On Description (anglicky)
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Nevertheless, hardly anyone would deny that we cannot do without descriptions in everyday face-to-face dialogues – though only a few of us may be able to reflect on the process of describing, and to judge to what extent it is influenced by the circumstances surrounding communication. The essay on „absent description“ by Jana Hoffmannová provides an insight into everyday speech, as well as an opportunity for linguistic self-reflection. Linguistics is only one of the disciplines present in this volume: nine representatives of various fields of research and theories are brought together here to discuss the issue of description: analytic philosophy and fictionality theory, linguistics and literary history, art history and intermedia theory. Petr Koťátko discusses the relationship between the communicational functions of descriptions and their function in the structure of fictional worlds of literature. While he employs realist descriptions to illustrate the limits of their identificatory work, various descriptive modes provide a parameter for Ivana Taranenková to pursue the development of realist writing. Hardly any reader will doubt the fact that every fiction has its own more or less overt (or covert) narrator. Nevertheless, it remains to be proved whether there is a corresponding „descriptor“ in descriptions: an attempt at doing so in the context of Czech fiction is made by Stanislava Fedrová. The possibilities of employing descriptive forms as a tool of poetics (be it the historical or the intermedia one) are put to the test by Zdeněk Hrbata (in his interpretation of the generic schemes underlying Gautier’s novel Le Capitaine Fracasse, and Emma Tornborg, who focuses on poetic ekphrasis.