Antoniuk Mateusz (Антонюк Матеуш) The «wordly draft» — genetic criticism in sociocultural space

Studies focused on the process of creating literary works have a long tradition in twentieth-century literary criticism. Such research has reached an especially high level of methodological sophistication in France, but Russian, Polish, American, Canadian, English, Belgian or Italian scholars have also achieved success in the field. Nowadays some scholars argue that «genetic criticism» closes us in the «tower of language», focusing our attention on the text as produced on the page, and not in «the world». It is not difficult, however, to imagine a kind of genetic criticism that might examine the «worldly draft», accepting the impulse «from the world» and generating the performative force of the «text in the world».

In my paper, I will recapitulate a few examples of earlier «eco-genetic studies» (European and American), before presenting my own case study. Zbigniew Herbert, one of the foremost Polish poets and prose writers of the 20th century, has published a short poem entitled «Szachy» («Chess»), which was focused on the famous chess play between the grandmaster Garri Kasparow and Deep Blue, chess-playing computer. The process of textual creation in this case can be seen and understood as included into the social nexus of idea circulation. To show it, I will examine the drafts, as well as the newspaper cuttings, which were found in Zbigniew Herbert’s archive.
The poem will be given in Polish and in English translation (or in Russian, if I find Russian translation), along with a reproduction of the draft.