Volume 1 Issue 1 March 2002

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This collection contains the articles featured in FULGOR Volume 1, Issue 1, March 2002.


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    Matelda in the Terrestrial Paradise
    (Department of Languages, Flinders University, 2002-03) Glenn, Diana Cavuoto
    This analysis of the enigmatic figure of Matelda, guardian of the Terrestrial Paradise in Dante's Purgatorio, considers both the unresolved question of Matelda's historical identity, in particular whether Dante is alluding to the historical personage, Countess Matilda of Tuscany (1046-1115), and the numerous critical glosses that have emerged over the years, whereby Matelda has been interpreted as a symbolic figure, for example, as the biblical typology of the active/contemplative life, as the representation of human wisdom, or in a variety of other symbolic guises. Whilst alluding to recognisable idyllic poetic images, such as the donna angelicata of the vernacular tradition, Dante's conceptualisation of Matelda is nevertheless aligned to the pilgrim-poet's own development in via of a redemptive poetics in which the writer articulates an urgent message of reform, at both the secular and ecclesiastical levels. The linking of Matelda with the notion of the loss of the prelapsarian state of humankind's innocence and her supervision of the penitential cleansing rites performed on Dante-protagonist, in anticipation of his ascent to Paradise in the company of Beatrice, represent crucial moments in Dante's mapping out of prudential history for his readers and his call for a recovery of Christian values.
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    Alexia: Antigone Kefala's overdue fairytale
    (Department of Languages, Flinders University, 2002-03) Tsianikas, Michael
    The aim of this paper is to examine the way in which Antigone Kefala constructs her story to become an author. She narrates her experience in her book Alexia (Antigone Kefala"s persona) in a fairytale manner. In the book we learn that Alexia spent some of the most important years of her young life in New Zealand, as a migrant. The most important part of this experience is based on her difficulty to come to terms with, and learn, a new language (English). What begins by being a traumatic experience for Alexia, later evolves into a creative force that guides her decision to become an author. In that way the English language becomes the most powerful, the most creative and the most productive tool in her life. In order to challenge Alexia's process of becoming an author, her experience is compared to that of two famous French authors, Aragon and Sartre, who also decided to become authors in their childhood years. There was an obvious parallel between the French authors’ experiences through their first language, which corresponded in an astonishing way to Alexia's. Therefore, no matter whether one wishes to express oneself in one’s mother tongue or a foreign language, the process of becoming an author is always to consider a language as an unknown field of strange sounds, musicality and scattered grains of meanings.
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    The return of an English pluperfect subjunctive?
    (Department of Languages, Flinders University, 2002-03) Fennell, Trevor Garth
    The introduction of the superfluous morpheme [әv] into past unfulfilled if-clauses in modern English raises serious questions of analysis. How is one to parse a clause like: “If I had’ve known that...”? It is proposed that the intrusive morpheme can be viewed as a marker of subjunctivity, whereby “real” and “unreal” pluperfects can be explicitly distinguished.
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    Reading in a foreign language: Strategic variation between readers of differing proficiency
    (Department of Languages, Flinders University, 2002-03) Bouvet, Eric James
    For university language students who are required to deal with literary texts for linguistic or literary purposes, there is hardly any transitional stage between short adapted expository texts, read in the early stages of language learning, and complex literary texts, encountered at university in the literature class. Language readers must then make a substantial mental effort to understand texts intended for a native readership. In challenging reading mode, the quality of reading depends on the efficiency of problem-solving operations, including evaluative and executive strategies, put into place in order to attempt to fill in the comprehension gaps present in complex texts. Although reading strategies used by foreign language learners have been identified and categorised by research, the conditions of their use and their relationships are still unclear. Moreover, to my knowledge, no empirical investigation has focused specifically on comprehension monitoring in the context of foreign language literary texts. Literature instruction would benefit from such a study. Using verbal reports to elicit data, this study proposes to examine how proficient and less proficient university students of French, at intermediate level of instruction, implement problem-solving strategies when reading literary texts. Strategies such as guessing at words, consulting a dictionary, and translating mentally, are studied in relation to their contribution to the overall monitoring cycle. The results obtained indicate that proficient and less proficient readers tend to use the same strategies but with different purposes. The study demonstrates that the major difference between the two groups of respondents resides in ability some readers have to integrate meaning and construct text in a cohesive and synthetic fashion.
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    Carlo Emilio Gadda's Luigi di Francia
    (Department of Languages, Flinders University, 2002-03) Baker, Margaret Anne
    The work that Gadda prepared for publication from the series of broadcasts on Louis XIII-XV of France during 1952 has largely been overlooked by critics. It is the aim of this article to show that, although there are certain unusual features in the text of I Luigi di Francia which arise from its origins in radio scripts, the work is recognisably Gaddian in its main stylistic and thematic concerns. In tracing some of the background to the text, due acknowledgement is made of the scholarly work already done on the history of the text by Gianmarco Gaspari, the compiler of the Notes on this text for the Garzanti edition of Gadda's Opere; Gaspari's implied conclusion that this is not the least Gaddian of the author's work, and his important conclusions about the degree to which the work was based on source material, offers the opportunity here for an analysis and explicit statement of the nature of the text and of its reflection of significant points in the span of Gadda's writing.