The article is dedicated to the determination of the types and functions of “someone else’s word”, i.e. intertextual relationships, present in political dramas of contemporary Russian writers. The author focuses on two types of intertexts such as quotes and allusions; determines their importance to the dramatic work as a whole, and distinguishes topic-related groups of texts to which dramatists refer. The conclusions of the study incline to place the phenomenon of political drama between what is “literary” and “social”, “eternal” and “up-to-date”.The analysis was carried out on the materials of dramas such as: Putin.doc by Victor Teterin, Sentry (Часовой) by Siergiej Reshetnikov, Meat by Olga Pogodina, and Beria by Dmitry Karapuzov.
Podwaliny [Foundations], the poem written by Leopold Staff right after the war and carrying traces of a profound trauma, takes advantage of the motifs drawn from the biblical parable of good and bad construction practices (Gospel According to St Matthew, 7:24–27). In her interpretation of the poem, the author analyses the way(s) in which the biblical paradigm has been transformed, and the consequences of this procedure. Use is made of the opinions of the scholars who have reconstructed the primary function of parabolic stories, having identified in them the original forms of thinking which preceded the evolvement of abstract concepts encoding qualities.
This article deals with Janusz Makarczyk’s bestselling historical romance Jafar of Baghdad, first published in 1950. Makarczyk had a varied career as a journalist, travel writer of the ‘globtrotter school’, military officer, diplomat and academic; his deep involvement with the Middle East and Arab history began in the 1926 when he was sent to the Polish consulate in Jerusalem. The life of Jafar ibn Yahya provided him not only with enough material for a gripping story of love and romance but also a pretext for painting a broad canvas of historical events and personages. Addressed to younger readers, the book is didactic in the sense that it offers them basic information about Islam (e.g. the division between the sunni and the shia) as well as lots of facts about the Arab world at the peak of the Abbasid Age (e.g. Harun al-Rashid and the struggle for his succession; rise and fall of the powerful Barmakid family, Harun al-Rashid’s half-sister Abassa; the great Islamic jurists Malik ibn Anas, Muhammad al-Shaybani and Al-Shafi ‘i; an assortment of poets and scholars, including the translator Ibn al-Muqaffa). In addition to countless allusions to the Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night, the narrative is encrusted with explicit and covert quotes from the Qur’an, Arabic adages and proverbs (32), the poems of Abu-l-’Atahiya and Abu Nuwas. The writer is aware that the allusions and learned references need to be contextualized in a way that is functional and that their incorporation into the main text must be handled with maximum flexibility. The great popularity of Jafar of Baghdad in its time can be taken as proof that Makarczyk did succeed in bringing the two functions of his novel, the cognitive and the aesthetic – to instruct and to please – into a harmonious whole.