The Borderlands in a Postcolonial Criticism Perspective Cover Image
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Kresy w perspektywie krytyki postkolonialnej
The Borderlands in a Postcolonial Criticism Perspective

Author(s): Mieczysław Dąbrowski
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: Wydział Polonistyki Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Keywords: literatura polska; Kresy; krytyka postkolonialna; Polish literature; Kresy (the Eastern Borderlands); postcolonial criticism

Summary/Abstract: The article proposes reading Borderlands literature trough the application of postcolonial criticism. Poland is often called: a colonist who has been colonized. Moreover, there are two meanings of this statement: first - Poland acted as a colonist in the eastern territories (the time of so-called First Republic of Poland and this may be classified as a “normal” behavior), and second, Poland acted this way at the time of partitions, when it was colonized by the neighbouring superpowers. This led to specific problems and experiences which are then retold in literature, personal and historical documents. Reading Borderlands literature through the lens of postcolonial criticism means: 1) taking into consideration borderline, local (not only metropolitan) discourses, in other words, taking into consideration historical and political threads; 2) understanding stereotypes of the Other/the Stranger in a different way; 3) exposing the rhetorical rules and the aims of “the uniform language”; 4) taking into consideration a peculiar and peculiarly understood phenomenon of space; 5) the fantasmatic representation of characters and situations in texts; and finally 6) the increasingly literary character of the Borderlands experience. These assumptions are backed up by short exemplary analyses.

  • Issue Year: 2008
  • Issue No: 55
  • Page Range: 91-110
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: Polish