2009 | 57 | 2 | 151-171
Article title

Fragmentární poetika pozdního Halase

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This article is a work of textual criticism focusing on the fragmentary style of Frantisek Halas's (1901-1949) late verse. The focus is on Halas's canonical texts and also on sketches, fragments, and notes, which have tended to be of marginal interest to the reader. The author asks whether these fragments and projects (for instance 'Potopa' and 'Hlad') are merely peripheral to Halas's oeuvre, or whether they actually contain substantial information about his late style, which could help us to understand his way of generating texts other than what we know from his works between the wars. Linked to this is a question of textual criticism, the 'act of publishing', by which we distinguish causal and intentional aspects in the process of textualization and also distinguish the psychophysical subject from the subject of the work. In certain circumstances fragments, sketches, and variants cross the boundary from the genetic (causal) to generative (intentional) order in the act of textualization, and thereby begin to share in the formation of the semiotic construct of the 'persona'. In the course of textualization, the poet usually endeavours to achieve the resulting invariant, that is, the most perfect possible form of the text, which eventually shifts all the preceding creative variants aside as inferior. Only the resulting form of the poem is intended for publication. Whereas the generation of texts in Halas's interwar period still took place according to this model, in the course of the 1940s the situation radically changed. Using montage and especially collage and also syntactical fragmentation, the emphasis on metonymy and also intertextual relations, Halas managed to include fragments in the creative process. Formal aspects of the fragments, however, are also incorporated in the central compositions of the collection A co? (So what?, 1957) - for example, the texts 'Citaty' (Quotations), 'Dolores', 'Az bomba praskne' (When the Bomb Bursts), 'Prejme jim to' (Let's Grant Them That), and 'A co basnik' (And What the Poet). The means of generating the late texts is therefore closely linked also to the late fragments, which Halas jotted down in notepads. In this last period of his work Halas's attention gradually shifted from the act of publishing to the creative process itself. The act of publishing lost the features of the original devotion, because he found it much more important 'to write himself', regardless of the results.
  • Petr Komenda, Ceska literatura, redakce, Ustav pro ceskou literaturu AV CR, v.v.i., Na Florenci 3, 110 00 Praha 1, Czech Republic
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