Kosovelova referenca na Čapka in njen kontekst

TitleKosovelova referenca na Čapka in njen kontekst
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsJuvan, Marko
JournalPrimerjalna književnost
KeywordsČapek K., Czech literature, dystopia, interdiscursivity, intertextuality, Kosovel S., modernism, modernity, robot, Slovenian literature

Kosovel’s 1925 poetic montage Kons contains a series of references to Karel Čapek’s dystopian science-fiction play RUR of 1920, which was printed in Ljubljana in 1921 and then staged in 1922. During the interwar period, Čapek was the most widely translated and cited contemporary Czech writer in Slovenia; he was also interesting because he made his way into the world literature system and also because of his “global” perspective on the complex issues of the modern age. The reference to and concise paraphrase of Čapek’s play RUR, in which the concept of the robot was first introduced, can be seen as a modernist intertextual example for Kosovel’s engaged cosmopolitan treatment of complex discourse issues. In this paraphrase, the metaphysic tradition of the new-age rational and instrumental attitude towards the world and otherness (inscribed in the development of the motif of an artificial human or homunculus), substantiated by power, is historically realized in the form of social and political conflicts of globalized industrial capitalism; these conflicts are summed up in the Taylorist concept of production, which reduced the working class to a mechanism due to its logic of maximizing capital. After the First World War, the conflicts inherent in western modernism and capitalism gave rise to mass revolutionary movements and totalitarian regimes that brought European civilization to the verge of ruin. Čapek’s and Kosovel’s humanism was able to perceive and express this in many texts that were similar in terms of their hybrid, eclectic version of modernism, cosmopolitan view, and intertextual poetics.