MYTHOLOGICAL SNAPSHOTS: MIECZYSLAW JASTRUN, ZBIGNIEW HERBERT, AND CYPRIAN KAMIL NORWID
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This is a discussion of three poems whose authors consider their own photos. What these texts have in common is the fact that self-presentation is reduced to a minimum and substituted by mythological and religious references. Mieczyslaw Jastrun's 'The River' (from the volume 'The Arms of Memory') presents a visit at a photographer's studio in terms of an Orphic rite. In consequence the snapshot becomes a document of a past-perfect, irretrievably dead 'I'. Similarly Zbigniew Herbert, in his poem 'Fotografia' (from the volume 'A Report from a Besieged City') regards the act of taking a photo as a re-enactment of Isaac's sacrifice. C. K. Norwid, on the other hand, explains his photo portrait in a different way. In the poem 'On being asked Why in a square-topped hat? (he put on that hat for the occasion) he alludes to the Christian symbolism of the Lamb thus postulating a new - ie. purged of violence - vision of culture and history.
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