Tortur – Tænkepause

Tortur – Tænkepause af Morten Dige

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3-stars

Tak til Aarhus Universitetsforlag for anmeldereksemplaret!

Denne gang byder serien ”Tænkepauser” på emnet tortur. Den er skrevet af Morten Dige og fagområdet er etik & filosofi.

Hvad jeg glædes over, når jeg læser ”Tænkepauser” er denne måde, hvorpå en forfatter enkelt og klart kan præsentere et valgfrit emne, og når vi så læser med, sætter det gang i tankerne.

Med dette tunge emne glæder man sig ikke ligefrem til at læse bogen. Jeg frygtede at det var en ”do it yourself”-guide til hvordan man har mulighed for at torturere andre mennesker. Min morbide tankegang havde heldigvis ikke ret. Gudskelov for det!

Vi introduceres til emnet med forskellige scenarier, hypotetiske dilemmaer og ægte skæbner fra verdenshistorien, f.eks. krige og strategiske metoder i forhold til forsvar mod terror. Samtidig stiller Tænkepausen spørgsmål igennem hele fortællingen, og vi tvinges til at tage stilling til etikken i spørgsmålet om tortur.

Er det okay at benytte tortur og skade 1 menneske, hvis det betyder, at 1000 uskyldige ofre kan reddes?

Er tortur okay, hvis det ikke indebærer fysisk skade, men blot psykisk (som at blive vækket utallige gange, kinesisk vandtortur, etc.?)

Læs selv videre og tag stilling!

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain

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3-stars

In “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s court” (1889), the main character, Hank Morgan, jumps back in time from the 19th Century to the sixth Century. With this novel, Mark Twain criticizes the hierarchy in society and the social inequality provided by the Catholic Church. He wishes for a more democratic society, e.g. where everyone has the possibility to learn to write (not only the rich and Christian). The central themes are; idealism, the wish for social justice, a society which is not controlled by religion and the fact that technology could be the people’s “rescue”, and improve and bring positive social change in form of a democratic system. His motive for writing this unusual novel was to ridicule Sir Walther Scott because he disapproved his works – he even blamed him for encouraging the American Civil War, even though it was three decades after Sir Walther Scott’s death.

Mark Twain’s work is written in a modern language and his writing style includes; dialogues with 1) old expressions to symbolize the characters of the sixth Century, i.e.: “hath” and “meseemeth”, and 2) modern language when Hank Morgan speaks, e.g. when Hank is trying to teach Sandy the term of “hanging out”; ‘Ah, I understood thee not […] Hang they out – hang they out – where hang – where do they hang out; eh, right so; where do they hang out. […] I will repeat it anon and anon in mine idlesse, whereby I may peradventure learn it […] already it falleth trippingly from my tongue’, which is also a humorous feature in the tale. At the same time, he uses picturesque descriptions, e.g.; ‘In the town were some substantial windowless houses of stone scattered among a wilderness of thatched cabins; the streets were mere crooked allies, and unpaved; troops of dogs and nude children played in the sun and made life and noise’ and uses contrasts, e.g. the contrast between a technological society versus a primitive one. ‘The burlesquing treatment of chivalry in Mark Twain’s ‘A Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court’ is in contrast to the usual romantic idealization […]’, which is seen in the works of Malory and Tennyson.

In his work, he uses; 1) criticism towards the British feudal society with social inequality, and 2) satire, e.g. when he tries to change the ways of society by being “The Boss”, with his industrial and technological inventions, and it ironically ends in chaos (instead of harmony). Furthermore, the humor is already seen in the beginning of the novel, when Hank tells the people that he is magical in order to rise in hierarchy. Another example is when the king is dressed in clothes as the other knights and tries to act as a knight, and not a king – again a satirical criticism to the British feudal social structure; that even a king should be treated as the common man and the other way around.

The most essential themes of the story are shown as dualism, which is usually seen in tales from medieval literature; 1) the search of the good (versus the evil) and 2) the fact that evil is associated with industry, technology and war, which can be seen as a symbolic criticism of the American society of the 19th Century; the Gilded Age (1870-1900), when America experienced a boom in manufacturing, and many people lived in poverty and only few were allowed to enjoy wealth because of social inequality. Mark Twain’s attitude to the rich and to the aristocracy of the southern states of America can also be seen in e.g. ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’, where he criticizes the wealthy Miss Watson for her hypocritical religious and moral values, and indirectly criticizes the southern nobility of – especially – French origin, through the criminal but powerful characters of the “Duke” and the “Dauphin”. In contrast to this opinion, the character of Sandy, (who goes with Hank on his journey, whom he ends up marrying) believes fully in the social stratification, and must be based on the character of Lynette (from Malory’s tale).

The genre of his novel is science fiction and fantasy, but Twain uses elements from old literature with satirical descriptions and Romantic notions of chivalry. The similarities to “Le Morte D’arthur” are; 1) the use of the tale in the beginning of the novel, and 2) King Arthur is mentioned.

Læst i februar 2017

Læst i februar 2017

Jeg læste 12 bøger i februar 2017. Listen står skrevet herunder og der medfølger links til anmeldelserne. Klik blot på titlen og den vil føre dig til anmeldelsen 🙂

Han, Jenny; P.S. Jeg elsker dig stadig (To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before #2)
Salisbury, Mark; The Case of Beasts: Explore the Film Wizardry of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Mølhave, Kathrine Eg; Regnorm
Nørregaard, Katrine; Løgnerens Hus
Memborg, Katrine; K for Kardashian
Eibe, Anika; Er du okay, Fie?
Hammer, Anne Sofie; Vi ses, Pellerøv
Porter, Max; Sorg er et væsen med fjer
Schwartz, Sandra; Sort Lucia
Green, John; Looking for Alaska
Wright, Jennifer Malone; The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter Part IV (The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter, #4)
Andersen, Lotte Kaa; 100 dage

 

(Har du læst nogle af dem? Hvad var din oplevelse? Eller læste du en fantastisk bog i februar 2017? Kommentér endelig. Det er skønt at dele læseoplevelser!)

The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

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2 stars

”The Catcher in the Rye” by J. D. Sallinger is a must have classic that everyone should read – I’ve heard!

I almost feel bad about the fact that it didn’t have the same effect on me. I’m sorry!

”The Catcher in the Rye” presents us with a plot which circles around existential crisis in a teenager’s life from childhood on the journey to adolescence. It presents a few days of a teenager’s life and all of the character, Holden’s, psychological struggles. It’s as if we read his diary or his inner thoughts, and even though he often seems vague in his descriptions, it is very clear that he lets the reader enter his mind.

This novel truly shows a main character that copes with loneliness and of feeling lost. Holden is incapable of neither appreciating anything nor having faith of everything working out just fine.

It is obvious to everyone that this book has something to offer. The real problem for me was the language. I really didn’t like the writing style. Naturally, it truly symbolized the character and his behaviour, but I had a hard time getting through it. There was a lot of repetition and swearing – but of course, these facts truly show that the main character was a teenager, and that we would see the world directly through his eyes.

If you are aware of the historical context with the novel being written after WWII, it is clear that the character, Holden, represents different themes of this historical period: rebellion and rejection of values and society, and a universal feeling of loneliness and misunderstanding. This piece of knowledge actually helped me to understand the novel better, but I’m sad to say that this will not become one of my favourite books.

Jeg vælger uden filter

Jeg vælger uden filter af diverse forfattere

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3 stars

En spændende samling af prosa og lyrik fra danske nye forfattere. I“Jeg vælger uden filter” er der tekster fra mange forskellige moderne forfattere, blandt andet navne som Helle Helle, Stine Pilgaard og nu mange nye navne, som jeg ikke før kendte til.

Det er en spøjs, men fascinerende rejse at tage på opdagelse i. Selve samlingen af tekster symboliserer de mange valg og utal af muligheder, som den unge står overfor i dag. De valg der skal træffes – de rigtige, men også de forkerte.

Spændende bog, men jeg synes at det er ærgerligt, at der er mange udpluk fra længere romaner, så man læser og nyder 2-3 sider, og bliver forvirret over slutningen, som selvfølgelig ikke er det. Dog er det en fin måde at blive introduceret til ny dansk litteratur og en nem måde at opdage nye forfattere og digtere på.

Modern Literary Theory: A Reader by Patricia Waugh

Modern Literary Theory: A Reader by Patricia Waugh

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3-stars

Modern Literary Theory: A Reader by Patricia Waugh is an excellent tool to use for academic, theoretical and analytical approaches for studying literature in general. I used this source for my MA studies in English literature (in 2015) and found it very informal and a fine guide to reading and learning more about literary theory.

It deals with different theories, for example structuralism, formalism, Marxism, feminism, deconstruction, gender, textuality, postmodernism, criticism, value of reading etc. I specifically enjoyed the parts about Harold Bloom and his thoughts on reading literature.

However, this source is written in an academic and sometimes difficult language. The content is detailed and very thorough but it could have been conveyed better to the reader. If you agree, I would recommend A Reader’s Guide to Contemporary Literary Theory by Raman Selden. It varies a bit in content but is mostly the same – and very easy to read and understand. This actually saved me in my understanding of the content.