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Journey to the Center of the Poem

Vratislav Effenberger, edited and introduced by Šimon Svěrák (Charles University, Prague)

Contradictions: A Journal for Critical Thought II, no. 2 (2018): 159–189

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Keywords: Vratislav Effenberger, surrealism, structuralism, poetry, avant-garde, art and society

In his theoretical essay “Journey to the Center of the Poem,” Vratislav Effenberger engages with the semantic character and dynamic of the artistic work whose nature we could designate as irreal, irrational, or absurd. The text contains, in a nascent stage, many of the concepts that Effenberger was to develop into a more conceptually concrete and systematic form in his later theoretical works. In a relatively clear-cut manner, Effenberger outlines in the essay a perspective on the basis of which the author will later analyze psychological and psychosocial problematics, above all with regard to human imaginative activity (dreams, inspiration, artistic creation, and so on) and its functions. The text presented here is based on a translation from 1967, newly revised with reference to the Czech original.

In his introductory study, Šimon Svěrák places Effenberger's text in the context of historic Czech debates regarding the relationship between aesthetics and society, and he interprets the text in light of Effenberger's broader system of thought.

doi for Šimon Svěrák's "On 'Journey to the Center of the Poem' (The Genesis of the Polemical Value of Imaginative Expression in the Work of Vratislav Effenberger)": 10.46957/con.2018.2.9

doi for Vratislav Effenberger's "Journey to the Center of the Poem": 10.46957/con.2018.2.10

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