Publications

‘The Genie of the Golden River: Ruskin’s Fairy Tale and The Thousand and One Nights’, Tradition(s) – Innovation(s) en Angleterre au XIXe Siecle (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2017).

Abstract:

John Ruskin is known for his influential writings on a various and vast spectrum of topics, and more importantly for his art criticism. Little attention or regard however is addressed towards his one and only story, or rather fairy tale, The King of the Golden River, or The Black Brothers; a Legend of Stiria (1841). Even when the story is considered, it is often read as a mere reproduction of the tale of ‘The Water of Life’ in The Brothers Grimm, with little or no connection to any other literary works, let alone The Thousand and One Nights. Critics like Ulrich C. Knoepflmacher and Jane Merrill Filstrup attempt to compensate for the shortcomings of such a reading by using psychological and autobiographical elements from Ruskin’s life and his other writings, and wrestle with facts to prove a valid but rather incomplete point. Closely examining Ruskin’s tale makes it apparent however that The Brothers Grimm appearance of The King of the Golden River is only a frame, and the filling is actually a Thousand and One Nights one with strong and undoubtable evidence. Further to this discovery, the present paper assesses why Ruskin attempted to hide his consumption and reproduction of tales from the Thousand and One Nights in The King of the Golden River on the one hand, whilst conspicuously framing his fairy tale in a Brothers Grimm framework on the other.

 

 

Survival and Oblivion: Egyptian Jews after the Second Exodus‘, History Today, 8th May 2017.

Introduction:

Whenever Egypt is mentioned today in conversation, it is often with an assumed Islamic identity in mind. A minority of Christian Copts sometimes creeps into the discussion later on as an afterthought. This assumption is often accompanied by the rather unconscious or indirect presumption that there are few Jews in Egypt today, if any. This is not true.

It is easy to understand however why this is the mainstream account. The Second Exodus from Egypt occurred in 1956, under Colonel Nasser’s orders, stripping all Jews of their Egyptian citizenship and expelling them from Egypt. The vast majority of Egyptian Jews fled to one of three destinations of refuge: Israel, Mediterranean Europe (mainly France and Italy) and the Americas (primarily Argentina). This was, however, neither the beginning of trouble for Egyptian Jews in modern times, nor its end.

 

 

Transgression or Breaking with Tradition: Reading Millais, Rossetti, and Beardsley‘, Antae, Vol. 3, No. 3. (Dec., 2016), 268-285.

 

 

The Limitless Polysemy of Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market‘, Imagining the Victorians, Vol. 15 (July 2016), 80-88.

Abstract:

Christina Rossetti’s poem, Goblin Market, has been the subject of critical debate since its first publication in 1862. Any interpretation of Goblin Market appears to be plausible, but no one single reading successfully becomes the ‘one right total meaning’ of the text. For instance, Gilbert and Gubar combine feminist and psycho-analytical readings of the text, alluding briefly to the sexual and religious meanings, but completely overlooking its Marxist and queer implications. In an authoritative tone they state, ‘Obviously the conscious or semi-conscious allegorical intention of this narrative poem is sexual/religious.’  Helsinger, on the other hand, mainly concentrates on ‘women’s relation’ to the ‘male marketplace’ without being drawn to any of the religious references in Laura’s temptation, the sexual and queer imagery used in depicting the sisters’ solidarity, or the uncanny nature of the goblins.  Even Campbell’s ambitious attempt at a feminist, Marxist, psychoanalytic reading falls short of recognizing any religious or sexual value to the poem.  I argue in the present paper that a psycho-analytic reading of Rossetti’s Goblin Market could successfully sustain itself, combining elements of Marxist, feminist, religious, sexual and queer readings under the banner of the unconscious.

 

Oscar Wilde: A Victorian Sage in a Modern Age‘, Antae, Vol. 2, No. 2. (June, 2015), 114-133.

 

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