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2010 | 2010, nr 1(14) | 199-206

Article title

Krytyka literacka jako dobór płciowy


Title variants

Literary Criticism as Sexual Selection

Languages of publication



In the article I inquire relations between contemporary literature and literary criticism, as a central metaphor employing Darwin’s idea of sexual selection. Inspired by the literary criticism of Jan Prokop and Przemyslaw Czaplinski and their observations, as well as the philosophical theses of Nietzsche and Deleuze, I aim to determine the role played in the literary creation by selection mechanisms of various kinds of readers. I distinguish between three main types of such mechanisms: (i) spontaneous selection of the publications by the reader market, (ii) arbitrary building the literature according to a conscious scheme (by a critic or a publisher with an authority sufficient to impose his or her taste), and (iii) mutual selection, joining writers and institutions of literary life into one system, in which each party influences the authority of the other. The first model structurally corresponds with the natural selection, the second – with artificial selection, and the third – sexual selection. Amongst them the third one is, in my opinion, most distinctive and important for the contemporary literature.


  • Uniwersytet Warszawski, Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28, 00-927 Warszawa


  • P. Czapliński, Powrót centrali. Literatura w nowej rzeczywistości, Kraków 2007
  • P. Czapliński, Polityka literatury, czyli pokazywanie języka, [w:] Polityka literatury. Przewodnik Krytyki Politycznej, Warszawa 2009
  • G. Berkeley, Traktat o zasadach poznania ludzkiego. Trzy dialogi między Hylasem i Filonousem, przekł. J. Leszczyński, J. Sosnowska, Warszawa 1956
  • G. Deleuze, Nietzsche i filozofia, przekł. B. Banasiak, Warszawa 1997
  • J. Prokop, Krytyk jako stwórca, „Teksty” 1976, nr 4–5
  • J. Richardson, Nietzsche’s New Darwinizm, Oxford 2004

Document Type

Publication order reference



YADDA identifier

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