Friday, 31 March 2023 to Sunday, 2 April 2023

Reimagining the Past Through Literature: Narratorial Creativity and Story-Building in Olga Tokarczuk’s “Dom dzienny, dom nocny” and Artur Daniel Liskowacki’s “Eine kleine”

Fri31  Mar03:00pm(15 mins)
Gilbert Scott Room 356


Olga Grochowska1
1 University of Oxford, UK


In Poland of the late 1980s and 1990s, a new geographically-grounded prose emerged: a continuation of and a challenge to the tradition of the so-called literature of “mythic homelands”, traditionally oriented towards the country’s pre-Second World War eastern borderlands. Published at the time of subsiding political pressure, the new writings redirected the reader’s attention westward and contributed to unearthing the non-Polish histories of territories ceded to Poland in 1945. This paper will offer a comparative close reading of two novels authored as part of this literary current: Olga Tokarczuk’s “Dom dzienny, dom nocny” and Artur Daniel Liskowacki’s “Eine kleine”. By considering the texts’ narrative form, I will examine how they problematise the attempt to engage with the past through storytelling and to reincorporate non-Polish legacies into local identities. Both works will be argued to self-consciously comment on the creativity inherent in the process of assembling a narrative.