Journal Article

Literature, Biographism and the Communion of Saints: The Case of Jan Józef Lipski

Wojciech Jajdelski

in Literature and Theology

Volume 20, issue 2, pages 140-156
Published in print June 2006 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online June 2006 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/fri067
Literature, Biographism and the Communion of Saints: The Case of Jan Józef Lipski

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This article examines the theological underpinnings of one twentieth-century argument over the legitimacy of biographical interpretation in literary studies. The argument was offered by the Polish scholar and critic Jan Józef Lipski. He can be interpreted as claiming that the impulse to read literary works as expressive of an individual personality, otherwise inaccessible to the reader, was motivated by the same sort of disappointment with ordinary human contact which underlay a particular version of the doctrine of the communion of saints. A discussion of Lipski's view of the biographical method is followed by a detailed commentary on the alleged analogy between literary communication and the Christian dogma in question.

Journal Article.  7616 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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