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Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. Essays on Comparative Literature and Theory. VII Comparisons and Discourses. Essays on Comparative Literature and Theory Reviever: Emilia Kledzik Translated by: Marcin Tereszewski, Marcin Turski Copyeditor: Intercultural Communication in a National State. Meta-strategies of Colonizing Nature. It reflects the major issues identified by the Editors of the periodical and its Authors in that period.

The discourses signalled in the title include primarily postcolonial studies, which have recently become one of the major modes of addressing the past and present status piegkiewicz Central Europe, and of necessity also a tertium comparationis, a plat- form for making comparisons.

Postcolonialism has proved a capa- cious category, inclusive of the languages and tools used by many new theories such as geopoetics, gender studies and posthumanism. Introducing new theoretical robre goes hand in hand with opening up Comparative Studies to discourses other than literature. Therefore, the volume abounds in texts analysing realms such as film, theatre or the visual arts, as well as boyczaje that address the transformations of social life in Central and Eastern Europe after Within such an ;ietkiewicz, literature becomes one of the many forms of reflection on the quality of life in Central Europe, a yardstick of the language used in reference to themselves and to Others by successive generations of Central Europeans.

Comparative Studies themselves, as evident through the discursive receptivity demonstrated in this dovre, are changing from a discipline closely linked with an pietliewicz of a literary text towards a successor of theory of literature. It reflected on the use of postcolonial methodologies for analysing contemporary art in Central and Eastern Europe, and indirectly — for analysing local communities.

The author points out fields such as reflection on identity, border studies and reflection on the global aspect of literature, espe- cially the cosmopolitism of the novel, demonstrating the wealth of forms of being on the periphery. Czech postmodernist novel games refer to the National Revival, ever-present in the collective memory, wdward to deconstruct and debunk its myth. In his article Deracination and Rootedness. The Drama of Shifting Borders in Polish Contemporary Theatre, Piotr Dobrowolski addresses the general tendency of Polish obyczaue authors to break free from the monolith of an unequivocal national narra- tive, this time in reference to the so-called Regained Territories.

He moreover analyses the theatre productions after the transition period, empowering national and ethnic minorities and citizens of the Third Reich, who continued to live in these areas after the war.


It essentially focused on post natio- nal space read through the prism of a new theory of space pietkiwwicz litera- ture and arts — geopoetics the spatial turn.

Introduction 9 ture, both emigration and migration ones. The author argues that with the aid of e. The case of the Balkans under- mines the modus of postmodern e migrant literature in post-soviet states: Dobrochna Dabert in her N ostalgia and Irretrievability in Cen- tral European Cinema discusses examples of unique repressions of the memory of communism in Central European cinema, marked with a nostalgia for the past system.

German, Czech, Hungarian, and Polish movies furnish many examples of the pleasure of remembering communism. A special form of negating this nostalgia is an equally selective practice of irretrievability of memory, i. The author discerns this motif in Polish, Czech, Slovak, Kashubian and, in the most intriguing rendition, in Upper Lusatian literature.

First and foremost, however, he addresses more universal issues, such as living in isolation, creating borders and mechanisms of totalitarian authority. East — West Festival. The articles obhczaje the relations of the reflection and oeuvre of the author of Native Realm towards the East and West of Europe and his interpre- tations of eminent European writers and philosophers.

Marek Wede- mann in his text Between Colony and Empire. In her text An Emigrant About Obyczajf. Intercultural Communi- cation in a National State. Joanna Grzelak- Piaskowska and Emilia Kledzik in the article Command of the Polish Language and the Integration of the Roma in Poland — an Outline present the results of studies on the degree of command of the Polish lan- guage and school experience of three generations of the Polska Roma group.

Introduction 11 tural society, leaves out content related to glottodidatics and educa- tion presenting cultural differences. The author does so with using autobiographies of the German-speaking writers from this area.

Pietkiewicz, Edward () [WorldCat Identities]

The last part of the book concerns new perspectives in Compara- tive Studies. Metastrategies of Colonising Nature. Describing the process of appropriating nature, the author indicates three metastrategies: Finally, the reader will revel in the essay by Ryszard K. Przybylski, presenting how modernist erasure as an artistic practice undermining visibility paved the way for the postmodern tactile reality, which means experiencing the world via contemporary information and communications technologies, copies of the human nervous system.

Comparative Studies, originating in the study of sources and in the category of influence, since the s has been faced with the category of national literature, usually less focused on theoretical re- flection than on proving its being masterful. However, this is not a blind use since, as the great supporter of world literature Johann Wolfgang Goethe observed, comparison necessitates distance.


Com- parative Studies as a discipline of the Humanities has supported liter- ary history and indirectly its national focus.

The experience of the Second World War and the inspiration from critical discourses, in particular of postcolonial studies, made the discipline a critical study of any and all institutionally-based collective entities. The editor of this volume holds this value of Comparative Studies in special esteem at the time of resurgence of national and ethnocentric tendencies. How can we integrate postcolonial reconfigurations related to the way we think about Central and Eastern Europe into the global map of networks connecting the emergent and transitional Hannerz 48 environments of meaning-creation?

The intense and rich postcolonial research in this part of Europe exceeds the simple paradigm of multiplying the available theoretical matrices. Transferring postcolonial categories onto Central and Eastern European history and culture facilitates a new way of thinking about the nation, oppression and resistance, dependence, its long-term effects, identities and their border meanings, subjectivity as a site of agency, history as an ideological construct and a political tool.

When examining Central and Eastern Europe, postcolonialism is most visibly implemented as a means of identifying features of colo- nial dependency in the history of the region. This research option employs the conceptual apparatus and methodologies developed in postcolonial studies in an effort to analyze the nature and influence of colonial dependence on the development of a region as a whole and its particular countries and societies in relation to Europe understood usually as Western Europe.

The logical continuation of this line of thinking is to analyze the postwar dependence on the Soviet Union within colonial categories and the situation following the col- lapse of communism as a postcolonial condition, whose main feature is its position as a breakthrough moment in terms of political trans- formations and the attendant social, cultural and economic changes. The scope of this research includes postdependence discourses, i.

Critical reassessment of identity discourses seems to be an intrin- sic element of thinking about colonialism and the post-region. The postcolonial perspective quite naturally encourages revision of identi- ty constructs and examining their place and interaction with the whole spectrum of social discourses.

How relating the situation of Poland to the postcolonial condition can yield starkly opposite research out- comes. As a result Poland was barred from actively participating in modern discourse. Possible Trajectories 17 bility characteristic of the Polish community to develop its own iden- titarian and, therefore, modernization programs, which would gua- rantee Poland its autonomy and the status of an active subject in the international community Thompson: For Jan Sowa, the situation is the opposite.

This went along the inability to create an egalitarian social structure centered on the middle class that would preserve statehood. The passage to modernity was thwarted by the nobility, who refused to share its national identity with any other so- cial class.

The Partitions are thus, according to Sowa, to be understood as a modernization force Sowa: I am citing these two ra- dically diverse positions not to determine who is correct but to consi- der the postcolonial methodology, which leads to such different ideo- logical stances.

Taking such a wide synthesizing pietkiewcz, the researcher always risks generalizing, either in a top-down manner by imposing a theoretical framework that contradicts the particular examples or a bottom-up manner, metonymically, by treating each example as a erward rule.

Jan Sowa, in line with nineteenth century historicism, interprets colonialism here: It is precisely the national identity of the Polish nobility, its exclusionary character and foundational lack understood in Lacanian terms and realized as escapist phantasms of nativism, like Sarmatism which impeded the development of modern Polish subjectivity in line with the West mo- del, thus effectively sentencing the country to a permanently periphe- ral status.

Savoir vivre dla każdego – Edward Pietkiewicz • BookLikes (ISBN)

Granted that in the case of both authors the use of postco- lonial apparatus merits consideration, even if controversial for their ideological presumptuousness.

With regard to the above, I would like to venture the claim that postcolonialism in Poland is still held hostage by identitarian thinking and we should somehow emancipate ourselves from this state of affa- irs. Above all, postcolonial categories have proven themselves most useful as a critique of identity constructs. What is at stake here is not really the methodologically easy deconstruction of identity, which exposes its discursive nature, including its violent and oppressive performances, because it has been already done many times.

She proposes moving away from identitarian thinking, away from history especially where arriving at historical truth could damage this identity. With the help of a postcolonial theoretical framework, we could consider how to think transnationally through and beyond national debates, which portray society as being divided and increasingly loc- ked in a narcissistic phantasm.

Transnationalism could be defined as a space and practice where subjects transcend borders, regardless of whether they assume a dominant or marginal position Lionett, Shih, Minor Transnationalism. Transnationalism is a part of the globaliza- tional processes; it can be top-down and bottom-up, and of course the working assumption is that the bottom-up manifestations of transna- tionalism by definition constitute a critical force in relation to globali- zation.

Case studies concentrate most of all on diasporas, refugees, minorities as groups undermining a consolidated national identity, whose specific symptom is to exclude otherness. If an analysis of national debates in the region of Central and Eastern Europe is to be aided by postcolonial theory, it should take into account classic propositions of reading the nation as a discursive figure, whose constitutive feature, as indicated by Anderson and Tom Nairn Nairnis ambivalence.


Comparative studies, which, on the one hand, investigate the pe- dagogical aspect of national authority and, on the other, demand vigi- lance in relation to its phantasmatic projections, compel us to ask a question whether it is worth thinking about Central and Eastern Europe as a common transnational space, one which produces its own objects of knowledge on the basis of historical experience particular to a region of a combined dependence on European empires and com- munism; as a multilingual society which is not only based on identite- rian criteria as it is on a certain commonality of imagination and sen- sitivity, inscribing itself within the postcolonial experience, something which Weber calls community of sentiment.

It is worth, then, positioning research focused on the critical me- mory cultures within this transnational perspective, whose analytical potential is guaranteed by a cognitive strategy of thinking through national and community categories and projects, and also beyond it Huyssen. The postcolonial perspective can bring critical insight into the techniques and politics of memory, the aim of which is to build a consolidated, most often national, identity.

Depoliticizing the critical discourses of memory does not entail depriving memory of its inevi- table political meaning the mere fact that memory and its social expression is dialogical assumes a debate, discord, conflicting ver- sions of remembering, selective treatment of archives, etc. The postcolonial perspective in the work of critical memory cultures does not aim to discard the concept of nation, but to open it to its own limits, to a confrontation with what it attempts to eliminate or erase within itself.

Who was the guy who spent his nights changing German place names into Polish ones? Sometimes he had a flash of poetic genius, and at other times an awful word-inventing hangover. He did the naming from the start, he created this rugged mountainous world. Possible Trajectories 21 Another trajectory with considerable dialogical potential is con- nected to border studies, which critically analyze the status of Central and Eastern Europe as a borderland, where the distinctiveness charac- terizing Western Europe is effaced.

The stereotypical imagology of Eastern and Central Europe includes: These, in turn, became the object of subversive mimicry found in the works of such authors as Andrzej Stasiuk, Yurii Andrukhovych and Oksana Zabuzhko, in which the Western orientalizing perspective is turned into an ironic self-stereotypization.

Pietkiewicz, Edward (1909-1998)

Its apparent goal — satiating a narcissistic fanta- sy of the West with a radical otherness of the region narcissistic be- cause its aim is to validate its own ego — not only exposes the shame of such desires but also forces the objects of its own fantasies to con- front the image of itself as condensed exoticism represented as sheer aberration.

It would seem that liminality is an aspect of a par- ticular region which Western critics gladly reach for, as if getting involved in orientalizing practices was in this case safer and more acceptable. A valuable contribution to re- search on Central and Eastern Europe we can call border studies has been the understanding of border spaces as objects of spectral knowledge — the erased or displaced presence which returns as a rhe- torical figure, as an elusive difference defining the genius loci, or di- obyczqje as a lacunae resulting from profound deterritorialization or hi- storical violence, or even extermination.

Here is where postcolonial literature meets the Central and Eastern European literature of displa- cement, representing these phenomena as a lost battle with silence, the consequence of which is the impossibility to articulate meaning: Andrukhovych 7 This is not the silence of an imperfect memory … it is not some presence; it is simply a break, hole, emptiness, in which there are no words.

Ghosh That type of apocalyptical disruption of continuity resulting in silence is supplemented in literary texts with the figure of the impo- ssible return — as a ghost, specter, recollection, a flash from the past pietkiiewicz overlying the present, or, likewise, as an incredible feeling of belonging beyond the individual experience.

From the rich literature which addresses the problem of border spaces and liminali- ty, I will draw on an example in which the attempt to represent this type of spectral knowledge is connected with the search of a genre — a rhetoric or formula which could appropriately do justice to the elu- sive heterotopia of the border space and periphery: Pietkiewifz worldliness of literary work, especially in the context of comparative literature, determines it as a material being functioning in a particular historical and social narrative, immanent in relation pietkiweicz the surrounding reality which contains also the political-ideological discourse.

Said advocates acknowledging in the worldliness of a lite- rary work its role as a cultural authority, its history in the literary ca- non or in the effort to join the canon, or also, with regard to world literature as a particularly ideological construct, its performative act which extends far beyond the textual play of signifiers Said.