- ロシア・東欧研究 (ISSN:13486497)
- vol.2018, no.47, pp.35-53, 2018 (Released:2019-10-08)
In the interwar period, after the end of the partition, Polish literature was finally freed from national themes, and writers could focus more on language. Moreover, languages of the newly independent nations became national languages of their respective countries. Based on the understanding that artistic and social interest in languages increased during this period, this paper explores the concept of a new language in the futurist manifests (1921) and the novel I Burn Paris (1928), both written by Bruno Jasieński. My aim is to present I Burn Paris—regarded as a communist ideological novel—as a work featuring issues related to language, and to show Jasieński’s consequent longing for a new universal language.First, I discuss the recreation of the traditional Polish messianism (i.e., the suffering Poland would be reborn to save the world) by Jasieński, in one of his futurist manifests: “To the Polish Nation. Manifest of Immediate Futurization of Life” (1921). Jasieński rewrote the messianism as a socialist one, according to which the new Poland would reform the old capitalist Europe. This idea of a new world recurs in I Burn Paris as the concept of a new common language.Second, based on archival research, I show I Burn Paris was simultaneously translated into many languages and went through many printings, through that its different versions circulated. This research also shows the role of the international communist network in circulating literary works. Thanks to the network, East European writers writing in minor languages could join the modernist movement centered in big cities in Western Europe or in Russia. This was true also for the writers writing in Yiddish, a diaspora language. Considering these two diasporic networks, I propose to reconsider the West-Eurocentric map of 20th century modernism.Third, I present an unknown version of I Burn Paris with an alternative ending to the standard Polish version. My archival research shows that this version was circulated in Russian by 1934, when the socialist realist version revised by Jasieński was issued. The alternative ending is set two years after the ending of the standard version and mentions that the global revolution has already been accomplished. The novel’s reception by the Polish community in the USSR suggests that the ending was added to the Russian version to protect Jasieński from the expected criticism for the initial ideologically weak ending and the lack of depiction of class struggles. Further, I suggest that Jasieński wrote the alternative ending because it involves a longing for a new common language, which was his ultimate concern in his 1921 futurism manifest to the 1930 article written in Moscow. Jasieński believed that a new world should have a new common language, understandable by everyone and which, in turn, would create a new society.The repeated rewriting hints at Jasieński’s opportunism, but in fact, it was a result of his view on artistic creation. “Every movement ends with its manifest.” He viewed a novel as a performative “manifest,” which he had to ceaselessly overcome to create new one.