„before, They Were Passing Petitions Under the Tables, Now They Do It with Drugs“ : Analysis of Construction of Dis/Continuity Between the Periods before and after the Revolution of 1989 in Czech Prose

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 14:45
Location: Hörsaal 14 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Jan VANA, Sociology, Czech Republic
The goal of this work is to explore how discontinuity, respectively continuity, is represented in prozaic texts referring to two legal Czechoslovak regimes which are historically separated by sequence of events generally known as The Velvet Revolution. The prozaic text, as I suppose, perfectly fits for studying phenomenon of historical dis/continuity in cultural context. Similarly to journalistic text or scientific paper, the prose provides us certain evidence about the world in which we live in. In contrast to these two styles, though, the prose is subjected to the rules of artistic – or literaryfield which bears certain qualities regarding the communicated information. Prosaic text communicates particular historical experience using certain form of phenomenological reduction with which the author plays down phenomena considered as irrelevant and emphasizes phenomena considered as the most essential. The prism of literary field allows us also  to see how a literary work reflects socio-historical phenomena in broader context – in which way the dis/continuity discourse circulates  between cultural artifacts and social sphere.

My interest aims to the literary works which resonate in the society. For this purpose I choose my data sample according to the following criteria: 1/ Institutionalized and publicly well-recognized literary competitions, 2/ sales statistics, 3/ the way how particular literary pieces resonate in the public debate. To investigate the mechanism of mutual influencing between literature and social sphere, I concentrate on the public debate concerning literary field. I explore literary reviews, articles, online blogs, interviews and discussions. My research questions are: In which way is a historical experience represented within particular prozaic texts; How is this presentation related to the phenomenon of discontinuity of the year 1989 in Czechoslovakia. How this presentation constructs dis/continuity and which means of expression does it embrace for this purpose.