Slavica Gadzova

The place of power
The Outside
Who is speaking?
Articulation of the Truth as Violence
Discourses Being Deconstructed in Literature: The Totalitarian Case
The Ways of Deconstructing the Totalitarian Discourse in Literature: The Case of Slovak Prose. Few examples.



          Literature is not created and it does not exist in vacuum. The mere fact that the literary discourse is part of the broader discursive space brings the requirement for thinking over the discursive interactions in the discursive space. Accordingly, despite the in-text researches (researching of the immanent characteristics and in-text factors) occurs the requirement for the researches’ opening toward outside, opening which won’t be one-way. That kind of research will be focused upon the transfers and transactions moving:
          - From the wider discursive space and the relations of power toward literary text;
          - From the literary text toward wider discursive space and discourses of power.
          The goals of this kind of research are:
          1. Examining a whole system of relations, finding the places of intersection, which would contribute to the occurrence of an inter-discursive network, which will be a contribution for the literary researches and will open new research field in that direction;
          2. Showing the contamination of the literary discourse with the discourses of power (without the need of generalization of the causal mechanisms);
          3. Interpretation of the literary discourse from the aspect of its ability to produce power, knowledge and truth.


          The place of power, its position, location, it is differently seen and interpreted in the various theories in the political philosophy. Different understandings of the place of power bring different types of its damasking, undermining or producing in the frames of the literary discourse, especially the prose. Because of that, here we will have a brief look at the different views and understandings of the place of power.

1. Structural Centralization of Power

          This is the oldest and the classical view on the place of power. The “place of power” here refers to an abstract symbolic position, through which power relations are organized  and constituted.Thus, the power is embodied in the figure of the sovereign and the power is symbolically invested in the body of the king. In this case, the power relations are reduced to a few central mechanisms. This view is connected to the essentialist understandings of the world. This essentialist view is also connected with the production of universal paradigms, which are taken as norms for the other identities and entities, as mere instruments for repression and control.

2. The Manichean Paradigm(s) of Power

          The Manichean paradigm(s) of power are based upon dual understanding of the world, and the power relations are seen as an essentialist antithesis between the order of power and the order of humanity. The Manichean paradigm of power establishes the universality of the humanity as uncontaminated epistemological, ontological and ethical position, to judge for the actions of power and the violence encoded in its discourses. This view is also an essentialist one, and it is deconstructed in the contemporary theories.

3. Empty Place of Power

          This is newer view on the place of power and the power relations. This would be a way of seeing power relations as organized around a symbolic mechanism or place—albeit one which is lacking and constitutively “empty.” The place of power which formerly was possessed by the sovereign is empty after his “decapitation“, but still remains as an empty horizon which produces a wish and it is open for the entities which aspire to fulfill it. This theory is somewhere between the essentialist’s determinism and the Foucault’s theory of power and the similar ones.

Omnipresence of the Power

          The theory of Michel Foucault, theory of the omnipresence of power is the theory on which this research is based the most. Inability to stay neutral and immune to power, its “capillary“nature, its multiple connection with the discourse which constructs (and the discourse, then, perpetuates the power), are the main baselines for the researching of the relationships between the power and the literature. In opposite to the traditional models and understandings of power, Foucault rejects the assumption of existing of a single center of power, from which it is spreads over the whole society. According to him, power should be understood as multiplicity of relations, immanent to the sphere where they operate, and which constitutes its organization. The relations of power could not be established, consolidated and implemented without the accumulation and functioning of the discourse and the practicing of power is impossible without the economy of discourses of truth.
          Because of the unbreakable connection between the discourse and the power, we will use the phrase “discourses of power“to denote the discourses which, in the game of power relations, became domineering, and speaking through the dimension of the universal, from the position of legitimacy, violate the discourses produced in different places in the discursive network.
          Here we come to the moment to examine the relations literature – discourses of power. In these relations, literature has more roles, or produces more effects:
          - Damasks the violence inscribed in the discourses of power and opens it toward future reinterpretations, examining the discursive baselines and limits, producing new knowledge about the culture, society and world;
          - Produces its own, literary economy of power discourses, as opposing strategy to the discourses of power and the production of knowledge in their knowledge industries.
          - There is also a possibility that the literary discourses, through the production of its own knowledge, could be articulated as violence, more precisely, as discourses which do marginalize, discredit and exclude, throughout producing special literary strategies of viewing.


          The essentialist concepts usually anticipate existing of a privileged position, outside the power, which allows judgments and resistance. That is connected with the understanding that power and its agents are external to humans and that the power does not have legitimacy and the man should do that according to his natural right. But, the Foucault’s theory about the decentralization and dispersion of the power refers to the fact that there is not place outside of the power networks. But, some other theoreticians consider that it must exist some kind of “constitutional outside“, beyond the discursive limits of the constructionist position, which could allow criticizing of the power relations. In the discussion about the “constitutional outside“, it seems that the problem is solved in the Derrida’s deconstruction. According to him, the “extraterritoriality“ emerges from the structure of the discourse. That “extraterritoriality “, or gap, functions as its internal limit and presents the place for destabilization of its coherency and consistency. That means that resistance, or reinterpretation could be produced just inside, in the discursive space, based upon its internal contradictions or aporia (Derrida) as double writing, form of criticizing which is not inside, nor outside of the discourse. Complete extraterritoriality to the discursive networks could have just the figure of God; just God could be outside the law, language and order. We could not leave our order, even when we criticize it.
          Accordingly, the literary discourse is inscribed in the broader discursive space, in its gaps and aporia, contemplating it, trying to resolve it, and always producing new. Never isolated and self-sufficient, it enters in numerous and unpredictable processes of interaction and intersection, in the processes of creating worlds and realities.


          One of the most important operations in this kind of research and interpretation is asking the question: Who is speaking? It is not important just in the frame of the society, but also in the frame of the fictional world created by the prose. The position of the one who is speaking, determines his discourse and the attitude toward the other discourses. This question is elaborated by Michel Foucault, but also by Mikhail Bakhtin, in his famous study, The novel, in the frame of his theory of the dialogism an polyphony in the prose. Thus, the speech of the narrator in the novel, and in the prose in general, is never neutral; it is always contaminated and determined by his ideological position. “The speaking one“ through his narration, articulates his truth according to his position, his point of view and on the other side is “the silent one“, whose truth is not articulated, silent, and thus not existing, because is not inscribed in the discursive space. According to Bakhtin, the speaking man in the novel is always an ideologist, without exceptions. So, to summarize this, we will say that:
          - The speech is always contaminated by the point of view of the one who is speaking, no matter what kind of attitude he has toward the contextual speech;
          - He makes connections with the Otherness, throughout processes of dialogisation, confrontation or assimilation;
          - The violence is always inscribed in the attitude held by the speaking one towards the Otherness.


          The discussion about the relations between the power, knowledge and discourse, inevitably opens the issue on violence, as inevitable element woven in this “trinity“. The violence is inscribed in the possibility for discourse and in the shaping of every speech. The violence in the novels which will be interpreted, will be examined from two perspectives:
          - On the discursive level – its manifestation as discursive violence;
          - On the story level.
          Discursive violence is connected with the question “Who is speaking“. “The speaking one“ inevitably makes violence, because the interpretation and humanization of the world is connected with the subject’s  identification of the objects in the processes of the permanent defining of the identity and Otherness. The process of identification of the objects is its constructing in the discursive field. As Foucault says, the speaking subject nominates, analyzes, classifies and describes the objects.
          The essentialist theories of power usually consider the violence as one-way process, moving from the center of power toward the ones outside the center. Thus, binary oppositions are made, where on the side of the torturers is situated the essence of evil, and on the side of the victims, the essence of good. But, these binary oppositions are surpassed, and we can say that the processes of the discursive violence are mutual and reciprocal.[1]


          Literature, among the other aspects, inscribes itself in the discourse’s gaps (or, as Derrida says, aporia), to ensure discursive articulations that are going to destabilize the meanings, imposed by the discourses of power as inviolable. The discourses of power, the ones which in the games power are imposed as domineering, are striving towards denomination, establishment, stabilization and eternization of the meanings and the practices of denoting. All of the discourses of power have their own ways of denoting and violent imposing of the ideologically coded meanings. These meanings, thus, are invested in the discursive practices which maintain the order. It seems that of all the discourses of power, which are equally violent in the imposing of the ideologically coded meanings, the totalitarian discourses, or the discourses of the totalitarian regimes are the most specific ones. In my previous researches the discourses of power which took part, are, the discourse of the owning, the discourse of the liberal humanism, the discourse of terrorism, and I think that the totalitarian discourses deserve special attention. Namely, the totalitarian discourses are one of the most rigid in its tendencies of overcoming the other discourses in the process of totalitarianism. The totalitarian discourse establishes the annulment of the different perspectives and voices. This makes throughout the tendency to cover the whole discursive field, identifying with its totality. On the assumption of the limits of the discursive space, the totalitarian discourse identifies its limits with the limits of the discursive space. Of course, discourse has no limits, it is not one-dimensional and definitive, and in opposition of its totalization and eternization, it is endless and unpredictable. The practices produced by the totalitarian discourse, whose aim is self-perpetuation, however, make gaps, places for producing contra-discourses. Dominant characteristic of the world and the society, as Bahktin says, is the variety of the speech, so all tries for monolithically articulated discourse are condemned. Maybe because the dialogization, or better, the polyphony, is connected with the living discourse, and the monologic orientation of the authoritarian speech (look: Bakhtin) is connected with the dying discourse or the discourse which is going to die. Differently said, in the political theory and in the history, we can find explanations for the totalitarianism, as following. The state, usually under the power of a single political person, faction, or class, recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible. In these tendencies, even the terroristic concept and practices are not excluded, in the process of producing power, anxiety and fear among the population, inability for articulation of contra-discourses and restriction of the free speech. The annulling of the perspectives begins with erasing of the individualism and its assimilation in the ’mass of totality’. Totality means existence and establishing of just one and only, social, political, historical and cultural identity, which is finished, and the most important is its promoting, reproducing and maintenance. The individual is assimilated in the compact mass body and the massive social terror prevents the possibility of its weakening. The totalitarian regime strives to encompass and control every aspect of the private life of the citizens. The access to new ’sources’ of life is rigidly banned, and the ones trying to make dissemination of the discourse, discovering new spheres in culture and life, in the frames of totalitarian regimes, simply disappear. They are scapegoats, scarified in the name of maintenance of the order. The totalitarian regime tends towards omnipresence and omniscience, infallibility, unconditional and permanent admiration and personal devotion. It promotes and ritually celebrates danger and violence. So, speaking in general, as each try for universality, this discourse brings exclusion and marginalization.
          Literature has always been destabilization factor for the systems and violent discourses, and so, in the case of the totalitarian period it is not different. In Slovak literature there are many works concerning this problematic, but in this research will be interpreted the following ones: The end of the game and Patagonia by Dušan Mitana; Mind by Rudolf Sloboda; A Horse UpstairsA Blind Man in Vrable and The Cruel Engine Driver by Pavel Vilikovský.


          The deconstruction of the discourses of power in the literature operates at two levels: at the level of the story (thematic level) and the level of the discourse (the level of narration and literary techniques, the issue of the ways of the narration of the story, ways of articulation, focalization and expression). All of the literary works mentioned above make the double deconstruction. The ways of deconstruction will be interpreted altogether, without making taxonomy and classification, because the deconstruction at the both levels is part of the authors’ poetics. Let us begin with the novel Mind by Rudolf Sloboda. The narrator in this novel, who is also the main character, is an artist, script-writer. The script writer hardly manages the situations with determined themes, patterns and writing techniques, and the foreordained modes and models of perception and representation of the reality. All of the so called artistic works, and so the scripts, should be in accordance with the established model of the representation of the reality, and should focus upon the socialist order. Everything else is put under question mark, rejected and censored. Our ’hero’, in contrary, man who is not productive in the company where he works, starts script writing, incongruous with the rules. Here, Rudolf Sloboda uses the post-modern technique, called story within story. The story of the script is actually, story written by the narrator of the first diegetic level, story of the hipodiegetic level. The story of the hipodiegetic level, the adventures of Don Yuan of Zabokrek, is an attempt of the script writer to enter in the intimate space of the private life, leaving the imposed public space, emphasized as one and only suitable place for artistic representation. Shifting of the focus of the script-writer toward the sphere of the intimate life, discriminated and outcaste from the totalitarian discourse, goes along with changing of the techniques of representation: narration of the story on the hipodiegetic level leaves the soc-realistically understood mimesis, entering in the spaces of luddism, carnevalesque, comic, and adventure and trivia. This sympathetic and playful ’story within story’ is literary way of deconstruction of the social totality, whose norms cut out the individuality, privacy, intimacy and originality as social malignant tissue, which has potential to imperil the healthy tissue of the stable socialistic society. The post-modernistic shifting of the focus from the first story to the second and vice versa, clearly points out the weak sides of the domineering discourse and regime, opening it and emphasizing the field of the individuality as basic cell in the society. Let us back onward, on the first diegetic level. Here, the author makes one of the most obvious deconstructive techniques, through the use of the first-person narration. Namely, the aesthetical, anthropological, ontological and epistemological aspects of the text are highly connected with the narrative situation. Thus, the world in the diegetic universe of the auctorial narration novels is seen, followed and judged from above; in the personal narrative situation is seen from the side; but in the first person narratives, the representative effect depends on existential motivation of the narrator. The auctorial situation, in its most rigorous type, where the narrator is omnipresent and omniscient and god-like above the diegetic universe, is connected with the tendency toward objective focalization of the reality in its totality. Auctorial narrator tends toward generalizations and moralizations; it is almost invisible and transcendent powerful voice managing the story. These generalizations have their ideological background, which determines the representation of the reality. The auctorial narrative situation is commonly used in the soc-realistic prose, and the deconstruction of the totalitarian discourse is made indirectly, through braking of the aesthetical principles of the domineering aesthetical doctrine of the regime. Sloboda introduces first-person narrator, who is, as we already mentioned, marginalized script-writer, social outsider, upset, sick and unhappy man. Far from the marvelous generalizations of the soc-realistic works, Sloboda’s narrator, throughout his upset, distracted, subjectively colored narration, shows the putrid places in the socialist society. The narration is fast, with sharp changes of the focus from inside toward outside and vice versa; the passes from introspection toward perceived aspects of the reality are sharp and unpredictable; both levels reflect in each other, witnessing the quality of life in the socialist Slovak society in the 80s in the 20 century. The classical point of view – from the above (as in the auctorial narration) is replaced by point of view from below, ’frog’s’ or maybe ’ant’s’ perspective. The ’ant’s’ perspective destroys the meta-narratives of the socialism, issued on the realized, dignified, socialistic, new man. It is a perspective of someone who could be crushed down from the machinery of the system. As very suitable interpretative tool for the Sloboda’s narration in Mind, could be the category of the absurd, and maybe more that certain critics define his prose as existentialist. But, according to me, Sloboda is post-modern author. Carnevalization, ironical and burlesque stylization, internal polemics and luddism in changing the both diegetic levels, are acts of deconstruction and strong, productive aesthetical literary acts. Also, the chronotopes in the novel could be understood as part of the deconstructive poetics of the author. The chronotope designates the spatial-temporal matrix, which governs the base condition of all narratives and other linguistic acts. Specific chronotopes are said to correspond to particular genres, or relatively stable ways of speaking, which themselves represent particular worldviews or ideologies. To this extent, a chronotope is both a cognitive concept and a narrative feature of language. The chronotopes are points in the geography of a community where time and space intersect and fuse. Time takes on flesh and becomes visible for human contemplation; likewise, space becomes charged and responsive to the movements of time and history and the enduring character of a people. Chronotopes thus stand as monuments to the community itself, as symbols of it, as forces operating to shape its members' images of themselves. The chronotope of the ’home’ in which the individual is never homed and the chronotope of the hospital, at the first diegetic level, are opposed to the adventurist chronotope on the second diegetic level, in the story about Jan Herc. The narrator lives between the ’dirty home’ and the hospital. The hospital is chronotope of Otherness, irrationality and incongruousness in many famous works in world literature. Allegorically interpreted, there are the ones who don’t belong to the society’s Sameness, and as its Otherness, should be cured. The hospital, thus, is place for curing of the Otherness and place for practicing normalization, as Foucault would say. From the other side, throughout different interpretative prism, we can say that the frequency of the hospital chronotope, points out that the actual regime and discourse makes sick, ill, disoriented people. Issuing the perception and focalization of the power as such in this novel, we can say that the model of symbolical and structural centralization of power is promoted. The power is emanated by one and only center. The centralized power has unlimited potentials among the subjugated identities and entities. The given identity model is an instrument of repression and control at every level of the society. The discourses produced by the other side, have very small or worthless chances for complete articulation. The script is written, but it is not accepted, nor filmed; Jan Krek will never see the light of the premiere. Strongly desired opening toward the private sphere is cut in its roots. Ordinary man in the totalitarian regime, as ant seeing the word from his ant’s perspective, is stepped by the boot of the pure totality. Even sometimes Manichean opposed as equal, the natural authority of the humanity and the artificial authority of the regime, the game wins brutally centralized power. Thus, Sloboda does not force any discourse as contra-discourse; naive and playful as the script about Jan Krek, they are condemned. It could be seen in the last sentence of the novel: I am dead man. So, The Outside, exciting in controversies inside the discourse (of the totalitarian regime) is violently erased; public opening of the new space, presented in the script (as metonymy), the space of Otherness is rejected; the hero, who decided to make some subversion, has only two choices to be outside: the hospital or the tomb. The contra-discourse, at the very beginning of its articulation, is murdered. Thus, we can say that Mind shows and discuses, the process of constitution of the discourses of normality. As Foucault would say, and Sloboda presents it perfectly in his prose, the discourses of normality (rationality, as it is emphasized in the paratext of the title) are constituted throughout processes of exclusion, marginalization and erasing other voices and perspectives. Contrasted withMind, where the narration and the focalization force reduction to banality of everyday life, and the banality is just a step to the absurd, the poetic of the short novel Horse Upstairs, a Blind Man in Vrable, forces the metaphorical side of the perception. It is about two diagonally opposite aesthetical acts: Mind is highly prosaic, and Horse Upstairs, a Blind Man in Vrable is highly metaphorical text. The high degree of prosaic(ness) results with underlining of the aspect of banality, but, the imagery and poeticization  of the everyday life in the Vilikovský’s prose is an aesthetical act trying to force in the banality, to open new exits and ways in the socialist society, seen with the narrator’s eyes. Although both of the literary acts have the same narrative background (as we previously said, the authoritarian speech can be just background and cannot be directly presented in the text), they move toward two different points. Namely, the endless reducement to banality in Mind does not find exit; the intra - text of the script release, but does not resolve the tension in the struggle with the discursive power of the totalitarian discourse, does not show exit points. The narration in Horse Upstairs, A Blind Man in Vrable is full of textual networks of irony, parody and grotesque, as literary strategies for de-masking the regime. Same as Mind, the short novel by Vilikovský is seen with the eyes of subjective, unreliable narrator, sharply perceiving the everyday life. The point of view, in this short novel, is not the aunt’s perspective, it is human perspective, trying to answer many questions for the existence, to inscribe its discourse in the gaps of the domineering one. As Z.Taneski says, “the skepticism in his case does not evoke pessimistic nor nihilistic motives…“ (Taneski, 152). Thus, the tragicness of Mind, opposes the lyric(ness) of Horse Upstairs, A Blind Man in Vrable. In this novel are also emphasized auto-referentiality and meta-textuality. We can find these features in the Sloboda’s prose, but they are more underlined in Vilikovský’s prose. It is a literary-aesthetical strategy, which does not allow rigorous defining of the meaning. It is a characteristic of a post-modern and auto-referential discourse, permanently examining its positions. This kind of discourse does not polemize just with the domineering discourse (totalitarian, authoritarian, repressive), but also with itself, as producer of new forms of knowledge and truth. The auto-reflectivity, present in the narration of Mind, is realized in a different way, as an act of self-mocking, auto-carnevalization leading to tragism because of the impossibility of solid articulation of the contra-discursive positions. In Mind, the contra-discourse nullifies itself. The auto-reflectivity in Horse Upstairs, a Blind Man in Vrable has not tragic quality, the tragic as such, is just one aspect among many. The chronotope in this short novel is the bus chronotope, in contrast to static and fixed chronotopes in the first diegetic level in Mind. So, the moving and the nomadic searching of the meanings is the most important, in contrast to the internment, totality and immobility, promoted by the regime. One of the thematic points, or markers, witnessing for the narrative background, is the frequency of murders and suicides in the story, as in the short stories written by Vilikovský. These scenes in Vilikovský’s prose are absurd: they happen in everyday life just as normal details: the girl jumping from the fourth floor as slug coat; old lady cuts her veins, but first byes flower, it is a ceremonial suicide; the murder in the story for Maria B. is done just like that, her dead body is fallen by the road, and nobody is upset because of that. In Sloboda’s novel, violence is mostly discursive, psychological and ideological; in Vilikovský’s stories it is embodied in murders and suicides on the story level. The inter-text of the power discourses in Vilikovský’s prose is very different from the power inter-text in Sloboda’s prose. In contrast to structural and symbolical centralization of the power in Sloboda’s prose (in its inter-text), the power in Vilikovský’s prose is omnipresent. Moving, dynamic narrators and characters do search the meanings, but, in the same time, they do produce meanings and do intervene in the ideological codes. If the novel Mind ends with the sentence I am dead man, Horse Upstairs, a Blind Man in Vrable ends with question, possibility for new opening and new beginning. Thus, this novel emphasizes the openness, asking and examining of the positions, opposing the limits and the defining of the meaning on the text level, as textual procedures which could be reflected on the context level. In this sense, auto-referentiality, auto-reflexivity, opening and self-examining are features of a democratic discourse, which maybe is not the best, but, as Derrida says, it is the only one promoting its improving. Everything else is so unnatural, as horse upstairs, as Vilikovský would metaphorically say.
          Dušan Mitana has completely different poetic approach to the social problematic in Slovakia in 70s and 80s in XX century. Patagonia, novel published in 1972, emphasizes the individualist approach through the breaking of the social norms and individual rebellion. Behind the ’sweet love prose’ the Manichean paradigm of power could be read, where the human has natural authority to oppose to the artificial authority of the system. After this ’sweet prose’, Mitana more seriously gets down with the problematic of power and violence in the novel End of the game, published in 1984. Mitana leads the narration with classical narrative techniques, third person narrative, permanently changed and replaced by first person narrative, not an omnipresent and omniscient narrator who has definitive ideological and moral positions. In the heart of the events is again an artist, director (in Mind is script-writer, in Patagonia is writer), frequent phenomenon in the Slovak prose in these times, for stronger emphasizing of the repression of the totalitarian system. In End of the game, Mitana approaches the power understood as violence, power which produces and perpetuates violence literary. The power relations in socialist society are seen through the prism of violence, but the representation of the violence in Mitana’s novel is different from its representations in Sloboda’s and Vilikovský’s novels. If the violence of the system and regime in Mindstimulates suicidal, auto destructive and masochist impulses in the individual; if in Horse upstairs, blind man in Vrable, the violence of the system bounds with absurd, becoming a decorative element in everyday life, in Mitana’s novel is otherwise. As power, the violence in Mitana’s novel is capillary, encompassing, and auto productive and reciprocal. Now, it is not about the violence of the system upon the poor individual, but, as Foucault would say, the identity constituted in the frames of that system becomes embodiment of the system itself. So, the discourse of the culture which permanently makes abjects (rejected, marginalized individuals), opens new points for producing their discourse as reply. The places where the discourse is created, and finds the field of its practice, should be described, according to Foucault. If in the institutional places the discourses of the abjectization and marginalization are created, the discourses of family violence are produced in the closed space of the home. So, chronotope in both Mitana’s novels is the home, where the subject is never homed, the underground home in Patagonia, and home-no-home in End of the game. So, the violence is produced from the other side too, not from the central mechanisms toward subjugated abjects, but from the subjects constituted in its influences, toward other subjects. And the murder of Helena by his husband is done. It can be placed in the absurd domain, taking in consideration the optimistic and unnatural focalization of the situation at the end of the novel. In the main story in End of the game, is incorporated another story, as flesh-back into the family’s history of Peter Slavik. This story within story can be read as myse-en-abyme of the novel, or as parabola for the violence, crime and punishment. The stories about Martin Slavik and Vladimir Slavik, one from the 18th, and the other from the first half of 20th century, stories about unjustly accused and punished man-victims of the repressive societies and systems of their own time, give new light, in a historical perspective, to the main story on the main narrative level – the story about unpunished murderer Peter Slavik. This inter-text, as quasi-historical,  can be read as an parabola of the authors’ understandings of the power, history and justice, epitomizing the permanent dislocation and eternal gap of utopian justice, emphasizing the absurd and grotesque politico-historical outcomes: unfair punished innocents  and unfair unpunished  criminals. This story-within-story, great postmodern technique in the classical narration, as quasi-historical inter-text, emphasizes the repetitiveness of the repressive societies, differently named and with different ideologies, but actually based upon emptiness, or the emptied place of the transcendent signifier. Mitana shows this in the light of his understandings of the power as omnipresent, auto productive and generator of violence and absurd. In that sense, the socio-political repression involves the dimension of the irrational and pathological.


          The interpretation of the selected works from the Slovak prose is in the frames of comparative-interdisciplinary researches. It uses, as basis, terminological instruments from the literary theory, narratology and theory of focalization, philosophy in general and political philosophy, history. This kind of research tries to outrun specialist narrowing, and its purpose is translation of scientific results in the horizon of life. The lack of attachment to just one epistemological locus is crucial in the creating of the common knowledge. This common knowledge enables sharing of the contexts, creates implications and it is socially useful. The social usefulness of this kind of researches in the problematic involved in: the attitude of a literary work toward domineering discourses of power, political reality, violence, human values being created and revalued. Thus, the interpretation of the selected works from Slovak literature showed that a literary work cannot be immune and neutral in the society that inevitably takes attitude, of course, with literary means, depending of authors’ poetics. So, these kinds of comparative researches show that in the context of globalization, comparative literature gets new, specific ethical, ideological and political dimensions. Its ideological and ethical tendencies become relevant actual and necessary world view. Literature, especially the prose, is involved in world changes, throughout the aesthetical prism and with literary means, in the long historical process of dislocations, and in the process of permanent changing of the values, too.[2]


[1] This part of the essay is taken and adapted from my Master thesis: Literature and the Discourses of Power: Comparative parallels (John Fowles and Julio Cortazar), Faculty of Philology “Blaze Koneski”-Skopje, defended in November, 2010.
[2] This essay is shorter version of a broader research, realized in Slovak Republic (March-July 2011) at the University Constantine the Philosopher, Faculty of Philosophy, Nitra. The research was supported by the Slovak National Scholarship Program and the Slovak Government.



1. ВИЛИКОВСКИ, Павел. Коњ на спрату, слепац у граду. Вршац: Књижевна општина, 1997.
2. ВИЛИКОВСКИ, Павел. Суровиот машинист. Скопје: Магор, 2006.
3. МИТАНА, Душан. Крај игре. Београд: Архипелаг, 2009.
4. MITANA, Dušan. Patagonija. Zrenjanin: Agora, 2009.
5. SLOBODA, Rudolf. Razum. Zrenjanin: Agora, 2007.

History, theory, hermeneutics, critics, philosophy:

1. BAHTIN, Mihail. O romanu. Beograd: Nolit, 1989.
2. BARTL, Jùlius at al. Slovak History (chronology & lexicon). Bratislava: Slovenské pedagogické nakladatelstvo, 2002.
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6. FOUCAULT, Michel. Power / Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972-1977. Colin Gordon ed. Brighton: Harvester, 1980.
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9. ROBERTS D. Davis. The Totalitarian Experiment in Twentieth Century Europe: Understanding Poverty of Great Politics. London & New York: Routledge, 2006.
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12. ТАНЕСКИ, Звонко: „За Изгубениот рај од Рудолф Слобода и за изгубените во македонското издание на романот“. In: Спектар, Скопје: Институт за македонска литература, бр. 47, Год. 24, 2006, стр. 209-217.

Internet sites

1. Revolutions of 1989

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3. Totalitarian Regime
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