Cosetta Veronese
Universität Basel
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In the middle of Gadda’s Mess: Shakespeare
Dedalus 19 (2015), pp. 207-229. Download PDF

The essay offers a study of the presence of Shakespeare’s works in Quer pasticciaccio brutto de via Merulana, a 1957 novel by the Italian writer Carlo Emilio Gadda (1893-1973). Considered by many Gadda’s masterpiece, the Pasticciaccio is a detective story set in Rome in 1927 and revolving around the unresolved murder of a young woman, Liliana Balducci. The Shakespearean canon was for Gadda a fundamental literary work to which he returned on and on, because it expressed, as he repeatedly confessed in interviews and other works, his own apprehension of the complexity of reality.
After presenting briefly what this complexity consists of for Gadda, the essay explores the influence of Shakespeare’s works in the Pasticciaccio. Shakespeare’s presence in the text is unsystematic: it concerns characters, their relationships and functions, objects and themes of the novel. And it can be perceived at different levels: at times it is easily detectable, but more often it turns out to be subterranean and subtle. Threads are sometimes loose, and features of plays such as Hamlet, Julius Caesar, King Lear, The Tempest and The Merchant of Venice often operate at the deep level of the author’s Weltanschauung, they betray his view of human relationships and of mankind’s relationship to the world.
Qingben LI
Beijing Language and Culture University, Institute for Comparative Literature
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The Original Confucianism and Establishment of Chinese Classical Aesthetics
Dedalus 19 (2015), pp. 191-205. Download PDF

Confucius’ thought and philosophy inherited by both Mencius and Xunzi, but carried forward from different even opposite perspective, thus formed the rich connotation of the primitive Confucianism and embodied in Confucius’ theory of benevolence, Mencius’ theory of the good human nature, and Xunzi’s theory of the evil human nature which are the main points of Confucianism. Focusing on the three figures of Confucianism over 2000 years ago, this paper will demonstrate that the primitive Confucianism had a great influence on Chinese traditional aesthetics. Some main concepts and ideas, such as harmony and the harmonious combination of the ideal of physical beauty and moral goodness, which serve as the central categories in Chinese traditional culture and aesthetics, are all stemmed from Confucianism. Different from the western aesthetics which emphasizes rational analysis, Chinese aesthetics results from the manifestation of intuitive patterns, revealing the characteristics of Chinese traditional aesthetics, which can also be traced back to the primitive Confucianism.
Egbert Alejandro Martina
Writer, editor of Processed Life

Patricia Schor
Utrecht University, The Netherlands
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White Order: Racialization of Public Space in the Netherlands
Dedalus 19 (2015), pp. 161-188. Download PDF

In this essay we argue that urban planning and spatial ordering enact violence upon racialized populations in the Netherlands. We highlight the entanglement between security, coercion and care in Dutch contemporary public discourse and policy on structuring and regulating urban space. We posit that the ways in which Black people are addressed in public discourse and spatial policy contribute greatly to the construction of a nationalist, gendered, sexualized, socio-spatial framework of proper White Native Dutchness. Focusing on policy and legal instruments deployed in the city of Rotterdam, we sketch how the government rationalizes a politics of containment. We use the colonial archive to trace the genealogy of practices of incarceration of Black bodies in the metropolitan space. We then expound on colonial continuities in the workings of contemporary ‘White Order.’ We point to the role that architecture and urban planning play in the control of populations. Finally, we focus on how the language of care enables the State to stretch its realm of intervention into the private lives of Black populations. We stress the intersection between biopolitics and political economy, whereby ‘quality of life’ is already coded as white. Our aim is to reveal the sustained targeting of Black bodies, from Dutch colonial times until today, and recast spatial design and regulation as normalized and disavowed violence.
Beatriz Elena Inzunza-Acedo
Universidad de Monterrey, Mexico
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Mexican Children Discussing “The Situation of Insecurity” in the City of Monterrey, Mexico
Dedalus 19 (2015), pp. 131-160. Download PDF

This article partly presents the results of a study of children’s social representations on insecurity and delinquency in Monterrey, Mexico, under the context of a criminal wave due to the increasing of violence between cartels and government. Forty-four children were interviewed, and during the sessions made drawings to describe their understanding of crime and delinquents. The main results show images that could be generalized in the description of criminals, but crimes are different and depend on the type of sources of information that children are usually exposed to. Four types of crimes could be found: minor crimes (which do not purposely try to attempt against the freedom, life or health of an individual), major crimes (that are contrary to the minor type), drug dealing related (organized crime events such as trafficking and shootings between cartels), and other (bullying, anxiety at home over insecurity events). The narratives of the drawings also show stigmas against determined neighborhoods of the city, which vary depending on the social class of the interviewees. While media was an important source of information, some children also explained their own testimonies while being witnesses, as well as mentioned discussions with parents and school.
Carlos Garrido Castellano
Universidade de Lisboa, Faculdade de Letras, Centro de Estudos Comparatistas
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Locating Human Agency in the Anthropocene. Environmental Universalism, Natural Catastrophes, and the Possibilities of Critique
Dedalus 19 (2015), pp. 109-129. Download PDF

This essay proposes a comparative analysis in which institutional critique is used as an illuminating lens through which the issues of security and risk can be addressed. It puts in evidence how, in the Anthropocene, human capacity to impact on the planet poses timely questions concerning security, agency and risk management. However, thoughtful critique is required to better understand the consequences of such actions and the topographies of the present geopolitical administration. Even though the Anthropocene model implies a sense of vicinity and proximity between members of a universal community, a re-evaluation of our position in such a global scale seems all the more necessary. The essay challenges us to see beyond the “neutral white cube” also in this context, as it moreover suggests that the idea of an imagined global landscape of shared responsibilities is somehow concealing the existence of inescapable inequalities that define different world cartographies, territories of insecurity and rather invisible ideological structures. By doing so, this text poses an ultimate question, interrogating who is, after all, the universal ‘we’ in the Anthropocene.