Píseň, již stíhám a která mi neustále uniká (O vzpomínání v poezii Ivana Blatného)
'THE SONG I'M ENDEAVOURING TO FIND CONTINUES TO ELUDE ME': REMINISCENCE IN THE VERSE OF IVAN BLATNY
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This article considers the function of anamnestic imagery in the collection of verse 'Hledani pritomneho casu' (In Search of Time Present) by Ivan Blatny (1919-1990). The author starts by defining memory as an act of recall of temporal consciousness (while analyzing the concept of temporality in the works of Bergson and Husserl), and focuses on anamnestic imagery in certain collections of verse in relation to their overall structure. Four analytical chapters are of key importance here; at the centre of each is verse by one poet: 'S lodi, jez dovazi caj a kavu' by Konstantin Biebl (1898-1951), 'Praha s prsty deste' by Vitezslav Nezval (1900-1958), 'Hledani pritomneho casu' by Blatny, and 'Davne proso' by Jan Skacel (1922-1989). By comparing the individual studies, which represent two contrasting attitudes to anamnestic imagery in modern Czech lyric verse, the author seeks to come up with a hypothesis about the general nature of lyrical anamnestic images. The attempt to comprehend Blatny's collection begins chiefly with considerations of temporality in the work of Emil Staiger (1908-1987) and also the hermeneutics of understanding of Hans-Georg Gadamer (1900-2002). 'Hledani pritomneho casu' unites two forms of Blatny's verse: on the one hand the collection contains poems of a musical nature, corresponding to Blatny's style before joining 'Skupina 42' (The 42 Group); on the other hand, it contains verse written under the influence of the principles of the group. The article seeks to find what it was that provided the unity of mood of both forms of Blatny's verse at the phonic (euphonic) level, lexical (motivic) level, and syntactic level. The common denominator seems to be Blatny's consideration of temporality, a tendency to articulate the 'fullness of the moment'. That is manifested in the elementary principles of return (repetition) and unification. These principles are most evident at the motif level. Blatny's being 'in search of the present' is understood as being in search of the moment when the everyday merges with the historic. Inspired by Proust's 'A la recherche du temps perdu', Blatny finds the historic mainly in expressing the banal details that surround him. The personal recollection of everyday life takes on the importance of a testimony of 'big' history. In Blatny's collection the repeated motif of the road, fundamental particularly to the longest poem of the first part, 'Dejiny' (History), becomes a characteristic metaphor for time. The lyric persona in it, much as in many other poems, is stylized as a flâneur. Blatny's second most frequent autostylization is the poet sitting in his room and concentrating on capturing the present moment. Both stylizations are in essence related to anamnestic imagery. The desire to express the total moment, to find the quality of time in its dure, is illustrated by examples of changes in tense, which move towards the gnomic. The monumental concluding poem, 'Terrestris,' reads as a new opportunity to 'find time present,' the expression of the moment. It is the mysterious mythical being that unites all opposites and embodies the order of life in the fleetingness of time.
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