Emigrate/expatriate in 21st-century postmodern Europe. A case study in the light of novel by Bronisław Świderski "Death Assistant" Cover Image
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Emigrant-ekspatriata w ponowoczesnej Europie XXI wieku. Studium przypadku w świetle powieści "Asystent śmierci" Bronisława Świderskiego
Emigrate/expatriate in 21st-century postmodern Europe. A case study in the light of novel by Bronisław Świderski "Death Assistant"

Author(s): Jolanta Pasterska
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Studies of Literature, Polish Literature, Theory of Literature
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
Summary/Abstract: The article thematises the issue of postmodern human condition, a literary example of which is for the author of the paper a novel by Bronisław Świderski entitled "Death Assistant". Świderski’s prose is haunted by, how Kierkegaardian, questions: how to communicate with others not being identical with them, how to testify by one’s own biography not diminishing experiences of the others – and finally – how to avoid understanding “otherness” as something worse? The 21st-century novelistic world (seeing through the eyes of Świderski) still will be full of expatriates living their homelands in search of their own, total freedom and adopting various identities. It will also be full of “strangers”, hidden under pseudonyms or foreign-sounding surnames, who precisely in the name of freedom do not want to undergo compulsory acculturation in new countries of their settlement (as Świderski points out, those attempts of cultural pressure are restrictive to above mentioned freedom). From this circumstances stems the tendency of “the elect” to isolate, to erect the walls and borders protecting them form the strangers/the others. In this context a novel "Death Assistant" may be read as a warning against the traps of postmodern times.

  • Page Range: 115-134
  • Page Count: 20
  • Publication Year: 2012
  • Language: Polish