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2011, Nr 1-2 (1), Preliminarium
Cultural Texts: Polish and Russian Albums in the Age of Romanticism
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album, Romanticism, Polish, Russian, cultural text, structure, material culture, object.
This article examines Romantic albums – scrapbooks containing inscriptions, autographs, drawings, and personal memorabilia – as artifacts and as polysemic, heterogeneous “texts” of early nineteenth-century Russian and Polish culture. Albums flourished in the age of Romanticism because of their location at the nexus of literature and fine arts, social life and domesticity, high and low culture. Flexible and open-ended, albums facilitated discourses of memory, national identity, and authorship. History of the album shows it to have originated in ancient Rome as album amicorum and enter Slavic cultures via German Stammbuch as early as the sixteenth century. After this introductory presentation of the album as a cultural object, the article focuses on the album’s textual structure: form, multifarious content, and the internal languages that govern its arrangement and decoding. Thus the album is a cultural text in two senses: it is a collection that encapsulates philosophical, socio-political, and aesthetic concerns of Romanticism, but it is also a physical verbal/pictorial text that frequently approximates a literary work, a book, or an art object.
Informacje o autorze:
BEINEK JUSTYNA – filolog, literaturoznawca, Assistant Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures w Indiana University. E-mail: jbeinek[at]indiana.edu