Closure of Conference project. Post-Conference Plans

Many many thanks to everyone who participated in the conference, to all those who presented papers, read their poetry or translations, contributed to discussions or just came to listen.

This blog will remain open as a record of the conference proceedings and will continue to include the programme, the abstracts of the presentations and the short biographies of the participants.

We have removed the conference papers from this site because we intend to include revised versions in a post-conference book. This book will not be a representation of the conference proceedings as such, however, but a volume of articles roughly reflecting the structure of the conference. The book will be edited by Ursula Philips, supported by a team of advisers (Urszula Chowaniec, Knut Andreas Grimstad, Kris Van Heuckelom and Elwira Grossman). It is expected that the volume will appear in 2013.

Should anyone wish to contact the authors of papers or read the original papers, please contact the conference organizer.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Jerzy Jarzębski (Jagiellonian University, Kraków)

The Conflict of Generations and the Crisis of Plot in the Most Recent Polish Prose

One of the most visible features of Polish prose of the past twenty years is a kind of paresis in the plot resolutions. The action of recent novels does not usually drive forward towards any clear conclusions, but rather flounders in descriptions that promise no resolution of inter-human conflicts.  It looks as though the heroes have been deprived of the ability to overcome life’s obstacles, which likewise affects men as well as women (and a description of the overcoming of such obstacles is what propels the plot in prose fiction). The problems of the protagonists begin in childhood and are the result of disastrous relationships with parents, and especially with their fathers (or stepfathers). This can be seen especially in the prose of Izabela Filipiak, Wojciech Kuczok, Bohdan Sławiński, Jerzy Franczak, while a specific type of conflict with the mother is experienced by Bożena Keff’s heroine (Utwór o Matce i Ojczyźnie). Sometimes – as in Niehalo by Ignacy Karpowicz or in Bóg zapłacz By Włodzimierz Kowalewski – the conflict seems to divide the generations. This crisis is averted by Karpowicz in his Gesty, where the protagonist enters into an understanding with his mother. In my presentation I would like to analyse various aspects of the intergenerational conflicts and their influence on the strange “immobilization” of the protagonists and the paresis in the narration of plots in which they play the main role.