Insatiable Appetite: Excessive Matter in Bruno Jasieński’s Poems
Jezyk, Agnieszka K
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In my thesis, I investigate the problem of excessive matter in major Polish futurist’s, Bruno Jasieński’s erotic poetry. My input in the scholarship on Jasieński is to combine the poetic (materiality of the language) and ideological (cultural and class analysis) approach to reading his work. The phenomenon of inanimate matter is crucial for the Polish futurists, including Jasieński, who, following Marinetti’s “Technical Manifesto of the Futurist Literature” wanted to abandon the “I” centered lyric and instead focus on the reality of the objects in an attempt to modernize outdated Polish culture. Among other meanings, this materiality functions primarily on the level of language through the emphasis on semanticizing the rhythm, the rhymes (Kristeva), viewing the word as an image in visual poetry (Rypson), or as a sound. The view of the language as a matter is crucial for my project. In my research I am interested in the excessive materiality, which I describe through excessive practices of human and inhuman subjects such as eating of luxurious foods, enjoying music, fantasizing, engaging in sexual acts or desiring, and copying/reproducing/creating, and through implementing the plentitude of non-poetic discourses in Jasieński’s lyric (advertising, film, music, fairy tale, crime narratives). To investigate the excessive matter, I use the term technology, which I understand primarily as the convention of erotic poetry. I focus on this discourse since it exposes the critical role of futurism in the development of Polish culture. Aiming against the Romantic paradigm, the most dominant cultural formation in Poland until present day, the avant-gardists wanted to move erotica from the realm of sentimental into the realm of material. Preceded by the father of Polish love lyric Bolesław Leśmian, the futurists and constructivists were the first ones to break with the objective of depicting eroticism through the lens of spiritual. I argue, that in the Polish context it was actually one of their most revolutionary practices. Moreover, it appears to be a very distinctive feature compared to other futurist movements in Europe, primarily focused on narrating the modern experience through an experimental approach to the language.