International Journal of Literary Culture / Internationale Zeitschrift für literarische Kultur
Ed. by Biti, Vladimir / Liska, Vivian
CiteScore 2018: 0.12
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.122
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.329
The relationship between literary texts and ritual has become an important topic which literary studies have brought into the field of cultural studies. The connection, as is put forward in this perspective, does not reduce the problem to interpreting textual representations of ritual acting. The question is rather, to which extent and in which way the ‘making’, poetry itself, interacts with the performative act of the ritual. Only by performing, by “acting with words”, and as a repetition, which is both a reassurance and a re-enactment, literary texts are related to the ritual. Literature thus traces back the ritual to a point of “degré zéro”, to an in-between state, where no closure is implied and its history consists of no more than the inscription of this process of continual shifting. Focussing on the motif of the duel, as described in Kleist’s “Der Zweikampf ”, Conrad’s “The Duel” and Pushkin’s “Vystrel”, the text discusses, how literary representation and the interventions and delays enforcing movement of the ritual, interact in a constitutive way.