Original scientific paper
Nebojša Lujanović, https://orcid.org/0009-0003-4480-5783; Sveučilište Josipa Jurja Strossmayera u Osijeku, Akademija za umjetnost i kulturu
Paula Jurišić, https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7965-221X; Sveučilište u Splitu, Filozofski fakultet
Reading the novel Hrvatska Aleksandrida (Croatian Alexander Romance) as a chivalric narrative structured around a historical figure, this paper aims at reinterpretation of it in the key of popular culture and looks into the politics of the representation of the protagonists-bearers of specific ideological values, acting both affirmatively and subversively within the imposed value system. Beside that, the paper will focus on the novel’s strategy of undermining dominant codes, arguing that the chivalric romance provides an ideal frame for the observation of the clash of ideological centers and margins. The codification of the genre increases the transparency of the text, facilitating political readings capable of bringing about the new interpretative potential of the narrative in question. From that theoretical point, the Middle Age chivalric novel Croatian Alexander Romance reveals itself as a textual terrain for clashing specific social forces and their mainfestations, stressing the fact that they can be noticed only by using described methodological optics. The dominant chivalrous and Biblical codes represent exactly two dominant social classes (nobels and religious structures) as owners of social power in the historical period in which the text is inscribed. Therefore, this chivalric narrative, at the same time, respects their imperatives, but also offers disparate motives as fantasy, superstition, satire, social critics, individualistic morality and so on. That kind of contradiction inscribed in the (cultural) text himself confirms the very common thesis of cultural studies theorists about culture as a battlefield. On the text level, it is manifested as the series of incompatible motives that a reader could miss out if they read or overview just the surface level of the text. Because, on that level, the text sets an ideological (imposed) ‘consensus’ which is just specious. They still have its antipode, that they can not completely suppress, and that binary opposition articulates itself in certain segments of the text differently. Its rotations make this text interesting in further readings.
politics of representation; subversion; culture; society; ideology; conflict; power