Torments of Education (“Metaphysics of a Two-Headed Calf” by S.I. Witkiewicz

Słowa kluczowe

S. I. Witkiewicz
lacanowska psychoanaliza
konstrukcjonizm Foucault'a


Wąchocka Ewa, Udręki edukacji („Metafizyka dwugłowego cielęcia” Witkacego) [Torments of Education (“Metaphysics of a Two-Headed Calf” by S.I. Witkiewicz)]. „Przestrzenie Teorii” 14. Poznań 2010, Adam Mickiewicz University Press, pp. 159-171. ISBN 978-83-232- 2210-1. ISSN 1644-6763. Identity crisis, one of the crucial problems tackled by Witkacy in his dramas, is linked first of all with the tradition of modernism by critics. The author of the article suggests a change in the viewpoint, and basing on the analysis of Metaphysics of a Two-Headed Calf presents that problem in the perspective of contemporary discourse concerning identity. The problems that Witkacy’s characters had with their own existence are in consonance not only with today’s quite common conviction that individuals can experiment with their own feeling of identity relatively freely, but also with the concepts of individual ego, that function within social sciences. The tools developed by social sciences allow to have a different perception on the relation between the processoriented/process-driven nature of identity (self-creation of the ‘I’, game, mystification) and the conviction that its borders are delineated by the cultural pressure and social discipline. In Metaphysics of particular importance are the relations with parents, with the family – representing society – as well as constructions of double-gangers (Doppelgänger) that reveal the subject as the Other, or deprive the subject of its ‘individual-ness’ undermine her/his individual (subjective) status. The diagnoses of Witkacy are quite close to the contemporary ways of conceptualization of the ‘I’, which – as Lacanian psychoanalysis, Foucault’s constructionism – negating the subjective power to cause, do not confine themselves to unmasking the pressure of institutionalized forms of life, and reveal their activity even at micro-level.


S.I. Witkiewicz, Metafizyka dwugłowego cielęcia, [w:] tenże, Dramaty II, oprac. J. Degler, Warszawa 1998, s. 141.

L. Sokół, Witkacy i Strindberg: dalecy i bliscy, Wrocław 1995, s. 371-376.

S. Freud, Mity greckie i Shakespeare, „Dialog” 1988, nr 9, s. 123.

E. Fromm, Kryzys psychoanalizy. Szkice o Freudzie, Marksie i psychologii społecznej, przeł. W. Brydak, Poznań 2000, s. 159.

H. Lang, Język i nieświadomość. Podstawy teorii psychoanalitycznej Jacques’a Lacana, przeł. P. Piszczatowski, wstęp P. Dybel, Gdańsk 2005, s. 257.

D. Flader, Psychoanaliza z perspektywy działania i języka. Propozycje rewizji modeli teoretycznych Freuda z perspektywy teorii działania i ich nowe opracowanie, przeł. P. Dybel, Warszawa 2002, s. 260-282.