2012 | 18 | 191-205
Article title

„Płcią opętani, gębą spętani”. Tabu w powieści popularnej na przykładzie powieści Tadeusza Dołęgi–Mostowicza ("Bracia Dalcz i S–ka") i Witolda Gombrowicza ("Opętani")

Title variants
„Płcią opętani, gębą spętani”. The Taboo in the Popular Novel on the Example of Works by Tadeusz Dołęga–Mostowicz ("Bracia Dalcz i S–ka") and by Witold Gombrowicz ("Opętani").
Languages of publication
The text discusses the suitability of the taboo category in the study of popular literature, in which it is a part of the collective experience of some community and, at the same time, an important cultural category. It is also one of the most common topics of this kind of literature, allowing to refer to the reader’s experience. The category of the taboo shows also how important in the study on “that third” is an emotional sphere, and how it can be dangerous from the point of view of the researcher (which can be observed mainly in a not very careful use of discourses very much result–oriented in research to interpret). Applying the taboo category can be helpful in the description of the text’s axiology, too. The category of the taboo in popular literature is described by comparing "Bracia Dalcz i S–ka" by Tadeusz Dołęga–Mostowicz and "Opętani" by Witold Gombrowicz. Both these texts are linked by the method of using the categories of the taboo and the shame. The shame in the analysed novels, which is symptomatic, is a disappearing category: the characters are not ashamed of their actions but they are hiding them, and this can become a driving force of the action. Breaking the taboo in the popular novel is also associated with the search for identity, which can be observed on the example of Mostowicz’s work heroine who is forced, for reasons of inheritance, to live in a male disguise. The category of the taboo in popular literature of the inter–war period documents as well, the shift from the didactic function of the texts that belong to “that third” to the entertainment one. An interesting procedure of "Bracia Dalcz i S–ka" is obliterating the memory of the taboo, the existence of which could make it difficult for recipients to identify with the main characters of the text. The study of this phenomenon in popular literature proves also that the popular novel of the first half of the twentieth century, despite the postulated bravery or even scandalous content, in fact remains a medium for conservative world view, at least in Polish conditions.
  • Uniwersytet Warszawski
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
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