A topography of disgust. On "Wspólny pokój" by Zbigniew Uniłowski Cover Image
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Topografia wstrętu. O "Wspólnym pokoju" Zbigniewa Uniłowskiego
A topography of disgust. On "Wspólny pokój" by Zbigniew Uniłowski

Author(s): Joanna Kisiel
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Studies of Literature, Polish Literature, Health and medicine and law, Theory of Literature
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
Keywords: Zbigniew Uniłowski; abhorrence; death; tuberculosis; misogyny
Summary/Abstract: The article is devoted to the analysis of the novel by Zbigniew Uniłowski, from the perspective of the category of disgust, not used in the interpretations of "Wspólny pokój" so far. A typical construction of the space in the novel, tightening from the maze of the city to a mortal bed of the main character, outlines a map of disgust. “A shared room” presented in the title, constitutes here a special place, a polygon of “unwanted closeness” (Menninghaus), expansion of a trivially exposed corporality, blurring the borders of intimacy, and degradation of community bonds. A progressive illness Lucjan Salis suffered from, resulting in the shrinking of his world, begins a real eruption of disgust, a key life experience of a young tubercular, accompanying his reflections on his own fate coming to an end. Thus, disgust is an intensively experienced life disposition of a character, the sources of which underlie traumatic experiences of a childhood, dooming him to a struggle between “a call and rejection” (Kristeva) and desire and aversion. They will strongly influence his attitude to women, marked by a misogynic “state of a tormenting tension” (Gilmore), behind which a strong ambivalent relation with a mother is hidden. Disgust seems as an intensive reaction of the subject in defense of his own independence in a novel.

  • Page Range: 201-232
  • Page Count: 32
  • Publication Year: 2014
  • Language: Polish