By Wiesław Myśliwski
Our hero and narrator is the getting older caretaker of cottages at a summer season hotel. A mysterious customer conjures up him to proportion the tale of his lengthy lifestyles: we witness a cheerful adolescence minimize brief by means of the struggle, his hiding from the Nazis buried in a heap of potatoes, his plodding makes an attempt to play the saxophone, the brutal homicide of his relations, loves misplaced yet remembered, and footloose travels in another country. informed within the demeanour of buddies and acquaintances swapping tales over the mundane activity of shelling beans—in the grand oral culture of Myśliwski’s celebrated Stone Upon Stone—each anecdote, lived event, and reminiscence accrues cross-stitched layers of that means. by means of turns hilarious and poignant, A Treatise on Shelling Beans is an epic recounting of a lifestyles that, whereas common, is whatever yet usual.
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Extra resources for A Treatise on Shelling Beans
For all we might cheer Loop’s revolutionary verve, the reason why we would want the novel to be anything in particular is left unexplained in this passage. In the decades that followed, critics have offered many different definitions of what the novel really is about. Just in the last couple of years, James Phelan has used this rhetorical approach to character narration to account for “the multilayered communications that authors of narrative offer their audiences, communications that invite or even require their audiences to engage with them cognitively, psychically, emotionally, and ethically” (Living, 5).
Narrative is first and foremost a prodigious variety of genres, themselves distributed amongst different substances—as though any material were fit to receive man’s stories. Able to be carried by articulated language, spoken or written, fixed or moving images, gestures, and the ordered mixture of all these substances; narrative is present in myth, legend, fable, tale, novella, epic, history, tragedy, drama, comedy, mime, painting (think of Carpaccio’s Saint Ursula), stained-glass windows, cinema, comics, news item, conversation.
Wimsatt: “Poetry achieves concreteness, particularity, and something like sensuous shape not by irrelevance of local texture . . but by extra relevance or hyperrelevance, the interrelational density of words taken in their fullest, most inclusive and symbolic character. A verbal composition through being supercharged with significance, takes on something like the character of a stone statue or a porcelain vase. Through its meaning or meanings the poem is” (231). This passage exemplifies the rhetorical construction of media relations and is clearly offered with an eye toward institutional as well as theoretical effects.
A Treatise on Shelling Beans by Wiesław Myśliwski