Reviewed by: Cheryl LaGuardia, Research Librarian, Harvard University
There’s not much information to be found about The Apollonian: it is listed in the ROAD Directory; its editorial board is comprised predominantly of associate professors from universities in India; it has a Facebook page where it is described as, “a quarterly peer-reviewed (refereed) online journal of interdisciplinary studies,” and it periodically puts out calls for papers. So to get an idea of what it’s about we’ll take a look at the journal issues themselves.
The editorial in volume 1, issue 1 (September 2014) by Girindra Narayan Roy, Emeritus Professor, Department of English, University of North Bengal, India, states: “the main thrust of The Apollonian … is paradoxically a Dionysian one that challenges the apparent abstractions of the human phenomenon into separate and rigid continents of disciplines. Separations and differences could not be helped but certainly they can be thought and reoriented by an Apollonian mindset, basically communicative, and at that now stricken and recharged by the postal politics of deterritorialization that can rethink existence from a philosophy of immanence that would not allow “experience to be enslaved by any single image that would elevate itself above others.” The critical practice that The Apollonian, therefore, encourages and has as its motto is suggested in its very sub-title itself. Indeed, “interdisciplinarity” from this standpoint is not only an approach but also an ethics.”
To that end, the debut issue holds nine research articles ranging over a wide variety of subjects: “The Abjection of Law: Machinic Assemblages And Kafka’s “Before The Law” And The Trial,” “Not for the Male Gaze: (Un)Gendering the Heroine in Cinematic Space,” “The Poetry of Eunice de Souza, and Pursuit for the Ways of Belonging,” ‘“Let’s Go Up and Have Another Look Out That Window:” Fetish, Obsession, the Tragic Mulatta and the Many Descendants of Clare Kendry,” “Frankenstein’s Victorian Legacy: The Creation of “Fellow-devils” in The Island of Doctor Moreau and the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde,” “Three Great Pioneers for Russian Theatre Studies in Italy,” “The Wheel that Turned: Manoranjan Byapari Writes Back in Itibritte Chandal Jiban,” ‘“I’ll henceforth turn a spy,/ And watch them in their close conueyances:” Spying as Good Service in Thomas Heywood’s A Woman Killed with Kindness,” and “Knowledge, Power, and the Self in Freud and Foucault’s Thinking.” The second issue, volume 1, issue 2, has two sections: one is thematically focused around the subject of “Poetry and Philosophy,” and features the articles, “‘The Nothing That Is’ As Object Blank,” “Prose, Philosophy, and the Existential Crisis: The Human Condition as Literature,” ‘“Monstrous Ideas in Glass Cases”: Charles Simic, Heidegger, and the Revision of Tragedy,” “The Ideals of the King: Positioning the Poetic Philosophies of Alfred Lord Tennyson and William Morris’ Arthurian Poetry,” “On Reconcilable Differences between Philosophy and Poetry: Plato, Aristotle, and Iris Murdoch,” “Refiguring Giorgio Agamben’s Potentiality through Mina Loy’s Poetics,” “Imagining Reality: Philosophy and Poetry in Ortega y Gasset,” “Where Poetry Tends Towards the Philosophical: Helene Cixous’s Gift of Feminine Writing,” “Plato Reflected in Tennyson’s Mirror,” and “A Thousand Tiny Deaths: Schizoanalyzing Jibanānanda’s Death Instinct,”; the other is thematically focused around the subject of Twentieth Century Women’s Writing, with the articles, “Resisting Mainstream Male Gaze in Mahasweta Devi’s Short Story ‘The Hunt,’” “A Dark Room: Politics and Symbolisms of Enclosed Spaces in A.S. Byatt’s Possession,” “Unveiling Native Women’s Resistance: An Analysis of Flora Annie Steele’s Novel Voices in the Night: A Chromatic Fantasia,” “Dismantling the Metanarratives of the Postcolonial World: A Study of Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss,” “’Trimming subliminal flickers”: Mina Loy’s Feminism and Motley Self,” “Navigation of the Female Tribal Self across Democratic and Insurgent Subject Positions: A Reading of Mahasweta Devi’s Draupadi and C.K.Janu’s Mother Forest,” “Atoms, Freud and Gender in Nature: The New Modern Woman Emerges in Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse,” and “Two Mothers: A Study of Motherhood, Domicile and Memory in Select Works of Jhumpa Lahiri.”
The current issue (April 2015) is organized around the theme: “Crime/Criminal/Criminality,” while the upcoming volume 2, issue 2 will focus on “Reading Queer in Literature, Film, and Culture.” The quality of the writing, and of the research, is very good, and the material, besides being very interdisciplinary in nature, and very scholarly, is inviting, readable, and interesting. This is a worthwhile journal to recommend to researchers in literature, film studies, cultural studies, queer studies, philosophy, and across the humanities. An emerging gem.