Livet etterlikner kunsten - Speilingen mellom verk og liv som meningsproduserende figur i lesninger av Jean Potockis Manuscrit trouvé à Saragosse
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionNorsk litteraturvitenskapelig tidsskrift 2015, 18(2):164-177
This article presents the history of Jan Potocki’s novel Manuscrit trouvé à Saragosse, exploring how the publication history of the book mirrors the story contained in the text. New manuscripts were discovered in 2002 that completely changed the reception of Potocki’s novel. The discovery revealed that the author had written two distinct versions of the text. It also led to the conclusion that the nineteenth-century Polish translation, which had until then dominated the reception of the text, was a combination of the two versions, and therefore highly unreliable. This translation had a crucial influence on the twentieth-century editions and translations, causing what in retrospect are rather curious interpretations. Intriguingly, this publication history appears as a reflexion of the novel’s own plot, which tells the story of the discovery of a manuscript containing numerous stories in different languages, and which thematizes the hermeneutical difficulties in dealing with a world in which the truth can only appear in fragments. The article explores how this mirroring of life and art may serve as a productive tool for hermeneutical enquiry.