Literary and choreographic grotesque. An attempt at an intersemiotic analysis
As the grotesque is a literary category coming from “non-literary” artistic disciplines, most of the works dedicated to literary grotesque begin with a theoretical chapter defining the word “grotesque” and the history of its use in different disciplines, like ornamentation or plastic arts, on which are built their interpretations of literary grotesque. The choreographic art is mostly absent from research about grotesque, despite the significant link existing between dance and grotesque, beginning with the first use of the word grotesque in Polish in 1818, referring to a category of dance.
The communication is a attempt at an intersemiotic analysis of the links between literary and choreographic grotesque which, after a presentation of the main use of the category in the discourse on dance, analyse the intersemiotic translation of literary expression into kinesthetic expression, focusing on the choreography May B by Maguy Marin, inspired by the work of Samuel Beckett.
From comparative literature to politics (and back?)
At least since the ACLA’s Bernheimer Report the relationship between comparative literature and cultural studies has become one of key issues discussed by American and European comparatists. In time, some have decided that cultural studies should become the dominant modus operandi for comparative literature, others (as Culler and, to some extent, Saussy) claimed that comparative literature should remain a discipline rooted in studies on literature.
Those discussions were correlated with the problem of politics in comparative literature. The advocates of cultural studies have often stressed that currently each research decision has political consequences, while the “supporters” of literariness claimed that comparative literature is not as political as other disciplines.
This paper examines various voices in the discussion on politics in comparative literature, the changes brought about by the ACLA’s Saussy report (and visible in the proposed texts of a new report, accessible on ACLA’s website), as well as the views on those matters of Polish comparatists.
Relationships between music and literature in the perspective of cognitive linguistics
The main philosophical assumption in the field of musical-literary research is the belief that there is an ontological difference between literature (language) and the art of sounds. This axiom states that the first operates on concepts and the other is devoid of the possibility of establishing meanings by discursive methods. This view strongly influences the studies on relationships between music and literature. Even within intermedia studies, which break with media vision determined by essentialism, the notion of asemantic nature of music isheavily rooted.
However, cognitive linguistics groundwork creates the opportunity to approach this problem in a different way. According to this view, acoustic impulses take part in the conceptualization process, thus they possess the ability to co-create discursive meanings. The implications of this standpoint are very significant for musical-literary studies, as well as the comparative research in general, because they discredit one of the foundations that forms ontological media properties.
In this paper, I would like to present a cognitive theory of musical meaning and the way it can influence the structure of musical-literary studies.
Etheric body – dance themes of romanticism in literature, which Friedrich Schiller, Cyprian Norwid, Adam Mickiewicz, Johan Wolfgang Goethe, Alexander Pushkin.
Dance is an art, probably the oldest of all. Was born from the natural human needs, in the sensitive imagination of the human being is seen as a form of expression of divine provenance. However, only in Romanticism became an autonomous art he called, nay created in the nineteenth century ballets permanently entered the repertoire of the theater and is still in progress,, ” celebrating triumphs. The romanticism classical dance has undergone many reforms including dress, dance techniques; it was then increased status of women in ballet, it was a time of ballerina-stars.
In his paper, I would like to take on the correspondence of arts: dance and literature. To analyze the motives of dance, which appear in the works of the most famous writers of the nineteenth century. What is the image of dance emerges from the literature of that period? Can dance and literature can correspond with each other? How is the body of the dancer presented in these works? Considerations will be the subject of my poems: Friedrich Schiller Dancing; Cyprian Norwid The famous Russian dancer – unknown nun; Johan Wolfgang Goethe Dance of the Elves; A fragment of Adam Mickiewicz’s Pan Tadeusz; Alexander Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin passage from.
Observing the grace and lightness of movement of the dancer, we have the impression that his body knows no limits and moves in the space where the law of gravity does not apply. Is the description of dance in the literature, the use of his motives causes the audience the same experience?
Transcultural condition as a symptom of belonging to the universal literary space
The question asked (or only remembered) by David Damrosch – what is world literature? – can be answered in various ways. In this paper I would like to sketch just one, hypothetical criterion of defining it: world literature may be understood as such a literature that establishes and explores a specific space of communication, located beyond the level of local cultural orders. If Fernando Pessoa writes his poems Epithalamium and Antinous in English, he does so in order to avoid the local prudery and to speak about experiences that are usually silenced in the Portuguese culture. If Miłosz writes his Captive mind outside Poland, he does so in order to describe the processes and mechanisms that cannot be fathomed from the local perspective. The Conradian vision of the colonial empire could be also situated in a similar, metadiscursive space.
The choice of occupying a supra-cultural position and accepting literary dispatriation may signify a violent rupture in relation to the national discourse and writing in an overt opposition to it – attitude that can be observed in Juan Goytisolo claiming that Spain should be “sold” to the Muslim invaders. On the other hand, it may also become a much more subtle process aiming at the recuperation of some micro-spheres of value located in the homeland, but accessible / expressible only from the level of the universal. Such a transfer of micro-spheres of value into the universal space can be found, among other examples, in the final part of Miłosz’s poem Rue Descartes.
From text to image and back again. A „preposterous” reading of paintings inspired by Juliusz Słowacki’s works
In modern comparative literature, the works of plastic arts are usually discussed as objects of references contained within a text or as elements of a textual-visual hybrid. Their in-depth analysis is rarely the main goal. For a historian of art, the situation is reversed: it is the literature which performs an “auxiliary” function with respect to a painting or a sculpture. However, a piece of visual arts which is inspired by a literary text may turn out to be a basis for a new reading of this text. An example of this can be found in the case of several paintings from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, which refer thematically to the writings of Słowacki. Such reading (proceding from the chronologically later pictures towards the earlier texts) may serve as a confirmation of the legitimacy of Mieke Bal’s preposterous approach to history of culture.
Witold Hulewicz’s the world of (not) sounds – Pause and The Silence after the music
The title of my paper is Witold Hulewicz’s the world of (not) sounds – Pause and The Silence after the music which represents another voice in the debate on the connection between poetry and music. In my opinion, the musicality of poems is a provable fact, therefore, I have decided to study the musicalization of lyrical texts in various dimensions, taking also into consideration all possible interplays of vowels and consonants in the versification system. The main goal of the paper is, on the one hand, an attempt to organize various phenomena of musicality in poetry (as well as the methods of researching them), on the other hand, the analysis of Hulewicz’s poetic works, where – from the elements of a vivid description – emerges a musical theme (triggering visual associations) and there is a specifically shaped soundscape. The base material will be provided by Hulewicz’s two poems. I am going to interpret the poet’s individual pieces of writing both from a literary, as well as musicological perspective. The core of the research constitutes an assumption that both music and literature – from the point of view of intermediality aesthetics – are closely related, often intermingle and complement each other.
Models of collaboration in the digital environment
The talk reflects on theoretical and practical aspects of collaboration in electronic literature. Thanks to technical, communicative and compositional affordances of new media (being digital, social and drawing from the rhetorics of hypertext) collaboration between more than 2 authors has been made possible and started to undermine traditional notions of authorship in literature.
Firstly a model of digitally enhanced collaboration that could encompass both its past and future instances is proposed. Matching several groups of categories (for example “production / negotiation / creation” against “material / story / discourse”) the model demonstrates that electronic literature maintains its status of an important laboratory for any collaboration in digital environment. Collaborative efforts in the digital environment are medially and semiotically enhanced, yet strongly strongly rely on genre awareness. Hence the model takes a form of intermedial and intersemiotic matrix.
Alongside acclaimed collaborative works (Forward Anywhere, The Unknown, A Million Penguins) several examples from Poland will be presented: Cyfrowe Zielone Oko (2012) and Bałwochwał (2013) – collaborative adaptations of Polish avant-garde classics), as well as Piksel Zdrój – hypertext project by 8 authors published in 2015. The aim of the first part is to introduce both a universal analytical model and some rather unknown examples of e-literature to the international audience.
As it turns out, even in the world of ubiquitous computing the ultimate, working models for collegial writing are to be found in the universal social activities that had long proved to be storytelling friendly. These archetypes of literary communication (for example the road trip, the campfire chanting, the round table debate) might be as much important for setting up a good collaborative environment, as technological affordances of software and hardware.
Rights of sound, right to sound – music between discourses
It’s a well-established fact that literature appropriates music and uses it for its own purposes. Doing that it confronts musicology which (especially in university circles) claims to be the most veridical authority in the process of re-mediation, necessary for speaking about music. However, musicology and literature are not the only ones to claim the right to “understand” and to comment the music; the others challengers are, inter alia, philosophy, anthropology, psychology… The paper’s aim is to review the selected aspects of description of music in different discourses in their diachronic variability, with special attention to the ways and purposes of its handling in legislation.
The presentation concerns reflections on the possibilities of comparative literature in attempting to read the past – in this case the media aetas. Starting with the assumption made by Hayden White’s narrative theory that the past is not fixed, but constantly changing conglomeration of meanings, it attempts to apply comparative tools, like the theories of translation, discourse, inter-textual, etc., which would help to show the wide spectrum of the relationships between modernity (contemplated especially in a view of a new media and technology) and the Middle Ages understood as a cultural readings, known as an medievalism. I would like to take on the analysis of the phenomena of communication technology in the transcultural and ahistorical perspective: aetas media – new media, which allows to describe them as a result of the coexistence of cultural practices that took place in the medieval tradition, and thus construct conclusions about building a relationship of modern man with the world through the media. Examining the cultural experience of the Middle Ages in the perspective of a new media practices, it can be stated the thesis of translatability of medieval universalism mechanisms to technicalized globalization processes. Consequently, the undertaken studies on a new media in the perspective of neo-medievalism allow better understanding of the modern man situation in a globalized and technicalized reality, as well as the culture man live and identity man takes. These assertions are justified only if the comparative perspective is accepted.
Hybridity maintained, reduced, abolished and redefined: The Czech Graphic Novel “Alois Nebel” (Jaroslav Rudiš, Jaromír 99, 2006) in Polish and German
This study is devoted to comparative analysis of hybridity in the Graphic Novel “Alois Nebel” – the trilogy in book-form (2006) and the Polish and German translations. The Basic forms of hybridity are intermedial (picture and text) hybridity, linguistic hybridity (given by elements of German, Polish, Russian, Slovak and further languages together with Czech main text), graphic hybridity (between Latin and Cyrillic script, printed and hand-written characters) and hybridity of discourse (interpersonal communication, telling, non-fiction text, poetry). While the Polish translation – privileged by transfer between two West Slavic languages – maintains most of the target text hybridity, the German Translation chooses more deviation, e.g. by occasionally eliminating pieces of text. A further case of interest are Content and aesthetic markers transculturally accessible and linguistic and further detail only to be taken in and appreciated by Czechs.
Intersemiotics and Intermediality in International Presentations of Polish literature
The existing works that introduce Polish literature to international readers devote no special sections to literature which transcends literariness and crosses over towards other arts and media (fine arts, music, movies or new media). Three works can exemplify that: Manfred Kridl’s Survey of Polish Literature and Culture (1956), in many aspects still the richest and most comprehensive presentation of Polish literature up to the WWII; Czesław Miłosz’s somewhat personal History of Polish Literature (1969), widely disseminated due to the author’s fame, and a new collaborative work, Ten Centuries of Polish Literature (2004), that ambitiously extends the duration of Polish literature, yet not really its scope.
It is easy to understand and accept that international presentations of a “minor” literature, whose history and language is quite obscure to international readers, leave little space for specific areas of research. Still, I should like to insist that focusing on intersemiotic and intermedial works and discussing comparative aspects of their interpretation may prove beneficial where modern literary culture and its receivers are concerned. Thanks to the development of the Web, such works can not only be described but also heard or watched nowadays, irrespective of the epoch in which they were produced, or of the geographical place in which the reader is situated.
While presenting particular proposals of what works (and authors) could be included in such a section, and in what ways their interpretation could enrich certain aspects of the presentation of both old and new Polish literature, I should also like to shed some light on some other issues that are often neglected even in the histories of Polish literature written for national readers. I do believe that a book on national literature written for an international public creates new perspectives for national readers as well. It may help them see their own literature in some new relationships, which, in the case of intersemiotics and intermediality, often become intercultural.
Documentation in Theatre and Performance – Text, Record, Medium
The starting point of my speech will be the column titled “Attempt to Record” in the magazine “Dialogue”initiated by Konstanty Puzyna in the 70s. Its aim was to deal with the reality of the theatre, which was no longer just the staging of the drama. The place of the text – literature – in relation to the theatre has been radicallychanged. What are those “Attempt to Record”? In my opinion, they are not transparent documents of the works that they try to capture,but a part of the theatre medium, revealing the tension between performance and text which is the key to the theatricality itself. So I would like to offer the intermediaperspective and read the records as a boundary species that at the same time undermines the border; as texts that violate livenessof the theatre and the performances that contradict the stability of the text. I would also like to put a question about the video recording, which was by the creators of the column in the “Dialogue” considered ideal record (text). It is also a major field of research in the context of performance studies. Using the diagnosis of Amelia Jones, Philip Auslander and Rebecca Schneider I would like to see the elusiveness in the saving of theatre performance and in the elusiveness of thetheatre – archive and use this paradox to build a new definition of the relation between the theatre and the text.
Beyond the subject. On a (fundamental) difficulty of comparing literary and artistic works.
Comparisons between works of literature and works of art usually incline towards seraching for their mutual denominator in the area of their subject. In my paper, I’d like to examine a few examples of such thematic connections, evident in the relation between a text and a cover, or between a text and an illustration. Originating from these examples, I’m going to discuss the ways which a comparative analysis of a text and its illustration can take, heading for a description of their connections in the terms of composition and structure that constitute some important meanings of the works, not necessarily equal to their thematic contents. The most convincing perspective for this kind of analysis is provided by hermeneutics, not only because of ability of ”fusing the horisons” that this method shows, but also due to its interpretative tools.
From Remediation to CollectiveEmotions Control.
Interference of the LiteraryDiscourse and Technology
The literarytextis a tool for culturaltransmission and the tissue of quotations (Barthes, 1968). Itsmeaningshall be determined by the reader (Gadamer, 1960, Jauss, 1979) and society (Greenblatt). New species and newpracticesof receptionhaveenablednewways of expression. Literaturehasbeenassociated with popular culture, technology, fans and social media. In the socialcirculation of artifactsparticipate media as undergoingsubsequentstages of mediamorphosis (Fidler 1997). New Media haschanged the reader in prosumerpromulgating the cult of the amateur and participatoryculture (Keen 2007, Jenkins, 2007). Literarycontent and resourcesof earlier media areremediatedin the form:
- Immediacy: adaptationsof literature tothe needs of the theatre, film, radio, television.
- Hypermediacy: multimedia poetry, weblogs, hypertextpoetry and hyperfiction, transmediastorytelling, culturaltransfers, collectivewriting, twitterature, microcorrelatos, cellphonenovels, cyberfiction.
It isnotedPost-Human automation ofthe creation of the literarydiscourse. The number of visits and commentsdetermines the status of the author. It ispossible to generatecomments by robots and to sendthem on a massivescale. Automation and commercialisationarenewforms of literariness and appropriatingof discourse by the MSM. Computerprogramssystematicallyrecognizeemotionsof bloggers and presentthem in the form of aninstallation. Social media provide the ability to managehumanemotions and identities on a massivescale (Kramer, Guillory, Hancock, 2013).
A short debate between three persons… An art historian, a literary scholar and a linguist discussing avant-garde sound poetry
The paper focuses on different ways of describing sound poetry – the phenomenon that is of interest to several disciplines. The author will concentrate on the academic extremes of one-dimensional descriptions which abstract from any other (extra-visual, extra-lingual) aspects of the examined works of art. Such approaches result in scholarly paradoxes and perceptual contradictions. The second part of the presentation will be devoted to the postulated methodological interdisciplinary co-operation and application of methods of various fields of research.
The presented analyses will concern verbo-visual sound poetry of the European avant-gardes (especially Dadaism, Constructivism, Italian, Russian and Polish Futurism) and the scholarly and critical works devoted to this output.
Conventions and inventions: popular culture and media
Main aim of the article is to analyze contemporary convergence of popular culture (and its tradition: folklore and early mass culture) and new media, that change our aesthetic experience. “Conventions” in the title mean tradition (mainly verbal arts) and normative “poetics” as well. “Inventions” are set of technical innovations: change of medium causes new ways of world’s understanding, different perception of reality, new methods of reading. Conventions and inventions are not analogies to past (popular culture history) and present/future (media development), but continuous modernization of schemes. We may think of them as of “communicating vessels”: the bigger role of new media, the bigger role of popular culture and vice versa. Renewed definitions of categories from the field of media studies and cultural studies may be used for new literary studies.
From anthropocentric comparative studies towards the world of nature and animals
Many centuries, anthropocentrism, or human supremacism, has been a basic belief embedded in many Western religions and philosophies. However, as science progressed and humans became aware of the sheer vastness of the universe anthropocentrism came into question. It has been posited by biocentrism, animal studies, geocriticism, ecocriticism and other environment studies which stand in contrast to its idea of centering on the value of humans. Contemporary literature reflects these debates and discussions presenting man-earth, man-animals relations. Comparative literature, mowing freely between disciplines, is able to compare the world of Nature and the world of a Man. Analysing two literary works representing two national literatures – Two Caravans(2007) by Marina Lewyckaand Prowadźswójpługprzezkościumarłych (Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, 2009)by Olga TokarczukI will compare the artistic decisions of the same eco/zoological problem: humans need to look out for not just their own interests, but the interests of the entire biosphere. Both novels pose questions related with human responsibility for and to the nature.
Transmediality of literature?
Structural (and not only) media representations in literary works
In Poland the Internet and the new, digital model of textuality started in 1991. Today we can observe, how it changes the model of literary communication and the shape of literature and literary practices. The Internet has also influenced contemporary texts that remain in the print form. It refers to narratives as well as poetry and drama. Hypertext has became a basic model of contemporary textuality.
The development of various genres and textual forms is related to remediation, i.e. a phenomenon of mutual interaction of media. In case of literature we can observe representation of the print medium in the digital medium and conversely. This interrelation exerts influence on whole literature and literary studies.
The new phenomena oblige researchers to transgress verbocentrism and to adapt transdisciplinary and transmedia approach. The author of the thesis intends to show, how Andrzej Sosnowski’s poetry becomes transmedial experiment, imitation or even parody of hypertext and network. It should expose transdisciplinary status of literary studies and the influence of dynamically shifting media context. The author will take the issues of word in audiovisual culture, media heritage of contemporary verbal forms, intermedia metaphors, the Internet as a cognitive metaphor. The task of the article is also to examine the problem of transmediality of literature and to describe structural changes and transformations of genres: from verbal text to interactive, intersemiotic practice.
Whether the interpenetration of the poem and the rhythm of music, the film technique, poetics of video, etc., in the literature should be treated as the ontological metaphors only?
Literary science’s discourse in contemporary psychotherapy
The aim of the speech is to show the most important inspirations drawn from the literary science for contemporary psychotherapy (in particular for family therapy) and their practical implications for psychotherapy techniques. I will illustrate my point with three examples. Firstly, I will present a convergence between Roland Barthes’s „Death of the Author” concept and the family therapy methodology. In family therapy, psychopathological symptom belongs not only to a specific “author” (“patient”), but also to the relationships within the family system. Secondly, I will demonstrate a similarity between the modern dialogism, used by family therapists, and Bachtin’s dialogism. Finally, I will discuss postmodern narrative therapy that shows some contemporary therapists’ fascination with the notion of subjective and heterogonous reality, cocreated by language and individual narrations. In this case, the narrations of patient are created like literature (“trail of reality”). In Narrative therapy assumes that if you change your narration, you change your life. In narrative therapy, the therapist should not force the patient to change, but he or she should make space for the patient to create a new narration.