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Abstract

In the second half of the 19th century in the European culture appears an increased interest in evil. This phenomenon is widely spread particularly in France and England. In his famous volume of poems Les Fleurs du Mal Charles Baudelaire publishes The Litanies for Satan where the Devil replaces God as the addressee of a blasphemous prayer. Joris-Karl Huysmans, an author of the novel LB-bas, describes a black mess and a litany addressed to Satan who seems to be closer to sinful people than perfectly indifferent God. A poet from the Huysmans’ artictic circle, Édouard Dubus, devotes his litany to a „Lady of grace and immorality” – a blasphemous double of Mary, mother of Jesus. An English poet Charles Algernon Swinburne writes Dolores, a poem addressed to „Our Lady of Pain” and recognised as the apogee of the satanic litany. In all these cases the choice of a litany as a literary genre results in acceptance of a vision of the world broaden with spirituality. In spite of their seemingly blasphemous plots, all these texts express a deep hunger for the sacred – the hunger that could not be satisfied with official religion.
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Abstract

The article treats about a forgotten play Zaduszki (All Souls’ Day) by Stefan Grabiński, widely known as the author of fantastic literature and horror stories. The play Zaduszki consists of three parts: 1. Strzygoń. Klechda zaduszna; 2. W dzień zaduszny; 3. Sen Krysty. Misterium zaduszne. First of them is written in folk dialect. The second one, sometimes named „the longest one-act play ever staged in Polish theatre”, considers a problem of a fault and a punishment. The third one, similarly to the first one, presents folk beliefs in supernatural phenomena which take place on All Souls’ Day. Moreover, it partly resembles a mystery play. Although the trilogy got an unfavourable reception (it was shown only seven times in Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Kraków), it may be considered as an ambitious attempt to match the heritage of Stanisław Wyspiański – according to Grabiński, the greatest authority in the field of theatre.
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