This semester we received submissions from around the world, widely ranging in subject matter and language. In some regards, Comparative Literature never ceases to amaze me because of the sheer diversity of ideas, which are represented through unique and often non-Western lenses. As Hélder Câmara stated in his publication Spiral of Violence, “Keep your language. Love its sounds, its modulation, its rhythm. But try to march together with men of different languages, remote from your own, who wish like you for a more just and human world.” I hope that you will embrace this issue with a similar spirit and desire to participate in a global literary community. The purpose of our Comparative Literature Undergraduate Journal is not to merely showcase undergraduate work, but to proliferate a united writing community in a space, which distinctly and meaningfully crosses borders both culturally and linguistically.
In “Apropiación de la sociedad posdictatorial en obras escogidas de Ariel Dorfman y Mario Benedetti,” Jenny Augustin explores how two Latin American authors depict a changing socio-political background. She compares these works to determine if political periods of transition do in fact leave an imprint on literature. Likewise, Michaela Telfer in “Humanizing Women in Hugo and Dostoevsky,” compares how two Russian authors convey nineteenth century social change through their writing. Hannah Froehle also uncovers how the First World War creates an imprint on Ernst Jünger work in, “Digging Beneath the Rubble: Ernst Juenger’s Kriegsmythos.”
Additionally, Patience Haggin’s, “Language, Humor, and Estrangement in Raymond Queneau’s L’instant fatal” discusses broader themes involving death and language from Raymond Queneau’s French perspective. She explores how linguistics creates a disorientating effect in the wake of Queneau’s humorous and grim messages. Moreover, in “Totoshka, We’re Not in Kansas Anymore: Translating American-Soviet Cold War Tension Through The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” Maria Lomaka exhibits how literary boundaries can be crossed, despite vastly differing historical landscapes.
I am truly proud of my staff members, who have tirelessly evaluated, edited, and formatted this issue. Without their tremendous hard work, the journal would not be what it is today, and I am honored to have worked with such dedicated students.
9 December 2013