FIGURA MODERNÍ MELANCHOLIE A JEJÍ INVENTÁŘ: INTERMEDIÁLNÍ INTERPRETACE JEDNOHO JIRÁSKOVA OBRAZU
The figure of modern melancholy and its inventory: an intermediary interpretation of one of Jirásek´s scene
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The assumption of the present study is seeing melancholy as a complex mood which becomes steady in a cultural context or atmosphere (Gernot Böhme) i.e. a prearranged cultural and cognitive or even perceptive scheme rather than as an individual emotion or an immediate psychic experience. This concept thus needs to be seen in its particular historicity, the transformation of the visual depiction of melancholy in the second half of the 18th century must be understood in the context of the contemporary philosophy and aesthetics of sentiment focused on subjective emotions and connected to man´s meditation in natural environment, to key cultural concepts such as the notion ´sensibilité´ (Frank Baasner). The interpretation of an extract from the „new chronicle“ called U nás /In Our Place, 1899/ by Alois Jirásek shows the writer´s process designed to evoke a scene having a certain mood which makes the reader visualize the scene by means of vivid images in the text itself as well as medial overlaps. Doing this, Jirásek refers to literary schemes as well as traditional schemes of fine art. Besides the intertextual references, he layers intermediary inspirations of his own writing process and his text is shown in double historicity, i.e. in developing the theme of a particular historical period and in being anchored in a particular aesthetic atmosphere: the character of a female reader with her head bowed and a book in her lap and the memoir "staging" of a Watteau-like shepherd scene both reflect the visualization of melancholy based on the aesthetics of sentiment, which is in line with the contemporary aesthetics of the fictitious world of the chronicle, i.e. the peak of Czech Classicism in the 1820s. And this visualization is overlapped with a new visual melancholy type coming from the times when the chronicle was published, closely related to natural scenery and the ´birch´ theme, which was established in the contemporary fine art of the late 19th century.
410 – 428
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