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

Monika Świerkosz (Jagiellonian University, Kraków)

Marianna in the House of Bluebeard: Tropes of Female Authorship in Absolute Amnesia.

Absolute Amnesia (1995) is a book that has evoked many discussions in Polish literature after 1989, of both a critical (about menstrual/women’s literature and the processes of canon formation) and a political nature (related to the questioning of the significance of the Romantic heritage of the past). In my presentation, I would like to show these mutual relations between text and its literary context, reading Marianna – the main character of the novel - as a figure of female authorship.

As Izabela Filipiak writes in her well-known essay Literatura monstrualna, the situation of the woman writer within the canon is comparable to that of Bluebeard’s young wife when she enters her husband’s castle. Unlike in the fairy tale however, the woman writer does not allow herself to break the ban and cross the threshold of the Bloody Chamber. Is it because of the ‘anxiety of authorship’ - this female malady of a specific nature well-described in feminist criticism? Can she walk out of Bluebeard’s house?

Absolute amnesia contains tropes of both possible and impossible female authorship and thus displays various strategies of a writing woman’s experiences within the framework of the canonical tradition and outside of it. The language of family metaphors – mother (and grandmother), father, daughter and son figures – used by Filipiak to confront the writer with tradition (and the past), reveals that the matter of sexual difference stands at the very centre of the discourse of canonicity.