Life on a Strip
Joanna Krenz defended her thesis on 15 May 2018.
- Joanna Krenz
- 15 May 2018
- Leiden Repository
Focusing on emigration discourse in Chinese contemporary literature, the present study proposes reflection on mechanisms that connect literary writing with what is usually perceived as extra-textual reality, that is the sphere of individual and collective lived experience. Through the prism of the evolution of (our approach to) literary genres, with a special focus on the essay and related phenomena in both Chinese and Western literary traditions, I try to observe “paradigm slippages” in literature, i.e. moments when a certain way of understanding and describing literature and its interactions with “the world” proves insufficient, and a new way to do so emerges. Instead of adopting a literary-historical perspective marked by breakthroughs in collective consciousness, like those between the ancient, the modern, and the postmodern, I concentrate on shifts that run through single literary works and are more effectively captured in the language of natural sciences. I argue that at different levels and in different circumstances, texts may be understandable and describable within different physics of literature: from genre-based “Newtonian” physics, to universalizing “Einsteinian” physics whose conceptual structures are reflected in the essay, to “quantum” physics whose microdynamic I observe when scrutinizing processes of essayization.
Supervisors: prof.dr. M. van Crevel and prof. dr. I. Łabędzka.