Polish, Hybrid, and Otherwise Exilic Discourse in Joseph Conrad and Witold Gombrowicz

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-02-14
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
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Polish, Hybrid, and Otherwise examines the triple compact made by displaced authors with language, their host country, and the homeland left behind. It considers the entwined phenomena of expatriation and homelessness, and the artistic responses to these conditions, including reconstructions of identity and the creation of idealized new homelands. Conrad and Gombrowicz, writers who lived with the condition of exile, were in the vanguard of what today has become a thriving intellectual community of transnationals whose calling card is precisely their hybridity and fluency in multiple cultural traditions.

Conrad and Gombrowicz's Polish childhoods emerge as cultural touchstones against which they formulated their writing philosophies. Gasyna claims that in both cases negotiating exile involved processes of working through a traumatic past through the construction of narrative personae that served as strategic doubles. Both authors engaged in extensive manipulation of their public image. Above all, Conrad and Gombrowicz's narratives are united by a desire for a linguistic refuge, a proposed home-in-language, and a set of techniques deployed in the representation of their predicament as subjects caught in-between.

Author Biography

George Gasyna is Assistant Professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Program in Comparative and World Literature at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. He specializes in Polish literature, in particular twentieth-century prose and drama, as well as exilic literature and the avant-garde.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments / A Note on References of Primary Texts / A Note on Translations / Glossary / INTRODUCTION The Spaces and Trajectories of Exile / CHAPTER ONE The Condition Known as Exile; Modernism and its "Posts"; "Who, which Gombrowicz?" "Gombrowicz, Gombrowicz"; "JC dropped into literature casually"; On the Conradian Double Man / CHAPTER TWOCrossing the Threshold of Modernist Discourse; Gombrowicz and the Contested Logics of Postmodernism; The Gombrowiczian Vanguard; Conrad and The Modern(-ist) Temper; Exile and Liminality: A Minority Report / CHAPTER THREE I. Life Writing; Polish, Hybrid, or Otherwise: Language and the Poetics of Difference; Writing the Subject: What is Exilic Discourse?; II. Charting the Hybrid Self / CHAPTER FOUR Toward Heterotopia - The Case of Trans-Atlantyk; Genesis and Amnesia: A Book of Laughter and/or Forgetting; From Marginalization to Heterotopia / CHAPTER FIVE Imagined Nations, Fractured Narrations: The Politics of Language and Poetics of Territoriality in Nostromo; On the Inscription of a Zone; The Sites of Conrad's Heterodiscursivity: Prefaces and Postscripts / CHAPTER SIX The Conditional Narrativity of Cosmos; The Ontology of a Postmodern Text; Poetics of (Subjective) Failure; Gombrowicz, Lacan, and After / CONCLUSION Identity and its Displacements: Some Closing Axioms / WORKS CITED

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