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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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S.I. Witkiewicz’s Untimely Deliberations (Teresa Pękala)


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Teresa Pękala

Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz’s Untimely Deliberations

The title refers to a well-known work by Friedrich Nietzsche, in which the philosopher severely criticized European culture. His meditations were inopportune because, although they appeared at the right time, they were not suited to the problems of the period, being ahead of his time. Quoting from Goethe, Nietzsche calls the existing culture the “culture of yesterday”, disposes of the wrongly understood term “classic” and all other manifestations of “excess of history” (Nietzsche, 2003). A similar attempt, from a different time perspective, was made by Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (Witkacy). The purpose of this paper is to answer the question about the accuracy of Witkacy’s diagnoses concerning the modern period. An interpretation will be offered, which refers to the conception of the plurality and diversity of modernisms. Taking the local “dawn of the era” into consideration may enable highlighting the original character of Witkacy’s works as compared with other great modernists, and closely introduce the phenomenon of Witkacy, which consists not only in the versatility of his talents but also in his gift of prophecy. He was a writer, painter, photographer, art theorist, esthetician, and philosopher. In each of these fields he was an unconventional and distinctive artist and author; in many of them he attained the degree of mastery that allows him to be rated among the most eminent creators of Western culture. The visionary talent attributed to him goes beyond the area...

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