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Ambiguous Endeavours. The Evolution of the Melodramatic Mode in Polish Holocaust Narratives from Hanna Krall to "The Aftermath".

Pluwak, Anita LU (2015) In Lund Slavonic Monographs 12.
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Danish

Denne afhandling undersøger, hvordan litteratur og film, som omhandler tilintetgørelsen af de europæiske jøder under anden verdenskrig, har ændret sig siden 1970’erne i det kommunistiske og efter 1989 postkommunistiske Polen. Hovedtesen er, at melodrama, forstået som en global, populær fortællestil og fortælleteknik, er kommet til at spille en stadig større rolle, ikke mindst i forhold til formidling af historiske begivenheder, der blev fortiet under kommunismen. Melodrama har vist sig at være effektiv, hvor “klassiske” polske fortællinger om Holocaust fra 1940’erne – 60’erne, der ofte brugte eksperimenterende avantgarde teknikker, aldrig slog igennem hos et bredt publikum.

Udviklingen... (More)
Popular Abstract in Danish

Denne afhandling undersøger, hvordan litteratur og film, som omhandler tilintetgørelsen af de europæiske jøder under anden verdenskrig, har ændret sig siden 1970’erne i det kommunistiske og efter 1989 postkommunistiske Polen. Hovedtesen er, at melodrama, forstået som en global, populær fortællestil og fortælleteknik, er kommet til at spille en stadig større rolle, ikke mindst i forhold til formidling af historiske begivenheder, der blev fortiet under kommunismen. Melodrama har vist sig at være effektiv, hvor “klassiske” polske fortællinger om Holocaust fra 1940’erne – 60’erne, der ofte brugte eksperimenterende avantgarde teknikker, aldrig slog igennem hos et bredt publikum.

Udviklingen fra modernistisk eksperiment hen imod populært melodrama i polske fortællinger om Holocaust vidner også om fundamentale forandringer i postkommunistisk kultur. Disse forandringer er forbundet med både stigende demokratisering og kommercialisering af den kulturelle sfære. Afhandlingen præsenterer ikke melodramas fremgang som et entydigt positivt eller entydigt negativt fænomen. Den anskues derimod i sammenhæng med den pågående, intense samfundstransformation og som udtryk for et modsætningsfyldt forhold til såvel fortiden som nutiden i de tidligere kommunistiske lande. (Less)
Abstract
This thesis examines how melodrama, defined as a complex, distinctly modern and transnational mode of storytelling with lasting impact on the culture of global modernity, has influenced the area of Polish Holocaust representation since the late 1970s till the present. Within a methodological frame that seeks to combine textual and contextual analysis, the study poses a set of questions that can be asked of the melodramatic mode’s narrative structures and stylistic devices, their signifying and functionality, in selected instances of literary and film narratives. Other key issues considered concern the melodramatic narratives’ ability to evolve and adapt during the cultural transformation of late communism (the 1970s and 1980s) and... (More)
This thesis examines how melodrama, defined as a complex, distinctly modern and transnational mode of storytelling with lasting impact on the culture of global modernity, has influenced the area of Polish Holocaust representation since the late 1970s till the present. Within a methodological frame that seeks to combine textual and contextual analysis, the study poses a set of questions that can be asked of the melodramatic mode’s narrative structures and stylistic devices, their signifying and functionality, in selected instances of literary and film narratives. Other key issues considered concern the melodramatic narratives’ ability to evolve and adapt during the cultural transformation of late communism (the 1970s and 1980s) and post-communism (after 1989), and the circumstances accompanying melodrama’s rise to cultural prominence.

I argue that the literary work of Hanna Krall (b. 1935) represents one of the most important manifestations of the presence of popular melodrama in Polish Holocaust representation. I propose to read the work, career, and impact of this highly successful author through the lens of the melodramatic mode and its concern with history, identity, deficits of justice, and social inclusivity. The impact of popular schemata further intensifies after 1989. By analysing seminal Holocaust films from recent years like Agnieszka Holland’s In Darkness (2011) and Władysław Pasikowski’s The Aftermath (2012) I trace the evolvement of melodrama and its reception in the radically altered context of post-communism. Despite their different generic contexts and different approaches to the subject, the analysed narratives are shown to share an engagement with the melodramatic schemata. I contend that this engagement must be seen in relation to the traditional definitions of Polish Holocaust representation as linked to forms of expression associated with high modernism and the avant-garde, but also as indicative of fundamental changes in post-communist culture. (Less)
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author
supervisor
opponent
  • Professor Rigney, Ann, Universiteit Utrecht, Nederländerna
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Melodrama, popular culture, Holocaust representation, post-communism, Poland.
in
Lund Slavonic Monographs
volume
12
pages
250 pages
publisher
Centre for Languages and Literature, Lund University
defense location
Sal A129b, Språk- och litteraturcentrum, Helgonabacken 12, Lund
defense date
2015-06-06 10:15
ISSN
0280-0284
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ee7d8b0f-d102-4d01-a4b3-091a8796b9cf (old id 5364281)
date added to LUP
2015-05-07 11:25:11
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:50
@phdthesis{ee7d8b0f-d102-4d01-a4b3-091a8796b9cf,
  abstract     = {This thesis examines how melodrama, defined as a complex, distinctly modern and transnational mode of storytelling with lasting impact on the culture of global modernity, has influenced the area of Polish Holocaust representation since the late 1970s till the present. Within a methodological frame that seeks to combine textual and contextual analysis, the study poses a set of questions that can be asked of the melodramatic mode’s narrative structures and stylistic devices, their signifying and functionality, in selected instances of literary and film narratives. Other key issues considered concern the melodramatic narratives’ ability to evolve and adapt during the cultural transformation of late communism (the 1970s and 1980s) and post-communism (after 1989), and the circumstances accompanying melodrama’s rise to cultural prominence. <br/><br>
I argue that the literary work of Hanna Krall (b. 1935) represents one of the most important manifestations of the presence of popular melodrama in Polish Holocaust representation. I propose to read the work, career, and impact of this highly successful author through the lens of the melodramatic mode and its concern with history, identity, deficits of justice, and social inclusivity. The impact of popular schemata further intensifies after 1989. By analysing seminal Holocaust films from recent years like Agnieszka Holland’s In Darkness (2011) and Władysław Pasikowski’s The Aftermath (2012) I trace the evolvement of melodrama and its reception in the radically altered context of post-communism. Despite their different generic contexts and different approaches to the subject, the analysed narratives are shown to share an engagement with the melodramatic schemata. I contend that this engagement must be seen in relation to the traditional definitions of Polish Holocaust representation as linked to forms of expression associated with high modernism and the avant-garde, but also as indicative of fundamental changes in post-communist culture.},
  author       = {Pluwak, Anita},
  issn         = {0280-0284},
  keyword      = {Melodrama,popular culture,Holocaust representation,post-communism,Poland.},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {250},
  publisher    = {Centre for Languages and Literature, Lund University},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Lund Slavonic Monographs},
  title        = {Ambiguous Endeavours. The Evolution of the Melodramatic Mode in Polish Holocaust Narratives from Hanna Krall to "The Aftermath".},
  volume       = {12},
  year         = {2015},
}