The Comparative Literature Undergraduate Journal

A Premier Humanities Research Journal at the University of California, Berkeley

Note From the Editor in Chief

Dear Reader,

This semester, the CLUJ staff is pleased to present five papers of outstanding quality. Constructing a piece that is simultaneously thoughtful, well-written, and engaging is a difficult task, but our authors have shown that it is certainly not impossible. By approaching their subjects with the utmost care, they have produced a selection of sharp analysis and criticism that boasts not only original ideas, but also valuable discussions of the questions those ideas bring about.


In “So is This the End?: The Unfinishability of Quixotic Play,” Anna Pedersen offers an insightful exploration of the novel Don Quixote through a lens of performance theory. Incorporating a notion which she terms “quixotic play,” she discusses the characters’ performative acts and traces the blurring lines between their play and reality.


Nina Youkhanna, in “A Chorus of Women: An Exploration of the Feminine Discourse in 19th and 20th Century Russian Literature,”compares male- and female-authored works in order to examine changes in the representation of feminine discourse. Her thorough survey of the subject reveals the echoed presence of the past in today’s paradigms of Russian femininity.


In “Haunted Words: The Ghost of Hamlet in Mrs. Dalloway,” Colton Valentine explores questions regarding modernist writers and their relationship to the literary past. Aiming to mediate the paradox between writers’ departure from and dependence on their literary predecessors, he employs a self-developed technique to interpret specific intertexts in Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway.


Miguel Penabella navigates the environment of a survival horror game in “Monstrous Spaces in a Sea of Fog: Silent Hill 2 & The Pathetic Fallacy in Videogame Narrative.” He applies trauma theory to specific scenes in order to reach a deeper understanding of how—as both players and inhabitants—we perceive unreliable perspectives in psychological horror narratives.


Drawing from the debate between suspicious and surface reading, Shawn Zhang, in “Shallow/Deep Surfaces/Depths: Reading and Writing The Pale King,” seeks an answer to whether a productive approach to interpretation can be developed using elements of two seemingly incompatible modes of reading. This challenge leads him to a close examination of the work of David Foster Wallace.


It is thanks to the efforts and dedication of our editors that this issue was made possible. Their evaluations, edits, and everything in between constitute invaluable contributions to CLUJ’s continuing success.


Without further ado, I introduce to you the Fall 2015 issue of CLUJ.


Happy reading,

Tina Nguyen