The literary construction of testimony: On emancipatory strategies in Hrabal’s novella Jarmilka
A B S T R A C T
This article deals with literary testimony as an author’s response to previous objectivation. We can observe objectivation in its delimited form through the act of arrest, as there is a sudden transformation of the subject into the object during this act. Inverse movement occurs in narrative where, through literary means, the narrator is staged as the center of meaning proliferation. Each of the two directions (objectivation and subjectivation) reveals a narrative position (the subject’s deprivation or, conversely, his emancipation), and in these, an inherent asymmetry between the subject and object of the narrative is present. That is, the other side of the emancipating gesture is objectivation. The narrator makes the characters into peripheral beings. This asymmetric situation is analogous to the relationship between the author and the reader. We specify this thesis in the interpretation of Hrabal’s early autobiographical novella Jarmilka. In this prose, Hrabal incorporates seemingly realistic elements, which are persuasive in spite of the fact that reality was the exact opposite of Hrabal’s description of it. Authenticity in literary testimony is thus aroused not by the depiction of reality, but rather, by specific literary devices.
Key words: Bohumil Hrabal, narrativity, literary testimony, reality effect, illusiveness
Klíčová slova: Bohumil Hrabal, narativita, literární svědectví, efekt reálného, iluzivnost
Daný článek je on-line k dispozici v databázi CEEOL.
Fakulta humanitních studií Univerzity Karlovy v Praze
U Kříže 8, 158 00 Praha 5
Slovo a slovesnost, volume 75 (2014), number 2, pp. 99-126
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