Magazine created by students of the Department of English and American Studies at Masaryk University.

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At the Centenary Crossroads: Interview with His Excellency Charles Sheehan

in Current Issue/Interviews

by Markéta Šonková and Anna Formánková

 

Markéta Šonková with H. E. Charles Sheehan. Photo by Lucie Tomaňová.

Ambassador Sheehan has been the Irish ambassador to the Czech Republic since 2015, but his time in the Czech Republic has slowly reached its end. The Cork-born lawyer has spent his career in the Irish Diplomatic Service, and his professional CV sports many illustrious posts. And yet, the ease and lightness with which he discusses a wide variety of topics ranging from sports, to literature, was simply heart-warming. 

Although Ireland is a small European nation, its culture is widely popular all around the world. Nevertheless, Ireland is much more than shamrocks, vast green fields, and St. Patrick’s celebrations. To that end, we talked to His Excellency about the Czech-Irish ties and their future, the Irish footprint in the world, and whether he has ever finished reading Joyce’s Ulysses, a feat many students of English and American studies strive to conquer themselves. Keep Reading

Remembering the Anglo-Irish Propaganda War

in Current Issue/Views

by Kristína Šefčíková

The first quarter of the 20th century embodies one of the most turbulent times of the Irish existence. In a span of just a few years, Ireland experienced an uprising, a war, a split, a civil war, and a deepening secession from the British Empire. These events were accompanied by an unprecedented amount of sovereignty which eventually led to complete independence. However, a country of 3.2 million people was unlikely to achieve freedom through a military stand against the magnitude of the Empire alone. Ireland had to find a more effective and economic solution, and so it reached for an alternative instrument – propaganda. Keep Reading

Languages, Cinema and the Fire of Revolution: Erasmus in France

in Current Issue/Other

by Mariia Minaeva

THE CITY OF CAEN. VIEW FROM THE CASTLE SITUATED RIGHT NEXT TO THE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS.

There were two things I had heard about the Erasmus programme – international students do not have a responsible attitude to studying and have crazy parties that prevent locals from sleeping. There were two things I had heard about France – French people like complaining a lot and do not speak English (or, if you are lucky enough, they do, but only with their famous French accent). Are these just long-standing stereotypes claimed by the people who have only seen it from the outside, or simple facts noted by someone who has experienced it firsthand? Before the beginning of my Erasmus stay in France, I was prepared for both options. And – maybe at least a little bit – I was eager to prove them wrong.

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“Breaking Our Silences” and “Calling Attention” to the Oppressive: Interview with Devi S. Laskar About Her Novel The Atlas of Reds and Blues

in Current Issue/Interviews
The cover of The Atlas of Reds and Blues published by Counterpoint. Photo courtesy of Counterpoint.

by Sandra Hrášková

“When you put American clothes on a browned-skinned doll, what do people see? The clothes? Or the whole doll? Or only the skin?” (Laskar, location 108)

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Nature – Possession or a Savior of the Human Race?

in Current Issue/Views

by Ľubomíra Tomášová

Photo by Ľubomíra Tomášová.

At the dawn of the 19th century, a new literary movement called transcendentalism emerged in America. It was inspired by nature and romanticism and its goal was to live in harmony with the laws of nature and feel a sense of unity with all living creatures. Ralph Waldo Emerson, at first an avid supporter of Puritanism, later a founder of transcendentalism wrote an important piece of writing called Nature where he formulates some of the most fundamental notions of this movement. Yet, 200 years later, today’s postmodern society is trapped in sieges of consumerism and is consequently facing countless issues on a global scale. Emerson’s thoughts might seem outdated and otherworldly at times, however, they also encompass some important perspectives on nature, humanity and the very essence of life. The question is whether these ideas are still relevant to a 21st-century person and capable of changing the way one thinks in a society which is constantly oversaturated with constant progress and new information.  Keep Reading

“Becoming” First Lady

in Current Issue/Reviews

by Ľubomíra Tomášová

Throughout the history, there were myriad of biographies written about First Ladies of United States and a number of memoirs written by them. In each case the story was unique and different mirroring both their backgrounds and eras in which they served. At the end of the 2018, Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming was published and soon it became the best-selling book of 2018 in the United States. This memoir is an account of the 44th First Lady of the United States and at the same time the first African American First Lady, which makes the author even more unique and relatable to her readers. Obama writes very authentically about her childhood struggles as an African American, finding herself as a young woman, wife and mother, navigating her life and finding her own voice as a First Lady and even after this part of her life being over, still continuing to be an inspiration for many.

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The Importance of Body in the Perception of Humanity: Ex Machina in Context

in Current Issue/Views

by Michaela Medveďová 

geralt, Pixabay.com, CC BY 4.0

 

During their short history on Earth, humans have been responsible for quite a number of terrible things. But they have also been the creators of many technological wonders which altered their living conditions – from something as simple as the wheel to something as complex as the Internet. However, it is safe to say that humans will truly become the masters of their own existence once they create a being with true artificial intelligence which is modelled after their own image. While it still sounds like something from a science fiction movie, with a humanoid robot Sophia becoming an actual citizen and giving interviews, it seems that this is the direction in which the human race is moving.  Keep Reading

What Did They do to Bestsellers?

in Current Issue/Views

by Patricija Fašalek

gurkan.ozsoy, Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Not that long ago, the term ‘best-seller’ was used for a book which sold better than others, such as works of Charles Dickens, Mark Twain and Jane Austen, and it was reserved for fiction only. Later on, the term was applied to nonfiction also, including the very popular genre of self-help books, and gradually the word acquired a negative connotation since it was mostly associated with books of low literary value. As in, “there are great works of literature, and then there are…bestsellers.”  Nowadays the reliable source of information which restores some dignity to best-sellers would be the major bestsellers lists, published in Washington PostWall Street JournalUSATODAYNew York Times or Publisher’s Weekly, and, more recently, on Amazon where the term Amazon Bestseller is given to the books that manage to get on the Amazon bestsellers list – and this list is composed of hundreds or thousands of books. Keep Reading

Towards Inclusive Heritage: Thoughts on Wain, a collection of LGBT themed poetry by Rachel Plummer

in Current Issue/Reviews/Views
Courtesy of The Emma Press, art by Helene Boppert

by Tereza Walsbergerová

Agender and gender-queer creatures, bisexual mermaids, homosexual warriors, asexual goddesses, non-binary elves, and transgender seal folk. All this and more awaits you in Rachel Plummer’s 2019 LGBT themed retellings of Scottish mythology – Wain: LGBT Reimaginings of Scottish Folklore. As the book was commissioned by an organisation dedicated to the inclusion of queer children and youth in Scottish society, this article questions the educational potential of story-telling, the possibility of inclusive heritage, the use and “abuse” of mythology, and the universal character of mythical meanings.

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