Abstract

This article details two ways of conceptualizing the experience of the past by the characters in Olga Tokarczuk’s prose fiction, which assume the form of a personal micronarration and the form of a microtheater. Utilizing Frank Ankersmit’s categorization of symbolic (metaphorical) signs and indexical (metonymic) signs, the article draws attention to the coexistence of different orders of speaking and staging (theatricalizing) history in the works under discussion. What is emphasized is the fundamental but ambivalent role of the body that as the vehicle of memory and an object of various processes of appropriation and reification. Such an ambiguous status of the body is underlined by the usage of the motifs often present in Olga Tokarczuk’s writing: those of the doll/puppet and of miniaturization. These speak to the desire to go beyond the anthropocentric vision of the human and the world, life and death, agency, and passivity.

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