III. MODERN LITERATURE AND TRACES
Introduction The interpretations included in this section are of an illustrative nature – in the sense that the conception of weak ontology and the idea of the trace guide my readings of particular texts. However, I do not wish to treat creative literature as mere exemplification of philosophical theses, or even of concepts from literary theory. In fact, I shall try to demonstrate how the texts interpreted here may disturb the clarity of my earlier division into three types of traces. Weakness and the idea of the trace will take on rich, various and often unexpected meanings. At the same time, I believe that reading selected examples from modern Polish literature through the lens of the concept of weak ontology – and especially of the trace in its various forms – will allow me to connect literature with certain crucial philosophical problems, to reveal previously imperceptible links between certain texts, and, finally, to recognize a certain essential tradition in Polish literary modernism and to describe it in a more or less consistent language. For example, the theme of the faulty, shoddy reality, which appears frequently in the literature of the 1990s (Andrzej Stasiuk, Magdalena Tulli), appears to originate in Bruno Schulz’s prose. Roman Jaworski, who is treated as the patron of the aesthetics of the ugly and grotesque in Polish literature of the twentieth century, may also be acknowledged as the patron of the popular 1960s concepts of the “trash heap” of culture (Tadeusz Różewicz) and the “wreck” (Tadeusz Kantor). Jaworski was...
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