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Witkacy. Logos and the Elements


Edited By Teresa Pękala

This book focuses on Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, philosopher and controversial artist. It expresses the opinions of philosophers, museologists and artists, for whom Stanisław Ignacy Witkacy’s 130th birthday anniversary became an opportunity to view his works from the perspective of postmodernity. The authors concentrate on Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz as eminent and prophetic philosopher concerned about Western culture with its waning metaphysical feelings, master of gesture and poses, anticipating the postmodern theatricalization of life.

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Performative Rhythm of Comedy: Beelzebub Sonata of Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz and the Final of Dialectic Process (Anna Kawalec)


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Anna Kawalec

Performative Rhythm of Comedy: Beelzebub Sonata of Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz and the Final of Dialectic Process

Dialectics as the source of dramatic art

An inherent feature of performing arts1 is doing something “as if” in such a way as to appear real2. This feature – particularly important and problematic at the same time – has revealed itself in theater. It was Plato who already recognized it. He rejected theatrical art as an effect of the mimetic process of the act of imitation (Cf. Podbielski, 1992; 7–22). Such an assessment located theater among entities, which had the least share in the ideal form. Primarily, Plato perceived the creator as the one who can only imperfectly imitate the ideal order. This imperfection may result from two sources: fallibility of human cognition and intentional misrepresentation (Cf. Podbielski, 1992; 13–15). Plato assessed the latter artistic attitude in explicitly negative terms. He did so because of his overriding aim of educating human beings within the ideal order of the state. Plato always recognized the borderline between truth and make-believe (although in Timaeus he was less radical as he accepted the possibility of accepting “accounts that are inferior to none in likelihood”: 29C-D), which in the context of art and individual and social life meant for Plato the borderline between the truth and lie.

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