The article offers a reflection on the changes of early-romantic historical narration in Poland, which the author discusses as based on Joachim Lelewel’s and Adam Mickiewicz’s texts. The main subject of interest in the paper is Historyczna paralela Hiszpanii z Polską (A Historical Parallel of Spain and Poland) (written in 1820, published in 1831 and continued in the 1830s) and historicism based on parallelism and synchrony. It finds its expression not only in a comparative thinking about history but also in a narrative and graphic “parallelizing” (J. Lelewel). A similarly comparative type of historism is found both in the then scientific and popular historical writing and in literature which, in Mickiewicz’s writing rests on a figural presentation of history and Messianism. The success of the parallel at the beginning of 19th c. is by the author linked with a search for a narrative form for a new perception of history conceived as an all-pervasive, multilevel and progressive process, which hardly undergoes a simple diachronic order.
Towards the end of 1820s there appeared two independent Polish translations of a famous qasida Lāmiyyat al-cArab ascribed to a legendary “brigand-poet” named Aš-Šanfarā, one of which by Adam Mickiewicz and the other, unfinished, by Ludwik Spitznagel, a young Orientalist, poet, and Juliusz Słowacki’s friend. The two translations competed with each other from the beginning of their composition. Their artistic values were compared and their degree of adequacy to the French philological translation by Silvestre de Sacy evaluated. Mickiewicz’s version was reproached for being a relay translation based on the French text, while Spitznagel, passed as an excellent expert in Eastern languages, was thought to have translated directly from Arabic.
To date, no attempt has been made to meticulously compare both translations in respect of the Arabic original. The paper aims to complete the shortcoming.
Growing among others from Aleida Assmann’s studies, considerations about the relations between memory and literature lead the author to trace in two early Romantic volumes of poetry (Adam Mickiewicz’s Ballads and Romances and William Wordsworth’s Lyrical Ballads) the problem of “the memory of literature,” connected with the category of “imitation” described by Maurycy Mochnacki. The volumes also form a pretext for a reflection about the genre of ballad as a “medium of memory” and lead to the discovery of a paradox of Romantic memory in the texts. It can be seen that individual memory is (in epic-lyrical structure of the ballad) linked to collective memory as based on the influence of “collective texts’” (“folk song,” “ordinary people’s” stories), on the subject’s identity, and is at the same time its opposite – it questions, verifies and undermines the authenticity of the pictures which it evokes.
The aim of the article is a presentation of a new type of woman protagonist which developed under the changes of the worldview taking place between the 19th uprisings in selected novels by Józefa Dobieszewska, née Śmigielska. The creations of strong female personalities, increasingly deliberate and bravely defining their identity and expressing a need for independence, are contrasted with weakening males, both of which the author of the paper sets against a broad panorama of the then social life. Reiteration of the prose attracts attention to an original mode of emancipation presentation and to the foretoken of realistic tendencies. The accomplishment of formerly valued editor of “Kółko Domowe” (“Family Circle”) is researched as a significant though disregarded period in the 19th women periodical tradition situated between Klementyna Hoffmanowa’s creativity and Eliza Orzeszkowa’s writings.
The article is an attempt at reaching the historiosophic formula of Norwid’s poem Quidam. Unlike in the research to date, the author endeavors to prove the Christian breakthrough in history not to be a reduction and departure of old cultures (Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Jewish) but their mutual complementation and maturation, which finds its perfection in the process of axiological and authentic merging of contrasts and contradictions. The tragic life of the protagonists (majority of them perish) in evangelical and eschatological perspective reveals its true sense and dimension: facing “the ultimate,” each becomes someone fully authentic, and at the same time dazzled by the experience of the truth which was not expected though merely predicted, as done by the main hero, a son of Alexander of Epirus.
The article includes a detailed description of an album (album amicorum) which belonged to Kora Pinard, a Parisian printer’s daughter, with original inscriptions from 1832–1842 by artists and poets, found by a French antiquarian. One of the most precious of the inscriptions is an autograph of Juliusz Słowacki’s French poem Le Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, known to date only from a copy containing lines 22–48. Referring to the contexts of 1830s literary life in Paris, to French authors biographers and to Słowacki’s literary creativity, the authors of the paper present the connections of the Polish poet with the Pinard family, the origin of the poem in question, as well as an array of intertextual relationships between Słowacki’s poem and the poem Paryż (Paris) and also between other Romantics (Byron). The publication offers the first critical edition of the poem in the original French version with the Polish translation.
The article informs about the unknown to date translation of a fragment from Pieśń Wajdeloty (The Song of Wajdelota) found in Vasily Zhukovsky’s archive and published in his collected works, vol. 5. The commentary provides information on the circumstances of the translation production.
The question about Mickiewicz’s reading of epigrams by Angelus Silesius (Johannes Scheffler) from the collection Cherubinischer Wandersmann (The Cherubinic Pilgrim) has many times been posed but no convincing answer has been supplied. It was known that Mickiewicz raised his interest in the Breslau poet in 1833 or even earlier, possibly before leaving for Paris. Between 1833–1836 he produced epigrams inspired by mystical writings by Saint-Martin, Franz Baader, Jakob Böhme and Angelus Silesius which the poet entitled Zdania i uwagi (Thoughts and Remarks). As a motto to the collection Mickiewicz used in his manuscript was the only in German epigram by Angelus: “Ruh ist das höchste Gut: und wäre Gott nicht ruh / Ich schlösse vor Ihm selbst mein’ Augen beide zu” (I 49), which is different from the 1675 copy of the last hand edition, where the second line is “Jch schliesse für Jhm selbst mein’ Augen beide zu.” The above disparity forms a starting point for further research consisting in analyses of the multiplied from the second decade of 19th c. editions of Silesius’ texts in which Mickiewicz might arose his interest.
In those circumstances, the first complete edition of The Cherubinic Pilgrim was issued in 1827 in Munich. The analysis of the text revealed that its basis was the last 18th republication of the text (from 1737) which, in turn, was an adaptation of Gottfried Arnold’s edition (1701, 1713), the basis of which was last hand edition. The condition of an anonymous editor from 1829 – Sulzbach, Seidel’sche Buchhandlung – was different. He possessed a rare copy of a Vienna editio princeps (containing five of the ultimate six books) and Arnold’s 1701 edition and, qualified in philology, he prepared out of the two sources an almost ideal account. And it is here, and only here, that we find the epigram (I 49) in the version adopted by Mickiewicz, thus we can be certain that it was that copy that the author of Thoughts and Remarks possessed.
Appendix: Adam Pomorski, On the Publication of Benedykt Jankowski’s Sonnets
The article contains 7 sonnets by Benedykt Jankowski. The sonnets, previously unknown, come from a manuscript treasured in the Library of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences. A mark on the manuscript informs that is was rejected by censorship authorities in 1857. All the information we have about the author comes from the manuscript itself and from two letters to the publisher, written in 1850s and preserved currently in the same library. The sonnets have no common title. The title of the present publication refers to Polesia, a historical region mentioned in one of the sonnets and in a larger dramatic work in the same manuscript, and to which the place from where one of the letters was addressed belongs.
The text describes the life of Kunegunda Białopiotrowiczowa (1793–1883), a women writer, émigré activist, a daughter of general Romuald Giedroyć, and a sister of Łucja Rautenstrauchowa. Special attention is brought to the period of her life in which as a Joséphine de Beauharnais’ lady-in-waiting she stayed in Malmaison, and to a later time when for some 40 years she lived in Paris. A separate issue touched in this article refers to the author’s endeavour to settle the status of her novel Hrabia Teodor, czyli Łazienki w Warszawie (Count Teodor, or the Baths in Warsaw). Resorting to the source materials, the author attempts to reconstruct the final fortune of the book and, unable to access any copy, from the National Library of Poland in Warsaw he cites a note – the novel’s summary – composed by Wacław Borowy, a literary historian.
Review: Juliusz Słowacki – interpretacje i reinterpretacje. Redakcja Ewangelina Skalińska, Ewa Szczeglacka-Pawłowska. Warszawa 2011. „Problemy Romantyzmu”. Tom 7
The review of the book Juliusz Słowacki – interpretacje i reinterpretacje (Juliusz Słowacki – Interpretations and Reinterpretatios) consists of 14 interpretive sketches in which attention is brought to the lyrical aspect of the poet’s creativity. Presented from different perspectives, Słowacki’s poems become a pretext for a thought about the methodology of reading the pieces, are seen as a source of inspiration for Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz and Zbigniew Herbert, and first and foremost are regarded to be constantly interesting in spite of the passing years with a view to their forms and themes.
Review: Magdalena Siwiec, Romantyczne koncepcje poezji. Poeta i Muza ‒ relacja w stanie kryzysu (Alfred de Musset i Juliusz Słowacki). (Kraków 2012). „Komparatystyka Polska – Tradycja i Współczesność”
The review discusses Magdalena Siwiec’s book which refers to Alfred de Musset’s and Juliusz Słowacki’s romantic poetry. It is the poetry which is understood as a record of human, language, and literature experiencing a crisis. A poet’s attitude to the source of inspiration is made the main theme of Siwiec’s study, and considering such definition of the subject of research also to the literary tradition as well as to the poets most powerfully influencing others.
Review: Słowacki postkolonialny. Pod red. Michała Kuziaka. (Bydgoszcz) 
The text reviews the collection Słowacki postkolonialny (Post-colonial Słowacki) edited by Michał Kuziak which encompasses studies in Juliusz Słowacki’s creativity viewed from the Post-colonial criticism standpoint by literary scholars, theatrologists, and history philosophers. The subject of reflection is the issue of usability of the Post-colonial research to Polish romantic literature understanding and the advantages of the tools developed within this methodology in interpreting Słowacki’s individual pieces.
Review: Zofia Trojanowiczowa, Romantyzm od poetyki do polityki. Interpretacje i materiały. Wybór i redakcja: Anna Artwińska, Jerzy Borowczyk, Piotr Śniedziewski. (Kraków) 2010
Zofia Trojanowiczowa’s book consists of articles devoted to Cyprian Norwid’s and Adam Mickiewicz’s creativity. Not only is it a collection of brilliant studies interpreting individual pieces by the previously mentioned poets (Norwid’s Cywilizacja <Civilisation> and Mickiewicz’s Konfederaci barscy <Confederates of Bar>) or problems crucial for them (e.g. the artist’s role in the modern world, relationship between ethics and politics), but in fact it is a synopsis of the synthesis of Romanticism.
Review: Jerzy Fiećko, Krasiński przeciw Mickiewiczowi. Najważniejszy spór romantyków. Poznań 2011
The author of the book convincingly proves that the most seminal argument of the Polish Romanticism was the controversy between Zygmunt Krasiński and Adam Mickiewicz.
Review: Ewa Paczoska, Prawdziwy koniec XIX wieku. Śladami nowoczesności. (Warszawa 2010)
The review discusses Ewa Paczoska’s book on the modernity signals in 19th century and on the 19th century continuations in the subsequent cultural formations. The researcher’s thesis about the blurred borderlines between tradition and modernity is based on a specific selection of threads and aspects of the analysed pieces (of Polish and European 19th, 20th, and 21st c. literature) corresponding with the paradigms typical of postmodernism. Cultural continuity and smooth linearity can be observed in the discussed images of the city, travel and otherness, as well as in the consecutive methods of defining Polishness and history perception (biographies, narrations).
Review: Magdalena Rabizo-Birek, Romantyczni i nowocześni. Formy obecności romantyzmu w polskiej literaturze współczesnej. Rzeszów 2012
The review discusses Magdalena Rabizo-Birek’s book, a valuable source of information about romantic inspirations in Polish literature in the second half of 20th and the outset of 21st c. Theses formulated in the book are well justified in rich source materials, though they are not enough clearly stated.
Review: Michał Masłowski, Etyka i metafizyka. Perspektywa transcendencji poziomej we współczesnej kulturze polskiej. Warszawa 2011. „Nauka o Literaturze Polskiej za Granicą”. Tom 13
The review of Michał Masłowski’s book Etyka i metafizyka. Perspektywa transcendencji poziomej we współczesnej kulturze polskiej (Ethics and Metaphysics. The Perspective of Horisontal Transcendence in Polish Culture) exploits romantic circumstances of analyses carried out in the volume. Suggested by Masłowski vision of modernity, dominated by questions concerning the sense, identity, good and evil in the world, is proven from the romantic tradition, which makes the character of Masłowski’s cultural project coherent and interesting.
Review: Maria Fogler, Czym jest muzyka? Filozofia muzyki w powieści „Doktor Faustus” Tomasza Manna. Warszawa 2009
The review discusses Maria Fogler’s book Czym jest muzyka? Filozofia muzyki w powieści ”Doktor Faustus” Tomasza Manna (What is Music? Philosophy of Music in Thomas Mann’s Novel “Doctor Faustus”). The paper is devoted to those philosophical conceptions (by e.g. Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Adorno) which influenced the German writer’s work.