Revolution #3 – Reading Revolution: Lucan’s Civil War

‘aduenisse diem qui fatum rebus in aeuum conderet humanis, et quaeri, Roma quid esset,

illo Marte, palam est.’

‘It is clear, the day which will decide the matters of human life forever has come,

the battle shall decide what Rome shall be.’

-Lucan, Civil War, 7. 131-133.

LucanPharsaliaFrenchEd1657
Attribution: Engraved title page of a French edition of Lucan’s Pharsalia, 1657.

 

How did the young poet Lucan (39-65 AD), writing his epic poem, the Civil War, under the erratic Emperor Nero, manage to explore and engage with the notion of revolution, a term which would wait more than a thousand years to be coined in its current sense?  Continue reading

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Revolution #2: Olympe de Gouges’ Fight Against Slavery

Attribution: Alexander Kucharsky, Portrait of Olympe de Gouges, late 18th century

 

 

“I rebel; therefore I exist.”

–          Albert Camus

 

 

 

 

This quote is particularly true for Olympe de Gouges. Born in 1748 in the South of France, Gouges came to live in Paris in the early 1770s. She was well assimilated in the society of the Old Regime and was friend with many men of letters. She started to write in the early 1780s, first with the play Zamore et Mirza, ou L’heureux naufrage, (Zamore and Mirza, or The Fortunate Shipwreck) the story of a slave couple, Zamore and Mirza, who become outlaws and are saved and helped by a French couple. The play has a happy ending, with the slaves being forgiven and freed by their former master. Gouges consequently became a prolific writer: she wrote fifteen plays (that we know of), a novel, a few essays and, from 1788 to 1793, around fifty political Continue reading

Special Feature – Revolution #1: Bonfire Night and the Gunpowder Plot (Two Perspectives)

Hannah

At the very core of civilisations throughout history, there is a grim paradox that might generally be observed: namely, that within civilisation resides the morbid yearning for its antithesis. Nowhere is this more apparent than through cultural preoccupations with violent spectacle and in particular the phenomenon of public executions. Historically, such public forms of capital punishment not only provided the state with an opportunity to potently assert its authority over dissenting persons but also, by virtue of the general public being able to voluntarily attend these executions, it delivered a strikingly grotesque form of entertainment. On 31st January 1606, one such spectacle was partly frustrated. Having witnessed the seven remaining fellow conspirators of the Gunpowder Plot being hanged, drawn and quartered before his own ascent to the scaffold, Guy Fawkes was able to avoid the same fate through a final act of defiance, by jumping from the scaffold and breaking his neck. Undeterred by this slight setback to the proceedings, the executioner quartered his body and his remains were disseminated throughout the kingdom to serve as a powerful deterrent for other potential traitors. Continue reading

Still Point Blog Theme: Revolution – Call for Submissions

For the month of November, our next theme at the Still Point blog will be focused on ‘Revolution’. We are seeking blog posts from doctoral and early career researchers – although submissions from Masters students are also welcomed – that directly engage with and examine the subject of ‘Revolution’ in a variety of ways. Topics may include, but are by no means limited to: historical and political revolutions (whether successful or otherwise), revolution as a positive/negative event, revolutionary figures in the arts and humanities, innovation and revolution in the literary arts, visual arts, and literary criticism etc.

Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis until the next theme is announced. Entries often take the form of non-fiction prose, but we also accept fiction, poetry, photography, and other visual art.

Ideally submissions will be:

– Between 500-750 words that can include high quality images; however, longer feature submissions may also be accepted.

– For visual and multimedia artists, send us high quality images of your artwork of embed links to sound, video work, or gifs, accompanied by up to 300 words.

At the Still Point blog we encourage creative and innovative responses both to our themes and the presentation of blog posts. As such this is a unique opportunity to promote your research on an academic platform and creatively respond to your research experiences.

Please send submissions to blog@thestillpointjournal.com