CONRAD AND POTOCKI: THE TWO 'MANUSCRIPTS' (Conrad i Potocki: dwa rekopisy)
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The author tries to prove that Joseph Conrad's 'The Inn of the Two Witches' is the intentional travesty of Jan Potocki's 'The Manuscript Found in Saragossa'. Both texts reveal a few similarities within the plot: the names of Moorish sisters in Potocki's work (Emina and Zibelda) correspond to the names of two witches, namely Erminia and Lucilla found in Conrad's story, a small inn somewhere in the Spanish mountains, brigands and, finally, the manuscript - a starting point of the stories. However, what distinguishes Conrad's narrator from that of Potocki is a different way of using the original manuscript as the source of the stories in question. Moreover, in Potocki's text the manuscript is quoted as a literal translation from Spanish, while Conradian narrator 'redrafts' the manuscript because he finds it 'dull'. According to Michel Foucault, it can be proven that Potocki's and Conrad's texts are based on the same kind of material, yet they represent different episteme. In the former we find the classical Order of discourse with literature being its exclusive point of reference. In Conrad's story we see how this classical Order is transformed by the presence and emotions of Man seen as a source of the truth.
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