PL EN


2008 | 6 | 4(21) | 119-129
Article title

VANISHING POINT. ON READING 19th CENTURY WRITINGS

Title variants
Languages of publication
PL
Abstracts
EN
The British author, Elaine Freedgood, distinguishes two types of meaning in the Victorian novel: metaphorical meaning, determined by symbolic culture, and metonymic meaning related to the material history of things, to their real existence. For example: the mahogany furniture in Jane Eyre is a symbol of prosperity, but also a gist of the history of slavery and colonial deforestation, never presented directly to our eyes. The things 'remember' their past; a reader should take them seriously and recognize that the most inconsequential of objects can in fact be an object of considerable consequence. Can one read the 19th-century Polish novel metonymically? In Polish literature, history of an object is presented in a patriotic context: for example, Rzecki's room is associated with a soldier's equipment. Let us try to read this text in a different way and ask: what can the things tell us? What can the doll, the eponymous object in Prus novel, tell us about itself? What is the history of doll (doll as a doll, not as a symbol or sign)? In the past, dolls have been the object of cult; later, the dolls have been designed by artists. In the 19th century, dolls were produced on a large scale, sold in shops. Nobody prayed to them, nobody cared about their artistic shape. The doll, desanctified and profaned, turned into a commodity, is a good emblem of our modernity.
Keywords
Contributors
  • Grazyna Borkowska, Instytut Badan Literackich PAN. ul. Nowy Swiat 72, 00-330 Warszawa, Poland
References
Document Type
Publication order reference
Identifiers
CEJSH db identifier
09PLAAAA06804
YADDA identifier
bwmeta1.element.170b7b0e-d42e-3797-b382-cd3ba9d478d9
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.