Życie I Pisanie (Dla) Wspólnoty: Käthe Schirmacher I Stefania Laudyn-Chrzanowska Między Feminizmem A Nacjonalizmem. Prace Polonistyczne 72 (2017), 139–161

Bednarczuk Monika
2017 Zenodo  
The Self, Community, and Writing: Käthe Schirmacher and Stefania Laudyn-Chrzanowska between Feminism and Nationalism Two controversial women, a German and a Pole, are presented in this comparative study. Käthe Schirmacher and Stefania Laudyn-Chrzanowska were radical women's rights advocates who became passionate nationalists. The article is an attempt at interpreting their lives and writings as a kind of self-narration and at the same time a narration of community (and a group identity). As
more » ... lyn Heilbrun puts it, a woman can write her life by telling it in an autobiography, she can write it as a fictional narrative or write it "in advance by living it". Therefore, the paper focuses on both texts and (real) lives. Moreover, individual identity continuously intersects with group identity in biographies and narrations displayed here. In Schirmacher and Laudyn narrating the self often means narrating community: either narrating the imagined women's community or narrating the nation. Hence, both authors challenge the model of an autonomous individual narrating a single life. A further point of departure is the relationship between identity and interaction with other language or national groups. It is not coincidental that Schirmacher and Laudyn developed a strongly nationalistic and anti-Semitic attitude after having lived abroad for a longer period. The first few years were marked by a deep belief in supranational women's organizations and women's solidarity. Then a "political solstice" came (Schirmacher). Obviously, it was due to a number of factors but the everyday confrontation with "the other" intensified the awareness of cultural boundaries and resulted in the sacralization of the own nation. The paper offers thus a double portrait of both activists as feminists and nationalists, and also, more or less deliberately, chronists of two different, though intertwined, 'imagined communities'.
doi:10.5281/zenodo.1305276 fatcat:qr7xko3hsbgdhieaibpsjvcbj4