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Fingierte Oralität als kulturprägendes Element der altpolnischen „Eulenspiegel“-Literatur

Witold Wojtowicz

Pages 371 - 399

Simulated Orality as Culturally Determining Element of Old Polish “Eulenspiegelliteratur”

The article first presents the ideas of the “simulated” or “staged” orality and gives an explanation of the old Polish “Eulenspiegelliteratur.” I discuss some aspects of the issue of orality and highlight the inclusion of oral conventions in written culture. “Simulated” orality plays an important role in old Polish narrative literature. The conventions of the oral medium are used here in literary techniques on a large scale as a device for parody. The paper discusses ways in which we can use the model of Koch / Oesterreicher (1985, 1994) to solve these problems. The texts of the “Eulenspiegelliteratur” are organized from the beginning by means of the written culture. The “staged” oral language in the written text is instrumentalized and presented as the subject of fiction: the authors of the written text simulate narrator-reader interactions, even the communication between an actual audience and a speaker who is a part of the text. For most of the cited texts, the verbal communication model becomes a point of reference. For this reason, there is an “imitation” of performative and theatrical elements, which have already become a convention and as such have been more or less consciously understood by the authors themselves. The paper suggests a new understanding of old Polish popular literature and its artistic quality. “Popular literature” is not an autonomous or belated creation. Its authors know the codes of high literature and use them. In this respect, the article emphasizes the distance between Marxist research of “popular literature” and both the medium and concept of orality and literality on a textual level.


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