2013 | 3(8) | 63-77
Article title

Poetyka jako dyskurs

Title variants
Poetics as a Discourse
Languages of publication
The article discusses three different types and applications of poetics: 1) poetics as a normative practice aimed at the assessment and calibration of literary works, formulating rules that literature should comply with and postulating aesthetic solutions and literary trends, 2) poetics as a nomothetic theory, the purpose of which is to discover both historical and structural laws and regularities underlying literature, 3) poetics as a specific discourse on literature, which in the face of a multitude, diversity and historical variability of literary phenomena is aware of its own relativity, flexibility and limitations. Normative poetics is embedded in literary criticism and usually debates contemporary problems of literature. Nomothetic poetics leans toward what is permanent, regular and, as it were, ‘eternal’ in literature. In turn, poetics understood as discourse attempts to follow transformations of literature. However, what distinguishes it from theoretical and historical poetics is that it not only takes into account the diversity and variability of literature but it also corrects and adjusts its own conceptual framework to the properties of literature. Maintaining distance from itself and regarding itself with a certain amount of mistrust, this type of poetics tries to avoid placing itself above the studied literary reality and succumbing to the delusion that it is theory (poetics) that governs literature, defining its form and sense. This results in the need for constant revisions of research methods, concept, terminology as well as the scope and object of poetics. In this way poetics participates in the process of transformation that literature is subject to. Putting the above-mentioned types of poetics in the historical perspective, the article also discusses their contemporary condition. It indicates their relations to mythology, philosophy, methodology, various branches of knowledge and fields of art. The paper focuses on methodological, cognitive and theoretical criticism of poetics, which has characterized recent decades and rocked it to its foundations. It has cast doubt on the academic standing of formalist and structural poetics that has been dominating so far. On the one hand, it has legitimized painful consciousness of the fact that the old twentieth-century paradigm of poetics disintegrated, while on the other, it made it clear that the resultant void should be filled with research and solutions adequate for the conditions and needs of the 21st century. This belief in the rebirth and strength of the poetic tradition breeds hope for the establishment of poetics for which the point of reference and distinguishing mark will not be traditional presence, past, or static eternity, but dynamic future – that, as the poet has it, “eternal corrector”.
Physical description
  • Uniwersytet Warszawski
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
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