The aim of this study is to present how the development of writing technology influences writing itself. In this paper the analysis is focused on mechanisms of reinterpretation of writing and reading in digital space, in other words, the change in experience of text. To summarize, modern media techniques make reading become writing, when writing be-comes clicking (an action taken upon the texture), and clicking becomes the experience of text. Another goal is to present a special role of the texture as the tool of text's creation as well as the place of cohesion. The importance of semiotic tissue of digital text, especially in the case of digital art, is visible in the formation of intratextual relations. These relations are created in the process of working one element of texture onto another, which allow them to play an important role in the creation of textual meaning.
Key words: identity, digital space, experience of text, textual meaning, intratextual relations
Reading is writing. Writing is clicking
The topic of writing as a way of living in relation to the digital culture evoke, first of all, problems connected with the prevalence of commu-nication in the public domain, globalization of the individual record, the changing relation between literacy and orality – shaping of the new forms of linguistic existence as well as the development of new text genres.
The change in communicational behavior in the virtual world, trans-gression that takes place in text-user relation, inseparability of transciver activities – all of it significantly influence the existence of text. As a result, reading becomes writing (an action), writing becomes clicking, and click-ing becomes the way of experiencing text through the texture.
Within digital culture the reception of text is a corporeal experience already at the perception level. There raises the question if clicking as a technical action, marking, selection of textual elements on the screen of computer, e.g., during reception of a hypertext novel, can be recognized as an action analogous to page turning during the reception of a novel pre-served in the medium of a traditional book? At first glance, it may appear so. The opening of a book and page turning are undoubtedly technical conditions of reading.
The articles presented in On-line/Off-line – Between Text and Experience con-cern the status of words and literature in contemporary culture. Opinions about ‘the death of words’, words displaced by pictures, are no longer formulated with equal firmness as in the past. Word and image do not compete, they rather act as equally important ‘ingredients’ of today's cul-ture.To revise popular judgments which reduce the meaning of the Word there is no need for detailed analysis, just observation of daily practices. The vast number of text messages, e-mails, tweets, comments, blogs’ or social networking's posts written day by day confirms the strong position of words (language) in the new media and the “new new media” (as spec-ified by Paul Levinson).
However, just as with the introduction of earlier media in the 19th and 20th centuries, a new medium influences the structure and use of the old media. For example, when movies were introduced, they were initially just filmed theatre performances. It took some time before the techniques of cutting and scene changes were developed. However, once the tech-niques were established they had strong repercussions on the earlier me-dium of writing. Many authors, for example William Burroghs, started working with cut-up-techniques in their texts. This is a clear example of how the narrative forms of a new medium influences the narratives of an earlier medium. The use of e-mail and social media has already influ-enced the style of writing, making it more conversational. Similarly, the ever-presence of a camera in your smart-phone has radically changed the use of visual media. An important task of literary scholars is to follow and document the cross-fertilizations between different media, their influenc-es on narrative structures and their roles in democratic processes.
The articles perfectly fit into the worldwide ongoing debate in hu-manities on the latest developments of cultural practice changing un-der the impact of new technologies – the way of experiencing the text, the various manifestations of “culture of participation”, website genres (among which blogs and microblogs have an important place).Despite the popularity of research on digital dimensions of human existence, the presence of the word (for example in oral culture) is a subject of unabat-ed discussion in other reaserch contexts. Thus, the object of reflection in this volume is not narrowed just to selected “on-line” phenomena, but issues from the “off-line” cultural activites.
This article focuses on the hybrid work of art viewed as a form of experience. The issue taken into consideration is hybrid work of art viewed as a form of experience from the perspective of how Dewey wrote about art which can be perceived as a form of experience. How can we understand the notion of experience in relation to a work of art, and, more importantly, to a hybrid work of art? The analysis of the experience category is based on the philosophical texts written by Luigi Pareyson. The question explored is whether hybrid works of art portray the experience of contemporary reality. The poems of Paula Claire (ES-SENSE and Hymns to Isis) and the artistic book by Jim Butler (A.M.D.G) are taken into consideration.
Key words: hybrid work of art, experience, Luigi Pareyson, contemporary reality
The reference in the title of the following article to John Dewey's work entitled Art as Experience is naturally not accidental. The question being explored is concerned with what type of thought about art was suggest-ed by Dewey. He opposed the divisions according to which the aesthetic sphere is divided from the sphere of cognition or morality. We could even say that he hoped, similarly to the Avant-garde representatives, that the world can be filled up with the salutary power of art. The philosopher claimed that every cognitive experience has its own aesthetic component, and contrary to Kant's postulations, we should acknowledge that even morality is not deprived of aesthetic aspects. Dewey emphasized that: “(…) any practical activity, provided that it is integrated and moves by its own urge to fulfillment, have esthetic quality” (Dewey 2005: 41). Dewey regarded the aesthetic experience to be a complete experience which can-not be described in purely psychological terms from the perspective of the evaluating subject. The philosopher found that the real object, which serves as basis for the experience is equally important. Dewey believed that different things can evoke such reactions. However, he emphasized that the modern world is not favorable if we want to experience reality deeply. As Dewey said:
Zeal for doing, lust for action, leaves many a person, especially in this hurried and impatient human environment in which we live, with experience of an almost incredible paucity, all on the surface. No one experience has a chance to complete itself because something else is entered upon so speedily.
Fanfiction is a fiction based on situations and characters that have been created by someone else. It is written by fans who use original texts to create their own art and culture. Writing fanfiction is something that fans do together. They discuss original texts, share their views and opinions about plot and characters, and create common interpretation that can be used by other fandom members. They also participate in creating new texts by commenting on fanficks published by other fans. Writing is not only a way to express fans opinions about their favourite books and shows, but also an opportunity to spend time with people sharing their interests. Analysis of fan-created texts shows not only its importance to indi-vidual fans, but also a vital role writing fanfiction plays in building fan communities and creating bonds between their members.
Key words: fanfiction, fan communities, fandom, writing and reading
Fanfiction is defined as stories set in worlds or using characters created by other authors. The fans write to fill the gaps in original texts, contin-ue familiar stories, or create alternative universes. Most fanfiction is writ-ten within fandom, that is, communities of fans gathering around given works of fiction. Fandom is a subculture whose existence is based on other people's creations; the members take their creations, and use them to cre-ate their own artifacts, as well as build group traditions. The fans rewrite source texts to adapt them to their own needs; they actively participate in culture, and create their own art. Fandom creativity can take different shapes and forms. Apart from works of fiction, one can find examples of visual arts (“fanart”), music (“filk”), and audiovisual arts (“fanvid”). Re-gardless of form, all fandom's creations are based on the source text, which is usually refered to as “canon”. Canon is what binds fans as a group, giv-ing them creative space within which they can act. In a way, canon is the source of group identity, since most fans identify with the groups within which they create. Saying: “I'm a Star Trek fan” means declaring oneself as a member of a group that has its unique traditions, different, for exam-ple, of those cultivated by Harry Potter fans – although, of course, there are many elements that both groups share.
The article concerns different aspects of convergence processes of the traditional Oriental genres in the Polish culture, focusing on haiku, haiga and haibun. It examines artists’ books, visual arts and the artistic websites. The theoretical frame of the research is rooted in the concept of transculturality introduced by Wolfgang Welsch.
The author analyses Polish works of art employing different strategies of combining words and images, thereby showing unexpected similarities between cultures and reveal-ing the artistic changes caused by the choice of different media. The investigation proves that the most interesting compositions uncover unexpected common elements between apparently contradictory traditions, the necessary condition is, however, at least the basic knowledge about the Other.
Key words: verbo-visuality, transculturality, convergence, haiku, haiga, haibun
The paper focuses on the concept of transculturality introduced by Wolf-gang Welsch (cf.Welsch 1998, Welsch 2004), adapting it to the analyses of different fields of convergence in contemporary Polish culture: employing and transforming old Oriental genres into more hybrid forms appearing on the Internet, becoming parts of artistic exhibitions or being incorporat-ed into artists’ books. It is a convergence of a special kind – “transplant-ing” the genres into the new medial ground must have been preceded by their basic assimilation in the new culture.
The term ‘convergence’ is used to describe different technological, in-dustrial, social and cultural processes (Jenkins 2007: 9, Jakubowicz 2011: 27).
All of them prove important in the analyses concerning the “transplan-tation” of the foreign literary and artistic genres, which seem utterly in-congruent with the Polish tradition. In the paper, however, I concentrate only on the cultural dimensions of the problem, believing they define an interesting field of research for comparative cultural studies. As Jenkins claims, convergence is not just a matter of sophisticated media devices but a process occurring in human minds and human communication (cf. Jen-kins 2007: 9).
I am interested mainly in three genres: haiku, haiga and haibun.The common basis of the three is haiku: a poetic genre strongly related to vi-sual arts (calligraphy, similarities of imagery in haiku and sumi-e, nanga, ukiyo-e, shared aesthetic and ethical beliefs of haijins and Zen painters – cf. Addiss 2005, Śniecikowska 2007: 243–251).
This article focuses on literary approaches to the emotion of shame. My thesis is that litera-ture can be perceived as a tool for overcoming feelings of shame, as it is capable of express-ing even the most intimate human experiences in aesthetic terms, outside stereotypical moral judgments. From this perspective I discuss exhibitionistic tendencies on the author's part and complementary voyeuristic impulses on the part of the reader. In this context I then consider the phenomenon of literary provocation and its function to then analyse two examples from Polish contemporary literature: Polka by M.Gretkowska – a literary journal of pregnancy – and Lovetown by M. Witkowski. Both, in my opinion, offer interest-ing aesthetic views on intimate but relevant aspects of everyday life.
Key words: aesthetics, shame, contemporary Polish literature, experience
In her famous essay Reading for Life Martha Nussbaum proposes a theory stating that reading is an ethical act which holds significant implications for the reader's entire life and functioning within the community.(Nuss-baum 1990) The essay title might therefore be understood as a summons to apply the knowledge and experience gained from reading in order to live a better, fuller, more responsible and conscious life. Another interpre-tation is that Nussbaum places reading on the same level as processes and activities indispensable to maintaining life in its basic, biological form; to paraphrase – that there is no life without reading. Or, at least, no life wor-thy of the name. Undoubtedly, despite distressing reports on the decrease of readership, there still are people for whom this high-minded statement rings true and who indeed cannot imagine a day without reading. For them, reading is a way of life. This phenomenon, or more broadly, readers’ reception of literary works, has been a subject of interest to literary schol-ars – professional readers, who endeavour to explain the phenomenon of reading from a scientific perspective, but still not without certain personal sentiments.
The scope and range of readership studies illustrates the scale and im-portance of the phenomenon of reading. Writing, as much as it remains a complementary counterpart of reading, seems to be a less egalitarian pur-suit – or, at least, this has been the case until recently.
The aim of the study is to present changes in the structure of text (its structure and ways of creation, figures in particular) in digital discourse. The identity of digital communication is supported by existing signs, texts, and discourses; and how it develops in the process of their adaptation and reinterpretation. The Internet seems to be a really good space in which different discourses become alike. This process results in the creation of new poetics of text and discourse. Digital media modifies rhetorical figures (especially the ontology and functions of those figures), it cancel figures existing in traditional texts (for example, inversion is invalidated because no determined way of reading the text exists), and it cre-ates new ones.
In digital discourse words and icons have a multifunctional nature (meaning-making, linking, acting, marking, and signalling the sender's emotions).Traditional textual forms, which differ semiotically and medially, are combined and transformed, so that the bound-aries between forms of expression are blurred.
Key words: digital poetics, convergence, interactive figures, hypertext, link
New, yet old, or the term in the context of modernity
The term convergence in the field of literary studies is applied to phenome-na which have long been discussed within other categories in the human-ities, such as hybridisation or homogenisation, especially in reference to the mass media (Horkheimer, Adorno 1969; Macdonald 1959; Eco 1968; Kłoskowska 1983). The very term is not new, either, as convergence has been well established in the realm of biology, medicine, linguistics, histo-riography, anthropology, political science, and media studies.
As a matter of fact, the emergence of convergence within humanistic discourse and, more specifically, in literary studies, defines and actualises the phenomenon covered by the term: assimilation, or the occurrence of analogous processes in diverse fields and at times distant domains. The assimilation of texts, their structures, and genres, results in the similarity of terminology.
The wandering of categories and the application of terms from cer-tain disciplines to others are phenomena discussed by theoreticians com-ing from diverse schools and fields of cultural studies, such as Roman Jakobson (Jakobson 1971; 1989), Mieke Bal (Bal 2002), or Clifford Geertz (Geertz 1983). These phenomena reflect what is happening in textuality it-self and in the space of cultural discourses, which organise social life and – as Michel Foucault would have said – exercise power over it (Foucault 2002). After Geertzian blurred genres and mixed ways of speaking, come blurred discourses.
In the following article several key points are highlighted from a doctoral thesis enti-tled Gay Men, Social Media and Self-presentation: Managing Identities in Gaydar, Facebook and Beyond written by Elijah M. Cassidy at the University of Technology in Queensland, Australia. The dissertation focuses on the ways in which homosexual men, who use both niche and mainstream Social Network Services (SNS), manage their identities therein. The research uncovers the entanglements of various practices employed in both spaces and presents complex privacy concerns. It also refers to manifold peculiarities of Inter-net-mediated communication and the ambivalent impact of mainstream and niche SNSs on the sense of collectivity of the researched group. Having presented the main ideas of Cassidy's research I determine the connection between his conclusions and those drawn from two Polish studies which recently treaded the relatively uncharted waters of this research area.
Key words: internet-mediated communication, identity, queer studies, social media
My interest in how homosexual users of Social Networking Services shape and manage their identities was sparked by a doctoral dissertation enti-tled: “Gay men, social media and self-presentation: managing identities in Gaydar, Facebook and beyond” written in 2013 by Elija M. Cassidy at the University of Technology in Queensland, Australia. In my paper I would like to take a closer look at this research and consider the relevance of an Australian academic's questions in a Polish context. The following abbre-viations will be used in the course of this paper–SNS (Social Networking Service), RL (Real Life, situations which are not Internet-mediated, offline), FB (Facebook) and GD (Gaydar).Having acknowledged the adequacy of the term “research participants” in the case of the Australian qualitative research, due to linguistic aptness I will be using it interchangeably with the term “respondents”.
The research question raised by Cassidy was supposed to investigate “how do the cultures and practices surrounding identity management on Gaydar, as an example of an existing, community-specific SNS, fit into the broader ecology of its users’ engagements with newer mainstream SNSs, such as Facebook, and their identity management processes in this space” (Cassidy 9).In other words, Cassidy aimed to research how homosexual men between 18–28, living in the city of Brisbane, use two types of SNSs in the process of identity management and what similarities and differences of activities within these two spaces can be observed.
The article attempts to describe a variety of possible ways in which literature makes itself present within the space of the city. It assumes two basic perspectives to investigate the issue. First of all, the article analyses how the city and its multiple institutions support the literature's circulation and availability for the readers. The city offers a number of venues for writers to present their works and promote them through precisely targeted events and literary festivals. The city is seen as a stage or background on which literary works and events can become fully available. Secondly, the article analyses how literary critics or more broadly philosophers and sociologists interested in urban studies use literature to understand and describe the city in its artistic and everyday dimensions. The fruitful col-laboration between city as an active factor shaping artistic imagination and writers leads to developing new forms of expression as well as formulating new ideas about art. It also offers a possibility to communicate with readers in ways which are better accommodated to modern visual imagination and different forms of everyday activity.
Key words: literature, space of the city, literature's circulation, urban studies, new forms of expression
The city – an area of literary explorations
Long present in literary studies, urban research is now approached from novel angles (e.g. Rybicka 2003; Rewers 2005 and 2010; Miasto w sztuce… 2010). Despite the fact that considerable attention is still devoted to tradi-tional analyses of the motif of the city in literature (confer, for instance: Miasto, kultura literatura… 1993; Obraz stolic europejskich… 2010; Literack-ie i nieliterackie obrazy miasta… 2011), many scholars examine the identi-ty-shaping, social, historical, political and cultural aspects of urban spaces depicted in literary works (e.g.Suchojad 2010, Adamczewska 2011) and investigate the ways in which urban aesthetics contributes to the devel-opment of new artistic solutions. Although the city is not always placed at the centre of consideration, it often accidentally becomes the subject of attention, as in the case of a review of Steve Sem-Sandberg's novel The Emperor of Lies (2011): “The novel has many narrators, who gradually fall silent […] What remains in the end is the city – an empty arti-fact observed through the eyes of one of the few dwellers who hide in it” (Krzymianowski 2011; emphasis added).
The text, using the example of a work belonging to the literary style (Spoglądając przez ozonową dziurę [Detect Ozone Hole Nearby] by Zenon Fajfer) and the interactive art (the in-stallation The Surprising Spiral by Ken Feingold) analyses the idiosyncracy of works posi-tioning themselves at the borderland of media and literature, works both literary (textual, narrative and poetic) as well as media ones (changeable, iconic, set in a computer program, double-indirect), paying attention to the meaningfulness of the disciplines borderland (in this case literary and media studies).The author stresses the reasonableness of the question asked by Katarzyna Bazarnik, whether, by accident, the “Darwinian” evolution of species continues. In the author's opinion, based on her observation of works belonging to the literary style and the discussed work The Surprising Spiral by Ken Feingold, this question should get a positive answer. And possibly, as an effect of initiation, which has already happened, we will soon be entering the museum-gallery space not only in order to look but also to read.
Key words: liberature, Zenon Fajfer, Ken Feingold, borderland of media and literature, new media
The sheet of paper is not transparent, not in the least. This is only an illusion. We can no longer pretend that it is not here. It is. It has always been. It was and it had a nice smell. If I wanted a transparent page, I would use a transparent sheet.
it in glass. The text will hover in the air, and the reader will be able to look at its members as if (possibly) God looks at us through the ozone hole. If I want a fully transparent page, I will print my text on a transparency and bind
What will I bind it in? In glass? Why not? Who said that a book must always look like «a book»? After all, this is only a convention that everybody follows automatically. […] The book may even look like a bottle. What's more, it may be a bottle. But Eyeing Like Ozone Whole (2004) is a book like any other.But a book that cannot look otherwise. Because its form is dictated by the text.[…]
The creative act (often) begins from reflection on the structure of the book, and the act of reading (always) begins from taking the book in hand. A differ-ent book structure is tantamount to a different physics.
The aim of the article is to juxtapose literary studies, literature and history as neighboring branches of humanistic knowledge. The author compares the methodologies of history and literary studies in the field of narrativity, and, in accordance with Hayden White, comprehends history as a type of fiction, historio-graphia, and literary artifact. In this optics historiography and literary studies are diagnosed as forming a sisterhood relation-ship. When the opportunity arises it is shown that the idea of postmodern history is no novelty, since up until the decline of the XVIIIth century history and literary studies have not been opposite at all.Actually, the way of thinking about history as an (literary) art has a splendid tradition rooted in antiquity. In the scope of Braudel`s history of the “longue durée” it is the model of history as a (hard) science separated from literary studies as an art and ideographical science that constitutes a methodological aberration. Comparative analysis leads to the conclusion, that both these “scientific” branches developed almost simultaneously (cf.feminism, gender, postcolonialism, posthumanism, animal studies).Moreover literary genres, such as the (post)modern historical novels, alternate histories or historical fantasy, opened the space of convergence between history and the literary, because of mutual fluctuation and the “parasiting” of ideas, topics and poetics. The par-ticipation of popular culture makes the history and literary studies more transgressive, widely open for contemporary forms of communication and more hearable.In this scope, the author presents historical game books, facebook`s historical events, transmedia his-torical stories.
Key words: Literary studies, historio-graphia, popculture, (post)modern historical novels, alternate histories, historical fantasy, new forms of communication
Literary and historical studies, ones of the most important and at the same time, neighboring branches of humanistic knowledge, have stayed in close and multilevel contacts from their origins. Their relations could be described as a sisterhood; therefore, it is no wonder that they went through stormy quarrels, hysterical separations and affectionate re-unions… Nowadays, when thanks to deep and various changes in hu-manistic, both literary and historical studies became not even an inter- but a transdisciplinary, holistic science about the human being, it has become obvious that they could be closer than ever before. The narrative turn made historians understand that history as the rerum gestarum is sub-jected to the same creational and interpretational principles as literature stricto sensu.
The aim of this article is to analyze the relation between hybrid works of art in the back-ground of philosophical texts by Luigi Pareyson, Jurij Łotman, Wolfgang Welsch. The questions which are taken into consist of – What is the definition of a hybrid work of art? What is the impact of contemporary culture on the way of being a hybrid work of art? Do the hybrid works of art reflect the experience of contemporary reality? My considerations are based on concrete poetry, book works, book objects and liberature.
Key words: hybrid work of art, theory of formativity, liberature, concrete poetry, artistic book, contemporary culture
Deconstruction has led to the dethronement of sound in favor of writing and it is said that pictorial turn has happened in culture. W.J.T.Mitchell writes about it in his famous book Picture Theory. In parallel, the linguistic turn, related to the question of language as a communication tool – which apart from links with the linguistic turn in philosophy, is linked with in-fluences coming from structuralism and poststructuralism – is being dis-cussed in art.
The main issue of this article is the mode of existence of the hybrid work of art. Reflection on this problem will be possible if we will define what kind of works of art will be discussed in this paper.
I will focus on the attempt to describe the works in which the inte-gration of visual and verbal signs occurred (on selected examples), which in effect changes the perception of such works. Language in this type of work (located on the border between literature and visual arts), and in fact the writing with its visual aspects, is the material that serves as the foundation of the process of forming an artwork. At the core of hybrid works lies the ontological heterogeneity, because the carrier of sense is not homogeneous in their case. An important role is played by the materiality of the work, which also fulfills the semantic role. From the perspective of literary studies and the “baggage” of Ingarden's category, the situation is worrying. The elements of language have been appearing in art for a long time. Suffice it to recall that cubist experiments with language elements in the early twentieth century.
The aim of this article is to define fanfiction as a cultural phenomenon rooted in the literary field and created by readers in relation to works published and recognized by the audience itself. Fan confabulation, dreams and planned intrigue is supported by techniques created by the use of new media and aesthetics expressing a desire for brevity, and on the other hand – communication ecstasy. Fanfics creation may be a unique literary experience which also includes debates and discussions as well as the exchange of information on literary forums and chat rooms. It forms a part of the sphere of cultural participation mediated by the media.
Key words: fanfiction, practice of writing, media, new media, readers
The practice of writing fan fiction and tutorials for fan fiction writers is situated in its broadest of contexts by the creation of fan fiction published on the Internet. It applies to the reception which the texts receive from the pop culture circle, often under the sign of the bestseller. These „steps” can be seen as the practice of reading and writing about the works published and recognized amongst the readers. The effects of fansite interpretive work exceed the wildest of expectations. Amateur short stories, poems, video clips which somehow spring up around the original work, comple-ment it, function as errata or an afterword. Fansite text takes the quality of an individualized presentation of source reception and demonstrates its importance for the fan. It turns out that the prototype stirs the imagination to such an extent that one has to “rewrite” it anew, deepen the selected plots, unveil some mystery, change the viewpoint, accept a perspective of a supporting character. The author of fan fiction wishes to live the story once again but on his own terms, which creates a contextualized reading of the original.
The work within fan fiction is proof of creative and critical reading at the same time (Jenkins 2008, 12.09.2013). Its results – fan fiction stories, in the sense of – proof from reading, are posted on literary forums and in blogospheres. Fans – both authors and critics, have developed their own vocabulary to talk about them. In many of the comments it is visible how strongly the legitimacy of the text and its implied opposition to the source text is negotiated as well as how complex conditions a fan fiction text must meet.
This article categorizes new forms of expressions on writers’ websites as means of main-taining communication with readers. The first part is dedicated to inter- and trans-medial analysis of various multimedia materials published on such websites (e.g.biographical notes, photographs, trailers).In the second part the website is analyzed as a hybrid text in which various types of expression are submitted to the main communicative purpose. On both levels of analysis the material is categorized in terms of the communicative function, for, as the author claims, the genre analysis of electronic discourse requires an approach which takes into consideration not only authorial intent and textual features but also the context of online utterance and the role of other partners of communication.
Key words: convergence and communication, writers’ websites genre analysis, new media, hybrid texts
“Beata Pawlikowska: a writer, a traveller, a hunter” (A32) – a short de-scription posted on this writer's website gives us an idea about the variety of topics we are just about to encounter here. The author presents herself in diverse social roles, as a travel writer, teacher of foreign languages, and a TV and radio personality. On this website one finds a variety of mate-rials: reportages, notes, travel plans, cooking recipes, information about books and TV shows, picture gallery, aphorisms, interviews… More- over, readers can post their own letters, texts or ads (“ISO travel mate”). Those different types of materials (from literature through functional texts to promotional materials and conversations) require a new conceptual framework, capable of accounting for this variety.
The works published in a volume Polska genologia literacka [Polish lit-erary genre theory] (2007) reflect some crucial problems of contemporary genre studies, which struggle to find new categories for texts created in a multimedia culture. Stanisław Balbus writes about the “extinction of genres”, understood as a crisis of theory, whose taxonomies and typol-ogies are not sufficient for new kinds of texts (Balbus 2007). Especially problematic are those texts, which draw from different media or semiotic systems. As Seweryna Wysłouch points out, the use of multimedia broke the monopoly of verbal culture and challenged the linguistic definition of a text (Wysłouch 2007: 300).
Peter Gärdenfors, PhD, (b. 1949)
Professor in Cognitive Science at Lund University since 1988. Adjunct pro-fessor at University of Technology Sydney since 2012.
Main current research interests are concept formation, cognitive se-mantics, and the evolution of cognition. His publications include the fol-lowing books: Knowledge in Flux: Modeling the Dynamics of Epistemic States, MIT Press, 1988. Conceptual Spaces, MIT Press, 2000. How Homo Became Sapiens: On the Evolution of Thinking, Oxford University Press, 2003. The Dynamics of Thought, Springer Verlag, 2005, The Geometry of Meaning: Semantics Based on Conceptual Spaces, MIT Press 2014. Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities since 1996.Member of Academia Europaea since 1999.Member of Leopoldina Deutsche Akademie für Naturforscher since 2004. Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Science since 2009. Member of the Prize Committee for the Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel since 2011.
William Powers is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Hamlet's BlackBerry. Widely praised for its insights on the digital future, the book grew out of a paper he wrote as a Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. The book has been selected as the Common Read at a number of U.S.colleges and universities and pub-lished in many other languages including Chinese, Korean, Polish, Ger-man and Russian. He is currently a research scientist at the Laboratory for Social Machines at the MIT Media Lab, developing new technologies to solve problems in governance, journalism and other sectors of the pub-lic sphere.A former Washington Post staff writer, he is a two-time winner of the U.S. National Press Club's Rowse Award for best American media commentary. In recent years, he has spoken at South By Southwest, the Aspen Ideas Festival and many other conferences and organizations.
Jarosław Płuciennik, PhD, (b. 1966)
Professor Ordinarius of the Humanities at Chair of Theory of Literature, at the Institute of Contemporary Culture, University of Lodz, Poland with specialization in literary culture, cognitive semiotics, and new media of reading. He published among others 7 books, co-edited several volumes, both in Polish and English. He is Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Curricula and Quality Assurance and Enhancement at the University of Lodz, the Edi-tor-in-Chief of the Problems of Literary Genres, and the Head of the Chair of Theory of Literature at the Institute of Contemporary Culture, Univer-sity of Lodz, Poland.
When an essay, as a specific form of writing, is conventionally compared to travel, the latter is understood not only as a model of translocation but also as a literary genre. The parallel between essays and travel writings identifies their numerous common elements in text, for instance a movement between the topics, the observer's visible distance, an intel-lectual journey (the last term was introduced by Walter Pater in his pioneer reflections on the essay in 1893).The listed similarities encourage the writer of this article to formulate a rudimentary statement: both real and literary travel and the act of writing an essay are usually undertaken to discover a thing worth one's attention and interest; a thing that, even if commonly known, should be, firstly, experienced, and secondly, depicted in a way that would cast new light on it.
Key words: literary genre, essay, act of writing, experience, real and literary travel
Theodor W. Adorno in his work entitled The Essay as Form describes the specific happiness of unconstrained essayistic exploration: “the object of essay is the new as something genuinely new, as something not translat-able back into the staleness of already existing forms”, and later adds, that essay “becomes a compelling construction that does not want to copy the object, but to reconstruct it out of its conceptual membra disjecta” (Adorno 1984: 169). As a consequence, in a model form of a travel essay (which is a distinctive subgenre of essay writings) the described search of novelty should be certainly taken into account. Supposedly, what seems the most attractive for authors of travel essays are the excursions to unknown re-gions intriguingly labelled “ubi leones”. Experiment, risk, originality, indi-vidual experience – all those elements are repeated in various preliminary definitions of an unstable, protean essayistic form (e.g. Bense 2012, Atkins 2005, Sendyka 2006).
Considering contemporary Polish travel essays, an important ques-tion might be asked: how to discover this individual voice and the nov-elty of the essay's object when the traditional place of an artistic pilgrim-age comes to be the destination of a real journey, described subsequently in the text.
The text presents the project of study of the multimedia, contemporary verbal environ-ment. It proposes the use of the category of speech genres (Bakhtin). Focusing on the sec-ondary genres (genres of verbal creativity) it justifies the argument that “The word is not dead. It is merely changing its skin” (Dick Higgins), and therefore in the living verbal envi-ronment we deal with changing, heterogeneous media of verbal expression that determine, in part, the modes of functioning of particular genres and how they should be described. This paper presents performance, text and hypertext as basic means of functioning of the verbal forms in contemporary culture; means which demand adequate categories of de-scription and research tools in order to avoid textualization of multimedia genres and not to treat them as literature.
Key words: media, speech genres, multimedia genres, practices, performance, text and hypertext
The Word and the snake
“The word is not dead, it is merely changing its skin” (Higgins 1979: 66) – there is probably no better or more accurate response to all kinds of liter-ary discourses of crisis than this one aphorism by Dick Higgins.
Defining modern culture in terms of death of narratives, of the ever approaching waning of stories and books, of the agony of verbal forms, or of painful, fatal convulsions of the verbal art which is being forced out by the havoc wrought by visual culture, audiovisual communication and other forms produced by the domination of the new media, resembles at-tempts to describe a living communicative environment and a dynamic, flexible and changeable media context with its emerging forms undertak-en by someone, who has never taken the risk of actually immersing them-selves in this sphere.
Meanwhile merely looking up from the book – in a manner quite dif-ferent from what Roland Barthes proposed when trying to “star” the text and split its meanings from the inside, and from Umberto Eco who sug-gested readers should now go to libraries and study encyclopedias – is enough to hear the rumbling modernity, which hardly ever has its mouth shut, and to see the plethora of words that weave into both the everyday and the extraordinary.
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