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Polska socrealistyczna krytyka literacka jako narzedzie wladzy
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Languages, Department of Slavic Languages.
1997 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the dissertation I analyze the relationship between Socialist Realism (SR) and literarycriticism in Poland during the years 1945-54. I suggest that literary criticism played akey role in promoting SR. SR was possible partly because of political pressure andpartly because it built on progressive ideas and values developed over the centuries. Isummarize these values under a common name "progressivism". Affinity to progressivist ideas made SR attractive and socially acceptable. I examine therefore the clashbetween the "historically long lasting" of progressivism and the "short lasting" of SR.The basic question I ask is this: what happens to individual ideas, otherwise functioningsuccessfully in different world views (and as such having ethical plausibility of theirown), when suddenly they become elements of a given model and are written into a rigid system of norms based on ideology and coercion?

The analysis follows to some extent the literary traditions of the period and iscarried within the context of statements made by the critics during that time. Primarily ithandles two aspects: historical and analytical. In the first part I analyze the years 1945-48 from the historical perspective. During those years the foundations of SR as a literarymethod and as a literary and political attitude were laid. At that time Europe experienceda deep philosophical crisis. I analyze this crisis in the context of progressivist ideas andas a foundation for diverse choices and attitudes towards the political and literary reality,as exemplified by different critics of the period. Through the analysis of those variousattitudes I intend to show the evolution from the critical polyphony and ambiguitytowards an increasing univocality.

The second part of the dissertation is dedicated to the years 1949-54, when SRfunctioned in a hierarchic system of ideological norms. I suggest that literary criticism ofthe period was both a part and a co-creator of this hierarchy. Because of its context theprogram of SR tended to lose its semantic sharpness and - consequently - its meaning.The result was a transformation of the main theoretical principles of SR from a generalthesis into an ideologically defined manifestation of loyalty to the Party and to its political goals. This led to the total servility of literary criticism. A critic became a functionary. There was only one desired message that was allowed to be transmitted. Of crucialsignificance was also the fact that the language of literary criticism was replaced by aself-defining rhetoric field, where some key rhetorical terms such as: way, struggle, border, enemy etc. played a central role. The specific language, which disclosed the realsender of critical texts and created a useful vision of the world and of the reality, wasalso the result of inscribing literary criticism with its progressivist ideas in a hermetic andhierarchic system of totalitarian power.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 1997. , 202 p.
Keyword [en]
Slavic and Baltic languages - general
Keyword [sv]
Slaviska och baltiska språk - allmänt
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Slavic Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-815ISBN: 91-506-1248-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-815DiVA: diva2:170505
Public defence
1998-01-24, hörsal 1, Ekonomikum, Kyrkogårdsgatan 10, Uppsala, Uppsala, 10:00
Available from: 1998-01-03 Created: 1998-01-03Bibliographically approved

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