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Summary  

The present study deals with postmodernism and quasipostmodernism on the material of the works of the contemporary Czech prose writer Michal Viewegh, especially his pseudodetective novellas The Case of the Unfaithful Klara and The Pig-in-the-Middle (which is not the exact translation of the original Czech title Vybjen) - both published in two years's time (2003-2004) taking into account some of Viewegh's political essays and as well as a wider literary background linked with Czech traditionalists. The period of transformation in Viewegh's prose works is considered a manifestation of radicalism, of the breach of mass literature and of the permanent impact of dilettantism and imitation. The demonic character of his vision of the world means in this case the conception of the artifact as playing with man's deeds and fates which might remind us of the similar works of Milan Kundera and Pavel Kohout. This fact, of course, is closely connected with certain political circumstances; Viewegh intentionally imitates postmodernist poetics forming a specific kind of quasipostmodernism with the central subject of man's transformation. Viewegh's “new men” use the language of mass media, advertising, apply various topical hints, their greatest value is not yesterday or tomorrow, but today. Perhaps it is again the Central European environment that produced the signals of both threat and hope just before a new fatal big bang.

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The essay constructs minimalism in contemporary American fiction as both an extension of postmodernism and a revolt against it, a new development. It means that minimalism is a response to the same (i.e., postmodernist) view of the world, but the same philosophical conclusions regarding the postmodern nature of the world result in a radically different ars poetica. In the minimalist writer’s aesthetic decisions, the postmodernist habit is the real generative factor – it is the hidden ideological core of the postmodernist worldview that plays the really decisive role in the postmodernist-convictions-and-minimalist-aesthetic- program dynamic.

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A change in scientific developments in recent decades is widely proclaimed which may be associated with terms like postmodern science or steady state science. This change is usually discussed from a more epistemological viewpoint. In order to enhance the understanding of the underlying key factors, bibliometric, demographic and Nobel Prize recipient data spanning of the last hundred years are considered and analyzed. It is found that in general the considered data point to a quasi-steady state in bibliometric developments of highly developed countries. For emerging countries, such a steady state is not yet attained; therefore, the research output in scientific journal articles is still expected to rise considerably. Consequences and interpretations of an ever growing research output in relation to the increasing age of Nobel Prize recipients are discussed and conclusions are drawn from the considered data.

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Abstract  

In view of recent studies on the avant-garde, the modern and the postmodern, the essay deals with the chance of visualizing a unified epochal stream of modernism as part of the humanistic tradition, contrasted with examples of its “formulaic” postmodernist criticism.

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The present essay is devoted to the various manifestations of transformation in Slavic literatures after 1989, when 300 million Slavs found themselves in the cultural paradigm diametrically opposed to the communist one, but not quite what it was designed to be by the dissidents and opposition members, i.e. advocates of civil society. This comparative panorama of Slavic literatures is presented from the perspective of postmodern culture and philosophy (Lyotard, Bauman, Rorty, Prigogine, Foucault, Derrida among others), legitimizing with its theories pluralism, the understanding of the multi-meaning nature of truth, the polyphony of cultures, and the significance of all minorities for the spiritual development of humankind. On the basis of selected examples from the literatures of West-, East- and South-Slavic countries, the author attempts to identify the crucial elements of transformation of the social and literary self-awareness of different generations in the post-communist Slavic countries over the last fifteen years. In the works of J. Topol, V. Pelevin, T. Rżewicz, D. Ugresić, T. Zabuzhko, or D. Bieńkowski she seeks an answer to the question what was realized out of various dreams of a better and braver world of pluralism and democracy. How do the transformationers, the transformed and the self-transforming “inhabitants” of the new reality recognize their social and ethical situation? Who are, in light of literature, the heroes of our time, and what is behind the notion of “new sensitivity”? What does the so-called “realcap” (real capitalism) mean in literature? And also, which spaces of freedom does the democratic system open for writers and minorities, and which new worlds of imagination does it create in a search for metaphysical, mythical, thanatological, religious and esoteric dimensions of human existence, constrained in the past by imposed, top-down atheism.

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There is an observable discrepancy between the real and virtual economy, as money stopped being the tool and essence of capitalism and the economy in the postmodern era. Money has become a purpose, a simulation, a viral virtual image. For this reason, we should rather say that it is no longer money, but the image of money that talks. The transparent digital convergence culture creates a borderless second world for the economy. This economy and our attitude towards it have never been so far removed from reality. Communication, information and economy have lost their referential nature. As soon as we get in contact with the virtual/digital world, we open our eyes onto the image and the transparency of images. A visual metaphor is a visual rhetorical tool that strives to express messages, to place emphasis on certain aspects of messages, and to convey a persuasive message. This paper aims to demonstrate visual metaphor chains that set a mirror between the real and virtual economy and that serve to show the changed attitude towards money. We illustrate our theoretical approach by analysing the multimodal metaphors that appear in a video clip from popular culture.

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construction of a literary establishment. But the changes in literary processes do not (necessarily or exclusively) depend on politics and cannot be linked to specific dates. In any case, the postmodern paradigm shift and the tendencies referred to as the

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Abstract  

In this paper I would like to examine a rather special kind of irony that could be justly called 'comparative irony'. What I have in mind is the case when an author, in order to show the worthlessness of his own age, juxtaposes some well-known cultural values of the past with their obviously less valuable present-time equivalents. My examples, the two works that I would like to compare from this point of view, were created almost at the same time, in the same cultural milieu, by very close acquaintances, and with very different results. I will compare T. S. Eliot's masterpiece, The Waste Land with Ezra Pound's less known Hugh Selwyn Mauberley, and especially their different intertextual uses of the same locus from the Divina Commedia.

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