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Myth | Bruno Schulz

http://brunoschulz.eu/en/archiwa/1534

Włodzimierz Bolecki
A central category in Schulz’s philosophy of the word, representing: 1) a
synonym for a state of primordiality; 2) a name for those meanings of a literary
work which go beyond the literal; 3) the universal, metaphysical meaning of
legends and historical figures.
1) The basic meaning of myth originates in ancient mythology, which according
to Schulz is the universal storehouse of all contemporary ideas, verbal
expressions, plots and stories. Ancient mythology was “all-encompassing” and
“integral.” “Myth” is the collective name for “telling stories” about the meaning of
the world. In this sense, myth and mythologizing continue to accompany
humanity, since “the mythologizing of the world is not over yet” (“The
Mythologizing of Reality,” Letters and Drawings of Bruno Schulz, trans. Walter
Arndt and Victoria Nelson, New York: Harper & Row, 1988, p. 116), though the
development of knowledge and civilization have superficially halted it. Yet myth
is a universal matrix in which all stories and elements have been impressed, so
that “there is no way of going beyond myth” (“The Mythologizing of Reality,” p.
116). According to Schulz, myth is the state of lost primordiality, which literature
may recover.
2) The function of literature is the “regeneration of primeval myths” (“The
Mythologizing of Reality,” p. 115). For the accomplishment of this regeneration,
Schulz uses means typical of the symbolist conception of literature and the word.
In the semantic order of narration, “myth” in Schulz’s prose refers to the
following: a) allusions, personal names and elements from mythology; b) the
hypothetical meaning found within the work, but also appearing beyond the work
and sometimes defined as “deep meaning,” “mystery,” etc.; c) semantic
mechanisms relying on the creation of unexpected meanings with the help of old
meanings, as well as on the broadening of words by new ranges of signification.
3) “Myth” in Schulz’s reflections can also be a synonym for “meaning,”
“metaphor” or “history.” In the latter sense, myth is a mysterious en
elemental force of meaning, which exists beyond the events of histo
history is the unarticulated meaning which precedes all events in wh
beings participate. To grasp this myth is to reach the extra-rational
non-verbalized essence of history, to give it a “deep” and metaphys
since “the bottom of a myth must communicate with the incomprehe

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24/05/16 13:27

p. 2003.Myth | Bruno Schulz http://brunoschulz. Translated by Stanley Bill. 222.eu/en/archiwa/1534 pre-verbal if it is to remain alive and to send its roots down into the dark mythical fatherland” (“Tragic Freedom. Stanisław Rosiek. p. 118). Józef Piłsudski) can actualize it. eds. 2 sur 2 24/05/16 13:27 . Gdańsk: słowo/ obraz terytoria. Jerzy Jarzębski. Włodzimierz Bolecki.” Szkice krytyczne. Myth in history has a potential and collective (even generative) character. This entry comes from Słownik schulzowski (The Schulz Dictionary). but only remarkable individuals (for instance.

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