Humanities and Social Sciences

Ruch Literacki

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Ruch Literacki | 2020 | No 6 (363) |

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Abstract

Adam Mickiewicz's epic poem Pan Tadeusz, published in Paris in 1834, can be seen as an expression of a romantic culture of remembrance which emerged in Poland and Lithuania in the aftermath of a traumatic political event, the January Uprising of 1830–1831. This article discusses the poet's transformation of the devices and generic model of heroic epic for the double purpose of expressing a notion of historical time which holds out an open future for both the individual and the national community, and of promoting the acceptance of a complicated past through the resolution of its conflicts. Both in Poland and in Lithuania, Pan Tadeusz was regarded as a monumental tribute to the culture of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and a major influence on the modern national literatures in Lithuanian, Belarusian and Yiddish, sprouting on the territory of the former Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
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Authors and Affiliations

Brigita Speičytė
1
ORCID: ORCID

  1. prof. dr hab., Departament Literatury Litewskiej, Wydział Filologiczny Uniwersytetu Wileńskiego
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Abstract

In his introduction to the German translation of Norwid's Vade-mecum Hans Robert Jauss calls the work of the Polish poet a lasting challenge to German poetry. This essay attempts to show the ways in which Norwid’s further reception could help re-evaluate German assessments of their own Romantic tradition. For instance, the ironic undermining of the value of work, both creative and physical, in Norwid’s ‘Irony’ can be used as a tell-tale clue for the pursuit of similar intima-tions in the writings of early German Romantics, especially the barely noticed ironic undertones of their representations of labour economics. Furthermore, the adoption of the newly-developed concept of a political and economic Romanticism for the critical study of Norwid leads to the discovery of an unexpected theoretical coherence of his oeuvre, which in effect (let it be made absolutely clear) loses nothing of its heterogeneity and dialogic nature. The irony generated by the habitus of Norwid’s crypto-parabases (a technique which is a distinctive feature of his dramas) reveals the productive role of time in this mode of poetic representation, the time of work and the time of great projects, and conjure up the jeering specter of eternity.
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Authors and Affiliations

Michał Mrugalski
1

  1. dr hab., Uniwersytet w Tybindze
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Abstract

The most prevalent popular and critical images of Bruno Schulz present a Polish-Jewish writer and artist who turned away from politics and history in his creative work only to be devoured by the most violent political and historical forces in his life. This article attempts to reinsert Schulz’s writings into the social and political history of his day and age, focusing on an interpretation of his novella Spring (Wiosna). It argues that Schulz viewed the meaning and progression of history and politics in mythical terms. Accordingly, his stories contain ironic mythologizations of social, political and historical events. In Spring, Schulz captures, or rather constructs, the mythological essence of the disintegration of the Habsburg Empire, producing his own imaginative and contradictory commentary on the history of his native region during his own lifetime.
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Authors and Affiliations

Stanley Bill
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Abstract

While presenting a wide range of cultural, historical and political factors which have influen-ced the Polish and the American reception of Miron Białoszewski’s A Memoir of the Warsaw Uprising, this article tries to assess the role played in its reception abroad by the fact that the original text existed in several versions (censored and uncensored) and, on its way to print, got fitted out with multiple paratexts (introductions, prefaces and afterwords). Interestingly, there seems to be a connection between these fringe texts, the shaping of the translation as shown by choices made by the translators and editors, the evolving model of what is believed to be the right and proper handling of historical traumas, and the politics of remembrance in diverse historical settings and cultural imaginaries. An in-depth analysis of the details of translation and editorship opens up a series of broader questions about the status of a literary text functioning as evidence of traumatic historic events and the mechanisms of its reception by those directly affected (the family circle) and the people outside (with special attention being paid to the tension between the private and the public, and the normative versus the non-normative).
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Authors and Affiliations

Joanna Niżyńska
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Abstract

How exactly did Adam Zagajewski, the Cracovian exile from postwar Lvov, become the “Poet of 9/11”, as Newsweek hailed him on the tenth anniversary of the infamous terrorist attack? And why has the poem lingered on in the years that follow, comforting readers in the aftermath of all kinds of disasters, private and public, natural and manmade? This essay traces the history behind the poem’s debit in English translation on the final page of the New Yorker magazine’s first issue after the attack. It follows its subsequent afterlife as one of the best-known contemporary poems in the English language, as witnessed by its countless appearances in everything from anthologies to sermons, pop songs, and personal websites in the last eighteen years.
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Authors and Affiliations

Clare Cavanagh
1

  1. prof., profesor literatur słowiańskich i komparatystyki (Frances Hooper Professor in the Arts and Humanities) na Uniwersytecie Northwestern

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