Give Thanks to the Lord for He is good; His Love endures forever. ~ Psalm 107:1


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Current: Danbury, CT, United States
Welcome! A few years ago, I discovered an application that artists employ in their works to bring cultural awareness to their audiences. Having discerned this semiotic theory that applies to literature, music, art, film, and the media, I have devoted the blog, "Theory of Iconic Realism" to explore this theory. The link to the publisher of my book is below. If you or your university would like a copy of this book for your library or if you would like to review it for a scholarly journal, please contact the Edwin Mellen Press at the link listed below. Looking forward to hearing from you!

17 November, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

As Thanksgiving Day draws near, and we Americans reflect upon the many blessings in our lives, I extend my sincere thanks to all of you ladies and gentlemen who have visited this blog. Your kind words and gentle spirits have meant the world to me.
God bless! ~ Dr. Jeanne Iris

01 November, 2017

When in France...

                                         The view from a hotel room in Reims, France, taken a few years ago.

A few years ago, I presented a paper at the annual Association of Franco-Irish Studies conference in Reims, France. Ever since I spoke that first French word in my ninth grade French class, I've longed to go to that country. Finally, decades later, my dreams came true but not without the unfortunate realization that there were no washcloths at my hotel. So.....

When in France

In a French hotel in la cité de Reims,
an American searches for a washcloth. 
Alas, she finds none in this room,
so she must make do. 
This is France after all.
Sparkling white tub beckons her.
“Okay, Okay!”
She turns the water handle to HOT
and gently pours shampoo into the steady stream,
splashing the rising water to create more bubbles.
Then, smiling, she steps into the steaming water,
now filled with mounds of fluffy, fragrant bubbles,
closes her eyes and whispers to the 13-year-old girl
sitting in a French class, south of Detroit, decades ago.
“Oui, Jeanne ... tu seras en France un jour.”

© Jeanne I. Lakatos

15 October, 2017

The Revolutionary Rhetoric of Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan)

My collection of books written by Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan)

From page 17 of my book: 
            Revolutionary philosophy of the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries provides momentum for the transformation of consciousness, circuitous pathways of innovation and circularity within societal parameters, creating awareness of cultural change, often through literary articulation. During the long eighteenth century, Sydney Owenson constructs her national tales by configuring lexical combinations of Irish, English and European colloquialisms, drawing upon the historical and philosophical perceptions of René Descartes, John Locke, and Immanuel Kant to transform her romantic tales into narratives of political inquiry. She incorporates the German philosophical influences of Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Georg Wilhelm Friedriech Hegel, and Arthur Schopenhauer, initiating innovation in forms of cultural awareness. 
            As her writing matures, her nineteenth century contemporary scientific approach to human dignity resonates with Auguste Comte’s philosophy, revealing her personal experience with societal expectations. Her voice maintains a necessary fortitude in terms of her feminine perspective, placing Irish ideology into the center of English culture at the onset of the Ascendancy, while she illustrates foresight in challenging the political stance of the United Kingdom in the early decades of the nineteenth century. 

02 October, 2017

Revolutionary Thought Begins with Creative Emergence

'Equality Emerging' National University of Ireland, Galway, photo taken by me.

A revolutionary idea begins with a creative notion. In John Locke’s An Essay on Human Understanding, he states:
Wherever there is sense or perception, there some idea is, actually produced, and present in the understanding…we [have], as has been proved, no ideas at all, but what originally come either from sensible objects without, or what we feel within ourselves, from the inward workings of our own spirits, of which we are conscious to ourselves within. 

Below, is a poem I wrote a while ago to illustrate a similar consciousness that involves an appreciation of that which inspires:

A Creation   
With every minute
the mighty sculptor
molds, shapes me
into that which will
inevitably become
the fulfillment
of my dreams.
A Promise.
And I feel
the designated pliancy
of wondrous hands,
the angst
of sorrow and pain
into sculpted reality
of laughter and joy,
I, the loving creation
of an almighty Artist.

© Jeanne I. Lakatos

25 September, 2017

A Brief Analysis of the Feminine in Sydney Owenson's Writing

Enjoy a cup of tea!

From pp. 128-130 of my book on the Rhetoric of Sydney Swenson (pictured on the right):

Drawing on traditional symbols of music, art and language, Owenson enlightens her readers concerning societal negligence. Her published collection of harp melodies, her visions of Innisfree and the beauty with which she symbolizes the people of Ireland whet the appetite for national pride within the souls of those who read her work in Ireland and England. She succeeds in feeding their hungry spirit with the sustenance of historical revelation.

The Irish historian, R. F. Foster comments, “Besides the numerous ambitious histories, written to invalidate or to justify the Union, there were novels like Lady Morgan’s The Wild Irish Girl (1806), which helped market the ideas of Irishness so influential later in the century (and ever since).” [1] All the while, she rhetorically explores the desire for Ireland to engage peacefully with the English government, represented by a similar desire for feminine ideology to receive the respect and recognition of men.

In the Preface of her 1814 novel, O’Donnel, Owenson sums up her true feelings of her purpose in writing: 
The character of my sex, no less than my own feelings, urged me, in touching those parts of Irish history which were connected with my tale, to turn them to the purposes of conciliation, and to incorporate the leaven of favourable opinion with that heavy mass of bitter prejudice, which writers, both grave and trifling have delighted to raise against my country. (O’Donnel, p. 10)
Clearly, Owenson is conscious of her British, aristocratic audience as she utilizes rhetorical representation of her feminine experience in direct correlation with her Anglo-Irish background while “embracing this ‘criminal’ role of Irish patriot, [creating] the psychological compensation of constructing her authority along recognizable masculine lines.” [2] In other words, she directly addresses the male British aristocracy by using her feminism and Irish culture to make her political statement of unification.

Feminine linguistics may be explained with a look to the feminist philosophers of the twentieth century, Julia Kristeva and Helene Cixous, who have given the world of literature an insight into the complicated workings of the female psyche, each with her unique perspective of why and how women approach the linguistic design of text. According to Kristeva: 
Sexual difference – which is at once biological, physiological, and relative to production – is translated by and translates a difference in the relationship of subjects to the symbolic contract which is the social contract; a difference, then, in the relationship to power, language, and meaning. [3]
The social significance of the feminine power of language directly affects the readers’ perception of the speakers’ views. A writer reveals to the reading audience an interpretation of each character in relation to personal experience. A writer reveals to the reading audience an interpretation of each character in relation to personal experience. Therefore, in analysing writing, one must consider the psycholinguistic qualities that are intrinsic to the writer and audience, as images experienced through aural and visual sensory perceptions appearing by means of unique lexical styles.

[1] R.F. Foster, Modern Ireland: 1600-1972, (New York: Viking Penguin, 1988), p. 161.
[2] Paula R. Feldman and Theresa M. Kelley, (ed), Romantic Women Writers: Voices and Counter voices (Hanover, New Hampshire: University Press of New England, 1995), p. 171.
[3] Kristeva, Julia, translated by Alice Jardine and Harry Blake, “Women’s Time.” Signs (1981), p. 21.