Call for Contributions

Poetological Aspects of Literary Fiction by Philosophers

World Literature Studies 2/2018

 Editors: Marcel Forgáč (;, University of Presov; Milan Kendra (;, University of Presov

The suggested theme is designed to explore the poetological aspects of texts by philosophers. The editors would gladly accept contributions aimed at broad scale literary critical analysis of, e.g. Dionysian-Dithyrambs or Thus Spake Zarathustra by F. Nietzsche, S. Kierkegaard’s Diary of a Seducer, the works of M. de Unamuno, S. de Beauvoir, G. Marcel, M. Blanchot, A. Rand and others. These texts indicate features of aesthetic approach and have the potential of attaining the status of literary fiction; therefore we plan to shift them to the field of critical literary and aesthetic reflection.

The potential of this theme for research lies in the possibility of spanning the two communication systems (literature and philosophy). Since the beginning of the 20th century philosophical tendencies (from Wittgenstein’s critique of language to Derrida’s deconstruction) have strongly problematized methodologies that insist on delimiting particular discourses. On the contrary, not only have they given arguments in favour of the permeability of their interface, but also have revealed the disposition of these systems to converge. From this perspective, the area between philosophy and literature can be characterized by increased semiotic activity, such as competing, transformation and translation of texts. The objective of the suggested research is to overcome the traditional classification of texts into particular fields of interest based on the concept of authorship (affiliation of male or female authors to literature or philosophy) or other extralinguistic motivation. It is a “field of writing” (J. Derrida) where simultaneous occurrence of these systems takes place.

The research within this theme should be concerned with literariness and identity of texts at a point where philosophy and literature intersect, and consequently with the analysis of expressive categories and elements of literary genre in the composition of the text. Attention should be focused on works of art (types of literary discourse) insufficiently dealt with by critical literary consideration, although their aesthetic functionality qualify them for a place in the literary canon. Mostly they are considered only an illustration of an author’s philosophical views. In the case where they are primarily approached by methods and terminology of philosophical discourse, their aesthetic features are covered because (within the studies of authors’ wider philosophical tendencies) the referential function and cognitive values of these structures are emphasized. Typical of this approach (in reference to A. Nünning) are a predominant abstract conceptuality, denotative symbolization, a logical line of reasoning, a sense of the general validity of statements etc. The experiential quality of literary depiction is permeated by the authority of conceptual expression with all of its specifying potential. The poetological coordinates of literary fiction are in both perspectives for various reasons either neutralized or omitted and, in consequence, neither disclosed nor carefully studied.

The transition of texts between systems poses a question concerning the potential of fiction by philosophers to incorporate functional features of both systems simultaneously, on the one hand, to explicate philosophical problems and maintain referential function and cognitive values, and on the other hand, to create aesthetic experience and to acquire aesthetic structure. The transition is to be examined as a disposition of deep-structural relations of the text.

The suggested research theme may be encompassed by the following topics:

  • philosophical novel, philosophical short story, philosophical poem as a genological issue
  • critical literary and aesthetic reflection on texts within the scope of philosophical discourse
  • aesthetic and noetic value of literary fiction by philosophers
  • the relation between form and content in literary fiction by philosophers
  • the research of narrative aspects or lyrical style in works by philosophers
  • code of communication in particular texts with regard to intertextuality, stylistic and philosophical aspects


Languages of contributions: Slovak, Czech, English

Authors are invited to send abstracts of 1 800 characters to editors’ email addresses (given above) by 31 October 2017. Authors will be notified about further cooperation by 30 November 2017.