2011 | 2 | p. 245-264
Article title

Heterotopia i literatura narodowa w Dzienniku argentyńskim Witolda Gombrowicza

Title variants
Heterotopia and the National Literature in Argentinian Diary of Witold Gombrowicz
Languages of publication
As David Damrosch claims in his work World Literature. National Context (2003), literature should not be perceived only from a national, limiting, perspective. A literary text always balances between the culture of its origin and the culture of the receiver, it is “connected to both cultures, circumscribed by neither alone”. This is particularly true for the texts of authors in exile. The article of Silvana Mandolessi, now translated into Polish, is an attempt to analyse the Diary of Witold Gombrowicz (in Argentina known as Argentinian Diary) in the context of two cultures: the national culture of the writer (Polish) and the his adopted nationality (Argentinian). Mandolessi claims that in the Diary the tension between these two cultures and spaces is significant. She refers to the notion of “speculative border intellectual” (introduced by Abdul JanMohamed) that combines two cultures into a new syncretic form. It should be emphasized, however, that a critical attitude towards both cultures is maintained. Mandolessi analyses the work of Witold Gombrowicz from this new combined perspective as a piece of travel writing as well as an example of the typical heterotopia (a term borrowed from Michel Foucault). For Mandolessi continuous displacement constitutes a generative background for the Diary. Mar de Plata, Cordoba, Santiago del Estero – all these areas of the Argentinian province are heterotopias in a way that Gombrowicz’s description cumulates in one place various spaces which sometimes are not compatible, similarly to the theatrical stage that contains series of strange scenes. For Mandolessi the function of heterotopias created by Gombrowicz is a compensatory one.
p. 245-264
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