The Juxtaposition of Literary and Philosophical Linking and its Reflection in Karel Čapek’s Odrazy Cover Image
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Das Gegenüber von literarischem und philosophischem Verknüpfen und seine Reflexe in Karel Čapeks Erzählung Odrazy
The Juxtaposition of Literary and Philosophical Linking and its Reflection in Karel Čapek’s Odrazy

Author(s): Matthias Freise
Subject(s): Czech Literature
Published by: Slovanský ústav Akademie věd ČR, v. v. i. and Euroslavica
Keywords: Karel Čapek;czech literature;Odrazy;philosophical aspects;

Summary/Abstract: After a walkthrough of theories on the main accomplishment provided by literature, the article qualifies its main statement that semantic “linking” of the pragmatically unlinked is its fundamental function. Thereupon the question arises, which stance knowledge takes in the face of this literary linking. Since knowledge can also have the meaning of connecting data, there should be determined a difference between rational and literary linking. According to Jakobson and the structuralist theories based on his teachings, literature links associatively, while knowledge links causally. According to the philosophical tradition, however, knowledge needs all four types of linking which Schopenhauer has specified: associations, causality, finality, and logics. The article extends this to literature – it needs all four functions as well: associations to create equivalences, causality to create plot, finality to create point of view and logics to create the verbal strata of the text. It is futile to try to base the literary types of linking on the epistemic types, or vice versa. Rather, we should find the switch between them. Linking provided by knowledge tries to avoid ambiguity, while literary linking strives for it. This can be explained as follows: knowledge wants to semantically control objects, while literature wants to understand ambivalent semantic relationships. The functional juxtaposition between epistemological and relational functions is represented by different symbols in Karel Čapek’s tale “Mirroring” – the fisher without a worm, the paradigm of mirrored objects passing by, the paradox of the moving and still river and the mysterious frizzles on the water.

  • Issue Year: XXIX/2018
  • Issue No: Sondernr.
  • Page Range: 5-17
  • Page Count: 13
  • Language: German