The Prague School on a global scale : a Coup d’œil from the East
This essay compares the evolution of the “Prague doctrine” described in Ondřej Sládek’s The Metamorphoses of Prague School Structural Poetics (2015) with similar developments in literary theory in Eastern Europe (from Russian formalism to the Tartu-Moscow School of Semiotics). The author proposes a transnational approach to the study of the typology and history of literary theories and outlines, in partial agreement with Sládek, several cross-cultural transfers of theoretical concepts and research tools from linguistics to literary theory and structural anthropology and further to semiotics and cultural studies. As an addition to Sládek’s overview of the evolution of structural poetics, this essay points to facts that serve as evidence for a parallel, sometimes interrelated, development of structural poetics and cultural semiotics in the former Czechoslovakia and the former Soviet Union. The author also addresses the issue of the (inter)national character of academic work and the ontological status of terms such as the “French”, “Russian”, “Estonian” and “Czech theories”.