Konstanty A. Jelenski as a historian of modern literature
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This article attempts at discussing literary-critical texts by Konstanty-Aleksander Jelenski, the man whose merits to Polish emigration culture were enormous. Jelenski was a fascinating personality and an outstanding literary commentator. The starting point here is analysis of his extremely innovative literary-critical method, elaborated upon the borderline of existentialism, psychoanalysis, and structuralism (and, partly, poststructuralism, too), backed with an impressive essayistic discourse, unfolding in opposition to an 'objective' professional language of literary scholarship. K. A. Jelenski would not be satisfied with attaching gloss-like opinions to individual works, a typical reviewer's job. Instead, he depicts, almost parenthetically, his convincing and inspiring literary-historical syntheses. On top of that, he is probably the first Polish critic using the broad-range notion of 'modernism'; and, what is more, he has drafted a pioneering (not only in terms of Polish literary science) paradigm of modernist(ic) literature, as inscribed in his reviews.
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