The article discusses the prose poem in literary genetics perspective. The author begins with a presentation of research state on the hybrid “last genre.” Though traditionally regarded as elusive, the prose poem continues to puzzle scholars. Instead of making another attempt to put it into the framework of traditional literary genetics, the author refers to the idea of hermeneutic space in which architextual characteristics proves to be more important than paradigmatic of forms. In prose poem, one of such architextual feature is multitude of genres, allowing not only the various literary conventions (lyrical or parody-satirical monologue, short story, symbolic poem, dramatic scene) become real, but also different kinds of speech genres. Openness for modalities previously excluded from poetry seems to be more important than prose poetization, the latter being characteristic of a number of poetical prose varieties.
Pamiętnik Literacki 2 / 2010
As based on two Polish texts of the first half if 19th (by Henryk Rzewuski) and two present ones (by Andrzej Kuśniewicz), the paper considers the question of the way philosophical reflection upon the history of some country (Poland) might deliberately omit the fundamental thought about the country’s independence. It also tackles the mode such thought, referred to as “denial,” might replace the ideological problem of independence with the principle of subordinating a country to the business of foreign and enemy country. Thus, it reflects the manner in this optic of historical discourse in which the seminal historical problems of the country were transferred to other territories, omitting the proper Centre, where the thought of political system reform and defensive fight concentrated. The paper also ponders the problems of occurrence in the different phases of literary creativity by Rzewuski – a distinguished politician – the views subordinated to the thought praising independence as well as a totally opposing thought having, as contrasted to the first, the characteristics of “denial.”
The article is an analysis of love-erotic-romance trend in Stefan Żeromski’s diary made up of the four successive periods of the life of a young middle school pupil, a student, and a novice writer: his love to Ludwika Borkowskia and Helena Skierska, a few year relationship with a married woman Helena Radziszewska of the Zeitheim family, the time of numerous love affairs when Żeromski worked as a tutor in estate manors, and the arising love to his future wife Oktawia Rodkiewiczowa. The first and the second trend are characterized by notes made with the language soaked with lyricism and based on the romantic model of romantic loftiness, often also shaped as poems written into a diary. The diary in this case resembles an album and a letter with one of its function being autotherapy. The third trend refers to the medium characteristic of literature (short story, description, dialogue) which makes Żeromski’s diary a “story about himself.” In conclusion the author states that the clash between everyday writing practice and non-everyday practice of producing literature decides about the specificity of the diary in question.
The article is an attempt to read Witold Gombrowicz’s last novel as a text in which a radical experiment in the form of incredible narration is made. Both the ontological status of characters and time and space coordinates are here subject to influence of a problematic ex post short story. Other equally important part of the present considerations consists of the analyses of intertextual relations: in Cosmos they are to prove the presence of stylistic-existential idiom which accompanies the procedures of choices and pre-texts transformations. Presented in this way, the poetological problems lead to formulation of a thesis referring to the literary genetics of the novel in question: Cosmos eventually proves to be an exceptional case of modernistic psychomachy.
Can we imagine a world without paradoxes? We would then refer to a truly non-human world, incomparably worse than Polish People’s Republic, in which everything can be explained with Marx-Lenin dialectics. Polish reality after the year 1945 with an implanted political-economic system and quasi-scientific world view is reflected in an exceptionally crooked mirror – Sławomir Mrożek’s short stories. The world presented in his prose is not however limited to a mere confrontation with the totalitarianism. Mrożek’s protagonists and narrators meet with human reality devoid of masks and become still in the face of cognitive possibilities opening for them, or discover that behind the mask and corpse paralyzing reason and will is emptiness which cannot be filled up. The author of the article tries to give an insight into the space of Mrożek’s short stories to discern the endless struggle of an individual with the metaphysics of everyday life.
The article is devoted to the phenomena of metatheatricality, metadramaticality, and metatextuality in drama, without which there is no discussion of 20th century dramatic works, especially the avant-garde and experimental trend in drama. It includes the presentation of the state of research, an attempt to put the terminological chaos in order, and the author’s proposition to posit the issues in question. Starting point of the paper is the distinction between metatheatricality and metatextuality: the author uses the former term to multiplication of levels of the presented world, and the latter term to the actions referring to the body of the text. Resorting to three dramas – Słowacki’s Kordian, Krasiński’s Undivine Comedy, and Różewicz’s The Interrupted Act – the author demonstrates the various forms of metatextuality and metatheatricality and their mutual relations. Their existence in the drama brings about transformations of the parts of the presented world and dramatic discourse. The drama loses its character of a self-presenting, well constructed machine as Peter Szondi wanted to see it; now rather so-called actions of the subject of the text and conventionality of the presented matter are highlighted. The dramatist is viewed from behind the presented world, puts different masks on, and indicates his/her causation which, due to “meta” techniques, is constantly put into ironic inverted commas.
As far as fantasy literature is concerned, the form of literary cycle plays a vital role as it allows for limitation of places of indeterminacy without any detriment to the basics of the presented world. Because of that the writer may analyze the problems he selected in reference to the already existing dimensions of the literary work (in Henryk Markiewicz’s terminology) as if to “old settings.” The examples referred to as here illustrate the way cyclic form authors modify the literary convention in question due to the shaping of adequate Encyclopedia (in Umberto Eco’s view). All considered, it becomes clear that writing, often negatively seen as a peculiar ghetto closed for changes in contemporary prose, is subject to the same transformations, which can be observed, e.g. on the examples of the postmodern techniques used by some representatives of Polish fantasy.
The institution of literature depends on the changeable configurations of technological and social factors, the interaction of which is conditioned by the ultimate shape of the transfers and the forms of literary communication. The author of the paper focuses on the technological side of the problem. His considerations, initiated with the relation between some social practice and its material artifacts, require the anthropological approach which respects the changes of the practice over a span of time. Analysis of literary history carriers in a broad perspective allows to present the contemporary changes of literature influenced by electronic media not as its end, but as an element of a certain process it is a subject of, and which it coproduces. Referring in the analysis to the concept remediation, the history of shaping the contemporary (typographical) model of literature is here divided into five stages (portable carriers, the codex form, print, print development, and book for masses). Ultimately, in the technological perspective, the author discusses new, electronic forms of literature.
The author of the article attempts to verify his own thesis that the choice of genre model, similarly to all other language phenomena, is of semiotic character and influences the amalgamation of meanings in the communication process. Instruments of theoretical research are here semiotic reflections on the nature of signs by de Saussure, Peirce, and Eco, and also Bakhtin’s conception of speech genres. Analyzing Hayden White’s ruminations on “historical writings”, the author suggests that semiotic nature of genre, here historical genre, immensely changes the course of interpretation process of specific texts. Consideration of genre semiosis provides for rejection (or critical disambiguation) of some White’s observations, and tries to initiate discussion on semiotic formulation of literary genetics and stylistic research.
Tomasz Mika, Roman Mazurkiewicz, A Gloss: Non-biting bite of a bite
The article belongs to a cycle of Wacław Twardzik’s publications which explain why he (assisted by Felix Keller) found it resonable to edit the only available copy of Meditation of Przemyśl in a form different from that given to this text by the first editor Aleksander Brückner. In the transcript of the new edition contains a number of changes that correct the alledged mistakes made by the copier who failed to successfully decipher his predecessor’s record. The copier’s mistakes range from his inability to decode cuts (abbreviations), changes in the word order, to misplacing fragments of sentences. Twardzik maintains that the editor’s task is to correct the mistakes found in the text. Roman Mazurkiewicz and Tomasz Mika, the authors of a gloss entitled Niekąśliwe ukąszenie kąska [Non-biting bite of a bite] added to the article share Twardzik’s view, and they also pay attention to the fact that apart from the apocryphe’s parts with the copier’s obvious mistakes one finds a vast number of other places where mistakes are merely probable or alledged. Mazurkiewicz and Mika formulate a question about the perfection degree of material and structural elements of the “initial” fragments which is to be called for, and suggest an explanation (slightly different from that by Twardzik) for one of the innumerable syntactic puzzles of Meditation of Przemyśl.
For a few years researches have been carried out on war loot brought to Sweden by general Carl Gustaf Wrangel during the Swedish Deludge. The documents, referring to Poland or Polish affairs, are treasured in the Skokloster Castle (Skoklosters slott) where printed papers are held, and at the Swedish National Archive (Riksarkivet) into which manuscripts from the castle library were deposited in 1892. The researches in question were carried out by Polish scholars, accompanied by Swedish academics, librarians, and archivists. In effect, they issued editions of the most valuable (also unique) literary texts and a number of studies as based on the prepared catalogues. Polish documents of the Skokloster Castle are now being included into the Swedish library system Libris, and restoration works are done to the collection Polonicasamlingen.
The text discusses Piotr Pirecki’s book on Polish 16th and 17th c. “plebeian” comedy, the title of which is being quite a misnomer. The comedies in question were created by anonymous Kraków Academy alumni – thus cultivated humanists and writers, who however referred to true plebeian literature and its medieval European tradition (cf. Carmina Burana, goliards’-vagants’ poetry or Till Eullenspiegel).
The text reviews Małgorzata Mieszek’s book on old-Polish interludes, especially at school theatres, which left a permanent trace in the culture of old epochs. The reviewer enters into a multidirectional dialogue with the author and highlights the significance of problems being subject of the book.
In the review of Michał Głowiński’s book Telimena’s internal monologue and other sketches, the book in question is presented as an example of an interesting late-structural work. Głowiński accurately analyses the canonical Polish literature texts since, as the reviewer claims, he conforms to a communicative canon theory according to which the canon adopts such works that most excellently developed the social possibilities of communication. In Głowiński’s view, the contemporary relevance of the Polish structural school relies on the paramount importance of Polish studies institutions it created, and on philological terminology codification – the need of which is strongly felt nowadays, i.e. in the time of progressing methodological pluralization in the Polish studies.
The reviewer discusses Jan Błoński’s texts about Stanisław Wyspiański produced between 1956–1994, which include interpretations of Wedding, Acropolis, Bolesław the Bold, Skałka, as well as the rebuilding project exegesis of Wawel Royal Castle prepared by Wyspiański in with cooperation with an architect Władysław Ekielski.
Agata Stankowska’s book in question is included into the latest trope research and exemplifies a successful application of tropes to interpretation of selected pieces of 20th century Polish literature. The scope of theoretical problems is built of three tropes, each being comprehensively illustrated: the symbol with Leopold Staff’s literary creativity, the irony with Zbigniew Herbert’s and Izabela Filipiak’s poetry, and the metonymy with Tadeusz Różewicz’s poetry and Tadeusz Kantor’s theatrical experiments. The last trope is most interestingly discussed; it shows an extreme tendency in art to substitute illusion of reality with manipulation of the reality itself (informel, ready mades). Stankowska views this type of metonymy as an optimal method of expressing themes and extreme situations, i.e. war and the Holocaust.
The review discusses a particularly interesting book by Roma Sendyka on the modes of expression of the modern essay. Sendyka presents various conceptions of this form of writing, focusing primarily on Michel Montaigne’s text tradition, and confronting them with the latest literary genetics settlements.
The text reviews a reprint of Stefania Skwarczyńska’s The Theory of the Letter, the first Polish literary theory monograph on the letter.
The text is a posthumous remembrance of Lucylla Pszczołowska, a distinguished expert in versology, author of a monograph on the history of Polish verse (Wiersz polski. Zarys historyczny, 1997, 2001) and numerous valuable descriptions of verse systems and categories, promoter of international investigations on comparative Slavic metrics.