Sklepy cynamonowe i inne w perspektywie mitów Boga i Natury
Cinnamon Shops and Others in View of the Myths of God and Nature
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The article “Cinnamon Shops and Others in View of the Myths of God and Nature” evokes Northrop Fry’s “completeness” applied to those literary works whose formal qualities are beyond explicit type or genre qualifications, proposing a thesis that Schulz’s works also use the completeness of the myths of God (One Form as absolutisation of time, Emptiness as negative space) and Nature (Fullness and Protounity as absolutised space and Chaos as negative time) or similar paradigms (rectilinear time, hierarchical space in linear paradigm, and the coincidentia oppositorum – based space and circular time in circular paradigm). Such a thesis is justified by a motif of a shop occurring in the two series of stories (and forming anti-fictional whole subcutaneously). The Father (called Jacob in the first cycle) and the son (called Joseph N. in the second part) represent two sides of the shop, appearing as a seller and a buyer. The selling father represents the myth of God in the Night of the Great Season due to spiritual creativity, making him resemble Yahweh, and in the Dead Season, by obeying the rules of a specific merchant-knightly order, which assimilates him to a scorpion. In both cases, the other characters, including the mother, are essentially situated on the myth of Nature’s side. However, in the first cycle of the stories (The Visitation, Birds), the aging father is gradually taking the side of the myth of Nature, immersing into its inner dimension (holes in the earth, its own viscera, the labyrinths of its mind) and confronting himself with Yahweh as well as with the mother, who now takes the side of the myth of God, its consciousness and laws. When, in the story Cinnamon Shops, the narrator presents him as living in the circular time and dead in the linear time, the father stubbornly intends to restore linearity thanks to the shop. Finally, “the ultimately dead” father, presented as a boiled scorpion, escapes from the disruptive reality (shop, house, mother, servant) and the myth of Nature, being the only one who is consolidated and established, and thus included into the myth of God. In contrary to his father who examines the ontological dimension of the myths, the juvenile, buying son is interested in their knowledge. In the first cycle, in Cinnamon Shops and The Street of Crocodiles, he tries to reach the erotic knowledge: however, the ecstasy of the romantic night finds its negative reflection in the image of eroticism, its pollution and shallowness, which is incorporated into a destructive and creative duality of the myth of Nature. In The Hourglass Sanatorium, tired of the circular time intricacies, the son yearns for a new, pure rectilinear time but he also sees its threats: the idea of rectilinearity as idée fixe of being perfect makes people automatic machines and only simulates their lack of imperfection. Schulz’s works show a completeness of ontological and cognitive depictions and point to the complementarity.
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