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Title: Sprawcza moc przechadzki, czyli Polski literat we włoskim mieście
Authors: Achtelik, Aleksandra
Keywords: literatura polska; podróże; Włochy; Włochy w literaturze
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
Abstract: The work entitled: Causative Power of a Stroll, or a Polish Writer in an Italian City, consists of two parts: first – The Neapolitan Texture – is devoted to the depiction of Naples in Polish literature, second – Cities and Signs – is an attempt to reconstruct the literary pictures of certain selected Italian areas. Hence, the particular parts of the study describe respectively: the image of Rome considered in the context of “a ruin-city”, Venice emerging from the texts collected in a monographic issue of “Literary Notebooks” [„Zeszyty Literackie”], and Sicily as a space regarded through the prism of an insular area, to a certain extent independent territorially. The largest part of the book has been devoted to the Neapolitan space, since in Polish accounts from journeys not many works present the motif of Naples in the most comprehensive way. Two factors determined the selection of material to the present publication: the actual stay of the author within the described space and the intent on creating a text the primary function of which would be performing the role of a specific type of baedeker. Moreover, the author has designated certain time frames in which the literary texts subjected to interpretation had been written. It allowed her to reconstruct diachronically the cultural spaces of the selected Italian cities, consolidated in the Polish literary tradition. The use of literary texts as the source material, in turn, enabled her to combine interpretative tools from the fields of anthropology and literature, with a special consideration of the achievements of literary anthropology. The author of the work refers to the selected texts of Polish writers who decided to depart for a journey to Italy, though their presence in the described spaces was always transient, usually resulting in the hasty penetration of the Italian urban areas. Hence, the arbitrary selection of places that the writers visited, the ciliary character of their description, and the selectiveness of spaces considered significant enough to be inscribed into the cultural reservoir of memories is presented in their writings. All the accounts are interrelated not only in terms of the common observed and traversed area, but also with regard to the specific individual character of these observations. The examinations performed from the position of a pilgrim-traveller and stroll and a passer-by are especially important for the interpretative function the work is expected to perform. The author distinguishes between different conditions of a tourist, a pilgrim, a traveller, a stroller and a passer-by. She also advances a thesis that Polish writers depart for Italy as travellers, however, within the visited urban area, they repeatedly adopt the role of a passer-by, exposing themselves to the cognitive strategy characteristic of this figure. They succumb to the power of a slow, spontaneous movement from one point to another, which does not proceed according to any particular plan. During the time of a stroll one becomes exposed to the stimuli which cannot be overestimated, as they make this particular relation individual, introduce new elements to the texture of the city description and, simultaneously, allow the author to reconstruct the cultural patterns operating in the described space. A passer-by learns the particular fragments of the city, this way creating a certain mosaic. A reader, in turn, gets to know the urban space following the rhythm of steps, and the successive depictions of the city. This picture is discontinuous – it includes only these places which the visitor from Poland has discerned and discriminated. Hence, regarding the records of many writerstravellers- passers-by as one text of a particular city, seems legitimized. Owing to this process, the reconstruction of “a full picture” of the interpreted area becomes possible. It also makes recreation of the urban structure in Polish travel narratives easier: for Naples, this would be a category of anxiety, for Rome – ruins, for Venice and for Sicilian cities – the spectrum of death. Moreover, penetrating the city, passers-by physically “face” the unknown area, they get culturally closer to The Other, describing their individual experiences, which for the researcher become an interpretative framework. Of course, one needs to bear in mind that their view is always culturally conditioned. Passers-by inevitably make a selection of important aspects and cannot liberate themselves from the scheme of observation imposed on them by the cultural tradition. It is interesting that through their work, they introduce new elements into the texture of Italian travel discourse, which is significant for the reconstruction of cultural space, and allows the author to describe the specific cultural profiles which have been distinguished in the particular parts of the present study. A stroll enables one to enter the relation of walking-looking-writing, making it possible to reconstruct this cognitive sequence. The author emphasizes that Polish writers designate their trail to Italy using the experience of their precursors, to some extent trying to copy the itineraries they know from other visitors’ descriptions and thus, becoming a part of the cultural community. However, once already in Italy, they often turn into passers-by, simultaneously creating new maps of walking tours, swerving from the beaten track, losing their way, and thus becoming the authors of a new interpretative value. Their look is directed primarily towards cultural otherness. With their stroll they map the penetrated spaces of Italian agglomerations. The stroll has a causative power of cognition and potency of an interpretative perspective.
ISBN: 9788380123632
Appears in Collections:Książki/rozdziały (W.Hum.)

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