Welcome to Volume 4, no. 2 of Transnational Literature.
My first experience with Transnational Journal of Literature as Deputy Editor has allowed me to reflect more deeply on the nature of the journal and the concept of transnational literature. In the depth and breadth of the contributions national boundaries, both geographical and cultural, are crossed. Literary boundaries, too, are crossed as the journal publishes articles, creative work, reflections and book reviews.
Among the articles we find male beauty in Patrick White’s Twyborn Affair discussed by Jean François Vernay – a timely consideration of White’s work on his centenary this month – while, by way of contrast, the perception of female prostitution is given a feminist view by Sophia I. Akhuemokhan and H. Oby Okococha. In examining the role of the female narrator Sayaka Oki also presents a feminist interpretation of the work of Ingeborg Bachmann and Jacques Derrida in Anonymity and Signature as a Productive Practice. Alzo David-West questions the interpretation of Han Sôrya’s Wolves, a North Korean story, as shallow propaganda while in Transcultural Writers and Transcultural Literature in the Age of Global Modernity Arianna Dagnino examines how transcultural writing and literature is seen as changing in a world where national boundaries are becoming less important. Adnan Mahmutovic revisits the work of Salmon Rushdie in Midnight’s Children: From Communalism to Community.
The sentiments expressed in the tributes to Professor Bruce Bennett are echoed in the poem by Md Rezaul Haque, In Memoriam Professor Md Enamul Hoque, and the obituary for Stephen Lawrence by Kate Deller-Evans and Debra Zott. Adrian Thurnwald’s Farewell to Associate Professor Richard Hosking strikes a lighter note, paying homage to his revered guru upon his retirement. In the creative writing section two themes emerge. While Year of the Horse by Kim Cheng Boey, Pearly Shells by Christine Williams and Holes in the Skein by Molly Murn highlight the slender threads within a family, Susan Daniels in The Secret and Dennis Wild in Nikolai present the darker side of human relationships. There are rich pickings in the poetry section, among them poems by Ian Gibbins and Nathanael O’Reilly which illustrate aspects of divided societies.
We have published a section on News and Views for the second time, as this proved to be popular last time. Again we ask contributors to consider reflections, reports of conferences or accounts of experiences that would be of interest and value.
The forty book reviews provide a diversity of themes, interests and opinions, and I’d draw your attention to the review essay by Joost Daalder who draws on a lifetime love and study of Shakespeare while reviewing two Australian books about the playwright.
Thanks are due once more to those who undertake peer reviewing, a necessary but time consuming task, one where they bring their expert knowledge and expertise to evaluate and guide contributors. Thanks also to Gay Lynch and Deb Zott for their work as editors of the creative writing sections. I’ll also take this opportunity to thank the editor, Gillian Dooley, who dedicates hours to the journal. They say that no one is indispensable, but I think that Gillian Dooley, as editor of this journal, is an exception to that rule.