“Inscription” XXVII (2021)

Isolation and communication – deliberations on the forms of literary and cultural communication

The proposal for edition no. XXVII is a reaction to the new phenomena, happening before our eyes, relating to isolation at the time of the pandemic. The restrictions forced by this extraordinary situation have already found their clear reflection in cultural phenomena – not only in the ever-growing role of the Internet in exchanging information, but also in the creation of new, online forms of work and entertainment (virtual libraries, archives and museums, ‘meet the author’ sessions, concerts and book fairs on the net). A different type of communication also has a bearing on its form and content, shaping new ways of reception.

In the Isolation and communication edition, we intend to examine the eponymous issue also in a wider perspective, less connected to the current events (Covid-19 pandemic), and more to the inspiration which the notions of ‘pandemic’, ‘isolation’ and ‘communication’ can bring for researchers of culture, anthropologists, literature scholars, or linguists. This traumatic experience can be seen as an sort of an impulse, which emphasised specific characteristics of human culture, psychology, existential self-consciousness. It thus encourages us (or even forces us) to look deeper into the ‘person-world’ (also: the world of nature), and ‘person-other people’ relationships.

Some of the new phenomena, which we would like to explore, include:

  • transformation, development and rapid increase in popularity of new forms of social communication (the role of Internet communicators and social media, ‘meme culture’);
  • ludic references to high-brow culture (the phenomenon of global popularity of the ‘play with art’ – its re-enactment and creation in domestic circumstances);
  • themes of communication as a way of overcoming manipulation and disinformation, of searching for cultural forms, whose aim is to defeat the limitations of physical isolation of a subject in the world of interpersonal relations;
  • forced or voluntary confinement, internment, or seclusion, and the reflections of these in the literature of personal document (for example, prison biography, letters, diaries, journals) and in fiction;
  • the influence of being isolated from human society on the broadening of communication between the human and nature;
  • a metaphorical understanding of ‘isolation’ as ‘death’ (real and symbolic) and communication as ‘life’ (theme of quarantine and pestilence, both real and metaphoric);
  • an analysis of the attempts at overcoming or transgressing this ‘death of a dialogue’ (in relation to the forms of classic culture: the theme of ‘conversation with the dead’, visits to the other world, as well as the transformations of the model and language of discussing passing and the inevitability of the end of life).

All of this also speaks to a rising need for a metaphysical perspective ‘in the time of pestilence’ – for the existence of post mortem in contemporary literature.

The editorial team remains open to suggestions of different interpretations of the topic, as long as they are connected to the two fundamental notions of the planned edition: isolation – communication.

Topic applications, together with abstracts, should be sent to us by 31 May 2021.