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Literary histories as self-constructing metatexts
Literary histories as self-constructing metatexts

Author(s): Kristin Vaik
Subject(s): Semiotics / Semiology, Semiology, Estonian Literature, Theory of Literature
Keywords: literary history; historiography; metatext; autocommunication; Estonian literature; Juri Lotman;

Summary/Abstract: This article is about literary histories, i.e. the narratives about literary past, already constructed, told and framed into books or digital databases and called literary histories. Thus this article will not deal with the literary past itself but with metatexts about this past. Literary histories have been the research subject and/or discussion topic for literary scholars who have approached them through the changing characteristics of the concepts of ‘literature’ and ‘history’. The different perspectives literary scholars usually adopt when dealing with literary histories aim to find better ways how to write literary histories that refl ect the literary past in the most accurate way. In relation to the study of cultural semiotics, the importance of literary histories is that through their self-constructing and self-describing qualities, they reveal aspects of general cultural dynamics and the construction of cultural memory. The aim of this article is firstly to map down the concept of literary histories as seen in literary studies and then to sketch out the main angles through which it can be approached from the perspective of Juri Lotman’s cultural semiotics in the context of Estonian literary histories.

  • Issue Year: 2016
  • Issue No: 16
  • Page Range: 59-65
  • Page Count: 7
  • Language: English