Srečko Kosovel and the hybridity of modernism

TitleSrečko Kosovel and the hybridity of modernism
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsJuvan, Marko
JournalPrimerjalna književnost
Start Page189
IssueSpecial issue
Keywordsavant-garde, hybridity, modernism, Slovenian poetry

The anomalies in the distribution and reception of Srečko Kosovel's poetry texts have engendered contradictory perceptions of the poet (as a belated heir of Slovenian Impressionism, an expressionist visionary, a radical avant-garde author), and literary history had to face the problem of the periodisation of Kosovel's heterogeneous oeuvre. Kosovel's poetics (impressionist and symbolist, expressionist, proletarian, avant-garde and modernist) do reveal perceptible changes in their mode of poetic communication, in which the author aims to transcend aesthetic autonomy and open up his text to various discourses, texts, messages, themes and images of the modern world. But Kosovel - throughout his entire life - forged his own poetic identity precisely through the hybrid coexistence of diverse poetics; thus his identity refuses to be contained within the narrow bounds of the traditional historical narrative of literary evolution and ruptures. This reveals not only a young man's search for his own "authentic expression", but constitutes an important symptom of modernism - modernist heteroglossia, relativism, ambivalence, presentism and perspectivism. Stylistic and poetic hybrids are trademarks of modernist art; it can also emerge within the oeuvre of an individual author.