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Viktor Žmegač and the Zagreb critical school: From immanentism to culturology


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Oraić Tolić, Dubravka. (2009). Viktor Žmegač and the Zagreb critical school: From immanentism to culturology. Umjetnost riječi : časopis za znanost o književnosti, 53(3-4). pp. 185-206. ISSN 0503-1853

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The article defines the notion of culture and its relation toward the twentieth century literary studies, placing the oeuvre of Viktor Žmegač in the context of the Zagreb literary school. Firstly, two dominant concepts of culture are outlined: one at the beginning, and the other at the end of the twentieth century. At the beginning of the twentieth century the concept of culture was essentialist, substantialist and elitist (Dilthey’s »Spirit of the Times« [Zeitgeist], the tragic division of the subject and its objectivizations in the works of Georg Simmel, Freud’s sublimation of the instinctual, Cassirer’s doctrine of the a priori, culture as »superstructure« of the Frankfurt School). Such an idea of culture provided an incentive to the literary studies to isolate its own area of study and base it outside the concept of culture as defined by the immanentist paradigm. At the end of the twentieth century, at the time of the so called, cultural turn, the idea of culture became a component part of the epistemological turn from essentialism toward constructivism, and from elitism to populism. Such a notion of culture provided an impetus to the literary studies to depart from immanentist paradigm and find its foothold in the area of the new culturology. The second part of the article outlines a short history of the Zagreb Critical School with particular reference to the thought diverging from the immanentist paradigm (Škreb’s dilemma regarding the interpretation, Flaker’s intermediality, Katičić’s early turn in the reception regarding the explication of the standard speech). It is in this context that we trace the critical thought of Viktor Žmegač from »critical sociology« of the literary text (Literary Creativity and the History of Society: Literary and Sociological Issues, 1976; Literature and Reality, 1982) to literature in the context of culture and cultural studies (culturology) (Viennese Modernism: A Portrait of a Culture, 1998; Literature and Music: Intermedial Studies, 2003; From Bach to Bauhaus: A History of German Culture, 2006).

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Slavic languages and literatures > East Slavic languages and literatures - Russian
Slavic languages and literatures
Departments: Department of East Slavic Languages and Literature > Chair of Russian Literature
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2018 08:37
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2018 08:37

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