This article confronts the text of A Literary Prize, a comedy by Maria Pawlikowska-Jasnorzewska, with its contemporary reviews. Staged by the experimental theatre Reduta (directed by Zofia Modrzewska) in April 1937 at Teatr Nowy in Warsaw (under the directorship of Jerzy Leszczyński), it fell into complete oblivion which lasted until the recent discovery of the director’s copy buried at the Academy of Theatre Library in Warsaw. While contemporary reviewers found A Literary Prize to be one of the weaker works of an outstanding poet, Maria Pawlikowska-Jasnorzewska in her letters contrasted the ‘violent attacks’ of the critics with a fairly warm reception of the general audience. The play was performed to capacity audiences until 19 May, and revived for a single occasion a year later in Poznań. A Literary Prize juxtaposes two plots. One, with elements of comedy of manners, follows the fortunes of a young girl, Taida Serebrzycka, who tries to navigate between two men with literary ambitions, Klemens Niedzicki and Albin Niekawski, while the other explores the challenges faced by prospective writers, especially the role of prize-winning competitions in the discovery of talent and the building of reputation. This article is focused primarily on the character of Taida, who makes the impression of being somewhat scatterbrained and snobbish, but is in fact a strong-minded, independent young woman conscious of her sexuality. She wants an honest, equal relationship, and is ready to fi ght hard for her happiness, which does include sexual satisfaction. The analysis of the reception of Maria Pawlikowska-Jasnorzewska’s play, and especially the characterization of Taida, the female protagonist, is complemented with an examination of the mechanisms of the critical discourse.
This article attempts to throw some light on what may be called Poland’s new national-identity literature and its leading fi gures, Jarosław Marek Rymkiewicz, Wojciech Wencel and Przemysław Dakowicz. They see their work as a psychopolitical educational tool in the service of a patriotic mission to reactivate the ‘real’ national identity. They believe that such an identity is necessary for individuals to develop strong personal identities, founded on a sense of belonging to an integral national community. Rymkiewicz, Wencel and Dakowicz champion this, somewhat archaic, model of national identity which claims total commitment from its members in virtually all their writings. This article focuses on the rhetorical devices used by the new national-identity literature to present and promote its key concept, especially the idea of a ‘sublime’ ethnic community, or a sentimentalized vision of a Polish Commonwealth.
The article examines the rise of the postmodern Holocaust narrative in Polish literature taking as a case in point Leopold Buczkowski’s novel Pierwsza świetność (First Glory), published 1966, in the context of the musings of Edmond Jabés and the testimonial writings of Halina Birenbaum. In this study the postmodernization of the Holocaust is treated as an alternative to the traditional genre of the Holocaust testimonial. Contrary to the broadly-held view that the postmodern Holocaust narrative is a fairly recent phenomenon, the article claims that it made its appearance some time after the war, in the mid-1960s. Its emergence can be seen as an attempt to voice the aporias and doubts that resulted from the pressure to draw a line on the wartime experiences and move on. Many writers, including Leopold Buczkowski, were convinced that it was necessary to keep alive the memory of the Holocaust by encrusting the historic record with other plots, problems and metaphors. This article is the fi rst in a series of studies of this problem in the 1970s and the following decades of the 20th and the 21st century.
The author states that there are in our vocabulary three, and only three, classes of semantic units: a) predicates, i.e. generic concepts – the result of our conceptualization of the world; they represent more than 90% of the vocabulary; b) operators of reference – a small, almost closed set bounding predicates to their concrete denotates; c) proper names, which are by defi nition referentially bound and are object of research of a specialized linguistic discipline. Thus, the main tasks of our grammar are (1) to defi ne and to describe the scope of the grammaticalization in the language in question and (2) to present the semantic classification of predicates, the description of their – bound and/or free – functioning in the text included.
The author defends the thesis that language is an attribute of a nation and as such it is offi cially protected by the international legal system irrespective of the number of its speakers; thus, there is no such phenomenon as a “little language”. Linguistic minorities speak their mother languages or some dialectal variants of those languages
This article examines the relationship of disgust and perversion in Lovetown (Lubiewo bez cenzury) by Michał Witkowski. An overview of the reception of the book reveals that reviewers and critics have focused mainly on Witkowski’s portrayal of the LGBT community, the structure of the novel (dubbed the ‘queer Decameron’), and the textual (meta) creation of the writer’s voice, but it ignored his handling of disgust and perversion. Central to this reading of Lovetown, which draws on Sigmund Freud’s analyses of disgust and perversion, is the observation that the narrator interlards his lingo with neutral, ‘objective’ explanations of the main characters’ deviant behaviours. This glossary, written for the general reader, tends, in effect, to legitimize deviance. An in-depth analysis of the writer’s handling of the categories of the disgusting, the perverse and the sacred leads to the conclusion that Lovetown exemplifies a cathartic-therapeutic narrative in which disgust becomes a tool of self-fulfi llment.
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (1908) enjoys unprecedented popularity in Poland and has played a considerable role in the shaping of modern Polish culture. As many as fourteen different translations of the fi rst volume of the series have been published; moreover, there exists an active Polish fandom of Montgomery’s oeuvre. The authors of this article briefly discuss the cultural and social aspects of this phenomenon which was triggered off in 1911 by Rozalia Bernsteinowa’s Polish translation of Anne of Green Gables. Her translation, still regarded as the canonical text, greatly altered the realities of the original novel. As a result, in Poland Anne of Green Gables has the status of a children’s classic, whereas readers in the English-speaking world have always treated it as an example of the sub-genre of juvenile college (school) girls’ literature. The identity of the Polish translator of L.M. Montgomery’s book remains a mystery, and even the name on the cover may well be pen name (though, at any rate, it strongly suggests that she must have belonged to the Jewish intelligentsia of the early 20th century). What we do know about her for fact is that she was a translator of German, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and English literature. Comparing Rozalia Bernsteinowa’s Polish text to its English original has been a subject of many Polish B.A. and M.A. theses. The argument of this article is that her key reference for was not the English text, but that of the fi rst Swedish translation by Karin Jensen named Anne på Grönkulla (1909).
This article questions the consensus view of The Invincible (Niezwyciężony) as one of Lem’s classical sci-fi fictions. The author contends that in this novel the familiar conventions (later rejected in His Master’s Voice) coexist with a structural design characteristic of his late novels. An analysis of two pieces of the world of The Invincible, usually disregarded by the critics because of their sketchiness, i.e. the story of the extinct Lyrans and the account of the ancient biosphere of Regis III, reveals that in either case Lem no longer cares for the realist credentials of his fiction and does not put the two planets on the astronomical map (which is no doubt deliberate choice). Moreover, in contrast to his earlier novels, his outline histories of the two biospheres contain hidden (but nonetheless unmistakable) parallels to the prehistory of the biosphere of the Earth (though he was no believer in evolutionary repeatability). As this article tries to demonstrate the two peripheral facets of the world depicted in the novel are clearly related and subordinated to the central story line (concerned with the ‘necrosphere’ and humanity). This structural dependence as well as the way in which key aspects of the world depicted in the novel seem to illustrate the theses articulated in Lem’s essays justifi es the conclusion that The Invincible should be treated as the first novel of his late phase, represented – on account of its form – by His Master’s Voice.
Maria Manteuffel letters from the period 1844–1859 offer invaluable insights into the life of Polish gentry in the former Polish Livonia (Infl anty Polskie), incorporated into the Vitebsk Governorate of the Russian Empire. These letters of mother to her son Gustaw Manteuffel, student at the University of Dorpat (now Tartu, Estonia) who was to become one of great Polish historiographers of late 19th century, are an important historical source. Although they deal mainly with family matters, the mundane is interspersed with notes and comments which throw light on the Russian tax burdens and the social life of the aristocracy and the local gentry. An eye-catching feature of that correspondence is a string of Latvian (Latgalian) words and phrases which are interspersed into Maria Manteuffel’s sentences. There is not much we know about her life. Born in Wielony in 1811, she was heiress to the Drycany estate. In 1828 she married baron Jakub Manteuffel. Of their children only four sons survived to adulthood. Born into a Polish-Livonian family, Maria Manteuffel became a Polish patriot, patroness and sponsor of various patriotic initiatives. When the Drycany estate was sequestrated by the Russian authorities after the 1863 January Uprising, she moved to Lesno and later to Riga where she died in 1874. She was buried at Drycany beside her husband; in 1916 her son was buried in the same family vault.
Published in 1904, Jolanta: A Dramatic Poet in One Act by Edward Leszczynski is – like Atlantyda, one of his later dramas – a celebration of love, vitality, and life. Both works are saturated with the symbolic profusion of the Pre-Raphaelites. In Jolanta the glowing spiritual and symbols, inspired by the paintings of William Holman Hunt, are used to communicate the horror of a solar apocalypse punctuating a deadlocked argument. An eschatological reading of the drama, proposed in this article, puts its apocalyptic ending in a new perspective.
Whereas Ingarden’s studies on the strata of the literary work of art have attracted considerable critical attention, it is not the case with the other building-block of his theory, the concept of the literary work’s temporal phases. It was ignored by the French structuralists and the American pragmatists, and, more recently, by neuroscience, although the latter is founded on insights that are similar to Ingarden’s. A comparison of the two approaches shows that his concept of temporality remains as relevant as ever. It is an analytical tool of remarkable precision that can be used to examine schemas of understanding conditioned by the sequential nature of language, especially in case complex schemas elicited by utterances with many themes and hardly any temporal or causal links. Ingarden’s analyses shed light on the analogically-functioning memory mechanisms that generate cognitive schemas responsible for the integration of the experienced objects. Drawing on Edmund Husserl, Henri Bergson and philosophers of the Lvov-Warsaw School, Ingarden assigned the key role in that process to foreshortening and the retention-protention mechanism. After identifying these sources of inspiration it is possible to suggest an alternative solution to the problem of the cognitive value of neuroscience narrative protocols and to situate current developments in narratology in a broader conceptual framework.
The article explores the problem of literary pictorialism, i.e. literary representation of the visual arts, with respect to the term hypotyposis. It appears to have sunk in oblivion, although it can boast of no less respectable origin as ekphrasis, and is by no means synonymous with the latter. In this article the precise meaning of hypotyposis is made out by means of comparisons with terms like trompe-l’oeil, anamorphosis, mise-en-abîme, and palimpsest. On the whole, hypotyposis does not describe a work of art but constitutes its verbal variant, or a structural and thematic equivalent in which the plot brings forth animated allegory of the image. We should distinguish, the article argues, two types of hypotyposis, the mimetic and the diegetic. The mimetic hypotyposis animates the content (the what) of the work of art, i.e. what is presented, or, in other words, the components of the fi ctional world. The diegetic hypotyposis dynamizes the manner (the how) of the presentation, i.e. it activates the manner in which the fi ctional world is constituted and the philosophical or formal problems raised by the work’s representation. Finally, the article examines the differences between hypotyposis and the generally accepted meaning of ekphrasis.
Without question Tadeusz Nowak reached the height of his poetic powers in a series of poems he called psalms (Psalms for Home Use, 1959; Psalms, 1971; and New Psalms, 1978). Although they form a distinctive group with common characteristics, it is hard to see what could possibly connect them with the lofty verses of the Book of Psalms. Having said that it can be argued that they belong to a Polish tradition of psalms developed by Kochanowski, Kochowski and Krasiński. The Polish psalms come in two varieties, those with sweeping visions of national history and identity, and the homely, or more personal, in focus and tone. Nowak rarely mentions the grand themes, yet when he does so his utterances are pregnant with meaning (though with no touch of the messianic fervour typical of the Polish psalms). His Psalms for Home Use are decidedly ‘homely’ in the sense of being personal and private (even autobiographical), and because they exhibit a mind of the common people from the country. If there is any connection between Nowak’s Psalms and their Biblical prototype it is maintained not so much by the occasional literary allusion as by the casting of the characters in the poems in the role of modern psalmists. Like King David, they know they are sinners, and that knowledge imparts to their ‘psalms’ the candidness of a cry from the depth.
This is the first study of Comrade October, the only drama in the oeuvre of Kazimierz Wierzyński (1894–1969). Written in 1950, it was not published until 1992. The article traces the origins of the play and assigns it to the tradition of dystopian fi ction (as exemplifi ed primarily by George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. A close reading of the structure of the play (the characters, the plot and its temporal structure, etc.) reveals the originality of Wierzyński’s approach and the links between Comrade October and the poetry he wrote after the war in exile.
The author highly appreciates the fi rst issue of the third volume of the fundamental “Dictionary of folk stereotypes and symbols” (ed. prof. E. Bartminsky), dedicated to the symbolism of plants. This issue presents rich materials (language, folklore, ethnographic) related to cereals, which in the popular perception have a mythological interpretation, the daily bread is God’s gift, endowed with sacred significance.
The text is an overview of the first volume of the lexical atlas of the Russian folk dialects. It presents modern cartographic methods used in the volume and types of maps contained therein. In order to better present the volume, one exemplary map is analysed, indicating its advantages and drawbacks. In conclusion the richness of the Russian dialectal lexical material, which was precisely geographically located, is stressed. This is the biggest merit of the atlas.
The article discusses the book Zmiana perspektywy. Gawęda nie tylko językoznawcza [Change of perspective. More than a tale of linguistics] by Zuzanna Topolińska (Cracow 2015). The author of this text emphasizes that the word gawęda [tale] in the book’s subtitle is misleading, given that, despite the style of language used in the book, Topolińska discusses important issues of a linguistic and intercultural nature. In her short essays in the fi rst part of the book Topolińska addresses the organizational structure of philology studies in Poland and Macedonia, she confronts the Polish and Macedonian approach to the dialectgeneral language relationship, she talks about language standards, about the differences between politeness in Poland and Macedonia, as well as the attitude towards women and the outlook toward religion in both countries. In the second part of the book Topolińska takes up lexical issues, giving examples of how under the infl uence of spiritual culture certain words in Polish and Macedonian that derive from the same core have taken on a different meaning. The author of the article concludes that this short and very personal book by Topolińska fulfi lls its task and subsequently alters his view on the linguistic and non-linguistic world of the Slavs.