Saint Wilgefortis; extrahistorical texts; interdisciplinarity; identity; sztuki tematy; motywy
Katowice : Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
E. Borkowska (red.), "In the space of arts : interdyscyplinarity, idenity and (post)modernity" (S. 33-43). Katowice : Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
The figure of the bearded Wilgefortis escapes all classifications. She cannot be discussed along with other masculinized saints, such as St Pelagia, St Margaret or St Galla, since in opposition to them she is an extrahistorical figure. She transcends the limits of gender to a disconcerting degree due to the ambiguity of both literary texts and icons "telling" her story and referring to her cult. Its origin and the cause of its popularity remain a mystery, since the figure of the androgynous saint can neither be univocally interpreter nor assigned to any specific hagiographie category. As far as texts associated with the figure of Wilgefortis are concerned, they can be classified as either hagiographie texts preserved in the written form, or as iconographie ones functioning within the domain of visual arts: sculptures, engravings and paintings. The logical explanations of the cult offered by various researchers seem to be insufficient. The hagiographie texts themselves try to explain the bearded saint's significance, but they remain secondary to the icon and fail to grasp the ineffable.