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Man as an opaque sign

Biographical contexts

Author(s): Grażyna Borkowska
Subject(s): Media studies, Studies of Literature, Communication studies, Theory of Communication, Theory of Literature, Sociology of Literature
Published by: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Keywords: biography; history; 20th century; Polishness; Jewishness
Summary/Abstract: The article polemicises against the book’s catchword, Human Being as a Sign. The author accepts the slogan but makes an essential correction: human being is an opaque sign, le signe opaque. Apart from systemic, foreseeable threads, human biographies quite often–virtually, always–introduce elements that disturb the model solutions. The author analyses this phenomenon based on the lives of two literary critics, Józef Rosenzweig (1865–1951) and Zygmunt Lubicz-Zaleski (1880–1967). The former apparently tried to escape his Jewish identity, more or less efficiently; the latter, in spite of his impressive education and extraordinary personality traits, was enchanted by the ideals of the National Democracy and the one who developed them – namely, Roman Dmowski. While the juxtaposition of these two men is rather coincidental, they share certain regularities: as it appears, the ‘Jewish question’ was in the twentieth century not only an object of journalistic and political disputes but also a real biographical problem, a task to revisit and rework on one’s own.

  • Page Range: 277-292
  • Page Count: 16
  • Publication Year: 2021
  • Language: Polish