffused with multiple meanings.

The reader may assume that the concept of colour is an important narrative trope in The God of Small Things, a presumption which is given credence through the “red bananas”, the “immodest green” of the countryside, and the “mossgreen” of the brick walls. All these phrases serve to create a vivid impression of the world in which the novel is set.

The employment of imagery and metaphor within a text is considered a form of linguistic deviation. Through a stylistic analysis two notable aspects on the opening page of Roy’s novel illustrate foregrounding through deviation. The first is in the highly poetic line “glittering sunshine that thrilled children snatch to play with”. This phrase deviates from the norms of language use in that it likens ‘sunshine’ to a physical object that can actually be touched. This fanciful description cannot be taken literally so is therefore metaphorical. Later in the passage a house is described as wearing its “steep, gabled roof pulled over its ears like a low hat”. The building is portrayed as if it were a living human being, personified through the use of “wore”, “ears” and “hat”.

The God of Small Things clearly abounds with an elaborate figurative language and advanced linguistic patterning, factors which serve to establish a greater degree of literariness within the text. It is possible to assess its literary worth if a sufficient understanding of it has been acquired through a rigorous interpretative investigation of its stylistic properties.

How and When to Use the ADMI Forex Indicator to Maximize Profit

Forex trade is a very risky business if you don’t know what you are doing, some people just trade based on signals from their friends, why not know how to generate these signals yourself? You can first practice with a combination of three or more indicators, now I will explain how to use some of them. First the ADMI, this simply means average directional movement index, this is a technical tool that can be used to read the market of a currency pair in forex trading. The ADMI consists of three different tools, the DI+, the DI- and the trend line, the trend line can be seen when you click on the third from last icon at the top of your Meta 4 platform and open the ADMI and then click on parameters, set it from a range of from 0 to 100. The DI- and DI+ can be seen from clicking on colors on the ADMI software. You can change the colors for each to your desired colors. You can decide to make the DI- blue and the DI+ yellow, note this color, and make sure you memorize it.

The trend line is used to determine the strength of the market, if the trend line is below 20, then it means that the market is slow, the market being slow can affect your trade negatively most of the times because it will take a longer time for the market to follow a signal, but if it is between 20 and 40 then it is ok, but above 45 is bad except you take your trade towards the end of a candle stick if it has gone against the signal and the signal is still right. Usually it is advisable to use a 1 hour chart, so after 45 minutes on a candle stick formulation, and the trend line is high, also the market has gone against its signal, there is a higher tendency for it to retrace.

The DI+(positive line) and DI-(negative line) are used to read the market or determine its signal, when ever the positive line cuts the negative line from beneath, a strong buy signal has been established and when the negative line cuts the positive line from beneath then a strong sell signal has been established. Also when the positive live goes up, it means that the market is buying or there is an upward trend and also when the negative line points upwards there is a downward trend, if you are using a one hour chart, ensure to study and enter all your trades at most 40 minutes into the formulation of a new candle stick.

With the above you can study the market well, but to be sure you can add other indicators like RSI, Stochastic, Zigzag and others, first practice with them so you can understand how they work. Now the best time to go with a signal generated from a technical indicator is in the morning before 9am London time and in the evening after 8pm London time, during this period there won’t be any news that will affect the trend negatively.

Understanding Commercial Real Estate Leases

When you list a property to sell or to lease you need to understand the type of lease that you are dealing with. There are definite differences in leases at all levels and hence a lease must be read fully before proceeding.

Leases are the foundation of property performance. The best salespeople understand the leasing process and the high value that it brings to the future sale. A good lease can enhance a sale price when the time comes.

As mentioned, there are many different types of leases, but there are some rules and common basic elements which will allow you to understand the lease or the potential lease that you can apply to a property. It’s all about interpretation of the lease document and that means that you must read the document.

Professional Property Services

After many years of working in the industry, I have seen the best people set the foundations of success around the leasing process. This means that they have grounded themselves with investment skills and knowledge by leasing property for a few years. So let’s now look at how you can move down this path of skill development regards leasing.

The better you negotiate and the more fully that you interpret a lease, the more professional you are and you appear to the people that you work with or serve.

You can and should add strategic value in the client in every lease that you negotiate. A lease is not just a document to allow a tenant to occupy premises; it is a tactical cash flow that can attract to or detract from the property.

The way that leases work for the property investor will solidly impact on the property and its performance for the duration of the lease. As you work with tenants or buyers for the property, the type of lease that applies will also impact on the negotiations. Let’s look at the main lease types and expand on some of the most relevant issues for you.

Gross Lease:

Under a gross lease the tenant pays a full rent that includes a component for outgoings and the building owner will pay all building operating costs (also known as outgoings). This means that the lease itself will have rent review provisions that escalate the gross rent only.

In a lease of this type the landlord needs to know that they can maintain the building outgoings to predictable levels over the lease term as the landlord holds all the risk of paying the outgoings. The levels of rent review escalations in the lease must be expected to cover or exceed the escalations in the level of outgoings over future years otherwise the landlord will loose money.

Gross leases are common in retail and office property. Your choice in using this rent and lease type should be balanced against the predicted levels of outgoings costs and future changes for the subject property.

Obviously an older building will have steady escalations in outgoings above that of a building that is younger. As a building ages and deteriorates, the gross lease method becomes less attractive and more risky for the landlord.

Semi Gross Lease:

In this type of lease the landlord is initially setting a gross rent which is paid by the tenant and is reviewed over the term of the lease, however the landlord also gets paid some regular money for outgoings that increase under a specific calculation. This is how it is done:

The landlord specifically recovers the escalation in outgoings above a nominated outgoings base year. This base year is selected at the start of the lease and is usually the last reconciled outgoings year prior to lease commencement, which is usually the previous financial year to the start of the lease (because it is fully reconciled and known as a set value).

As the new semi gross lease proceeds through its term, the tenant has to pay the escalation of the outgoings above the nominated base year. For example, if in a lease the base year for outgoings purposes was set as the financial year 08/09 and the known level of outgoings for that year was $85m2 pa, then in the financial year 09/10 when the outgoings escalate to $97m2, the tenant will have to pay outgoings of $12m2pa. As the lease ages and in the financial year 12/13, the outgoings could be $108m2, and in that case the tenant will need to pay $23m2.

In this type of lease the base year is set and the outgoings ‘gap’ will likely increase significantly as the lease gets older. This type of lease is good for the landlord with younger properties, in that it protects the landlord against the escalation of the outgoings above the base year yet still allowing the landlord to use a gross rent as the foundation for rent charge and collection.

It is common in this type of lease for the base year of outgoings to be updated at the time of any market rent review during the lease. Market reviews in this type of lease would be undertaken if the lease was lengthy (over 3 years) and so the market rent review would occur say each 3 or 4 years.

It is not necessary to do a market rent review at any particular time in a lease as the matter is negotiable at lease commencement, however be aware of the fact of re-setting the base for outgoings and the impact it will have on the landlord.

As a further interpretation of this type of lease you should look at the type of outgoings that are recovered in the calculation. It is not unusual for ‘lease savvy tenants’ such as the government or large corporations to nominate the type of outgoings to which the base year escalations will apply.

Naturally it is better for the landlord to recover the escalation in all outgoings in a building above the base year, however the government and corporate tenants are well known for limiting the calculation to rates and taxes escalations.

Clearly a lease is a product of a negotiation, but you need to understand what can be done and then get the best lease deal possible for your client.

Net leases:

The term net lease is firstly generic; hence you should be aware that there are 3 types of net leases within the category. So let’s look at them.

Net lease: In this lease the tenant pays some or all of the rates and taxes for the property or premises.

Net-Net lease: In this lease the tenant pays the rates and taxes as nominated in the ‘net lease’ method but they then also pay for insurance premiums for the property and premises.

Net-Net-Net lease: In this lease the tenant will pay for the rates and taxes, the insurance of the premises, and they will then also pay for repair and maintenance costs associated with the premises.

So what lease type is the best for the landlord? In most cases the Net-Net-Net Lease is the way to go, however it is a matter of if the tenant will accept and sign that type of lease.

As a point of negotiation it would be wise in any Net Lease, or a Net-Net Lease to have a higher start rent for the landlord and better rent review provisions that offset the lesser outgoings recovery for the landlord.

Net-Net-Net leases are common on properties that are fully occupied by one tenant. This is method of lease structure is widespread in industrial property and office property.

Percentage lease:

This type of lease is more commonly seen in retail property as the calculation of rent is linked to the trading figures for the tenant. In most leases of this type the tenant firstly pays a fixed base rent that is geared to some rent review method, and then the tenant also pays additional rent that is calculated from their turnover or sales. As the tenant improves its trading, then the rent escalates.

An essential part of this lease structure is to obligate the tenant to give you accurate and regular audited turnover figures. The lease has to support and enforce the audit process for the landlord. Monthly turnover figures are the best way to go in this, with the tenant providing the audited figures to the landlord by say the 7th of the next month. The landlord then charges the turnover rent to the tenant based on the audited figures.

This type of lease is also seen in new shopping centres as new tenants stabilize levels of custom and sales, in supermarkets for the same reasons, and in hotels or motels. The basic strategy with turnover rent is to give the landlord some cash flow from the establishment of a base rent from the start of the lease, and then to collect additional rent as the property and the tenancy becomes more successful in generating sales and customers.

Spell it out

In all leases, the recovery of rent and outgoings must be clearly set out to avoid debate and disagreement with the tenant. As you can now see, the selection of the lease type that you are to use on a property will significantly impact on the future for the landlord. It will also impact on any sales situation.

It pays to know what is going on in the market regards lease and rent types so that you do lease deals that are similar to or better than the rest of the market. The right lease structure, document, and rent will help sell properties at better prices.

Who is Salman Rushdie, A Man Caught Between Two Worlds

For a Muslim man who grew up in India, moved to England, and then went into hiding, Salman Rushdie has become an influential writer of the century (Liukkonen). His unique experiences throughout his life have shaped evocative plots in his works. Many of his stories demonstrate the hardships of obtaining societal approval, which was a long-term problem throughout his life. He entertains both eastern and western cultures by interconnecting the two cultures in creative and stylish pieces of fiction that depict migration, cultural hybridization, and transnational identity.

Salman Rushdie was first introduced to the eastern culture in his childhood. He was born on June 19, 1947, in Bombay, Maharashtra, India. His parents, Anis Ahmed and Negin Butt Rushdie, were of the liberal and prosperous middle-class (Ho). He was the only boy in the family and had three younger sisters. Rushdie was born into an Islamic family, but he was not brought up to have Islam as a primary focus in his life. Even though Islam was not present in his childhood, he was still very interested in religion because it was important to the Indian culture (Ahmad 1318).

His themes of the western culture originated because Rushdie grew up in a secular environment. His classmates at the Cathedral School in Bombay (established by the Anglo-Scottish Educational Society), were very diverse, ranging from American to Japanese nationalities. From 1961 to 1964, Rushdie attended one of England’s finest boys’ schools, Rugby. Unfortunately, his inconsiderate peers called him demeaning names such as “wog,” “snotnose,” and “sniffer” (Ahmad 1319). Because Rushdie received cruelty and racism in his early school years, he was motivated to put them as subjects in his future works. After Rugby, he went to King’s College at Cambridge from 1964 to 1968 to complete his studies (Ahmad 1319).

After his education, Salman Rushdie stayed in England and started to assimilate into western culture. In 1976, he married Clarissa Luard, a proper English woman. They had a son named Zafar in 1980, but the marriage ended in divorce seven years later. The next year, Rushdie married Marianne Wiggins, an American novelist, but life was too stressful during Rushdie’s hiding, so the marriage did not last. Elizabeth West was his third wife in 1997, and they had a son named Milan. But in 2000, after four decades in London, Rushdie left Elizabeth and his two children and moved to New York, explicitly, to Padma Lakshmi, his fourth and current wife since 2004 (Ahmad 1322). His love relationships definitely had an impact on Rushdie as well as his works. Another theme in his stories is searching and obtaining love. Since Rushdie’s life engendered many ideas due to his complex encounters, he was able to win steady fame.

Rushdie’s rise in his literary career was a gradual success. His first fictional story, “Over the Rainbow,” was written at the age of ten. From 1969 to 1980, Rushdie was living off unstable jobs varying from acting to advertising, but in 1980 his luck changed with the publication of Midnight’s Children (Ahmad 1319). In 1981, it won the Booker McConnell Prize for fiction, the most prestigious award in England, and in 1993, it won the Booker of Bookers’, the prize given to the work believed to be the best Booker recipient of the previous twenty-five years (Holcombe). Even though Midnight’s Children brought Rushdie literary attention, it was the Satanic Verses that brought him world-wide fame (Ahmad 1320).

The Satanic Verses was a very controversial novel that had many opponents because it was found to disregard the beliefs of the Islamic culture. “The Satanic Verses (1988) became famous for the enemies it made him” (Ahmad 1320). The fictional book outraged devout Muslims because of its disrespectful references to the religion, Islam. Ayatollah Khomeini, a Muslim religious leader, issued a fatwa against Rushdie in 1989. He and other extremists put forth millions of dollars to have Rushdie killed, and Rushdie was soon forced into hiding (“Salman Rushdie,” DISCovering Biography). After seven years Rushdie arose out of hiding and on September 25, 1998, the Iranian government lifted the fatwa, even though certain fundamentalist groups claimed that the fatwa could not be lifted. Rushdie was reported to say that the lifting of the fatwa felt like “another step back into the light” (“(Ahmed) Salman Rushdie”). After long years in hiding for writing a fictional book that gave an unintentional offense, Rushdie started to live a normal life once again. This incident affected his works because it demonstrated matters of rejection in society. In his times of “light” and “darkness”, Rushdie continued to write about similar premises that are presented in numerous works.

In Salman Rushdie’s collection of short stories, East, West, Rushdie explores the lives of people of eastern ethnicity and the conflicts they confront in the western environment (Ho). The collection of stories is divided into three sets: the East, the West, and the combination of both East and West. “Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies” deals with the happenings in the East, “At the Auction of the Ruby Slippers” deals with the happenings in the West, and “The Courter” deals with the cultural hybridization of both cultures (Ho). These stories are very similar in the characterization, symbolism, and theme.

“Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies” explores how people are content with living in an eastern environment. Miss Rehana, a beautiful Indian girl, was on her way to get a permit to go to Great Britain when Muhammad Ali, an expert advice giver, begs her to take his advice for free. He tells her how she should proceed when getting the permit. Muhammad Ali then tries to help her by suggesting that he can get a fake passport for her. Disgusted, Miss Rehana walks out on Muhammad Ali and goes to get her permit. When she comes out smiling, Muhammad Ali assumes that she obtained the permit. She says to him that she needed to get the permit because she had an arranged marriage to an old man who lives in England. But then she continued by saying that she did not get the permit, because she did not follow his advice. Yet she is still happy because she did not want to go to England and get married to the old man.

“Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies” regards the small-town people of India who have diverse characteristics. The main character is the young beautiful girl, Miss Rehana. This is not typical in Rushdie’s works because the protagonist of his stories is usually a male figure (Ahmad 1323). “Miss Rehana’s eyes were large and black and bright enough not to need the help of antimony, and when the advice expert Muhammad Ali saw them he felt himself becoming young again” (Rushdie 5). The men tend to fawn over her because of her attractiveness. One example of the superficiality of the men is portrayed when Muhammad Ali was willing to give free advice about receiving a permit in order to look at her for a longer period of time. Another characteristic found in the story is the reliability of people. At the end of the short story, Miss Rehana turned out to be an unreliable character, which is an attribute of Rushdie’s characters (Holcombe). When she returned after applying for a permit with a smile, Muhammad Ali and the readers think that she obtained the permit, but in reality she did not. Miss Rehana would rather go against societal pressures to get married than live an unhappy life with a husband who she did not know. Unhappiness was represented many times in the story; it was also symbolized by the permit to London.

The symbolism of the permit to London revolves around the concept of contentment in the world. “Now I will go back to Lahore and my job. I work in a great house, as ayah to three good boys. They would have been sad to see me leave” (Rushdie 15). If Miss Rehana had received the permit to go to London, she would have had to leave everything that she loved behind in India. Muhammad Ali, described the permit process to be a tedious task involving an interrogation of the applier. Therefore, the permit also symbolizes that integration is hard to accomplish. With so many obstacles standing in Miss Rehana’s way of going to London, it can be inferred from the story that she was not destined to migrate and leave her home in India. Her home in India is significant to her, and it is also one of the themes of the short story.

Indian nationalism is a major theme of “Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies”. It was shown in the end as a reason why Miss Rehana did not decide to go to England. But there are many other themes in the story. For example, attraction and arranged marriage are other themes. The men were attracted to Miss Rehana, and from the attraction came good works, especially from Muhammad Ali. He gave her the advice that helped her get rejected for the permit. The story also portrayed that happiness was indeed stronger than marriage and that arranged marriages did not work out. “It was an arranged engagement…I was nine years old when my parents fixed it, Mustafa Dar was already thirty at that time…Then my parents died and Mustafa Dar went to England and said he would send for me. That was many years ago” (Rushdie 14). Miss Rehana wanted to live a happy life in India, instead of a miserable life in England. This book had much to do with the occurrences with the East, but Rushdie had much to say about the West as well.

“At the Auction of the Ruby Slippers” depicts the happenings of the western culture. The unnamed main character comes to an auction where it is selling a pair of ruby slippers. The main character believes that by purchasing the ruby slippers, he would win over his love, Gale. Because so many people want the ruby slippers, he does not bid the highest price, and therefore, he does not get the slippers. But the character still believes that life goes on and he is anticipating the next auction so he can buy something to impress Gale.

“At the Auction of the Ruby Slippers” described life in the West. The stories out of the “West set” tend to be the dullest, because there are no culturally diverse dilemmas (Ho). There was only one main character in the story, and his characterization is unique compared to Rushdie’s other characters in that he shows more hope than pessimism (Ahmad 1324). He seemed to be living on his own which showed a sense of maturity, but he still had a superficial, desperate, and oblivious personality. The man was very shallow because he thought the slippers would attract his lover. He was desperate to find love, and he was determined to do anything to have it. Even though the ruby slippers are shown to be a materialistic prize, the narrator thought it represented something completely different.

The ruby slippers can be symbolized differently according to the viewpoint of the narrator or reader. According to the narrator, the ruby slippers were a form of success. With the slippers, he would be recognized from the diverse crowd of people as a winner. He desperately wanted to find love, and he believed that with the slippers he would obtain it. But to the average reader, the ruby slippers symbolized stupidity and materialism. The readers believe that the narrator is very naïve for believing that his lover would take him back for the slippers. If this were true, the story would describe the world as being very materialistic. But instead, there are more positive themes.

There are several western themes to “At the Auction of the Ruby Slippers.” The story depicts a sense of unity among the diverse range of people at the auction, all vying for the same prize. But at the same time, it shows a theme of competition that arouses people. Along with competition, there is always the chance of failure, which was the result for the narrator. In the end, the narrator learns that life does go on, and therefore he does not give up, for there is another auction the following week. As in the previous story, there is a theme about love. This story does represent a superficial attraction like the one before, but it also depicts how love can make people do crazy things.

The final story in the collection, East, West, is “The Courter.” The story of “The Courter” is how the young boy learns of the difficulties of integrating cultures. The young boy goes through a number of tough experiences that made living in the western environment a nightmare. His family gets laughed at for their eastern habitual actions, such as the use of wrong vocabulary. They also are victims of violent attacks. But they still survive on the good works that take place in the West.

The characters of “The Courter” are distinctive because they are of eastern ethnicity in western times. There are quite a few characters in the story, but the main male protagonist is young boy who is left unnamed. The boy is a preteen living in England whose parents emigrated from India. Because the boy was very young, he tended to be very immature towards others. He gave sharp nicknames to people, and often played cruel jokes on them. But when other people started to discriminate his family and him, he began to learn from his experiences.

The game of chess was symbolic in the story of “The Courter.” It represented the happiness of the family in a game that required thinking and skill. The family did not feel discriminated while playing the game. It was their form of enjoyment where they could not be bothered by trivial matters. The game is customary in both the East and the West. It shows how the two cultures combine for the same interest. Cultural hybridization was the main point of the story, and it showed how cultures learn to integrate even though it can be wearisome (Ahmad 1323).

The main theme of the story is integration and identity. The boy sat through many terrible events of abuse to his family because they were not situated to the English culture as others were. It was tough for the family to withstand the prejudices against them, but they never gave up on it. With all these experiences, the young boy started to consider his identity in the world (Liukkonen). He was of Indian ethnicity living in an English world. Even though, he was embarrassed by his parents’ constant cultural mistakes, he realized that he would have done the same.

In his stories, Rushdie definitely depicted the faults and virtues of characters that made the stories entertaining pieces of fiction. He defined the boundaries of the East and West, and showed when they intermix. Because of this original style of writing, he makes his place in the twentieth century context.

Because of Salman Rushdie’s distinct ethnic background, he brings a unique style to British literature. “The culturally and religiously diverse worlds of both India and Great Britain offer Rushdie a wealth of concerns and themes that consistently reflect and refract throughout his works” (Ho). Throughout his works, Rushdie often talks about integration and the difficulties that come with them (Ahmad 1317). A regular style in his works is how he takes history and fictionalizes it into a “new genre” (Holcombe). His distinct style sets him apart from other British contemporary authors who follow a Modernist style, while Rushdie follows a Romantic, Postmodernist, and Post-colonialist style and trend.

Contemporary British authors usually follow the literary movement of Modernism. Literary Modernism focuses on going against rules, and finding new perspectives (Fajardo-Acosta). The authors of Modernism went against public opinion by writing about liberal ideas in their works (“Modernism”). In spite of the fact that Modernism is common in the work of British authors, Rushdie is not considered an author of Modernism. He never focused on breaking away from traditions, but rather on joining the different traditions of different cultures.

Rushdie is an apparent example of a Romantic writer because of his emphasis on individualism (Holcombe). “The basic aims of Romanticism are various: a return to nature and to believe in the goodness of humanity; the rediscovery of the artist as a supremely individual creator; the development of nationalistic pride; and the exaltation of the senses and emotions over reason and intellect” (“Characteristics of Romanticism”). These key points were illustrated in Rushdie’s works. “The Courter” portrayed good works when “Mixed-Up saved the ladies from a violent attack. “Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies” also depicted the goodness of humanity when Muhammad Ali offered Miss Rehana advice. This short story illustrated a sense of nationalistic pride in India, when Miss Rehana remained in India because that was her true home. Another short story by Rushdie, “At the Auction of the Ruby Slippers,” also showed his Romantic writings. The main character expressed individualism when trying to set himself apart from the other diverse range of people at the auction. This short story is also Romantic because the character puts emotions over intellect. He was willing to spend good amount of money for red slippers, because he thought it would win over his love. Romanticism is somewhat related to Postmodernism, another literary movement in which Rushdie is involved.

Salman Rushdie is distinguished as a Postmodernist writer because of his constant themes of coexistence displayed in his works (Ahmad 1317). Postmodernism is characterized by emphasis on the ideas of the value and independence of the local society, the numerous amount of outcomes of human existence, and the coexistence of clashing cultures” (Fajardo-Acosta). “Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies” exhibits Rushdie’s Postmodernist writing. The story talked about how the small town in India was independent and lived on simple necessities. The story also gave a theme of coexistence when it talked about how the Indians lived together and how even the smallest job, like a bus driver, would be noticed in society. “The Courter” showed how the autonomy of the people relied on people’s good works. When Rushdie is recognized as a Postmodernist, he usually is recognized as a Post-colonialist as well.

Salman Rushdie is a strong follower in the Post-colonial literary movement (Ahmad 1317). Post-colonialism is characterized by the depictions of the experiences of the victims or individuals of colonial power (Fajardo-Acosta). His short story, “The Courter,” is a great example of Post-colonialism because it depicts the discrimination towards the Eastern people by the Western culture. The character, “Mixed-Up,” endured an attack from the Western society because he was a victim of prejudices. But Salman Rushdie does not usually allow an ending of internal divisions to take place in his works. A feeling of contentment does come over the characters, where the diverse cultures come together.

Salman Rushdie became a literary success for many reasons. His upbringing and childhood gave him personal experiences of integration that became important themes and morals for his works. Because of Rushdie’s individuality, he was set apart from other British contemporaries because he followed different literary movements. Rushdie’s use of fictionalizing history made entertaining and controversial plots that gathered readers from all over the world. Rushdie’s works impacted the world because of his free speech and political statements. Salman Rushdie will always be remembered as a twentieth century British author whose success arose from his literary talents and his political mind.

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Henderson Valley, New Zealand – A History In The Mist

Henderson Valley/Opanuku, New Zealand.

History and future of the misty valley.

From our earliest known history this valley has played its part in shaping the identity of Waitakere City and Auckland. This area has been inhabited for more than 1000 years as discovered by archaeologists at various Pa sites in the Ranges.

The Pacific rat, or kiore, a poor swimmer, could only have arrived in New Zealand with humans. In the mid-1990s a scientist radiocarbon-dated Pacific rat bones excavated from caves in the North Island, and came up with dates as early as 50-150 AD. Humans must also have arrived at this time, with rats on board. The discovery was a scientific bombshell.1

Maori Tradition tells that the earliest known inhabitants of the area were the the Turehu, (hapu or sub-tribe of the people called Patupaiarehe.) Generally described as being fair skinned, red- or light-haired, an elusive people who dwelt in the densely forested hills and only ventured out at night or under the cover of the valley’s plentiful fog and mist to fish and gather food. Turehu were sometimes heard deep in the bush by Maori, digging bracken fern root, but were often only visible to powerful tohunga/spiritual wise men. A condition of tapu pertained to these forest dwellers, and should any person intrude on their domain they would immediately abandon that part of the forest. Their leader was Tiriwa, and the area known traditionally as ‘Hikurangi’ now called the Waitakere Ranges and beyond were named Te Wao Nui A Tiriwa – The great Forest of Tiriwa. Tiriwa had homes throughout the region.3

Many years later (Circa 925AD), Maori Chief Maruiwi arrived in Taranaki and chose to look for land further north. 4 The Tino o Maruiwi successfully settled the open fertile flat land of the South Kaipara, however, when a large influx of canoes known as “the great fleet” arrived from Polynesia during the 13th and 14th centuries many of the Maruiwi were killed by the new arrivals, fugitives driven into hiding in the Ranges.5 Widespread vegetation changes were noted around this time from mainly forest species to bracken fern and scrub, due to Polynesian settlers burning the forest for kumara/ sweet potato cultivation, and to create space to encourage bracken fern growth. The starch-rich underground stems of bracken fern formed an important part of the settlers diet.6 It is also believed by Maori that Moa and giant eagle lived in the valley but appear to have been extinct by the end of the 17th century.

The Opanuku Stream runs through Henderson Valley, “Opanuku” meaning “The place of Panuku” and previously name of the whole of the valley area from the head of the stream high in the ranges to the Wai pareira or Henderson Creek. The story of the naming of the area is as follows:- A Turehu, called Nihotupu, lived in a cave named at the base of the Ruotewhenua hill in Waiatarua (located in dense bush off Opanuku Rd). On a food gathering expedition to Te Henga (Bethells), Nihotupu came across the gardens of a Maruiwi chief named Panuku. Nihotupu took gourds he found growing there and upon discovering Panuku’s wife Parekura working in the gardens, kidnapped her. Parekura was understandably unwilling, and made the clever decision to leave a trail in the hopes that Panuku would be able to find her. It worked, Panuku spotted the white feathers plucked discreetly from her clothing and tracked Nihotupu and Parekura back to his cave at Ruotewhenua, Panuku arrived and challenged Nihotupu to a fight, he agreed. Nihotupu lost and paid for his mistake with his life, the couple were reunited.

A hill next to Ruotewhenua and stream was named after Parekura, the stream runs from Ruotewhenua to join the Opanuku stream in the valley, rather romantic under the circumstances! 7 Nihotupu also has his name remembered in another stream which runs from Ruotewhenua to Parau, the Upper Nihotupu Dam, (Auckland’s highest dam) a gorge downstream, and the Lower Nihotupu Dam.

Sometime during the early 15th century the Mahuhu, (descendants of the great fleet who had taken over the Kaipara area) were themselves invaded by the Ngati Awa tribe, survivors again decided to take refuge in the Ranges . These refugee groups united and over time became the tribe we know as the Kawerau a Maki. From the 1450’s onward the Kawerau established tribal ownership of the Ranges which despite being a reticent and peaceful people, they managed to hang on to and are still considered mana whenua (traditional people of Opanuku) today.

The Wai pareira takes its name from Pareira an illustrious Kawerau ancestress who was niece of the renowned Polynesian navigator Toi te huatahi. After exploring the Hauraki Gulf and the Waitemata Harbour, Pareira and some of her followers decided to settle at Wai Pareira – the bay of Pareira. In time this name also became applied to the river we also call the Henderson Creek.8

Henderson Valley has it’s own pa and storage pits sited behind the Mountain and Henderson Valley Road area. The Puke-aruhe Pa (Hill of the bracken fern), was a Kawerau pa, built as a base for seasonal food gathering and used as a lookout to monitor their walkways to and from the Kaipara and Waitemata Harbours.9 If invasion loomed (which it did periodically) the Kawerau would abandon their pa and melt quietly into the forest, invisible as the Turehu, to return when the danger had passed. The pa site was largely destroyed in the 1970’s by bulldozing, but the pa storage pits are apparently still in tact.

European settlement

In 1843 recent Scottish immigrant (blacksmith) Thomas Henderson and his brother in law Henry MacFarlane decided to buy a small schooner named the LUCIDAN, which was in Auckland Harbour. Re-fitting her, they advertised for passengers and freight, sailing on the 31st January 1844 for the Bay of Islands. The vessel proved herself, so much so, that local Maori chiefs Paul, Te Kawau, Te Hira and Rawhiti asked Mr Henderson if he would be interested in a proposition to swap the ship for some land, stating that they had Governor Fitzroy’s permission to exchange the land, a total of 17,784 acres situated on the Whau, for the ship. With these assurances, Thomas agreed to the swap and handed over the schooner to the Maori chiefs. After a meeting with Henderson, Governor Fitzroy wrote a memorandum agreeing to the swap, but allowed Mr Henderson only 9,000 acres of the promised land in exchange for the schooner.

The land situated at the foot of the Waitakere Ranges included Henderson Valley. It was densely covered in bush with large stands of Kauri and Rimu trees, the partners knew the timber was valuable for ships spars and masts,as well as building materials. Henderson wisely also bought the 1000 acres of land adjacent to both the Opanuku and Henderson streams to ensure his sole uninterrupted use of the waterways for floating logs out of the hills. A timber license from the government allowed the stands of timber to be cut down. Timber workers were employed by Henderson & MacFarlane to pit saw the timber in the bush and float the heavy logs down the creeks to the outlet into the harbour. Large timber dams were built in the bush, to retain the cut logs before they were flushed down the creeks to the mill, deeply scouring the stream bed as they went. As areas of bush were cleared gum-diggers moved in, further clearing logged areas of other vegetation in their search for gum to supply the growing varnish industry.

Henderson & MacFarlane decided to set up a timber mill, they employed John McLeod, a Canadian immigrant timber worker to build it at the junction of the two creeks. A large water wheel (to drive the saws) and a dam was constructed, along with some small workers cottages and a cook house. Henderson’s Mill was taking shape from the bush as the trees and scrub were cleared. In later years a steam engine was installed at the mill, which reached a cutting capacity of 9000 super feet* of timber per day During its total years of operation, the mill was estimated to have cut some 45 million super feet of timber from the ranges.(*Super foot 12 inches long by 12 inches wide by 1 inch thick – 304mm X 304mm X 25 mm)

In 1858 Henderson sailed to China on a trading mission. Whilst there, he bought 50 pairs of Chinese ring-necked pheasants. Henderson took the birds to his mill. A Maori lady enthused over the birds bright colours, opened the door of the cage to touch them, seizing their chance the pheasants escaped into the surrounding bush. From these few birds in 1858, the wild population has grown throughout New Zealand, and we still see them in the upper valley.

Henderson sold his 10,000 acres of farm and bush land in 1881, the land sold readily to eager buyers.10 Most of Henderson Valley was deforested, with the exception of the steep and inaccessible upper reaches, (only 2% of the forest area of the Waitakere Ranges remained unaffected by the timber industry). The process of establishing pasture involved further clearing native scrub by fire, which often burnt out of control (Denyeret al. 1993).

In the 1890’s viticulture, and farming were established in the lower valley. From the vineyards of Dalmatia, immigrant families brought their wine making skills to the green foothills of Auckland’s Waitakere Ranges. Pleasant Valley Wines on Henderson Valley Road is the oldest. The 80 acre property bought in 1890 by Dalmatian, Stipan Yelas, to dig for gum. The winery was established in 1902 and remains in family ownership today.

Some years later in 1932, 19 year old Dudley Russell an Aucklander of English descent also decided his future lay in viticulture and bought 24 acres of land on Vineyard Rd in the valley. Dudley built a humble one room tin shed which became his home for the next ten years as he doggedly worked to establish his vineyard. By the 1970’s Western Vineyards was 115 acres with 64 acres in vines, producing award winning wines and his vision for the land, it’s cellars, swimming pool, tennis court, Japanese Garden and large home realised into a beautiful addition to the valley.

Wildlife habitat depletion from continued timber milling had a major impact on the area. By the mid 1930s the kaka, kiwi and kakariki parakeet were rare, the tui declining and the kokako gone, introduced farm animals took over.11

1945 saw the Sapich Brothers (Tony, Mark and Ivan) take on 80 acres at Forest Hill Rd, again the vineyard is still in family ownership. For generations these dedicated pioneer viticulturists and farmers tended their vines and struggled with unproductive soils high rainfall and humidity as the city grew around them slowly engulfing their slopes

The Henderson Valley primary school first opened its doors to 19 pupils in 1915 in a small 4 metre square rented temporary building on Gum Rd, opposite the current site on Henderson Valley Road. 4 Acres of land was bought at the current site in 1919 and once built 24 pupils attended from 1922 under the gimlet eye and stern discipline of headmistress Ethel Croker. By 1984 more buildings had been added and 125 pupils were on the roll. After further pressure due to more residential development substantial additions were built in the 1990’s as well as moving the Henderson Valley Hall on to the school grounds and by 2007 the number of students has risen to nearly 500.

By the 1920’s Aucklanders recognized the value of having such a large wilderness area close to the rapidly growing city and planned to protect a substantial area. The Scenic Drive was opened in 1939 and the Centennial Memorial Park was established in 1940.

During the late 50’s and early sixties ten acre block subdivisions spread, taking over land which farmers had struggled to use as farmland for many years,and making it into lifestyle blocks, Poultry farms replacing some. Sections were being sold on Grassmere road bringing new residents to the area.

The Waitakere Ranges Protection Society first came into being in 1973. More than 700 Hectares of land have been added to regional and district parkland as a result of the society’s efforts (including an addition to the 308 hectare Spraggs Bush at the top of the Valley) The parkland now covers 17,000 hectares in total.

A play centre was opened at the Henderson Valley Hall in 1974 where it operated until given land further down the valley on Farwood Drive where they built their own centre in 1988.

The Future for “The place of Panuku” .

Developmental pressures have increased along with the ever expanding population of Waitakere City. The enlarged park lands and regeneration of the forest have made the area more desirable for sub division and development than ever before. Local and Central Government have now agreed to establish legislation to protect the Waitakere Ranges Heritage area, upper Henderson Valley is included. “The goal is to put in place measures that will ensure that this important and finite resource is not gradually eroded and undermined with the result that the valued features that are lost forever”13. Kawerau a Maki and Ngati Whatua have expressed similar concerns. The bush of the Waitakere Ranges and the fingers remaining in the upper areas of the eastern foothills, have been identified by Waitakere City Council as outstanding landscape features. The lower eastern foothills with their mixture of pasture and bush have not. 14

The earliest known people of the valley considered themselves guardians of the land and its resources. Given the depredation it has suffered since, it is now time to back up that ancient wisdom with modern law in an effort to maintain and hopefully restore the original character of this unique area. Fortunately, with the re-establishment of forests in the Waitakere Ranges, and much work done by organizations such as the Auckland Regional Council, Waitakere City Council, Royal Forest and Bird Society, and the “Ark in the Park” project some native flora and fauna populations have returned to what’s left of the great forest of Tiriwa. The dawn chorus of Tui and Kereru and night calls of Morepork may be heard again echoing along this misty valley.

References

1. Geoff Irwin and Carl Walrond. “When was New Zealand first settled?”,Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. URL:www.TeAra.govt.nz/NewZealanders/MaoriNewZealanders/WhenwasNewZealandfirstsettled/en

2. The Maori as he was: a brief account of life as it was in Pre-European days. Author: Hoane Nahe, “Maori, Tangata Maori.”Journal of the Polynesian Society 3(1894):27-35.

3. “Waitakere Ranges,Ranges of Inspiration.” Waitakere Ranges Protection Society Inc 2006: 21

4. Hoani Nahe, ‘Maori, Tangata Maori.’ Journal of the Polynesian Society 3 (1894): 27-35.

5. JT Diamond & Bruce W Hayward “The Maori history and Legends of the Waitakere Ranges”:2-3

6. Geoff Irwin and Carl Walrond. “When was New Zealand first settled?”,Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand.

7. JT Diamond & Bruce W Hayward “The Maori history and Legends of the Waitakere Ranges”: 34

8. Draft Waitemata Harbour Foreshore Reserve Management Plan, Part One. URL:www.waitakere.govt.nz/HavSay/pdf/waitemata-partone.pdf

9. Joan Lawrence “The Archeology of the Waitakere Ranges” 1989: 215

10. Anthony G Flude “Henderson’s Mill”. Henderson Borough Council 1977. 11.URL:http://www.waitakere.govt.nz/AbtCnl/pp/districtplan/pdf/policy/cityenviroment.pdf 12&14.URL:http://www.waitakere.govt.nz/abtcit/ne/pdf/waitakere-ranges-heritage-bill.pdf

13. Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Bill, 2006 No 15-1, Explanatory note, General Policy Statement,Issues Analysis, p. 2. [http://www.waitakere.govt.nz/abtcit/ne/pdf/ranges-] bkgrdrpt.pdf

The Portrait of a Lady – An Analysis of Identity in the Henry James Novel

Henry James’s The Portrait of a Lady is a nineteenth-century novel with an intriguing heroine, Isabel Archer. The book raises the issue of identity, and its construction and style inevitably effects how these identities are realised. The following analysis looks closely at this issue, assessing the text in relation to genre, concentrating specifically on the presence of certain Gothic conventions within the narrative.

The theme of confinement is a prominent one within The Portrait of a Lady, as Isabel Archer is ostensibly incarcerated by Gilbert Osmond. The novel effectively reworks traditional Gothic conventions, such as those inaugurated within the fiction of Ann Radcliffe and others, in its depiction of confinement and Isabel’s jailer.

When assessing the issue of female identity, it is beneficial to consider the author’s own intentions for their work. James was already a greatly respected critic before he turned to novel writing who had grand intentions for the novel as an art form. Such intentions are manifest in The Portrait of a Lady through what he called the ‘international light’, where characters of a certain nationality interact with those of other nations, an advantage bestowed upon James by his own expatriate status as an American living in England, and something that allowed him to explore issues of cultural and individual identity.

The Portrait of a Lady establishes characterization as its central focus. James is far more interested in creating a subtle atmosphere of implication that prompts his readers into contemplating the complexity of one woman’s circumstances. His brother, the philosopher William James, once commented on how Henry always defied the convention of telling a story. The Portrait of a Lady is written in the third-person, a narrative choice which inevitably has an effect on the issue of identity.

It is arguable that The Portrait of a Lady has a ‘centre of consciousness’ narrative, with other characters and broader issues being organized around the heroine. As the novel progresses, much of its drama and action actually takes place in Isabel’s mind as opposed to incidents being acted out externally. There is also a noticeable absence of overt narrative comment, such as that which Eliot employs to accompany the portrayal of her characters’ thoughts in Middlemarch, a novel whose heroine, Dorothea Brooke, James cites as an influence on his formation of Isabel Archer. Techniques such as internal monologue, free indirect discourse and focalization are frequently employed to achieve a variety of narrative effects. One of these being to portray events from the viewpoint of the characters themselves, and creating the impression of the author’s opinions having been effaced in order to direct the reader’s attention to the inner worlds of their characters. James wasn’t overly interested in depicting extreme or sensational events, as these distracted from his study of individual consciousness, striving instead for ‘economy’ in fiction. Such authorial intentions inevitably exert an influence over the nature of his heroine’s identity, and consequently Isabel is perceptive, introspective, and has a recognizable capacity for receiving impressions.

Our understanding of female identity in this narrative is also enhanced through an assessment of genre. The Portrait of a Lady belongs to James’s highly particular brand of realist fiction. In James’s novel, as in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, tradition Gothic trappings are reworked in the realm of the psychological.

Much of the tension in The Portrait of a Lady is apparent in Isabel’s own reactions to seemingly ordinary events. James’s prose style is suggestive rather than direct, his sentences frequently abounding with interruptions and deferrals. One particular point in the novel in which the author himself identifies as being exceptionally important, in respect of his heroine’s consciousness becoming the major site of drama and action, is the scene where Isabel first encounters Madame Merle. A sinister atmosphere isn’t invoked using obvious sensation strategies, but instead through subtle details such as Madame Merle being seated with her “ample and well-dressed” (XVIII, p.193) back to Isabel at the piano “furthest removed from the door” (XVIII, p.192) in Gardencourt’s drawing room – “an apartment of great distances” (XVIII, p.192). The reader is informed that Madame Merle plays the instrument “remarkably well”, with “skill”, “feeling”, and “a discretion of her own” (XVIII, p.193); her considerable musical dexterity is suggestive of her special powers in other areas, as she is later revealed to be dissembling and manipulative. After her introduction, Madame Merle continues to play while Isabel sits and listens, meanwhile James increases the ominous atmosphere with the following: “the shadows deepened in the room” (XVIII, p.194), describing the “autumn twilight” as gathering in, his heroine noticing the rain, “which had now begun in earnest” (XVIII, p.194).

Isabel’s identity is defined in part by other characters in the novel, particularly Gilbert Osmond. To a certain extent, Osmond’s character is a more complex and refined eighteenth century Gothic villain. He poses a major threat not just to the heroine’s freedom, but to her identity as well. Isabel is ‘commodified’ as a beautiful piece of art over which Osmond, as he has already achieved with his daughter Pansy, expects to exert complete control, depriving Isabel of her own identity by making her mind an extension of his. Osmond’s grand palazzo functions effectively as a place of confinement for Isabel.

In choosing to finally return to Osmond however, Isabel assumes the stature of a tragic heroine, yet she asserts her own autonomy, not in innocence but in full knowledge of the world, the major interest of the novel having become moral rather than romantic.

The Dehumanization of Art – Ortega Y Gasset’s Pernicious Theory of Art

Because I have admired the Spanish philosopher and art critic Jose Ortega y Gasset (1883 – 1955) for many years, I have been reluctant to review any of his books. His writing style offers a peculiar angle of vision about culture, philosophy, and art. As a result for years I’ve been a consumer, always taking from his work and never giving anything back.

But now it’s time to give something back. So, here are some very personal likes and dislikes.

Ortega’s title of the book -The Dehumanization of Art- is now a constant in music, literature, aesthetics, and philosophy, having come to mean that in post-modern times human-shaped mimesis (representation of the human) is irrelevant to art.

According to Ortega, the arts don’t have to tell a human story; art should be concerned with its own forms-and not with the human form. The essay, divided into 13 subsections, was originally published in 1925; in these brief sections Ortega discussed the newness of nonrepresentational art and sought to make it more understandable to a public much benumbed with the traditional forms of art.

A search for the substance of traditional art

In the first section entitled, “Unpopularity of the New Art,” Ortega draws from his political credo which one can say it is elitist, aristocratic, and anti-popular. His analysis concludes with the belief that some people are better than others; that some are superior to others: “Behind all contemporary life lurks the provoking and profound injustice of the assumption that men are actually created equal.”

That unbending political point of view colors his aestheticism.

The masses, he holds, will never understand the “new art” that was emerging with Debussy and Stravinsky (music), Pirandello (theater), and Mallarme (poetry). A lack of understanding will mobilize the masses -a term that Ortega uses frequently to refer to the common people- to dislike and reject the new art. Therefore, the new art will be the art for the illustrious, the educated, and the few.

To bring that kind of divisive tool -the few versus the many, aristocrats versus democrats- into the arts seems not only narrow minded, but also disingenuous. Yet my main objection to Ortega’s analysis and conclusions is more fundamental. In my estimation, ‘understanding’ in the arts is of secondary importance. The arts are created by humans to reach out and touch other humans by means of appeals to their passions and emotions-through their senses.

When I was 14 years old, by accident, I heard a musical composition that was so different and strange to my young ears that prompted me to call the radio station to find out about that piece. It was Appalachian Spring, a ballet composition by Aaron Copland. What 14-year old boy from the Andes (Peru) can be familiar with ballet or Aaron Copland to even begin to understand the composition? Yet, I liked it. And that is all that mattered to me.

Understanding that piece of music, or even knowing the name of the composer, was as far away from my mind as was Einstein’s theory of relativity, since I had no idea who Einstein was either. Delight, enjoyment, and rapture one feels without expressed understanding.

By extolling the new forms and promoting the vanguard artists and their efforts to produce non-traditional art, Ortega’s book had a significant influence in the rejection of realism and romanticism. So seductive and convincing was Ortega’s prose that many artists and critics began to equate both realism and romanticism with vulgarity.

To allow a brilliant writer to exert so much authority should be a sin. For years Ortega’s authority has bothered me. Yet, despite that inner annoyance, my respect for the man’s writings inhibited me from protesting. So, by stripping Ortega’s dazzling prose of its seduction -by “bracketing” and performing a phenomenologist reduction- we can see it in its own nakedness for what it is: an elitist and harmful point of view.

People should never be made ashamed of their taste, likes, and dislikes in art. We should enjoy that touch of aesthetic delight whether it comes from primitive, Greek, Gothic, Romanesque, Baroque, realism, or romanticism, surrealism, or any period or movement.

Ortega advocates the ‘objective purity’ of observed reality

Following Plato’s division of reality into the forms (universals) and their simulacra, Ortega invents his own corresponding terms: ‘observed reality’ and ‘lived reality.’

The representation of real things (lived reality) – man, house, mountain- Ortega calls “aesthetic frauds.” Ortega totally dislikes objects be they man-made or natural: “A good deal of what I have called dehumanization and disgust for living forms is inspired by just such an aversion against the traditional interpretation of realities.”

In contrast, the representation of ideas (observed reality) is what he views as the true art. Therefore, he praises the new art as the destroyer of semblance, resemblance, likeness, or mimesis. In that destruction of the old human forms of art lies Ortega’s “dehumanization.”

Yet one must recall that more that more than 2500 years ago, the pre-Socratic philosopher Protagoras said, “Man is the measure of all things: of things which are, that they are, and of things which are not, that they are not.” Ortega’s will to “dehumanize” art will always run head on against Protagoras’ wall. Art by definition – anything that is man-made- is profoundly human and cannot be otherwise, Ortega notwithstanding.

Even in the stark canvases of painters such as Mark Rothko one feels the artist’s humanity in search of the human soul through color and luminosity. Even in the random drippings of Jackson Pollock’s works one can sense man’s struggle for freedom. And what is freedom but a human aspiration?

Conclusion

Whenever I look at the shapes of primitive African art, the Paleolithic images of animals in the caves of Lascaux, or even the colorful and balanced grids of Mondrian-I’m in awe of the human spirit. And at such times I feel that labels, signs, markings, and explanations and descriptions (theories) are totally unnecessary.

What we need are theories of art that can unite people rather than divide them. Ortega’s “dehumanization” is a toxic theory not because it advocates a detestable elitism, but because it attempts to deny the pleasures of art to the common people.

Analysis and Commentary – "Our Lady’s Juggler" (Anatole France)

Let us analyze the work of Anatole France in regard to the defense mechanisms in Psychology:

Background of Author. Anatole France is a son of a Parisian bookseller. His life was one of incessant controversy. His attitude against the church and state was ironic and bitter, though he was educated at a religious school. And while his novels attacked conventional Christian institutions at the depths of his heart, as in the core of every person’s being – France had faith in the Almighty and innate goodness of man.

Analysis: Anatole France identifies with his main character Barnabas (Our lady’s Juggler) using the following defense mechanisms:

1. Repression. His subconscious compelled him to write against religious norms as a result of his repressed anger on the church and conventional Christian institutions. The story pointed it plainly that Barnabas suffered in silence.

2. Compensation – Barnabas lamented about his ignorance. To make-up, he settled for something less. He could not compose writings in Latin and hymns, instead he juggled and performed tricks as offering in which he got the attention of the Virgin. In real life, France felt a deep sense of insecurity with the Church/State leaders and that is why he chose to write.

3. Rituals. Barnabas’ life was not complete without rituals. In fact, he always prayed so hard. Like the rest, he had his own faith though he was a simple man. France wanted everybody to know that faith and belief in God is a gift to both the rich and the poor, the educated and the ignorant.

4. Escapism. Barnabas loses himself in juggling. In the story, the monks thought that he was losing his wits. I understood that he was happy while doing the activity. He felt complete in his juggling. Perhaps in reality, he escapes going to a different world to feel that he is the best.

Why The Stock Market Will Soon Favor Value Investing Again

Value Investing is a famous investment strategy which helps to identify quality shares (by using an approximation of the stocks’ value) that are currently undervalued in the market. The worth/value of every stock is based on the performance of the company as well as a view of its future sustainable profitability (known as normalized return on equity).

Since the beginning of 2009, the global markets have faced a financial repression era. It was a period of low-interest rates as well as risk-encouragement that has led to a perfect time for growth investing. Furthermore, the market has awarded a scarcity premium to almost all those companies that can grow in such an environment of limited economic expansion prospects. Meanwhile, the market has paid less attention to the traditional value factors, such as P/E (price-to-earnings) ratios and dividend yields. However, these factors have provided substantial return premiums over the long-term.

Everything has its season and it is totally fair to say, this has been a long and cold winter for value investors that are committed to the style. Certainly after the high-flying days of the tech bubble in the late 1990s, value has not been this out of favor.

It is extremely important to remember that the value/growth cycles tend to be mean-reverting. Moreover, they have lasted between 7 and 10 years from trough to peak on average. With the growth style now in its ninth year of relative out-performance, the current phase of this cycle may be drawing to a close. We may soon enter into an environment which once again favors value investing.

After the occurrence of this shift in the market, yesterday’s laggards could become tomorrow’s leaders. In addition, investors may want to be positioned accordingly. Although nobody has any crystal ball that can tell exactly when the cycle will flip. However, there are still some signs that a shift may already be occurring.

The followings are some of these indications:

1. A weakening U.S. dollar

It is important to note that the value indexes are skewed toward different market segments, like old tech, energy, and industrials that derive significant revenue abroad. The U.S. dollar has been losing value, which may provide such companies with an earnings tailwind.

2. Higher U.S. interest rates:

History shows that value stocks have outperformed in a pervasive as well as persistent manner shortly after the initial rate hike. Remember one thing, it worth noting that the lift-off for the current rate hike cycle happened in December 2015.

3. Strengthening commodity markets:

The value out-performance is positively correlated with rising commodity prices.

4. A recovery in the high-yield bond markets:

The value and U.S. high-yield spreads are inversely correlated. The spreads are currently falling, which is a signal that the worst may be behind us.

It is possible to learn a lot about value investing strategies with the help of investment courses. Given today’s market conditions, it seems prudent to keep exposure to the value-oriented investments focused on income from low-valuation P/E multiples and dividends.

The 5 Major Stock Investing Strategies for the Value Investors

The consistent dollar cost averaging program setup is one of the best approaches to equity ownership for numerous investors, with dividends reinvested into a low-cost as well as a broadly diversified index. Some investors prefer to select individual securities and then build a portfolio based upon the analysis of each selected firm.

Mr. Benjamin Graham (the father of value investing) identified five different categories of common stock investing for do-it-yourself investors. These all 5 categories could conceivably result in satisfactory or even more than satisfactory returns. Mr. Benjamin Graham elaborated these five strategies in his book “The Intelligent Investor” for engaging portfolio managers who wanted to compound the capital.

1. The General Trading

This strategy refers to participating or anticipating in the moves of the stock market as a whole, as reflected in the familiar “averages”.

2. The Selective Trading

This strategy refers to picking out the issues which, less than 1 year or over a period of 1 year, will do better in the market as compared to the average stocks.

3. Buying Cheap and Selling Dear

This strategy states that come into the stock market when the prices as well as sentiments are depressed and selling out when prices and sentiments are exalted.

4. The Long-Pull Selection

This strategy refers to picking out companies that will prosper over the year, far more than an average enterprise. These are also known as the “growth stocks.

5. The Bargain Purchases

This strategy suggests to select the securities that are currently selling considerably below their real/true value, as measured by some reasonably dependable techniques.

Value investing is one of the famous and easy to use investment strategies. Mr. Benjamin Graham goes on to address some specific quandary that every active investor will face in determining how to manage his/her portfolio. He said, “Whether an investor should buy at lower price and then sell at a higher price, or he/she should be content to hold some sound securities through thick and thin (subject only to periodic examination of their intrinsic merits) is one of the many choices of policy which an investor must make for herself/himself.

The personal situation and temperament here may well be the determining factors. An individual close to business affairs, who is used to forming judgments as to the economic outlook and of acting on them, will be motivated naturally to make similar judgments about the general level of stock prices.

You can learn a lot more about different investment strategies and techniques through investment courses.

It would be logical to use the technique of buy-low and sell-high for such investors. However, professionals and wealthy people who are not active in business can easily immunize their thinking from the influence of year-to-year fluctuations. The more attractive choice for this group may be the simpler one of buying carefully when the funds are available and laying chief stress on the income return over the years.

Don Juan by Lord Byron – An Analysis of the First Canto

There is no exact definition of ‘Romanticism’. However there are a range of themes, such as imagination and transcendence, the adoration of nature, the mysterious and the sublime, and the figure of the poet as an important individual that occur frequently in the literature of writers labeled Romantics. The Romantic era in poetry is generally thought to span from 1780 to 1830. Byron was born in 1788 and is considered a major poet of the Romantic period. Most critics consider Don Juan his masterpiece. This article analyzes a fragment from the first canto.

Such a weighty concept as Romanticism can never really be clearly defined, but we can come closer to comprehending some of its characteristics by looking at the structure, themes, and language used in poems of that era.

Don Juan is an unfinished poem of mock epic proportions. The protagonist’s formative years are presented in the first canto, chronicled in the third person by a cynically urbane narrator who adopts a detached and conversational tone, thus imbuing Juan’s adventures with a world-weary irony.

A prevailing sense of disillusion is typical of the narrative voice employed. The language is erudite and witty, with many classical allusions – ‘what person can be partial / To all those nauseous epigrams of Martial?’ appearing to spill forth from the mouth of a worldly yet jaded aristocrat. The style is affectedly improvisatory, despite the use of high-flown vocabulary: ‘intestate’ in stanza 37 and ‘illumined’ in stanza 46, it would appear that Byron was striving for an effect of immediacy and directness: ‘The Missal / too (it was the family Missal).’

Humour and irony are also important elements in Don Juan, and the poem’s formal structure is specifically designed to accommodate them. Byron employs a sophisticated form known as ottava rima: an eight line stanza form with a rhyming scheme of ABABABCC. As well as facilitating the conversational mode, the use of ottava rima also allows him to build up a seemingly dramatic situation over the first six lines, only to have a shift in tone during the final couplet, frequently creating an effect of bathos, as evinced in the closing line of stanza 38, where it is imparted that Juan has learned ‘how to scale a fortress – or a nunnery’.

The narrator is arguably a character in his own right, applying a unique voice that consists of a language and style that is all their own, no doubt quite dissimilar to that of the young Juan’s. Such a division in the poem’s architecture runs parallel to the relationship between story and plot. The former relates to the actual events which befall Juan, the latter is concerned with how these events manifest themselves, and how they are imparted by the narrator – a process known as focalization.

The late eighteenth-century was a time of massive social upheaval, with the French and American revolutions. Such cataclysmic events inevitably influenced writers of the age, regardless of their style. In his time Byron was the second most famous man in Europe after Napoleon.