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Face in Trouble – From Physiognomics to Facebook

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Edited By Olga Szmidt and Katarzyna Trzeciak

This book analyzes unobvious relations between historical definitions of the face and its contemporary usage in popular culture and social media, like Facebook or Instagram. Bringing together a wide range of methodologies, it includes essays from manifold disciplines of the humanities such as philosophy, literary and art criticism, media and television studies, game studies, sociology and anthropology. The authors focus on both metaphorical and material meanings of the face. They grapple with crucial questions about modernity, modern and postmodern subjectivity, as well as with origins of certain linguistic terms and popular, colloquial phrases based on the concept of the face.

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Me, myself and my face: Pirandello meets Gombrowicz (Adrianna Alksnin)

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Adrianna Alksnin

Me, myself and my face: Pirandello meets Gombrowicz

This article is an attempt to compare an Italian and a Polish modernist novel: One, No One and One Hundred Thousand by Luigi Pirandello (1926) and Ferdydurke by Witold Gombrowicz (1938). The novels present the modern subjects’ struggle to regain solid identities, to resist the fluidity of the modern world and the oppression of social rules and regulations. Both writers emphasise the performative dimension of subjectivity, which should be perceived as inter-subjective, as it is born and developed in relation to another subject, and perpetually vulnerable to its influence.

Keywords: self, identity, subject, face, modernism

The following article is an attempt to compare two novels, of Italian and Polish modernism: One, No One and One Hundred Thousand by Luigi Pirandello (1926) and Ferdydurke by Witold Gombrowicz (1938). Both texts can be read as documents of disintegrating Identity, owing to social structures that set the confines of participation. Although the two writers’ diagnoses take different directions and search for different solutions, they both point at a factor that plays a crucial part in forging an identity in society: the face. Both novels investigate the role that the face plays in constructing the Self – the face and its expressions as something deeply personal which cannot be seen by its owner, and the face perceived by others, who build their relations with a person on the basis of their face. They...

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