Między narracją literacką a filmową — refleksje na temat Meira Ezofowicza

Daria Mazur


The article is an attempt at connecting two scientific approaches — that of literary and that of film studies. The author examines chosen aspects of the novel Meir Ezofowicz, focusing on different levels of the creation of the Other, and some marks of its film adaptations that are possible to trace as well as the receptive conditions of both works, in order to analyze the phenomenon of confronting three discourses — that of assimilation, of dialogue and the conservative one (with an anti-Semitic trait), which in time passed into the nationalistic one (endecki). Each one of them is connected to a different concept of the Other — the stranger. The first two bear their marks in the novel. They had an influence, as we can infer from the pieces of the film that have survived, on the shape of the film adaptation. The third tendency — the external one, was bound with, and had shaped, the process of the reception of both works (the literary and film one) and to some extent with the circumstances of filming of Meir Ezofowicz. The analysis is focused on the ideological aspects that allow to claim that in spite of some kind of controversy and attempts to erase the message of the literary original by the conservative critique, both works share in common something more than merely joint aim — striving to break the stereotypes, prejudice and hatred towards the Jews present in social consciousness, viz., a revelatory trait too. The uniqueness of Orzeszkowa’s work lays in going beyond the positivistic language and the frames of thinking typical for her formation — by opening up to the sacrum and religiosity of the diaspora, as well as by intuitive resounding and mirroring the trauma of identity experienced by assimilated Jews (self-hatred). The phenomenon of the writer’s attitude consisted in trying incessantly to draw closer to the Other, in the longing for an encounter. There are many premises available to support the claim that the choice, made by Aleksander Hertz in 1911, to pick a literary source pertaining to such a difficult matter, was meant to serve, in the beginnings of Polish cinematography, the creation of a film picture which could enable the Polish audience to understand the diaspora better and to open up to the assimilated Jews.

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