The Affective Nature of Realism – on Non-Human Subjects in Wilhelm Mach’s Prose

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Adriana Kovacheva

Abstract

The article examines the problem of the special place occupied by the prose writer Wilhelm Mach in the Polish literary field in the 1960s, when it was suggested that the novel had mainly cognitive functions. Mach does not openly oppose this tendency, but his work is concerned with the question what makes literature an experience. The article traces the development of this problem in Mach’s work, focusing on novel scenes and episodes of killing or torturing domestic animals in which the writer’s mechanism for depicting affects plays a key role. Their analysis shows that, according to Mach, a literary work works when it transmits affects and demonstrates the ultimate possibilities for their expression. The article tests the hypothesis that Wilhelm Mach’s search for affective realism can be seen as a counterpoint and context to Blaga Dimitrova’s fiction.

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How to Cite
Kovacheva, A. (2021). The Affective Nature of Realism – on Non-Human Subjects in Wilhelm Mach’s Prose. Poznańskie Studia Slawistyczne, (21), 127-139. https://doi.org/10.14746/pss.2021.21.7
Section
Studia animalia: the image of animals in literature
Author Biography

Adriana Kovacheva, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan

Assistant professor at Balkan Gender and Transcultural Studies Unit at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Slavic literary scholar and translator. She is interested in 20th century Polish literature, Polish modernity and translation studies. Her second specialization encompasses comparative studies of the literature of Polish and Bulgarian People’s Republics. Author of the books (Не)забележимата преводачка. Еманципационни преводни практики на Дора Габе. (The [Un]noticeable Translator. Emancipatory Translational Practices of Dora Gabe) Veliko Tarnovo: Faber Publishing House, 2017; Ścieżkami tłumaczy. Poezja polska w Bułgarii w latach 1956–1989 (The Paths of Translators. Polish Poetry in Bulgaria in 1956–1989) Kraków: Wydawnictwo Pasaże, 2016 and of numerous research papers.

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