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2021 | 18 | 36 | 99-114

Article title

Milada Součková v labyrintu paměti (na základě prózy Vlastní životopis Josefíny Rykrové)



Title variants

Milada Součková in the Labyrinth of Memory: Excursus on the Prose Piece ‘Josefína Rykrová’s Autobiography’

Languages of publication



This article focuses on ‘Josefína Rykrová’s Autobiography’ (‘Vlastní životopis Josefíny Rykrové’) by Milada Součková, dealing in particular with issues related to the motif of memory in the form of labyrinthine prose. The collection of texts that is the subject of this analysis presents a retrospective narration based on the memories of Josefína Rykrová (although it makes multiple references to the biography of Milada Součková). Of particular importance is the fact that, at various times in the text, the subject position is split, suggesting a certain play with identities. Having created the figure of Josefína Rykrová, the author points to the splitting and loss of the self in the memories of others, which in turn become part of one’s own memory. Josefína, the titular heroine and the author of the memoirs, gets to know herself not only through her mother’s stories, but also through photographs. In this case, she draws from descriptions written on the back of the photos as an additional source of information. Součková shapes her text on the basis of an architectural metaphor of memory: the labyrinth. Moving towards the centre of this labyrinth is a complex process of remembering and erasing the traces of the past. The reconstruction of memories is aimed at reaching the first memory which remains entirely untainted. In this labyrinth, it is impossible to find the truth about oneself, yet the multiplicity of voices and images causes the subject to lose any certainty about this ‘self ’. Any certainty regarding the ontological status of the narrator is thus also lost by the reader. The labyrinth of the text, even though it uncovers the reality of intimate memories, never creates any intimate space for the subject, because it is interrupted by other voices — quotes, interjections, comments. Going through the labyrinth of memory is a symbolic attempt to confront one’s own identity and determine who one is.








Physical description


  • Uniwersytet Wrocławski, Instytut Filologii Słowiańskiej


Document Type

Publication order reference


YADDA identifier

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