Announcements

A Rearguard of the Avant-garde. Reflections on the occasion of the hundred-year-old anniversary of the interwar pariod, “Poznan Slavic Studies” 18/2020

2019-01-17

The eighteenth volume of “Poznańskie Studia Slawistyczne” tends to recollect the heterogeneous and multi-coloured tradition of the artistic movements and styles of which untrammelled growth, marked with the extra-ordinary vitalism and non-destructive invention, coincides with the interwar years of the past century. It is worth remembering that among the most significant manifestations of those movements, there are such currents like Cubism, Futurism, Surrealism, Expressionism, Abstractionism, Fauvism, Constructivism, Minimalism, Hyperrealism, Poetism, Dadaism, Sumatraism, Hipnism, or Zenitism. The beginnings of many of the above-mentioned styles of expression refer to the earlier years of the twentieth century (around 1910), their full development, however, occurs after the end of the First World War. The attempt to reactivate the avant-garde world views along with their artistic choices and preferences which shape not only the interwar period but also influence the subsequent decades finds its grounds from the historical point of view – the year of 2020 might be, therefore, considered as a symbolic anniversary date by dint of which the contemporary researchers should return to the tumultuous “twentieths, and thirties,” to use the well-known title of the Polish post-war musical.

In the volume’s initial utterance, the word “rearguard” appears which is, per analogiam to the Avant-garde, derived from the dictionary of military terms, and stands for a special group of soldiers whose task is to protect the troops against the back attacks which may disrupt their march, or break their ranks. The usage of this military term gains its motivation in the context of a certain rhetorical figure called metalepsis: in the literary-theoretical concept of Harold Bloom, metalepsis determines the condition of “belatedness” which regulates the power of literary (or, broadly speaking, cultural) tradition. What is more, this tradition is being recalled as if remained in the stage of its own formation: “Influence as a metalepsis […] tends to be either projection and distancing of the future and so an introjection of the past […]. Either way the present vanishes and the dead return, by a reversal, to be triumphed over by the living.” Bloom’s condition allows us to rework creatively the artistic past which, enriched with the contemporary components, permanently returns in new shapes and modes, and the efficient activity of the rearguard (namely, the contemporary thinkers) is to guarantee the avant-garde’s vitality. In the metaleptic movement what seems the undisputed cause becomes its effect, as is revealed in questioning the truth by Friedrich Nietzsche, truth based on the canonical logic. The unfading potential of the avant-garde, its unstoppable conduct, in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s terms, demands a rethink in the context of civilisation changes occurring over the last century. In the eccentric solutions established by the avant-garde movements, one should notice not only those changes’ announcement, but also a reservoir of alternative projects which remain immersed in the cultural non-memory.

The proposition of reworking the aforementioned tradition entails a consent to enter the ranks of the avant-garde rearguard (or the rearguard avant-garde), and is of the interdisciplinary character, since it is addressed to the representatives of various fields belonging to the so-called human studies. In order to reopen reflections on the artistic achievements of the interwar period, the volume editors invite experts in literary studies, history, history of art, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, and, broadly speaking, other researchers who are fascinated by the formal experiments created under the banner of the avant-garde revolt. Encouraging the authors to return to the interwar period, the editorial board suggest to discuss the following issues (the presented list does not, of course, exhaust  problems regarding the avant-garde phenomena):      

  • Slavonic avant-gardes: their idioms’ and poetics’ peculiarities
  • Continuations and references in the twentieth century
  • Manifestations of the anti-avant-garde stances
  • Avant-garde versus parody
  • Avant-garde and its reopening: between reiteration and reinterpretation/recontextualization
  • Styles of the avant-garde manifestos
  • Post-avant-garde in the contemporary Slavonic cultures
  • Avant-garde versus deconstruction
  • From precursors to epigones
  • Geo-poetics of Slavonic avant-gardes, or the cartographic revision in the Central and Southern Europe
  • Avant-gardes memorized and avant-gardes forgotten
  • Avant-gardes in history, histories in avant-gardes        .       

The authors are requested to send their texts (of which length must not exceed 30 thousand of letters) by the end of September 2019 via the journal’s page “Poznańskie Studia Slawistyczne” on the Pressto platform (http://pressto.amu.edu.pl/index.php/pss) or to the address studiaslawistyczne@gmail.com. On the very platform, the authors can find all the publishing instructions. Articles (in the form of DOC/DOCX or RTF) should be supplemented with abstracts (around 500 letters) and key words (both in English) together with notes about authors.

            Anna Maria Skibska (the volume’s thematic editor)