Innovations and Reproductions in Cultures and Societies
(IRICS) Vienna, 9 - 11 december 2005

<< Recycling Culture. Ancient and Sacral Texts in (Post) Modern Literature and Art

Death: recycled metaphor and lyrical identity

Peter Suhajda (Károli University of the Reformed Church, Budapest)



Dezső Kosztolányi (1885-1936), member of the first generation of the Hungarian periodical, 'Nyugat', published his second poetical volume in 1910 the title of which is 'Laments of a poor little child'. Its first poem establishes an identifying view-point to the whole cycle as a metonymical quintessence. An adult remembers and goes back to the past from the moment of his death when his state of being reaches its totality. Actually it is not a real situation or event but a product of fancy: 'Like someone who's fallen between the rails...' Death is an expressive poetical game of tropes, similes and metaphors in the whole cycle. Throughout the diseased and afflicted Kosztolányi's last volume ('Account', published in 1935) death is not a game any more but 'reality' for the biographical author and his fictitious speakers. And death is not a metaphor any longer, but a long expected future and an expressible fact, a 'recycled metaphor' expressed by figures of speech, like an allegory of the season before winter (and death) in the poem 'Breakfast in autumn'.

Innovationen und Reproduktionen in Kulturen und Gesellschaften (IRICS) Wien, 9. bis 11. Dezember 2005

WEBDESIGN: Peter R. Horn 2005-10-11