The Language of a Minority – Horst Bienek’s The First Polka in the Context of Minor Literatures

Paweł Łaniewski


The trend of minor literatures—described by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari on the basis of an analysis of Franz Kafka’s works—occupies a special place in contemporary literary life. Minority, expressed in different ways, is not only limited to political and social relations between a representative of a minority and the dominant culture, but also translates into a wide ontological field, responsible for the development of a different cognitive apparatus and numerous modifications of the existing cultural norms, including, above all, the official language.

A special manifestation of the minority aspect is the output of Horst Bienek—a German-speaking Silesian, who repeatedly refers to the category of minority. This study focuses on the issue of language in the novel The First Polka, which opens his socalled Gliwice tetralogy. The way in which the writer refers to the dominant language and sound layer is in many respects consistent with the schizoanalytical interpretation, which gave birth to this understanding of minoritarity in literary texts. 

Słowa kluczowe: minor literature, schizoanalysis, Horst Bienek, minority, minoritarity

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