O odchodzeniu najbliższych. Przyczynek do antropologii osobistej

Marcin Kafar


On losing my closests. A contribution to personal ethnography
The article – written in a form of a layered account – is an ethnographic document describing a particular existential situation of struggling with loss experienced by Marcin Kafar. Two liminal instants are taken into consideration, namely dying of the beloved Grandmother (suffering from cancer) and a sudden death of author’s Father. The author treats those unexceptional moments of his biography as a kind of The Life Trial that needs to be worked out in various psycho-spiritual dimensions. By bringing back a set of memories of care giving to his confi ned to bed Grandmother, Marcin Kafar shows a particular process of coming to enlightenment on what has a real value in his life and what has not. A literary device of speaking directly to the author’s Grandmother is used on this level of the text to feed and strengthen emotional bond that did not cease to exist in the time of physical death but is still continuing after it.
While Grondmother’s dying was able to be „tamed”, Father’s unexpected death caused in the author total emotional shock, challenging his previous seemed-to-be-sacred moral base and putting a question mark on his faith.
Another layer of the article includes some confessions made by well known artists and humanists e.g. Arthur P. Bochner, Józef Szajna and Paul Auster, all telling their own stories of losing the closest family members. Sharing stories of living through grief can, in Marcin Kafar’s opinion, heal ourselves as well as others, giving a human being a ground for understanding what is usually hard to conceive.

Kwartalnik "Prace Etnograficzne" ukazuje się w sposób ciągły on-line.

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