2017

2017
Third week of Advent

Introduction:

My photo
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!

26 April, 2017

Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan) and Diverse Characterizations in The Missionary


From my book, pp. 33-34: 

In her 1811 novel, The Missionary, Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan) uses realism in conjunction with an icon to illustrate her views on cultural adaptation. In the following passage, she describes the realistic nature of Hilarion as a young, conflicted priest, who sacrifices earthly pleasures to honor his faith:
All that could touch in the saint, or impose in the man breathed around him: the sublimity of religion, and the splendour of beauty, the purity of faith, and the dignity of manhood; grace and majesty, holiness and simplicity, diffusing their combined influence over his form and motions, his look and air. (The Missionary, p. 82)
In contrast, Luxima, the Hindu Priestess, embodies beauty with spirituality as she interacts with the Missionary through her “dovelike eyes and innocent hands…raised in same direction, for gazing on the glories of the firmament, a feeling of rapturous devotion, awakened and exalted by the enthusiasm of the Missionary, filled her soul.” (The Missionary, p. 121) Not only do her characters contain realistic qualities that independently represent their iconic associations, but her setting this tale in India, provides the other realistic aspect of Owenson’s novel, for in the seventeenth century, India is the focus of European nations, who are seeking new economic and political territories to whet their imperial appetites. Moreover, the Catholic Church, having made so many dissenters from its powerful stance, needed to expand its philosophical territories, so the emergence of missionaries became a reality in India during the early seventeenth century. Portuguese missionaries do travel to India for the purpose of religious conversion of the non-Christian Hindus. Owenson draws upon observations from the historical documentations of Francois Bernier (1625-1688) to provide anthropological references as a means to create realistic characterizations, as she brings two people together in a Garden of Eden to form the genesis of a consciousness that alerts her audience to the possibilities of overzealous proselytizing of any stalwart community.
            Owenson represents iconic realism with the placement of Hilarion, the Franciscan Priest, an icon of Jesus Christ and European philosophy, physically and spiritually immersed with Indian culture through his interaction with an Indian Priestess, the icon of 17th century Hindu community and victimized follower of a faith and culture that is targeted for conversion. As Thomas Kavanagh points out:
The signified meanings, instead of being accepted as such, instead of taking us outside the text as text, become themselves the signifiers of the iconic signs, of a continuing movement, of a second temporality definable only within the parameters of the text.” [1] 
Hilarion is a Catholic Missionary because he is the nephew to the Archbishop of Lisbon. Although her description of his qualities is quite flattering, under his cloak of religiosity, his true nature is simply that of an ordinary man. As a true follower of Jesus Christ, he transfigures into a real person with real emotions and real anxieties regarding the bureaucracy of his organized religion. In Owenson’s portrayal of him as an icon set within the realism of seventeenth century India, he signifies two elements: the Catholic Church of the Inquisition period and imperialistic England, whose dogmatic government maintains its own mission to convert the Irish to the British consciousness. John Locke, in his essay on the “Powers of the Commonwealth” refers to this form of bureaucracy in government and religion:
For no man or society of men having a power to deliver up their preservation, or consequently the means of it, to the absolute will and arbitrary dominion of another, whenever anyone shall go about to bring them into such a slavish condition, they will always have a right to preserve what they have not a power to part with, and to rid themselves of those who invade this fundamental, sacred, and unalterable law of self-preservation for which they entered society. And thus the community may be said in this respect to be always the supreme power, but not as considered under any form of government, because this power of the people can never take place till the government be dissolved. [2]
Thus, the hierarchy of authority within human society creates significant conflict of interest for those whose consciousness differs from the status quo. Owenson demonstrates this conflict through her diverse characterizations.




[1] Thomas Kavanagh, “Time and Narration: Indexical and Iconic Models” in Comparative Literature, MLN, 86. 6 (1971), p. 832.

[2] John Locke, in Howard R. Penniman (ed.), John Locke: On Politics and Education (Roslyn, New York:  Walter J. Black, Inc., 1947), p. 152. 

18 April, 2017

Fractal Force

A few years ago, another blogger gave our poetry group a line prompt to use for our weekly poetry read. The line was as follows: "I am a crooked line." Well, the first thought that came to my mind was FRACTALS! To view more fractals and listen to some ambient music, click HERE.

Photo from Bing Images
http://www.citi.io/2015/02/28/science-for-designers-scaling-and-fractals/

Fractal Force
I am a crooked line.
My course
parallels spirit
conforming
non-conformist
weaves between
giving and receiving
audaciously
on the fringe of
pure
infinite
ubiquitous
love
.

© Jeanne I. Lakatos

09 April, 2017

Easter: Renewal

Pysanky eggs that I hand-painted... Whew! a tedious, but rewarding process.

Easter Tridiuum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday)

A Joyous Easter to You!


I took this photograph of a flower growing in the sidewalk on NUI campus, Galway, Ireland.

 Revolution

Awakened
moments conceived 
meiosis of human spirit
evolve 
into a vision of rebellion 
split
open a festering wound
bleed 
to hasten the quickening 
toward conscientious
 Awakening.

         © Jeanne I. Lakatos

03 April, 2017

Sydney Owenson, Intellectual Thought, and Positive Change


                                                                                                                 
From my book, Innovations in Rhetoric in the Writing of Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan, 1781-1859), pages 52-53: 

In her 1840 book, Woman and Her Master, Sydney Owenson makes the following observation:

As the acquirement of a physical elevation, in expanding the sphere of vision, and opening new and vast regions to the sense, obscures and diminishes the individual details comprehended in its grasp; so that intellectual and moral elevation, which has opened to the mind’s eye the wider fields of scientific research and of social combination, has caused the relative value of the smaller facts presented to its apprehension to be either overlooked, or mistaken. Society has become complicated more rapidly than philosophy and legislation can follow; the actions of man upon man, and those of the species upon nature, have multiplied faster than observation can co-ordinate, or reason control; until a positive advance has assumed the appearance of a relative retrogradation. (Woman and Her Master, p. 15)
The global network of intellectual thought feeds upon innovation within the consciousness of humanity. As one notion spirals to form a new idea, the resulting awareness creates new perspectives on issues not perceived within the current reality of some communities. Knowledge gained from sharing this new awareness provides more communities with intellectual capabilities to affect a positive change.