Book cover Polityka i estetyka
Table of Contents, Reviews

Polityka i estetyka

Bruno Jasieński, awangarda, socrealizm

Series: Awangarda / Rewizje

Pages: 300 Book format: 15,8x23,5 cm Publication date: 2023 Publication date: 06.02.2024

Book description

According to the literary-historical cliches, Bruno Jasieński is either a hypersensitive, 'fearful and delicate boy' who was deluded by 'ideology' and devoted his pen to the Stalinist dictatorship, or an infidel, at best making 'tragic choices'. As a result, a common element in 'canonical' analyses of his work is a more or less obvious indication of formal breakthroughs, pushing Futurism, Socialist Realism and the grotesque in his work to the opposite poles of evaluation, as if there was nothing in common between these creative strategies. Thus understood, reductionism stems from the idealistic belief in the existence of a hierarchy of arts, in which the mimetism of the author's last novels would appear as a distortion, while the avant-garde poetics of his futuristic appearances as the result of the author's ascent to the heights of artistry and experimentation. 
By presenting Jasieński's tendentious realism as a consequence of Futurist revolutionism rather than as the result of some breakthrough, Kasper Pfeifer focuses on the politics of both modes of literary production. Literature is not solely an art that records social processes but, above all, a discursive practice that projects concrete forms of community. The real stakes of Jasieński's creative practice would thus turn out not to be ludic games, scandals and jokes or the socialist realist harnessing of the good, the beautiful and the true, as is sometimes portrayed, but the production of specific modes of being together and forms of thinking about the common. In a word, Pfeifer treats the regimes of aesthetics in which Jasieński worked as different ways of performing artistic practice, the goal of which was to redistribute the divisions between those who are considered to be acting subjects in a given community and those who are treated as voiceless beings and therefore non-political animals. 
Kasper Pfeifer pursues a multi-faceted research task. The first of the objectives is the reinterpretation of Bruno Jasieński's work. Here, rather than seeking formal breakthroughs, the author focuses on the politics of literature. The second is to examine the tensions between avant-garde and socialist realism. The last aspiration concerns the issue of the politics of knowledge production. Bearing in mind that Jasieński twice fell victim to damnatio memoriae decrees, Pfeifer argues that the ways in which we used to read a writer's work were determined both by the devices of Stalinism and by prejudices growing out of the ethical ground of anti-communism.

Abour author

Kasper Pfeifer - Assistant Professor at Institute of Literary Studies (University of Silesia in Katowice)
Language Polish
Title in English Politics of aesthetics. Bruno Jasieński, avant-garde and socialist realism
Edition first
Authors Kasper Pfeifer
Cover design Anna Sadowska
ISBN: 978-83-233-5329-4
e-ISBN (pdf): 978-83-233-7519-7


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