Freeside Europe Online Academic Journal

Freeside Europe Online Academic Journal

Modern cultural, literary and linguistic perspectives

Issue 12 (2021)

For Issue 12, 2021 of Freeside Europe Online Academic Journal, we sent out a call for papers dealing with the ubiquitous presence of clichés in our lives - in our conversations, our intercultural interactions, and in the various oral and written texts that we produce and consume. Other forms of communication could also include clichés, but these are the contexts that our authors have focused on.  We are encouraged by Albert to read the book Let’s Talk: How English Conversation Works, by David Crystal, which deals with conversations in many guises. Some conversations take place across cultures, and these can present particular challenges, possibly caused by cross-cultural differences. Hřebačková and Štefl discuss the concept of intercultural communication, considering both its practical use in pedagogy and the perspectives of critics who would discard it. Stereotypes form the central topic of the article by Szele. He investigates and analyses the preconceived notions that Hungarian students have of some English-speaking cultures, obtained via a questionnaire. Ritual language is usually associated with fixed texts with predictable variations. In Szitó’s article on dirges, the focus is on oral texts that add content in improvised ways. This can be achieved by formulaic language, enabling the creations of musically pleasing dirges under time pressure. Examples are given with translations from the source language of Hungarian.


The analyses of literature that follow take diverse approaches to the topic. Harasztos considers the concept of clichés using Tom Grimwood’s theoretisation; she presents an examination of a cliché about sad, introverted East-Central Europeans in British novels, suggesting that the cliché functions in a cyclic way and can be captured more as a function than as a meaning. The interest in trauma studies that have risen since the end of the twentieth century is critically examined by Mohácsi, and the question of whether trauma has become a cliché in contemporary literature or whether literature has always centred around trauma is examined. Tamás looks at the ordinary as moral concept in Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita and J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. Neither novel notice the redeemable qualities of the ordinary, seeing the Other as a product of clichés. They differ, however, in that Catcher successfully reclaims the everyday, whilst the narrator of Lolita never does manage to re-evaluate his approach to the ordinary. How minds are changed - or not - is at the core of Jedlica’s reading of how the reader is drawn into the stereotypical portrayal of the main character of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Using transactional reader-response theory, it is suggested that the way in which we relate to Marlow can lead to recognition of the norms of the time and provide an education in these.

The far-ranging articles of this issue reflect the myriad aspects researched through diverse but related approaches focusing on a “culture of clichés” by the authors.


ISSN 1786-7967

8000 Székesfehérvár, Rákóczi u. 25. Hungary