About Me: Marcin

Hi, I’m Marcin Cieszkiel. I’m one of the library research assistants at the Petro Jacyk Central and East European Resource Centre at the John P. Robarts Research Library, working on the Digital Dostoevsky project. My research looks at post-WWII Polish émigré organizations and deals with questions of historiography, philosophy of memory, culture, and history. Dostoevsky weaves these ideas into his writings regularly, which appealed naturally to my own intellectual pursuits, even if the 19th century Russian cultural context may appear a world away to that of post-WWII Europe. Exploring Russian literature, especially at the level of textual analysis, connects you to other intellectual communities in the humanities. Not only is this an excellent opportunity to explore the breadth and expansiveness of the form of the novel, but it also puts you in conversation with the multitude of different worlds you would not have known existed! 

Joining the Digital Dostoevsky project as a library resource was akin to finding a place in the conversation about how we read and look at literature and words themselves, as basic units, and matter for observation. The TEI markup and encoding project is a way of re-reading the text and finding significance in the smallest details that really add up to a new way of looking at the text. The interaction with a familiar word you see may be the same, but the word’s value starts to change for you as you approach the text sifting through language as if it were physical matter and not just ideas floating around. By becoming a part of the team investigating Dostoevsky’s Dvoinik, the possibilities of encoding beckon to further probe the questions Dostoevsky himself may at some time had considered…

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