The reading of a rich collection of studies, carried out by researchers from Polish and international academic environments, is an opportunity to acquaint with the current state of humanistic explorations concerning the subject matter, pursued by both young adepts of humanities as well as scholars with a rich output in their research disciplines. The authors - representatives of such branches of knowledge as philology, history, cultural studies, anthropology, religious studies, sociology and philosophy - examine the phenomenon of scandal from different methodological perspectives and in various contexts including religion, politics, folklore, corporality, literary culture, rhetoric, education and also biographical details. Among numerous questions discussed, special attention is drawn to the issue of human physiology, which often raised by the Authors - from spermatic rituals of ancient gnostics to scatological scandals involving present-day celebrities. This book will surely be helpful to researchers of different specialties, yet it may also be of an interest to anyone who would like to, for example, confront common knowledge about past and present figures of our mass culture such as Doda, Lady Gaga, or Kalina Jędrusik with their scientific, and yet not so often conducted, analysis.
"The book consists of six parts devoted to chosen groups of problems, in which successive studies are arranged in the chronological order. It makes easier for a reader to observe the phenomenon of gradual withdrawal from the heteronomous definition of scandal towards the definition that is autonomous and outlined by a community. [...] The main theatre of events, which is the subject of the author's interests, is primarily Europe and its culture - formed by the Greek-Roman and Judeo-Christian traditions, transferred in the modern age onto American continent".
/From the Introduction/
"The sole notion of scandal, lexically easy to define, have acquired numerous semantic marks, which stems from the enormous diversity of this phenomenon. It should be emphasized that up until now, we have not had works of such a broad range of issues, encompassing vast areas of scandalous behaviours, which can be an evidence of the present cultural reality and the self-awareness of young researchers".
/From the review by Prof. Tadeusz Żabski/
VOLUME 2: SCANDAL IN TEXTS OF CULTUREedited by: Marian Ursel, Magdalena Dąbrowska, Joanna Nadolna, Małgorzata SkibińskaWarsaw 2013 (Wydawnictwo DiG)CONTENT
The second volume of the series Taboo - Trend - Transgression, a continuation of interdisciplinary research on the issues in scandal - approached from diachronic and synchronic perspectives - includes a collection of studies in literature, film, theatre, photography, music and fine arts, whose broad range of themes gives an opportunity to acquaint with current cultural trends, interpretative conventions, methodological orientations, and also with an approximate range of their reception in both Polish and foreign humanistic thought. The authors examine the phenomenon of scandal in various contexts, including language of advertising and gossip potals, pornography, kitsch, religion, the Holocaust, and many others. The selection of European, Asian, North- and South-American texts of culture draws special attention to the issues of popular culture - a frequent subject of the authors' analyses - out of which the most notable is comics. The studies of artistic oeuvres of figures like Angélika Liddell, Walter Moers, or Joao Ubaldo Ribeiro - less known to the Polish audience - make especially valuable material. The book also does not fall short of famous names like Charles Bukowski, Manuela Gretkowska, Andrzej Żuławski, Lars von Trier, or... a character of a serial killer, Dexter Morgan.
"To title this volume Scandal in Texts of Culture seems to be justified and adequate to its contents. But a text of culture is any creation of culture, regardless of the language of expression it operates with. Besides content expressed with words (written and spoken), a text of culture exploits also the language of film, of gestures, of music and iconography. [...] Scandal takes various forms. Some times it is a result of a planned, auctorial, artistic strategy. Some other times it constitutes a subject especially attractive to an artist. Eventually, a given creation of culture or an artist's behaviour becomes defined by certain social groups as scandalizing, since it breaks - according to receivers - certain norms or defies the common values".
/From the Introduction/
"In each of the studies included in the volumes of the series, the authors share their experiences gained from reading different kinds of texts (these of literature, and these of culture) and their explications or reinterpretations. [...] The overall picture that emerges from this catalogue of cultural 'scandals' abounds in the content rich and important for the expansion of philology and contemporary humanities. Scientific and substantive value of the articles is unquestionable - all of them are supported by information about the current state of research, and by interesting exemplification - often insightful for a present-day receiver".
/From the review by Prof. Małgorzata Łoboz/