After moving to Italy in 1856, Teofil Lenartowicz, inspired by the great Italian art and supported by the best Florentine artists of the time Giovanni Dupré and Enrico Pazzi, began studying sculpture. Lenartowicz’s sculptures were always connected with literature: his work shows howone influenced the other. It is no accident that his style as a sculptor has been called ‘poetic’ by the critics. The Polish immigrant was fascinated by the Italian Renaissance, and especially by the art of Lorenzo Ghiberti. At the same time, he never forgot about Polish folklore, which played a significant role in his artistic vision. One of the most impressive examples of this intersection of influences is the bas-relief The Holy Workers, complemented by a poem bearing the same name.
Whereas Wincenty Pol’s topographical verse has usually been viewed as an expression of a ‘sentimental geography’, this article proposes a new reading of a well-known poem A Song about Our Land by Wincenty Pol in terms of ‘imagined geography’, a key term of an approach inspired by geopoetics and postcolonial studies. ‘Imagined geography’ refers to a poetic map, i.e. travelogue laced with motifs from the repository of national heritage. Its images, reshaped by the writer’s imagination, form an ideologically charged whole in which an emotive sense of place or scenery (‘touching the heart’) uncovers a complex cultural stratigraphy of the ‘imagined geography’. In the light of this approach, based on the insights of geopoetics, Wincenty Pol’s poem can be treated as textual representation of a map of the real and the symbolic territory of Poland.
The author reconstructs the Romantic concept of imagination, drawing attention to its relations with the esoteric tradition, and then presents the significance of the idea of imagination for pedagogical reflection in the period of Romanticism. What is also undertaken is the motif of the continuity of Romantic ideas in the 20th century, with special regard to the 20th century youth counterculture and the relations between the countercultural concept of imagination and the discourse on education.
The article attempts to outline Adam Mickiewicz’s concept of subjectivity. He introduces it in his visionary poetic drama Dziady (Forefathers’ Eve) where a radically ambivalent situation is presented through the duality of the main character Gustaw/Konrad. The article describes this duality in terms of Paul Ricoeur’s distinction between cogito exalté and cogito brisé. In Dziady Mickiewicz dramatizes the transition from exaltation to dejection, the condition of cogito brisé (living with a wound). His romantic subject cannot throw away his past, but because he is acutely aware of his failings and his inadequacy he is able to free himself from delusions of grandeur and self-centered pride. The condition of uncertainty, inadequacy and chronic insatiability is like a gaping wound or a lack which may lead the ‘I’ to open up and seek the Other. It is a vision of man who knows he is deeply flawed but capable of pursuing a noble desire; vulnerable and fallible, beset by ‘endless error’ and yet able to act and get his act together; self-centered and yet, because of the relational nature of the human identity, capable of redirecting his emancipatory energy to Others. It can be summed up the concept of homo capax (homme capable) which, as this article argues, provides the key to Mickiewicz’s anthropology.
This article offers a new reading of the complex, multidimensional, palimpsest identity of the eponymous hero of The King Spirit. Intended to be a total work of art (Gesamtkunstwerk), Juliusz Słowacki’s epic poem remains unfi nished, in a number of versions that are driven by two impulses, a centrifugal force reducing the poem to a string of inchoate fragments and a centripetal counterforce working for the poem’s unity. The same vectors seem to exert a permanent tension on the central character of the poem, a complex web of relations between body and soul, individual and universal consciousness, boundless and limited knowledge, the bright light of revelation and the inadequacy of words, and, last not least, between inspiration, memory and imagination. The peculiar construction of the ‘I’ in The King Spirit may also be seen as an attempt to relinquish the aesthetic mode of existence for the religious one (as described by Søren Kierkegaard). The poem could then be read as a dramatic record of that transition.
In this article Maurycy Mochnacki’s martyrological and messianic declarations in the Preface to the Uprising of the Polish Nation in 1830–1831 are examined in the context of the martyrological discourse in the literature of the Great Emigration. Such an affirmation may appear puzzling given Mochnacki’s rejection of martyrological interpretations of Poland’s history or messianic readings of his political philosophy, let alone his reputation of being radically opposed to Adam Mickiewicz’s idea of the sacrifi cial victimhood of the Polish nation. In this study the ideological and rhetorical aspects of their statements are compared and analysed. There can be little doubt that in the Preface Mochnacki’s phrasing is steeped in patriotic pathos which seems to be at odds with the tone of his other writings. This article claims that it was a tactical move on his part: he chose the familiar martyrological loci merely as a means to enlist the readers’ support for his own pragmatic programme of restoring Poland’s independence. A general conclusion to be drawn from this apparent inconsistency is that already at that stage (The Uprising was published in Paris in 1834) the logosphere of the Great Emigration had become so dominated by the martyrological discourse that Mochnacki could not afford to ignore it.
The ten years Stanisław Pigoń spent in Wilno (1921-1931) was a very important phase of his life. Wilno not only attracted a great deal of his research but also became the focus of a lasting emotional attachment, a sentiment which he reaffirmed in a memoir published shortly before his death in 1968. Although a lot is already known about Pigoń’s Wilno decade, there are some episodes that are worth a closer examination. One of them is a debate about Konrad’s cell which he triggered off just before leaving Wilno. The controversy concerns a cell in the former Basylian Monastery where Adam Mickiewicz was imprisoned in 1823 and where Konrad, the main character of his Dziady (Forefathers’ Eve) undergoes a spiritual transformation, the climax of the poetic drama. Pigoń contributions to this interminable debate exhibit a fine balance of scholarly precision and passionate conviction. This article not only looks at the origin and the early phases of the Konrad’s cell controversy in their contemporary background but also tries to show Pigoń’s involvement in the life of the university and the cultural and literary life of Wilno.
This article takes a look at the development women’s press in the first half of the 19th century. A comparison of the press market in the Romantic Age in France, Poland and the United States shows that usually women were eager to take up journalism as a sideline to their literary careers. The article discusses the journalistic work of three women writers — Delphine de Girardin, Wanda Malecka and Margaret Fuller. While each of them was inspired by Romantic and Preromantic writers, their journalism was for the most part a continuation of the Enlightenment models of journalism.
This article examines the origins and the early decades of the history of the feuilleton in Poland and in France. A comparative analysis shows that the career of this journalistic genre is closely connected with the rise of Romanticism. Both its formal characteristic as well as its hybrid topicality established the feuilleton as an emblematic example of the Romantic poetic. The feuilleton owes its success to the contemporary vogue for commingling literary and journalistic discourses as well as the impact of Romantic writers whose opinion columns became a regular feature of many newspapers.