PKn, letnik 27, Ljubljana, 2004, Posebna angleška številka / Special Issue in English
Literature and space
Spaces of transgressiveness
(edited by Jola Škulj and Darja Pavlič)
(editors's preface and abstracts)
(link: whole papers page)
edition of articles surveys the theme on space and literature, that is, two
very substantial ideas of our everyday life. Focusing on such rather basic and
factual matters, it is hard to expect to face a vexed question. The theme
presented here invites a cross-disciplinary dialogue. The editors would like to
thank the contributors to the volume for their contributions and their patience.
Preparation of the manuscript was particularly complex due to the – English
and French – languages used in the editing process of texts not being a
standard practice in publishing Primerjalna
književnost. Many of these papers were presented in earlier versions at the
Lipica Workshop in “Literature and Space: Spaces of Transgressiveness” in
2003, and have since been revised and reworked, and supplemented by other
material. To the Vilenica institution, an international event of Central
European authors in which colleagues from all over the world meet, organised by
the Slovenian Writer's Association, we owe a special debt of gratitude for
inviting and making possible the Slovenian Comparative Literature Association,
organizing small-group discussion sessions, and
opening up a stronger theoretical debate on the chosen theme concerning
mid-European cultural reality. We are particularly fortunate not only to have
had Jean Bessiere, Bertrand Westphal and Bart Keunen with us on the first
occasion, but to have been able to exchange opinions and ideas on the topic also
later in our contacts. Their high standard of scholarship was a precious support
and encouragement in carrying out the debate and making the issue public. Thanks
are due also to Katia Pizzi and to Dean Komel for subsequently having accepted
the editors’ invitation and contributing to the debate with their valuable
views on the subject.
We are grateful to various people who have in different ways contributed to this volume: to those who have read earlier versions and to reviewers for constructive comments, to Philip Burt for making substantial improvement to the English translations and to Alenka Maček for the layout of the edition.
Thanks also to the Institut Français Charles Nodier as a source of expenditure in enabling participation of the two French professors.
* * *
Dialogue on space and
literature involves a variety of possible standpoints. It implies both space
in literature and literature in space. Space can be discussed as literary,
cultural, social, semiotic
phenomena, approached through its geographical,
or more specific urban entities,
scrutinized by other arts, etc.
Addressing spatial transgressions – and to imply the ethics
of an encounter – calls for participation of diverse experts in the
humanities. J. Bessiere in
cross reading of Conrad, G. Stein and Fuentes, specifies the notion of transgression and refers it, on
the one hand, to cultural spaces and national borders, and on the other hand, to
the approach to history which it implies. Understanding
literature and culture – both as logic and structure of responses – J.
Škulj examines their semiotic situation in views of dialogism and sets out
the positive effects of a borderland for the formation of the Slovenian
identity. D. Komel lays open to view that the historical tradition of
philosophical thought has already developed intercultural elements, while a
dialogue as a means of mutual understanding is still a task awaiting Europe.
According to J. Kernev-Štrajn, the
literary salon in Coppet was an exemplary place of modern democratic discourse
and cross-cultural dialogue. For M. Dović,
the multicultural issues of literature are a starting point to view the
Slovenian literary system adopting foreign patterns. B. Westphal argues that space, seemingly homogeneous in a certain
moment, is composed of fluid worlds; in contrast to that of the imagology,
the geocriticist point of view is multiplied. M.
Juvan explains intertextuality as a practice of transposing, juxtaposing and
blending heterogeneous semiotic spaces; he also focuses on the intertextuality
of geophysical space. D. Pavlič
arrives at the conclusion that in romantic and modern lyric poetry geographical
space is frequently used as a metaphor for the inner identity of the lyrical
subject. B. Keunen discusses the
literary representations of urban spaces in which the bourgeoisie developed a
new type of morality. K. Pizzi examining the literature of Trieste, points to the city’s
eccentric position which has frequently resulted in being personified or
emerging as an overwhelming presence (of writers' own selves) in texts. I.
Škamperle in his discussion of Trieste as a border city advocates his
belief that borders stimulate creativity. The concluding paper of I.
Zabel, recalling the 1960s controversy between the modernist demand that art
should be purely visual and its conceptualist critics, relates to the
transgression of boundaries between visual and verbal entities in the art of
Jenny Holzer, Lewis Baltz and Jože Barši.
On Transgression. From the
Principle to Semantics and its Probing. Remarks on Avant-gardes, Joseph Conrad,
Carlos Fuentes and Gertrude Stein. By a cross-reading of Joseph
Conrad, defined as a precursor of the avant-gardes episteme of the first part of
the 20th century, Gertrude Stein, one of the avant-garde writers, and Carlos
Fuentes, a commentator of these avant-gardes, this article specifies the notion
of transgression and refers it, on the one hand, to cultural spaces and national
borders, and on the other hand, to the approach to history which it implies. The
conclusion of the article links the artistic and cultural transgression of
avant-gardes to the notion of anachronism.
AND SPACE: TEXTUAL, ARTISTIC AND CULTURAL SPACES OF TRANSGRESSIVENESS
Regarding literature and culture – both as
logic and a structure of re-sponses – a discussion of their semiotic situation
can be grasped through holistic views of dialogism. The idea of
transgressiveness is employed (and detailed on grounds of textual ongoing
semiosis and cultural semiosphere) to approach spatial realities as reference
frames of any literature and culture, hence their inevitable hybridity,
asymmetries, irre-ducible particularities and diversities.
and the Constitution of the Intercultural Sense
The author discusses the idea of a constitution of intercultural behaviour from a phenomenological and hermeneutical point of view. In his opinion, the historical tradition of philosophical thought has already developed intercultural elements. The question arises as to whether interculturality is only one aspect of the contemporary cynical annihilation of the word or, on the contrary, if it offers a different comprehension of human exi-stence, a way to escape from nihilism. The author's reply stresses the possibility of a hermeneutical constitution of intercultural sense, connected with a possible future European dialogue as a way of mutual under-standing within one culture and among different cultures.
Kernev Štrajn: CHÂTEAU
DE COPPET – A SITE OF MODERNITY?
Coppet, as a public and modern space, represents the peak of the 18th century salon tradition, although at the same time, it surpasses it. The Coppet discourses in some respects rose above the Romantic under-standing of literature, and thereby drew close to modern concepts of art and society.
REPERTOIRE AND INTERFERENCE AMONG LITERATURES
article uses concepts of polysystem theory, especially the notion of literary
repertoire, to analyse mechanisms which take place when a particular (national)
literary system adopts and makes use of elements of other systems' repetoires
and in this way maintains its systemic optimum. An obvious model for these
processes can be observed in Slovenian literature with reference to the work of
a romantic poet, France Prešeren, who introduced models and repertoremes from
other literary traditions in a systematic and original fashion. Later, these
elements became a constitutive part of – by that time still underdeveloped and
weak – the Slovenian literary repertoire.
MÉTHODOLOGIQUES E LA TRANSGRESSION SPATIALE
Methodological Approaches to Spatial Transgression. After a short semantic overview of transgression, which results in an analysis of the notion of threshold, the article closely examines the relations between space and transgression. Scrutinizing the idea of transgression in a socio-poetic framework by using the example of the hospitality code, the author focuses on the dynamics of whole large units, as elaborated by Y. Lotman (semiospheres), I. Even-Zohar (polysystem) and by G. Deleuze and F. Guattari (the dialectic of deterritorialization). In conclusion, the analysis is related to the views of transgression as an imagological and geocritical notion.
Juvan: SPACES OF INTERTEXTUALITY / THE INTERTEXTUALITY OF SPACE
Literary discourse interpellates the reading subject to take positions in the imaginary. The subject's positions as structured by the text's spatial syntax can be undone by forces that produce transgressive spaces. Intertextuality transplants or evokes other literary and socio-cultural spaces. Because of the fundamental intertextuality of space, identities are in permanent hybridization.
Pavlič: THE LYRIC SUBJECT AND SPACE. A COMPARISON OF TRADITIONAL AND MODERN
Working from the assumption that a lyric poem is
a means of self-expression and self-constitution of the speaking person, the
article observes that in romantic as well as modern poetry, geographical space
through metaphoric representations co-establishes the identity of the lyric
subject. Furthermore, modern lyric poetry is also characterised by the
incoherence of space, which, in addition to having a thematic function, also
affects the structure of the text.
AND INDIVIDUALISM IN URBAN FICTION: A DELEUZIAN AND BAKHTINIAN CRITIQUE OF
SPATIAL TRANSGRESSIONS IN CONTEMPORARY CRIME NOVELS
Urban crime fiction can be seen as an
inheritor of the adventure novel tradition and the ‘ordeal plot’. The
semantic foundations of the ordeal plot are traditionally detailed
as an opposition between labyrinthine and anomic settings on the one hand
and a quest for moral authenticity on the other. In urban crime fiction one can
clearly see how modern literature transforms this model in an attempt to cope
with the ‘modernity syn-drome’ (the paradoxical co-existence of decoding and
recoding mecha-nisms). Contemporary urban representations, and this will be the
main focus of this contribution, radicalize the transformed model.
AND THE MODERNIST CITY: STELIO MATTIONI AND TRIESTE
has traditionally suffered the status of a border city. This border has been
experienced as a source of permanent anxiety and displacement, acquiring the
status of a chronotope
in the Bachktinian sense. The city’s eccentric position has frequently
resulted in Trieste being personified or emerging as an overwhelming presence in
its literature. Local authors have experienced the city ‘from within’, as
superimposed, ‘merged’ with their ‘Selves’. My discussion includes the
canonic author Italo Svevo and focuses in particular on the contemporary Stelio
Mattioni and his novel Il
richiamo di Alma (1980).
Škamperle: SPACE OF CHANGEABLE IDENTITY AND THE MARGINS OF LITERATURE
The paper of the author, who is Triestine by birth, grasps in essayistic
style the social, linguistic and world-view intricacies of Trieste, an
exemp-lary metropolitan, but incomprehensibly disheartened city, and the steep
rim of the Trieste Karst behind it. As a complex and contradictory meeting
point, Trieste is strongly faced by two identities, Slovenian and Italian. Its
literature inscribes in itself unique topographies, a vast panorama of images
imbued with distinct philosophies, incongruent ideas and thematic interests.
Zabel: ART AT THE LIMITS OF THE VISIBLE
The article deals with the function of the non-visual, especially verbal elements, in the visual arts since the 1960s. It mentions the controversy between the modernist demand that art should be purely visual, and its conceptualist critics. It illustrates the possible use of texts in visual arts with the work of three artists, Jenny Holzer, Lewis Baltz and Jože Barši.
a Professor of Comparative Literature at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle
(Paris III). He has taught at the Université Paris X, Indiana University,
Stanford University, McGill University, Université d'Amiens, and lectured at
many universities in Europe, North and South America, Africa, and Asia. He was
president of the International Comparative Literature Association and is now
an honorary president; since 2004, he is president of its Nominating Committee.
His main interests are literary criticism and theory, and intercultural literary
transfers. Among his many books his most recent are: Dire le littéraire (1990), Enigmaticité de la littérature (1993), La littérature et sa rhétorique
(Paris 1999), Quel statut pour la littérature?
(Paris 2001). He is completing an essay on the principles of literary criticism.
Dović is a Young
Researcher at the Institute of Slovenian Literature
and Literary Sciences of the Scientific Research
Centre of the Slovenian Academy
of Sciences and Arts. As a student he published papers in various
magazines and science reviews and took part in conferences, concentrating mainly
on the literary canon, the theory of evaluation and the contemporary systems
theory of literature, as well as the historical avant-garde. Recently he
published a book entitled Sistemske in empirične obravnave literature (Ljubljana 2004). He
also does editorial work and plays jazz.
Marko, Researcher at the Institute of Slovenian Literature and Literary
Sciences, Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy
of Sciences and Arts (Ljubljana, Slovenia), Professor of Literary Theory
at the University of Ljubljana, president of the Slovenian Comparative
Literature Association. Recent publications: Intertekstualnost
(Ljubljana 2000); Vezi besedila
(Ljubljana 2000); “On Literariness: From Post-Structuralism to Systems
Theory”, Comparative Literature and Comparative Cultural Studies, ed. S. Tötösy
de Zepetnek (West Lafayette 2003); “Literary Self-Referentiality and the
Formation of the National Literary Canon”, Neohelicon
XXXI/1 (2004). Main fields of
interest: literary and cultural
theory (intertextuality, literary discourse, cultural identity, literary field,
canon, literary historiography, genre criticism), European romanticism, 20th
century Slovenian literature.
is a literary critic and translator of theoretical humanistic texts. She has
written introductions to Paul de Man's Blindness
and Insight (Ljubljana 1997) and to Mme de Staël's On
Germany (Ljubljana 2004). She is also the author of several other literary
treatises: On Greenblatt's interpretations of the relation between Prospero and
Caliban (PKn 2001), On the relation between the symbol and allegory in the
narrative dimensions in Baptism on the
Savica (in: Romantična pesnitev. Ljubljana
2000), The preliminaries to the interpretation of the relation between
allegorical structures and elements of the irrational in fairytales (Otrok
in knjiga 2002), Feminist literary theory and postcolonial reading (Delta
2000), Memory as a fragment interwoven with text (in: Kako pisati literarno zgodovino danes? Ljubljana 2003).
Keunen is a Professor of Comparative Literature at Ghent University, Belgium.
He studied philosophy in Louvain and literary criticism in Ghent, Berlin and
Klagenfurt. He obtained his Ph.D. with the dissertation Representing the Metropolis: a Culture-Sociological Approach to City
Images, Chronotopes and Artistic Projects in Literary Prose between 1850 and
1930 (Ghent, 1997). He is President of the Belgian Society for General and Comparative Literature (since
September 2000) and co-director of the interdisciplinary Ghent Urban Studies
Team (GUST; since January 2002). His books include: Post-ex-sub-dis: Fragmentations of the City (Rotterdam 2002); Literature
and Society. The Function of Literary Sociology in Comparative Literature.
Edited by B. K. and Bart Eeckhout (Brussels/Bern 2001);
De verbeelding van de grootstad. Stads- en wereldbeelden in het proza van de
moderniteit (Brussels 2000); The Urban
Condition: Space, Community, and Self in the Contemporary Metropolis.
Written & Edited by the GUST (Rotterdam 1999); L. Apostel, J. Walry, B. K., Hopeloos
Gelukkig. Leven in de postmoderne tijd (Amsterdam 1997).
Komel is a
Professor of philosophical and cultural hermeneutics at the Faculty of Arts in
Ljubljana. He is currently Head of the Department of Philosophy and President of
the Phenomenological Society of Ljubljana, and a member of several
philosophical societies, project groups and editorial boards of journals for
philosophy and culture. He received the Zois-Prize of the Republic of Slovenia
for Outstanding Scientific Achievements for 2003. His research interests are:
hermeneutics, phenomenology, philosophy of culture, philosophy of art,
philosophical translation and terminology, European cultural identity and
differences, and interculturality. Books: Fenomenologija
in vprašanje biti (Maribor 1993); Razprtost
prebivanja. O razmejitvi hermenevtične fenomenologije in filozofske
antropologije (Ljubljana 1996); Diagrami
bivanja (Ljubljana 1998); Annäherungen.
Zur hermeneutischen Phänomenologie von »Sein und Zeit«.
Edited by D.K. (Ljubljana 1999); Osnutja.
K filozofski in kulturni hermenevtiki (Ljubljana 2001); Uvod
v filozofsko in kulturno hermenevtiko (Ljubljana 2002); Identita
e mediazione (Trieste 2003); Medpotja
filozofije in kulture (Maribor 2004); Kunst
und Sein. Beiträge zur Phänomenologischen Ästhetik und Aletheiologie.
Edited by D.K. (Würzburg 2004).
Pavlič is an Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at the Department of
Slavonic Languages and Literature of the Faculty of Education of the
University of Maribor, where she teaches world literature and literary theory.
From 2003, she has been editor-in-chief and managing editor of the Primerjalna
književnost review, published by the Slovenian Comparative Literature
Association. She published the book Funkcije
podobja v poeziji K. Koviča, D. Zajca in G. Strniše (Maribor 2003). Her
main areas of research are: literary rhetoric, romanticism, modern poetry, and
Pizzi is a graduate of Bologna and Cambridge. She currently lectures at the
Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, School of Advanced Study, University
of London. She has published extensively on literary, historical, and
cultural-historical aspects relating to Trieste and the north-eastern borders of
Italy (see in particular her volume: A
City in Search of an Author: the Literary Identity of Trieste
(London-Sheffield-New York 2001). Her interests include cultural memory,
nationalism, the Futurist avant-garde (especially the visual and performing
arts), and popular culture (especially comics and children’s literature).
an Assistant Professor of the Sociology of Culture at the Department of
Sociology at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana. He lectures on the history of
science, the theory of symbolic forms, and the culture of the renaissance. He is
the editor of the Poligrafi review publishing thematic collections on religion,
mythology and philosophy. He has edited monographic collections on hermeticism,
Jung, Bruno, renaissance mythologies and alchemy. He writes treatises, essays (Magična
renesansa, Ljubljana 1999), and also fiction (novel Kraljeva
hči, Koper 2002). Recently he has been concentrating on researching of
mythology, religion and cultural formations.
Škulj is a Senior Research Fellow at the Scientific Research Centre of the
Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Her research interests are in
methodology and theory (textuality, novel, narrativity, historicity, cross-national and cross-cultural issues
as dialogism) as well as historical
studies of 20th-century literature. She was president of the Slovenian
Comparative Literature Association (1997-2002); a member of the Executive
Council of ICLA since 2004; since 2003 elected into the ICLA Research Committee
on Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. Recent publications: “Comparative
literature and cultural identity: a Bakhtinian proposal”,
Comparative literature now: theories and practice, ed. S. Tötösy de
Zepetnek, M. Dimić, I. Sywenky (Paris 1999), “Literature as Repository of
Historical Consciousness”, Methods for the Study of Literature as Cultural Memory
(Amsterdam-Atlanta 2000), “Multilingualism as strategy of modernist
dialogism”, Multilinguale Literatur im
20. Jahrhundert, eds. M. Schmeling and M. Schmitz-Emans (Würzburg 2002),
“Modernism and the Crisis of Consciousness”, Litteraria humanitas: Moderna,
avantgarda, postmoderna, ed. D. Kšicová and I. Pospíšil (Brno 2003),
“The novel and its terrain(s) of reinterpreted identities in the age of
globalization”, Genre of the novel in
contemporary world literature, ed. J. Talvet (Tartu 2004).
Westphal is a Professor of General and Comparative Literature at the University
of Limoges (France), where he is head of an interdisciplinary research team (EA
1087 “Espaces Humains et Interactions Culturelles”). His main research
fields are first geocriticism, i.e. the study of the representation of human
spaces in literature and in other forms of arts, especially applied to the
Mediterranean area, and then the study of the transposition of the gospels in
contemporary literature. He also deals with postmodernism in literature. He is
editor or co-editor of volumes such as La
géocritique mode d'emploi (2000), Le
rivage des mythes. Une géocritique méditerranéenne (2001), Littérature
et espace (2003), all published by Presses Universitaires de Limoges, which
also published his essay, Roman et Évangile
(2002). A new essay, L'oeil de la Méditerranée,
is planned for publication in 2005.
Zabel is a Senior Curator at the Moderna galerija (Museum of Modern Art),
Ljubljana. He has published two books of essays on contemporary art and a number
of essays and articles in catalogues and magazines (e.g. Art
Journal, Art Press, Flash Art, Index,
Moscow Art Magazine and others). Co-editor (with Viktor Misiano) of
the Manifesta Journal. He recently
curated Individual Systems at the
Venice Biennale, 2003, and The Future Is
Not What It Used to Be (With Barbara Steiner) at the Galerie für
Zeitgenossische Kunst, Leipzig, 2004. He was one of the curators of Cream
3, Phaidon Press, 2003. He has contributed to, among others, L’autre
moitié de l’Europe, Jeu de Paume, Paris, 2000; Words of Wisdom, Independent Curators International, New York, 2001;
Ausgeträumt..., Secession, Vienna,
2002; Vitamin P, Phaidon Press, 2002, Primary
Documents: Critical Writing on Critical Art in East-Central Europe: A Primer,
MoMA, New York, 2002.