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Ноземна філологія inozemna philologia 2007. Вип. 119. С. 3-6 2007. Issue 119. Р. 3-6

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Leci ptaszek pod niebiosy,

Leci wietrzyk z pól,

Złota pszczółka leci z łąki,

Niesie miody w ul!

Nic nie drzemie, nie gnuśnieje,

Wszystko śpieszy wraz...

– Pędź, kółeczko, pod pałeczką,

Teraz igrać czas!

Lecą z szumem krople wody

W starym młynie z kół,

Co od rana się do nocy

Kręci w górę, w dół.

Leci z pola bąk i huczy

Jak najtęższy bas...

– Pędź, kółeczko, pod pałeczką,

Teraz igrać czas!

[...]

I ja biegnę, i ja lecę

Lekko, lubo tak,

Może skrzydła mam u ramion

Jak ten polny ptak!

[Flies a bird up the sky,

Blows the wind from the fields,

A golden bee comes from a meadow,

Brings honey in to a hive!

Nothing’s sleeping, lazing about,

Everything is in a rush…

Hurry, hurry, a little wheel,

It’s time to play!

Down come water drops

In the old mill

Which works so

Day and night

Flies a dragon-fly

Makes a droning sound…

Hurry, hurry little wheel,

It’s time to play!

[…]

And I also hurry, run

Swiftly, lightly so

Have I wings at my arms

Like the bird that comes from field!]

The subject matter of the poem is built around chasing the wheel, racing to catch up with it: imitating the rush of the rolling wheel and natural phenomena (the charm of the speed), running till one is out of breath. Since the lyrical voice in this poem sees himself to be a part of nature. He notices that everything around is in motion – it circulates so he, too, joins in the movement of nature, he participates in the game which is inspirited by movement and, first of all, by the need to imitate.

Furthermore, animal visualization combined with fun and humour as means of conveying didactic message is present in the ideographic poem-tale [3] by Ludwik Jerzy Kern entitled Wąż [A Snake].

I-

dzie

wąż

wąs 

dróż 

ką,

nie

po 

ru 

sza

żad-

nóż 

ką.

Po 

ru 

szał 

by,

gdy 

by

mógł,

lecz

wąż

prze 

cież

nie

ma

nóg.

[A-

snake

is

walk 

ing

down 

the

path,

it

is

not

mov-

ing

any

paw.

It

would

move

them

if

it

could

but,

it

has 

no

mov-

ing

foot.]

The poem consists merely of two sentences which are written in a form of a syllable sequence. The syllables are transposed in relation to each other so that they imitate a wavy way of this reptile’s movement. The arrangement of the text is in accordance with the real shape of the animal: and the first syllable (the capital letter ‘I’ in Polish and ‘A’ in English version) imitates its sticking tongue. A childlike naïve perspective of the poetic description presents the animal as a likable and interest-raising creature. Apart from diminutives, which are used in the Polish version of the poem , there is an element of a cognitive puzzle – the snake is walking but “not moving any paw.” This riddle for the young reader, who does not possess an adequate knowledge about the anatomy of animals, becomes solved in the second sentence – a snake does not have any feet.

Among all the poems analyzed in this paper, Wąż [A Snake] by Kern constitutes the most versatile technique of representing the subject matter of the poem by means of visualization.

A hedgehog, just as a snake, is a very rewarding subject of visualization. It can be especially observed in the poem by Magdalena Samozwaniec entitled Dzieci i jeż [The Children and The Hedgehog]. The text-picture of a hedgehog consists of eight lines which are arranged according to the rule of carmina figurata and form a schematic shape of the animal in question.

[Children combed beautifully

Met a hedgehog in the morning

But they cannot understand

Why its spines so untidy stand

Hedgehogs have spines

It’s a fact well known

But why are they so carelessly drawn

There is simple explanation

It likes on its head variation]

Each line represents spiky spines of a hedgehog. The content describes children’s encounter with a hedgehoh. The protagonists of the poem are baffled at the arrangement of the hedgehog’s spines. In the Polish version the limited knowledge of a young reader is expressed through a naïve tautology: “Jeż się jeży, to wiadomo/ Lecz dlaczego w różne strony?” [Hedgehogs have spines /It’s a fact well known/ But why are they so carelessly drawn?]

At this stage of the description, the lyrical subject, who at first was an outside observer relating the event of the meeting, joins the other child protagonists. As a protagonist he proudly shows off his knowledge and next expresses his surprise and confusion. In the conclusion of the poem he resumes his initial role and provides the explanation. This explanation, however, has nothing to do with a preaching tone that one should not frighten this small animal. The reader receives a decisive but surprising conclusion: “A to była sprawa prosta: dobrej szczotki jeż nie dostał” [There is simple explanation/ It likes on its head variation]. Boring didacticism is turned into a joke.

Joanna Kulmowa employs enumeration in her lullaby Zasypianie hipopotama [Hipopo Goes to Bed] which is designed so to make it possible for an adult to read it together with a child (listening and looking):

Hipopotam taki jest duży,

że choćby się ułożył w największej kałuży

i choćby legowisko trzcinami wymościł –

nie zaśnie od razu w całości.

Najpierw mu zasypia ogonek.

A to za mało jak na taka personę.

Potem nogi.

Ale od nóg do głowy niezły kawał drogi.

Później brzuszysko.

Lecz i to nie wszystko.

Wreszcie jedno ucho.

Wreszcie drugie ucho.

I to ze spaniem jeszcze krucho.

Na koniec jedno oko.

Na koniec drugie oko.

A na ostatku gęba ziewa tak szeroko,

że połyka sen.

Sen taki smaczny i duży,

że przebudzenie

będzie

trwało

jeszcze

dłużej.

Hippopotamus is so huge

That even if it gently lays down

In the largest of all water-puddles,

It will not fall asleep without troubles.

First its tail will fall asleep.

But it’s not enough for him.

Then his legs.

But till head there is still a long, long way.

Next his belly – huge and large

But its still not quite enough.

Then one ear.

Next ear two.

To be fast asleep, it still won’t do.

In the end eye one

Is joined by eye two

So that its mouth is now yawning, too.

It is open wide enough

To eat all

The dreams around.

Dreams so sweet

Dream so nice

That to

wake up

is still

harder

The varied length of the lines represents the folded back of the animal which is lying on its side. Only those verses that talk about (and represent) the animal’s ears (verses 11 – 12) and eyes (14 – 15) are basically of equal length. One can observe that they are arranged very close to each other and are only separated by a single verse. The final verses represent graphically the animal’s tail.

Visualization can also take place as far as plant life is concerned. An example that illustrates such visualization comes from Jerzy Kierst’s poem entitled Sosna [The Pine Tree]. This poem represents anthropomorphic picture of a pine tree. With accordance to children’s tendency to anthropomorphize the elements of the surrounding reality, the tree in question speaks to the reader itself – as a lyrical subject – and creates kind of autopresentation.

The visualization technique of this poem, then, consists in transforming the symbolic sign into a motivated sign i.e. in transforming a group of words into an iconic sign which becomes the “picture” of the designatum [12].

Of a seed

I will grow

into

a tall

pine tree.

Sand,

dry soil

drought in roots.

I am strong

my trunk

like an arrow.

Over my

forehead

clouds cheerful.

I love the sun

my sisters

are

countless.

The forest runs on the horizon like a ribbon

The shape of the poem reflects the appearance of one half of the tree, its height, its sprouting up and it reinforces the described features in child’s imagination. Short verses (1 to 4-syllable long) are arranged in the form of a “tree” and are graphically juxtaposed with the final, nine-syllable line. This last verse constitutes as if the poem’s base in the middle of which the sprouting verses are placed. One can assume that this base is as if the roots which spread underground beneath the tree. The content of this fragment evokes also other association: the faraway line of the forest on the horizon, a ribbon. All of the mentioned elements appear in the final metaphor, each of them has a linear-horizontal shape which contrasts with the vertical arrangement of the other part of the poem.

It is worth paying attention to the sensual matter of the text, which also constitutes its phonic value – in the Polish version of the poem, one can observe a masterful instrumentation and in the final verse alliteration: „Bór biegnie wstęgą wśród widnokręgu”.

4. 2 Visualization of Architectural Motifs

As far as the narration and content is concerned, one can encounter also interesting cases of architectural motifs. Columns, pyramids or towers are among popular architectural motifs in visual poetry of former eras. They carry with them certain connotations, most frequently panegyric or funeral ones [10]. First of all, it is possible to identify static and dynamic architectural motifs.

A dynamic example is well demonstrated in the ideographic text by Marcin Przewoźniak Wieża [The Tower].

[This

tall tower,

made of stone,

its teeth

still shows

and scares away

the birds

and clouds

makes

holes in

those clouds

very large

such tall

tower

stands

and of nothing

is afraid

it looks

down

where

the world

slightly dizzy

feels

it would

welcome

laying down

but it

would no

longer

be called tower,

– because when the tower lies flat it is a wall instead]

In this poem two architectural forms are juxtaposed: monumental, tall vertical structure is contrasted with horizontal wall. The contrast is additionally emphasized by the length of the lines. There are 35 verses imitating the shape of the tower, each one to four-syllable long. Only the final verse, which consists of six syllables, can be associated with a long and low wall. Each word is arranged in separate line in, at most couples the are two words per line, and are centrally aligned so as to constitute the axis of the tower – the most important element of its structure. In this way the author illustrated the geometry of the tower so important for its stability. The message of this poem, then, has features characteristic of visual poetry because the words are arranged in a figure which in relation to its verbal message assumes mimetic and symbolic functions [10].

Przewoźniak employed a visual form of the poem here in order to illustrate the issues of spatial symbolism and the definition of an object in a form of a childlike “verbal diarrhoea.” The little reader receives here also an important ethical message: it is worth being outstanding and great like a tower, but to be oneself and to retain one’s greatness, it is necessary to be consistent and with effort maintain one’s conduct.

An example of a static architectural motif one can find in the poem Kolumna Zygmunta [King Sigismund’s Column] by Kierst. The author begins it with the instruction that the poem ought to be read from the bottom. The technique of visualization that is present here also consists in transforming the symbolic sign into a motivated sign i.e. in transforming a group of words into an iconic sign which becomes the “picture” of the designatum [12].

(this poem should be read from the bottom)

and the Cross.

sword

King Sigismund,

bronze.

the monument,

Swallows,

of bullets.

once the sound

wings flutter,

the king,

there is

on which

The column

KING SIGISMUNT’S COLUMN

At the very bottom of the text, spelled with capital letters, there is the title of the poem which in its graphic form constitutes the wide, horizontal base of the poem-monument. In the middle of this base, shorter lines (14) go up vertically and create the representation of the described object. The reader, who with accordance to the instruction reads the poem from the bottom, stands at the foot of the column, the one built by text and the one materialized in its description. The perspective of the observer who is standing at the bottom of the column is the same as the perspective of the reader beginning to read the poem from the line situated at the bottom. Subsequent elements of the column are presented in the enumeration-repetition mode of the poem [9]: the column, the swallows, the monument, the bronze, the king, the sword and the Cross.

The vertical arrangement of the subsequent elements of the poem-picture possesses also evaluative content. For in this way a kind of axiological ladder is created. On the top levels of this ladder, even above the king, there are the sword and the Cross – the symbols of God (faith) and Motherland (or rather heroic fight to defend it). King Sigismund’s Column constitutes the apotheosis of these values and the poem by Kiers is devoted to their glorification [4].

4. 3. Visualization of Spatial Arrangements

Spatial motifs are also quite common in the poetry for children. They are especially rewarding area of visuali­zation processes. It is possible to observe the visualization of a spatial arrangement, the visualization of the space struc­ture and the visualization of a shape.

Visualization of a spatial arrangement is the subject matter of the poem Obłoki [The Clouds] by Józef Ratajczak.

They float above

As if they were the straw hats.

The clouds, then, run

From left-hand-side to the right

up the very high

And clear blue sky.

They float lonely above

As if they were the straw hats.

All night long

They cry till dawn

That no one will put them on.

While two first stanzas are arranged in horizontal-vertical relation to each other and their shape creates two ideograms, stanza three and four are written in a traditional way However, in different reprints of the poem it is possible to find them arranged either one on top of the other or one next to the other. The first stanza of the two ideographic ones, arranged horizontally, consists of two lines: a shorter one and the longer one symmetrically oriented underneath the first one. Their shape reflects comparison to the clouds, which according to the content of the text float across the sky as if straw hats – topography of a hat. The form of a hat implies the graphic shape of the text arrangement repre­sen­ting a hat, through anthropomorphic presentation of the world described in the next stanza. These verses, this time arran­ged in an irregular vertical pattern, describe various tall objects on the surface of the earth: the church tower and the City Hall, high houses and maple trees. The beginning of the fourth stanza is the repetition of the first one, but this ti­me it does not form a shape of a hat, because the shape is deformed by the added word “lonely.” Lonely and di­sappointed clouds assume anthropomorphic features: “All night long/They cry till dawn/That no one will put them on.”

In this context the vertical arrangement of the second stanza assumes a new meaning, namely it represents the streams of rain falling down from the clouds. The same graphic object enables child’s and poet’s imagination to see different meanings. Vertical lines going vigorously up in the sky towards beautiful clouds which are as if straw hats associated with warm and sunny weather. The movement down symbolizes sadness and hopelessness [4]. In this poem Ratajczak evokes both emotional experience and aesthetic sensitivity in the young recipients.

Moreover, the visualization of the space structure that is connected with building up the tension through the top-bottom arrangement of the content is present in Kern’s poem Choinka [The Christmas Tree]. Antologia by Waksmund [11] in both its editions contains the poem’s shortened version, which is reduced to star and the initial four verses-banches arranged in a simple drawing. The identical iconographic shape appears in Wielkiej zabawie [The Great Fun] by Jerzy Cieślikowski [3] who borrowed the version from Przekrój, No. 714–716, 1958, but he added: “and so on till the last branch where the children their presents find.” The analyzed version of the poem comes from L. J. Kern’s collection of poems [7].

In this example, the shape of a Christmas tree is constructed through a specific arrangement of lines. The text implies a variety of potential activities that a child and an adult may do at the time of Christmas celebration. A child might enumerate the names of various Christmas tree decorations. An adult may play with the child in a guessing game about different talents of children (e.g. why has Ann got crayons); then child’s interests may be the subject of a game – a present that would be most desired by him/her but also most appropriate.

It is worth pointing out that the arrangement of the objects in the structure of the poem represents The Christmas Eve’s ritual in its hierarchy of values: first the spiritual ones, the religious aspect of the celebration, i.e. the prayer, reading of the Bible, breaking the wafer (Polish traditional at Christmas Eve) at the top, next the Christmas Eve dinner in the middle, and finally exchanging the gifts at the bottom. The Christmas tree-poem becomes an iconic symbol of the Christmas Eve indicating the proper way of celebrating it.

The visualization of a shape is also well demonstrated by Julian Kornhauser’s poem Gwiazdka [The Star]. This poem is a calligram which also assumes the shape of a Christmas tree.

[When the Christmas tree

Will play the needles that it has,

And the starlet will its beams stick out,

Leave the table seat and to the window come:

There Father Frost various presents is spreading round!

The cream-colour pajamas with patterns is waiting for you,

tiny thick cactus, and little chocolate as sweet as honey are waiting too.

If you try hard enough, you will hear how tired snow is snoring soundly.]

Out of the many types of iconic motivation that exist between the signifier and signified in concretist visual poetry, the allusion to Apollinaire’s calligrams is most apparent in the above-analyzed cases [4].

If compared with Kern’s poem, the graphic side of Kornhauser’s poem is characterized by simplicity as far as the visualization process is concerned. The figure is built of subsequent lines which become longer and longer and are symmetrically organized around the vertical axis. Due to the lack of any additional decorative elements, unless one is familiar with the content of the poem, the figure might be mistaken for a pyramid. For the structure is solid and stable, emphasized by appropriate syntactic and metrical arrangement (each verse, except for the first one, ends with a punc­tuation mark). The visual form of this poem, however, does not play as important role as in the case of the previously analyzed poems. It is just an addition, a graphic allusion to its topic. The essence of this poem’s phenomenon consists in its content and stylistics. Similarly as in Kern’s poem, the lyrical subject, an adult person, addresses a child. He understands child’s imagination and emotional states. He can enter child’s personal world and spend together with him Christmas time. It is expressed not only by the diminutives used in the text: “a starlet, tiny cactus, little chocolates,” but also by personification and animation of the surrounding world: “the Christmas tree will play the needles, the starlet will stick out little beams.” These expressions allude to children’s games – playing the needle that is stuck into a table and a popular conversation with a snail: “snail, oh snail, stick your little horns out.” The child is inspired to “play” the branches of the Christmas tree (which should emit a rustling sound), to invite the invisible still starlet to “stick out its beams.” In the following part of the poem, the invitation to join in takes form of an explicit encouragement to act because of the imperative forms used there: “Come, look.” The child is, then, both an addressee and the protagonist of the poem.

4. 4. Visualization of the Veristic Description of Objects and Phenomena

Veristic technique of visualization is very close to child’s examination of the world. In the poetry for children, however, it exists less frequently than the cases of visualization mentioned above. Within veristic description it is pos­sible to differentiate between visualization of objects alone and the letter-sign technique of visualization which creates certain phenomena in a given poem.

Veristic visualization of the objects has a pride of place in children literature. Kern’s poem entitled Na kanapie [On the Sofa] can serve as an example. It is a poem-sofa in which the graphic arrangement of stanzas, varied length of lines and the presence of exclamatory sentences with the onomatopoeic character due to the poem’s trochaic meter – they all play the key role for the realistic representation of the animal subject matter.

[On the Sofa

Who is snoring

On the sofa?

Who is scratching

Its long ears?

Who when angry

Bares its teeth?

Who sometimes

Feeds the fleas?

Who thinks often

Of games?

Of tricks naughty?

Who likes chasing

Cats or pigeons?

Who bites at

His master’s sleepers?

Barks at milkman

In the morning?

Who with children

Plays joyfully

But by whom thief’s trousers

Will be caught painfully?

So you know now?

Then all hush!

Why should you want

To wake the dog up…

The author achieved the veristic representation of the shape of a popular piece of furniture by means of characteristic arrangement of the stanzas organized horizontally (cf. with similar case in the poem Dwa rękawy [Two Sleeves]). They are so organized in relation to each other as to create the allusion to a soft, three-arched back of a sofa. The title also imitates an arched line and is placed over the central part of the furniture’s back, which imitates the visual description of the sofa constructed so as to sit down or lay down on it with pleasure. The bolder font and larger size of letters bring to one’s mind an allusion to a wooden decoration of the upholstery.

Each part of the sofa retains the poetics of children riddle, i.e. a nursery rhyme based on a structure of a folk riddle. The text creates a funny illusion of difficulty in guessing the simple meaning. It does not require a huge effort from imagination and provides the little reader with entertainment. The first stanza consists of four distich questions and the fifth question in a form of enjambment which ends in the second stanza. In this part of the poem, the punctuation, question marks and simple rhyme-clues (such as: “chrapie – kanapie”, ‘kanapie – drapie”, “zły – kły”, ‘kły – pchły”) play an important role.

The question mark, which is used here multiple times, belongs to the punctuation of emotion – its basic func­tion is to demonstrate the emotional states of the speaker. The speaking subject, hidden behind the real world which is represented in the poem, expresses his warm feelings towards the amiable, resting creature. Similar attitude towards the sleeping character in the poem is assumed by the little readers, who enjoy playing with dogs and can easily imagine the body that slides down, because the entire situation is designed by the author to veristicly reflect the reality which is well known to all owners of dogs.

Visualization is, then, a characteristic feature of the poetry for children and the one which remains in agree­ment with psychophysical construction of the young recipient. It is possible to differentiate between several kinds of visualization creation that represent narrative structures, content and sound layers in the graphic form of the poem and constitute its picture and they were the basis for creating the above taxonomy. Simultaneously, each of the analyzed poems is a masterpiece with their unique narrative, content and sound structure. Some of these poems are closer to concrete poetry, but majority of them build connotative potential of an open structure and this potential is to be realized by the child-recipient. For the visualization of these poems is not merely about finding an iconic sign for them, as it was the case with concrete poetry.

1. Białek, J. Z. Ed. J Pisma wybrane, Maria Konopnicka. Utwory dla dzieci, Jan Nowakowski (Ed. of the series) Warszawa 1988. 2. Carroll, L. Przygody Alicji w krainie Czarów, Trans. M. Słomczyński, Warszawa 1972. 3 Cieślikowski, Sposoby istnienia bajki dziecięcej, [in:] Literatura i podkultura dziecięca, Wrocław; Warszawa; Kraków 1974. 4. Falicki, J. Kod słowny a kod rysunkowy. Próba typologii utworów piktograficznych na przykładzie “Kaligrafów” Apollinaire`a. Lublin 1988. 5.Gomringer, E. (1996) Visuelle Poesie. Antologie. Stuttgart. 6. Grochowski, G. “Na styku kodów. O literackich użyciach znaków ikonicznych”. Teksty Drugie. 2006, No. 4. 7. Kern, L. J. Wiersze pod choinkę, Warszawa 1983. 8. Milne, A. A. Kubuś Puchatek, Trans. I. Tuwim, Warszawa 1984. 9. Ostasz, M. “O wyliczeniowo-repetycyjnym modelu wiersza Marii Konopnickiej.” Guliwer. 2003, No. 3. 10. Rypson, P. Piramidy – słońca – labirynty. Poezje wizualne w Polsce od XVI do XVIII wieku. Warszawa 2002. [11] Waksmund R. (Ed.) Poe­zja dla dzieci. Antologia form i tematów, 2nd edition 1999. 12. Wysołuch, S. “Od poezji konkretnej do poezji (?) wizualnej, [in] Literatura i semiotyka. Warszawa 2001.

ПРО ДЕЯКІ МЕТОДИ ВІЗУАЛІЗАЦІЇ В ДИТЯЧІЙ ПОЕЗІЇ

Марія Осташ

Аналіз ідеографічної поезії iз застосуванням низки методів візуалізації та адресованістю юному читачеві, – пред­мет цього дослідження. Цей спосіб унаочнення віддзеркалює наративну структуру, смисловий та звуковий пласти поеми в її графічній репрезентації. Варто наголосити, що візуальна поезія дуже важлива для молодого сприй­мача, для якого картина – важливий елемент механізму сприйняття і властивий компонент вербального текс­ту. Мислення дитини насамперед наочне. Варто розглянути тексти багатьох авторів. Наочність – характер­на риса дитячої поезії і така, що гармонує з психофізичною структурою молодого сприймача. Можна розріз­няти процес творення наочності, поданий наративними структурами, смисловим і звуковим пластами, та гра­фіч­­ною формою вірша. Можна зауважити, що кожен з аналізованих віршів – це шедевр з властивою лише йому на­ративною, смисловою та звуковою структурами. Деякі з цих віршів ближчі до реальної поезії, проте біль­шість з них творять конотативний потенціал відкритої структури і цей потенціал належить реалізувати дитині-реципієнтові. Подібні ідеографічні методи застосовували Алан Александер Мілн та Льюїс Керрол. Є й непов­торні візуальні вірші, написані польськими авторами, як-от: Марія Конопніцька, Марцін Пшевозьняк, Людвік Єжи Керн, Єжи Кєрст, Юліан Корнгаузер, Єжи Гарасимович та Юзеф Ратайчак. Їхня поезія творить со­бою ці­каві форми з погляду графіки. Вірші, вибрані для доповіді, представляють процес унаочнення. Їхнє приз­на­чен­ня – предмети, тварини, рослини і явища. Терміни “visual poetry, graphic rhyme, caligram, carmen figura­tum” вживаються стосовно літературного явища, оскільки, на думку автора, належать до змісту тексту, надаю­чи йо­му й додаткових значень. Термін visual poetry – найзагальніший,він включає значення всіх інших. Його вжи­ває польський дослідник Пьотр Рипсон. Серед видів уяви, вживаних у дитячій поезії, можна розрізняти: уяву світу природи, архітектурних компонентів, просторових структур та істинного (veristic) опису речей і явищ. Прик­ла­ди згаданих видів уяви подано в доповіді в рамках формального аналізу, виконаного на основі вибраних рим.

Ключові слова: наочна поезія; графічна рима; каліграма; carmen figuratum.

УДК 821.111(73)’06-312.1.09 Д.Джорж

DOUBLE IDENTITY AND INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION

IN LITERATURE

Darja Mazi-Leskovar

University of Maribor, Slovenia

The paper “Double Identity And Intercultural Communication In Literature” explores the cross-cultural communication presented in the award-winning young adult novel Julie of the Wolves (1972) written by the American writer and researcher Jean Craighead George. The aim of the paper is to analyse the specificity of intercultural encounters taking place on the inter- and intrapersonal levels.

Key words: double cultural identity; monocultural; bicultural; tradition; intercultural communication; cross-cultural encounters; Eskimo; Anglo-American; novel.

Multicultural literary texts in which characters belong to two different cultures have cross-cultural appeal. By targeting readers of several cultural traditions, they have a privileged position among texts addressing multicultural issues. The specificity of multicultural literature that presents characters with double cultural identity is that cross-cultural encounters take place not only on the interpersonal but also on the intrapersonal levels. Such literature, therefore, doubly highlights the issues related to the multicultural awareness, which is considered to be a prerequisite for successful intercultural communication.

Multicultural awareness in the literary characters who belong to two different cultural backgrounds is inva­luable. Firstly it is because quality multicultural literary texts are considered to be endowed with the power to help readers see the world through the eyes of literary characters. Secondly, because it is anticipated that the mere fact of viewing two cultures as one’s own requires, on the one hand, constant communication at the intrapersonal level, and, on the other hand, demands some degree of critical distance between opposing cultural principles determining the two cultures. Special credit for the fact that literature is still regarded as one of the most promising assets humanity has at its disposal to raise the awareness of the importance of intercultural communication can be, therefore, attributed to books presenting double cultural identity.

Among books that feature main characters who belong to two cultures, the American prize-winning novel Julie of the Wolves (1972) by Jean Craighead George, an acclaimed writer and researcher of the Arctic habitat ranks high. By presenting a specific mode of intercultural encounters, the book encourages readers to reflect on the issues related to contemporary life and global society. This paper will, therefore, explore how the protagonist’s awareness of two different cultures develops and how her views about the two cultures undergo alterations. Additionally, this paper will put special stress on the struggle of the heroine to determine her personal identity, which leads to her maturation and acknowledgement of her own responsibility for her own personal happiness.

The key concept of this paper, intercultural communication, is used in this context in accordance with the adopted meaning recognized by communication theory and practice. Thus the term ‘communication’ is seen as the process which “requires interaction within oneself and between people”, [5, p. 261]. The meanings of the terms ‘intercultural’ and ‘cross-cultural’, which are used interchangeably, are, consequently, to be understood within the context of identifications of word culture in terms of nation, area, race or religion [5].

The quests of the protagonist to find her own way in the complicated intersections of cultures and her struggle to articulate her own changing attitudes will be thus viewed within the larger meaning of the concept ‘culture’, which embraces both traditions and practices of varied groups of individuals. Since the heroine progressively discovers that culture is not rigid and unchanging, Stuart Hall’s notion of fluidity of culture will be applied. Hall developed his theory on the basis of diasporic situations and explained it in his Critical Dialogues in Cultural Studies (1996). According to his research, characters who are supposed to belong to two ethnic entities tend to develop a distinctive type of personal culture which is based on a critical distance developed towards each of the two traditions. Hall claims that this is the principal reason why most of those individuals cannot completely fit in either of the two cultures they have grown into. Such a situation, however, is not limited to diasporic individuals since it also arises when characters who by origin belong to one culture live in an environment that fosters another culture. Consequently, Hall’s theory is also applicable to Inuit culture, which can be encountered in various states, in different political frameworks, where the Inuit tradition is confronted with other cultural backgrounds.

Inuit culture is referred to in Craighead George’s novel also as Eskimo culture. In compliance with the author’s usage, the two terms will also be used indiscriminately in this text. The setting, the territory of the USA, underpins the justification of the appellation ‘Eskimo,’ as it is still in general usage outside of Canada to refer to all Inuit peoples [6].

The paper will, furthermore, examine the intercultural encounters in the light of Werner Sollors’ theory on various types of links which determine an individual’s relationship to a particular culture. Sollors’ interpretation of consent and descent appears to be most suitable for the analysis of intercultural encounters. Sollors uses the term ‘descent’ in compliance with the general usage defined in The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary as “the fact of descending or being descended from an ancestor or predecessor” [2, p. 643]. Descent relations, thus, reveal a person’s origin. Sollors’ term ‘consent relations,’ on the other hand, expresses the relations that are not determined by nature or birth but by environment and individual choices. These encompass both the ones based on voluntary agreement and those based on acquiescence. Within the context of this paper, consent relations appear to be of particular importance since they are a testimony to the fact that we, humans, are capable of acting “as mature free agents and ‘architects of our fate’” [12, p. 6].



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