What Are We Going To Do About Yesterday?

Roman Mikuláš

A scholarly workshop under the title Traditions and Perspectives was organized on 8 September 2004 at the Institute of World Literature at the SAS on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of its founding. It was initiated by young scholars of the institute, who aimed to discuss the message of the former generations, the possibilities of making the most of it, the ways of application on current problems of literary studies as well as its impact on present scholarly projects. Scholars of various scientific orientations met at this workshop (M. Kusá, M. Gálik, K. Tomiš, B. Suwara, V. Prokešová, G. Magová, M. Chorváthová, S. Moyšová, R. Gáfrik, R. Mikláš etc.) and appeared with papers that could be divided into two groups: the problem-oriented (critical and analytical) and systemizing (synthesizing and remembrances).

On the background of a wide and much differentiated spectrum of scholarly discourses, accessible mostly to scholars whose horizon necessary outreaches the borders of particular philologies or national cultures, the discussion was held first of all on efficiency of the models of the scientific research in the historically different, maybe new coordinates. In a surprisingly eventful discussion an opinion was repeated, according to which traditions will always recast into new notions and new models of constructing of scholarly cognition. The prominent traditions should not be refused but the task of the new generation is to cognize the message of the past in the context of current trends and to contribute to making more dynamic the branch, which has been asking for several decades, where its position in the system of sciences was. We choose from the papers presented at the workshop those which to some extent emphasize the tension between the message of yesterday and the lived present.

Keywords: Traditions and Perspectives. Institute of World Literature SAS.