“Can one be a multitude at the same time?” On Stanisław Lem's The Mask Cover Image
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„Czy można być wielością naraz?” O Masce Stanisława Lema
“Can one be a multitude at the same time?” On Stanisław Lem's The Mask

Author(s): Agata Rosochacka
Subject(s): Library and Information Science, Polish Literature
Published by: Stowarzyszenie Czasu Kultury
Keywords: The Mask; Stanisław Lem; prosthetic; Jacques Derrida; Paul de Man; supplement; parergon; prosopopoeia; autobiography; prosthetic memory; prosthetic body.

Summary/Abstract: In the proposed interpretation, Lem's The Mask is a story of a pursuit of a coherent identity. On one hand, this aspiration is realised through attempts to isolate the “proper” body of the Mask from the prosthetic, one's “own” history from prosthetic memories, individual identity from its supplementary prosthetics, external names, finding relevance based on free will, getting free of influences. On the other hand - through attempts to create identity in a constructive gesture of storytelling, giving oneself a shape, definition in self-narrative. These parallel aspirations are not fulfilled, both one and the other fail – the narrator fails to gain a whole, integral form. Instead, the final scene of The Mask offers the discovery of a pleasurable but also soothing prosthetic identity and the narrator's consent to complete the tale, to be fitted within its frame.

  • Issue Year: XXXIV/2018
  • Issue No: 04
  • Page Range: 20-29
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: Polish