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Subjekt und Liminalität in der Gegenwartsliteratur

Band 8.2: Schwellenzeit – Gattungstransitionen – Grenzerfahrungen; Sergej Birjukov zum 70. Geburtstag

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Edited By Matthias Fechner and Henrieke Stahl

Liminalität ist ein Signum der Gegenwart. Die neuere Literatur, insbesondere die Lyrik, nimmt seismographisch liminale Phänomene der Gegenwart wahr und bildet vielfältige liminale Formen und Funktionen aus. Zentral betroffen ist das sprechende Subjekt, das in Transition versetzt wird: Zersetzung, Auflösung, Fluidität, aber auch Transparenz und Transformation öffnen seine Grenzen zum Anderen: zu den Mitmenschen, der Natur oder auch der Transzendenz. Der vorliegende Band vereint Aufsätze, die Liminalität in Bezug auf Schwellenzeit als conditio historiae der Gegenwart, auf Gattungstransitionen und auf Grenzerfahrungen des Subjekts behandeln. Der Schwerpunkt liegt auf russisch- und deutschsprachigen Gedichten. Darüber hinaus werden weitere slavische und ostasiatische Literaturen einzeln und komparatistisch behandelt sowie andere Gattungen, intermediale Formen und philosophische Perspektiven einbezogen.

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A Faceless Subject: Exploring Impersonal Subjectivity through Poems by Wang Wei, Paul Celan, and Wang Yipei

A Faceless Subject: Exploring Impersonal Subjectivity through Poems by Wang Wei, Paul Celan, and Wang Yipei

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Yi Chen (Gold Coast, Queensland)

1. A Faceless Subject

Roland Barthes opens his famous essay “The Death of the Author” (« La mort de l’auteur »; 1967) by proclaiming the erasure of the “subject” with all its possible forms through the very process that created it: writing. Barthes quotes the novella « Sarrasine » in which Balzac channels a narrator who describes the sculptor Sarrasine’s thoughts of his model and muse, the actress La Zambinella, who is in fact a male castrato:

“This was woman herself, with her sudden fears, her irrational whims, her instinctive worries, her impetuous boldness, her fussings, and her delicious sensibility.” Who is speaking thus? Is it the hero of the story bent on remaining ignorant of the castrato hidden beneath the woman? Is it Balzac the individual, furnished by his personal experience with a philosophy of Woman? Is it Balzac the author professing “literary” ideas on femininity? Is it universal wisdom? Romantic psychology? We shall never know, for the good reason that writing is the destruction of every voice, of every point of origin. Writing is that neutral, composite, oblique space where our subject slips away, the negative where all identity is lost, starting with the very identity of the body writing.1

The voice of Balzac’s narrator speaks to us from beyond the tomb. It begins: “I was buried in one of those profound reveries to which everybody, even a frivolous man, is subject in the midst of the most uproarious...

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