The present article analyses the evolution of fascinating, though poorly known projects of bringing into being an autonomous enclave or even “Jewish country” as a method of settling the so-called Jewish question in the Polish Kingdom in the first years of its existence. The author proves that the evolution of the projects in question forms a more general direction in which the reflection upon so-called Jewish question developed among opinion-forming communities in the last years of the Polish Enlightenment: from the first reformers’ inclusive attitudes, then Stanisław Staszic and Wincenty Krasiński’s growing anti-Jewish obsession, and lastly to projects of permanent exile of the Jews from the Polish Kingdom propagated by Gerard Witowski and his followers. At the heart of the plans which dominated up to the 1820s and were vivid to the first half of 20th century was separation, i.e. a strive to dispose of the Jewish people being a radical way to solve all the pressing problems of the Polish society. Seen from this perspective, the plans under consideration expressed in the most spectacular way the transition of the Enlightenment ideology from the idea of integration to the idea of separation, which, consequently, must be regarded as the most characteristic of general ideological tendencies and attitudes of Polish late Enlightenment politicians toward Jewish people and towards reforms of their society.
Pamiętnik Literacki 4 / 2010
In the present paper Kuciński discusses the historical and ideological contexts of Aleksander Świętochowski’s book Genealogy of the Present (Genealogia teraźniejszości). The journalistic pamphlet by Apostle of Truth triggered in 1930’s open discussion inspired by the then political circles, mostly Polish radical right wing. The article focuses on the extraction and presentation of the notion of historical politics of native interwar nationalism. Seeing the book in question as an example of stolen language, the paper concentrates on the political strategies of appropriating the text and analyses the then calculating mode of reading of the text adopted by ideological discourse.
The article is devoted to Hanna Krall’s literary creativity, and it gives a comparative analysis of the reportage Powieść dla Hollywoodu (A Tale for Hollywood) from the Hipnoza (Hypnosis) collection and her book Król kier znów na wylocie (The King of Hearts is Off Again). Both texts in question tell the same true story – Izolda R.’s war lot – but in different ways. An additional context of considerations are references to Hanna Krall’s unpublished book Izolda R.’s Won War.
A Tale for Hollywood is interpreted as a metareportage with two coexisting planes, i.e. authotematic, and that of the tale proper. By contrast, in the analysis of The King of Hearts […] the stress is on the used novel techniques and the mechanisms of fictionalisation. Apart from that, the author attempts to touch the issue of the reporter’s textual presence, the character–narrator relationship, and paratextual references. Most important, however, in the view presented here is the problem of narration: free indirect speech and thought are interpreted as the main strategies of Krall’s prose, while the reconstruction of the heroine’s mode of thinking (and speaking) is the tenet of the text.
The author of the article analyses the following three fields of problematic issues present in Jarosław Marek Rymkiewicz’s Kinderszenen:
- The construction of the Warsaw Uprising myth. A concurrent reposession of a common status of a victim and a hero. Similarities and differences between Rymkiewicz’s vision and the oficial historical politics. The trauma as a narrative convention.
- Linguistic and thinking procedures building the Warsaw Uprising holocaustisation strategy. A departure from the pattern of simple “competition in suffering.” Objection to integrated historiography postulate that includes Jewish and Extermination history into the limits of Polish history.
- Topoi of ethnonationalism integrated with blood and violence misticism. The construction and functions of hate speech. An attempt to restore a “constitutive enemy” in the days of the clash of unproblematic, common identities. Cracks and contradictions of setting whole Rymkiewicz’s stories into the perspective of Schopenhauer’s and Nietzsche’s philosophy.
The present article opens (chapter The Beginning) with a brief introduction into Teodor Parnicki’s literary creativity. Next (chapter Parnicki’s realistic attitude), as based on a dialogue between two concrete literary texts, i.e. Cleopatra’s Other Life [Inne życie Kleopatry] by Teodor Parnicki and The Count of Monte Christo by Alexander Dumas, it shows a deep embedding of Parnicki’s narration into historical, economical and social reality. Such clear, almost earthbound view is no obstacle to express a dream of abandoning history or slipping out of it (chapter Escape from History?). Regrettably (chapter Parnickological Sorrows), desire of escape proves to be inevitalby literary, unrealistic and purely verbal. Parnicki merely takes delight in unmasking artificiality of art, hindering a nice story (e.g. on Cleopatra’s meeting with Christ). The sense of writing strategy is revealed in the last chapter Hideous, however crucial question: what is going on? The reading is only to experience worthlessness of things and words. Nothingness in Parnicki’s view is not knowledge but rather experience that needs to be reiterated. This attitude moves him closer to the mystics, nonetheless it is different from their in how one can overcome nothingness.
Translated from Hungarian by Kinga Piotrowiak-Junkiert
Ágnes Heller’s text is devoted to three essays by a Hungarian Nobel prize winner, Imre Kertész, namely Táborok maradandósága (Imperishability of the Nazi Camps), Hosszú, sötét árnyék (Long, Dark Shadow), and A Holocaust mint kultúra (The Holocaust as Culture). The researcher analyses the different meanings of the theses that Kertész submits and the issues related to the experience of the Holocaust. Special attention is paid to the interpretation of the role that the “spirit of the novel” plays in Nietzschean world after God’s death. Heller also questions for the answer whether the Extermination experience which imbalanced the values of European humanism may be repeated. An important part of Heller’s reflection is an analysis of two greatest traumas of our times, i.e. the Holocaus and the Gulag, which she sees as two vital myths shaping our consciousness. The Holocaust denotes an ultimate symbol of a broken Agreement and violation of the Law, both established by religion and European humanism, while the Gulag is a political myth and a metaphor of a totalitarian society.
Translated from French by Wacław Forajter
The text Poetics and Rhetorics (Poétique et rhétorique) is the introduction to the book Rhétorique générale (publ. 1970) by Belgian semioticians known as Group µ. According to their definition of “general rhetorics” seen as an analysis of techniques of language transformation characteristic of literature, the scholars focus on the problems of the form and on the specyficity of literary discourse, and especially on the discursive fading of the relationship between “words” and “things”. Referring to the concept of literary language in which it is viewed as “deviations of the norm”, Group µ identifies Jakobsonian poetic function of language with the rhetoric function. Within the framework of a polemics with Jakobson, they define the message not as an element of communication act but as a sum of its remaining five components. In addition, they introduce the term “metaboles” to refer to any type of change in any aspect of language. Metaboles prove to be “helpful” structures which free the speech from usable obligations and allow poetry to make its own reference.
The notion of poetic text temporality proposed by Group μ, and in particular its key element – isoplasm – offers interesting and relatively little known instruments for analysis of temporal aspects in poetry. Ispolasm is seen as phonic redundancy, i.e. repetition of a sound or a set of sounds in a text manifested on the level of expression. Expressed in different forms (protorhythm, quasi-rhythm, rhythm), depending on the number of repetitions of the element, such redundancy directs into the text a specyfic order, cyclicity, regularity, and thus puts the expressed content into some temporal clamps. The approach discussed in the present article is illustrated with an analysis of Jan Lechoń’s poem “Liliacs in Pennsylvania” („Bzy w Pensylwanii”), in which the stress is put on the isoplasm in question as well as on the semantic effects it produces in the text.
The paper is a synthetic presentation of a Wacław Grubiński’s (1883–1973) biography and literary creativity. Grubiński – a dramatist, prose writer and publicist – well known in Young Poland and Inter-War artistic circles in Warsaw gradually became a forgotten figure. Resorting to remembrance articles, reviews and statements made by Grubiński himself, the author presents his vicissitudes as well as a history of his works’ reception in Poland and abroad. The account of Grubiński’s dialogue with his literary audience ends with the writer’s last days, when he dies in his the old age in London. The author also signals an interest in Grubiński’s creativity in the last decades. In this part of the biography’s reconstruction most interesting is Grubiński’s postwar history, as well as his participation in the Polish émigré’s political and literary life. Reconstruction this period in the writer’s life is largely based on the author’s research in Grubiński’s posthumous legacy, namely his London “archive”.
The text discusses Anna Wereszczyńska’s book on the biography of a Polish writer Klemens Junosza-Szaniawski, who was born in Lublin in 1849 and died in Warsaw in 1898. The author focuses mostly on the Jewish issue presented in his books and discusses Szaniawski’s worldview placed between conservative and positivist ideology.
The text reviews Justyna Kowalska-Leder’s book, which is the first monograph in literature in Poland on children’s account of the Extermination.
The reviewer discusses a book by Bożena Karwowska, which is the first in literature in Poland so extensive description of the Nazi concentration camps developed in gender studies methodology.
The text discusses two books on the experience of the Extermination: Jean Améry’s At the Mind’s Limits: Contemplations by a Survivor of Auschwitz and Its Realities and Primo Levi’s Drowned and the Saved. The essayistic reflections by the two writers touch the most significant problems in writing and speaking about Auschwitz, namely the remembrance of the murdered, the obligation of giving a testimony about the Nazi camps and man’s dignity against a dehumanized reality.
The review discusses Maciej Urbanowski’s book on rightist ideas in 20th century Polish literature and litearary criticism. The author’s historical sketches reveal different depictions of the ideas in question, from ideological to easthetic, while portraits show the influence of values making the respective world view over personalities of some of the outstanding 20th century writers and critics.
The subject of the review in question is a critical trend of literary modernity in Poland. Its monographic description is illustrated with artistic creativity of selected 20th century writers: Bolesław Leśmian, Bruno Schulz, and Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz.
The review discusses Anna Spólna’s book on the Polish funeral poetry seen from the perspective of the poetry’s intertextual dialogue with literary tradition. The author attempts to systematise the funeral motifs in contemporary literature. To do it, she analyses pieces of funeral literature composed in the era of socialist realism and scrutinizes Władysław Broniewski’s Anka, Anna Kamieńska’s White Manuscript (Biały rękopis) and Tadeusz Różewicz’s collection Mother Departs (Matka odchodzi).
The text is a rememberance about Jadwiga Rudnicka, a respectable researcher in old Polish book and 18th and 19th c. literature, especially Norwid’s literary creativity.
The author portrays Andrzej Zieliński’s activity in lecturing, researching and his works for wider public. Professor Zieliński was affiliated with Università degli Studi in Milan, Italy, where for most of his life he lectured on Polish literature and language. His research and popularisation works were mostly concerned with reciprocal relationship between Polish and Italian literature.
The text is devoted to memory professor Jan Mirosław Kasjan (1933–2010), a respectable researcher in Polish romantic literature, folklorist, translator, editor, poet, for mamy years affiliated to Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń.