"Texts from the street"

O "Tekstach..." [PL]


In 1995, the year when the magazine “Teksty z ulicy” (“Texts from the street”) was brought into being, its first editor wrote: in “folk notebooks” we intend to publish “texts from the street”, which include the rumors, sensations, news, contemporary myths and legends, jokes and anecdotes, graffiti, keywords, chanting, shouting, toasts, greetings, sentences, maxims, nuggets and all other paroemiological expressions, horoscopes, foretells, fortune chains and other texts and anti-texts present in social circulation”1. Since that time, when the mission of the magazine was so firmly drawn up, has passed over 15 years. “Teksty z ulicy” circulate under the same name, although the news desk has changed along with the study of folklore, the resources of folklore themselves as well as their bearers, even the streets at which the news were collected, those documenting the state of “newly discovered genre of oral prose, called contemporary legend, urban legend, modern myth, rumor legend etc”2. At the world’s vibrant arteries we observe the omnipresent postmodernism, announcing not only the end of narration but also the end of speaking subject, and the study of folklore, even the newest and the most contemporary, meaning the one that does not insist on the street being a rural path and the subject – people (therefore, close to the vision of the first editor of the magazine), seems to exist only in anachronic programs developed by public high schools (private schools have instantly changed onto market-oriented interests of their students).

Throughout eight years, between 1995 and 2003, “Teksty z ulicy” were solemnly focused on its primary task – to publish accumulated in the area, updated texts of folklore, in accordance with the assumption that “The lack of local publications exposes the weakness of discipline and recklessness of the folklorists […] what’s written down has to be published”3. In 2004, a new news desk of “Teksty z ulicy”, with the aim to write the magazine into wider culture-related context, came forward with changed vision of both “texts” and “the street”, shifting records and inquiries of the authors of research on a much wider area; namely, it came up with the idea based on the concept of “street” as a metaphor of space taken into possession by moving, nomad-like by nature and governed by its very own rules, thought. The result of the abovementioned struggle was No 8 of “Teksty…” devoted to the reflections on identity, as including its clarification through collective ideas, political hopes, rituals as well as geographical conditions, meaning the Ukrainian volume, the effect of monthly journey through distant "streets" of Crimea. It was also the breakthrough volume for the magazine. The question about the source of beliefs and ideas of what is “own” and what is “foreign”, the question about the discrepancy, but, at the same time, the similarity of themes and narratives, legends, rumors, the persistence of stereotypes, and finally, the idea of eco-cultural context has become a major topic of methodological reflection of the research team gathered around the magazine. It was no longer disputed that the weakness of the discipline lies not only in the absence of local publications. The discipline required of a new, integrated with the achievements of other sciences, concept of a culturally diverse, yet similar stories, which can be encountered on any street in the world. Where does the coincidence come from? How about durability and widespread? Why did the peoples of Mongolia, Crimea, Poland, Kazakhstan, Bolivia, Russia, despite cultural differences, develop the same narratives weave? And why at all can not a man exist without stories?

Explanatory theory has become a priority. Since 2005, “Teksty z ulicy” have been supplemented with a subtitle: “Memetic notes” and represent primarily the effects of workshops devoted to exploring this new theory of culture, especially popular type of communication theory, ie, determined by the unofficial, spontaneous thought. In the following volumes: 9, 10, 11, 12 attentive Reader of "Teksty..." shall find the stages of building up and maturing of a new, still very popular narrativum concept, which enables us to understand the replication of certain ideas, but also its limitations, regardless of cultural differences of backgrounds and sociotypes in which it finds its expression. Since 2005, "le cahier du clan memetic" has consistently explored issues of human mind, determinism, contingency, social influence, commonness of cultural messages (language, religion, entertainment), adaptationism and gene-cultures. It was also a period of rapid scientific disputes, the formation of an interdisciplinary team, building transdisciplinary language and the relative independence of the discipline. This period was also a two-year break in printing out magazine (2009 and 2010). We are still developing this discipline, but in the current, 13 issue of the magazine, after six years of struggle with a new theory of human thought, we return to the debates established by the first editor that deal with universality, longevity, fecundity certain narrative threads. Currently, we are supported by almost certain diagnoses of biology, evolutionary psychology and memetics in our understanding. They are illustrated by particular texts on the evolution of ideas of progress, the sacred, entertainment, the theme of Human Laughter, the Black Widows, the Spirit, and innovative new meme in the arts. Returns a record from the area, only now presented in a different, epidemic / immunologic light. Asking, we are still looking for answers. I invite you to a discussion on www.memetyka.us.edu.pl

Dobrosława Wężowicz-Ziółkowska

1 D. Czubala: Słowo wstępne, „Teksty z ulicy. Zeszyt folklorystyczny”, Nr 1. Ed.: D. Czubala & M. Czubalina, Katowice 1995, p. 5.
2 Ibidem.
3 Ibidem, p. 6.

   The "Texts from the Street" is a journal published by a team of academic staff, students and doctoral students of Instytut Nauk o Kulturze Uniwersytetu Śląskiego w Katowicach.  

Scientific Advisory Council

John Jagt (Natuurhistorisch Museum Maastricht, the Netherlands ), Elena Jagt-Yazykova (Uniwersytet Opolski, Opole, Polska/ WSEGEI, St. Petersburg State University, Russia), Ewa Kosowska (Uniwersytet Śląski w Katowicach, Polska), Tadeusz Miczka (Uniwersytet Śląski w Katowicach, Polska), Eric W.A. Mulder (Museum Natura Docet Wonderryck Twente, Denekamp, the Netherlands), Dagmar Röttsches (Institut Catholique de Toulouse, France), Paweł Wąsowicz (The Icelandic Institute of Natural History, Akureyri, Iceland), Dionizjusz Czubala – honorary member (Akademia Techniczno- Humanistyczna, Bielsko-Biała, Polska)

Editor in Chief:


Other editors and cooperators:

Wojciech Borkowski, Jakub Dziewit, Agnieszka Lesz, Magdalena Mrowiec, Tomasz Kiełkowski, Marta Rabe-Kozłowska, Agata Rok, Michał Noszczyk, Emilia Wieczorkowska.


ISSN 2081 – 3961 (printed)
ISSN 2081 – 397 X (online)

The original version of each issue is a PRINTED version.

Articles are available under the Creative Commons Uznanie Autorstwa 3.0 Poland (CC BY 3.0 PL)

The journal is certified by the Index Copernicus


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