The author of the article carries out an analysis of a debut collection of Eleonora Kalkowska’s short stories and evokes the figure of the forgotten Polish-German woman writer. Nietzschean philosophy of life is a context for her modernist stage of creativity. Kalkowska’s Głód życia (Hunger for Life) published in 1904 not only contains many discernible tendencies of the epoch, noticed, inter alia, by Grażyna Borkowska, who calls Nietzsche modernist women writers’ favorite philosopher, but proves to be a predecessor piece for but Zofia Nałkowska’s creativity, the latter on the ground of women’s literature was attributed to the role. The author of the article analyses Kalkowska’s short stories in the context of such categories as affirmation of being, the will of power, and also in the context of problems related to her creativity’s moral aspects. Confronting it with Nałkowska’s modernist novel Narcyza, the author refers to the notion of Nietzschean “superwoman” described by Magdalena Rembowska-Płuciennik.
Pamiętnik Literacki 4 / 2014
Dedication to Professor Janusz Sławiński
The text is an analytical study of Czesław Miłosz’s early poem Do księdza Ch. (To Father Ch.) from the collection Trzy zimy (Three Winters) (1936). Assuming that The Revelation as an eschatological model conceptualising the relation between God and man became an important component of young Miłosz’s worldview, the author of the article strives to delineate the semantics and the function of apocalyptic motifs in the poem in question. Thus guided analysis, polemically recalling the poem’s to-date readings within the literary-historical discourse, shows the uniqueness of this piece against the background of the whole collection, and first and foremost discloses its significance for cristalising the ideological-imaginative horizon of the poet’s thought, who at that time showed interest in Gnostic-Manichean conception of religion. Crucial interpretive contexts for the author are: Miłosz’s intellectual biography (ideological dispute with Father Leopold Chomski, the real addressee of the poem; particularly young fascination with the Gnosticism), and almost 50 years older poem Ksiądz Ch., po latach (Father Ch., Many Years Later). Expressed in the poem composed in the 1930s condemnation of sinful world and profession of faith in the purifying power of apocalyptic catastrophe evidence initial domination in Miłosz’s thought anti-world dualism which with time loses its central position in the worldview of mature poet and becomes a part of vital contradiction to it and grounded in experience of the earthly reality as sphere not only tremendum but also fascinans.
The article arose from a conviction that postsecular thought which provides a valuable inspiration for Western literary studies may prove a legitimate interpretative perspective for a number of Polish pieces, including those representing the trend referred to as linguistic poetry. Constitutive for the pieces is a twine of specific poetics, metaliterary reflection, theological-religious references and social-political subject matter (together with a description of the consequences of secularisation process) recalls the structure of thought as well as the form of discourse developed by the authors regarded as patrons of the trend (G. Agamben, J. Derrida, J.-L. Nancy). Readings of Witold Wirpsza’s poetry suggested here (especially epic poems Traktat skłamany <A Treaty of Lies>, Wykorzenienie <Uprooting> and Liturgia <Liturgy>) effects in disclosing original reflection from the borderline of aesthetics, philosophy and political theology included into poetic representations of urban spaces.
The article aims to capture the modes of homoerotic desire expressions in Krzysztof Boczkowski’s lyrical creativity. The author of the sketch distinguishes three levels on which homoeroticism proves traceable. The first one is voyeuristic, the second one concerns a modernistic tradition of expression desire, while the third one is referred to as man-to-man – intimate-philosophical. In conclusion Śmieja notices that Boczkowski’s creativity escapes from the so-far attempts to describe Polish “homosexual literature” by including homoeroticism into a network of meanings totally different from that of the creativity by poets and writers regarded as representatives of “homosexual trend” in contemporary Polish literature. Portrayal of the network is the purpose set by the author of the sketch.
Iwona Mikołajczyk’s article uncovers epistemological similarities between images of the world created by Zbigniew Herbert in the poetic cycle about Mr. Cogito and by René Magritte’s in his surrealistic painterly visions. The analogies are contained not so much in the field of techniques of surrealistic imagery employed by the them (documenting the thesis that only penetration of the subconscious renders human nature) as in their acceptance of Descartes’ view according to which objective description of reality is subordinated to the sum of subjective views. In their attempts to make the inconceivable understandable, the artists, instead of giving the receiver a complete worldview built from individual perceptions, came to a similar conclusion that a man as such is black magic whose consciousness is formed from vague relationships of snatches of reality and fanciful elements. Thus, man lacks harmony and consistency.
Father Jan Twardowski’s style relies heavily on colloquial variation of Polish, the choice of which reflects his worldview. Exploitation of the potential of colloquial expressions enables the poet to avoid pathos. Phraseological units of various kind, allowing for the creation of a close relation with the reader, are used both in their canonical forms and as modifications. Fixed expressions of colloquial character constitute an important element of Father Jan Twardowski’s idiolect. The techniques of translation of phraseological units are analyzed and discussed with a special focus on their imagery. Four main techniques are distinguished: using a close equivalent, i.e. a target language phrase which is formally and semantically identical or similar to the source language phrase; substituting a source language unit with a target language unit differing in some parameters, e.g. employing different imagery; choosing a non-phraseological equivalent, i.e. a word or a loose combination of words; omitting the phraseological unit in the translation. The implementation of the last technique results in greatest losses connected with the reduction of imagery and the occurrence of stylistic changes in the translation.
The author in his article takes up the problem of repetition seen as a mode of poetic expression organisation and analyses its specific functions in Eugeniusz Tkaczyszyn-Dycki’s creativity. Referring to such scholars as, inter alia, Søren Kierkegaard, Jacques Lacan, Agata Bielik-Robson, Aleksandra Okopień-Sławińska, and Lucylla Pszczołowska, he points at a potential multifunctionality of repetitions. It can be made an element of a text’s musical organisation, serve for certain stylisation functions, reiterate a reflexive stimulus or change the lyrical narration direction via expressively or meaningfully accentuate a given expression, express the speaking person’s mental state, etc.
Resorting to an original reading of Lacan’s theory by Agata Bielik-Robson, the author offers his own interpretation of functions of repetitions in Eugeniusz Tkaczyszyn-Dycki’s poetry. In his view, repetitions are aimed at poetic expression’s maximal approximation to “primary speech” which mediates between the Real, unsubordinated to symbolisation, and symbolic order, relying first and foremost on logically and reasonably structured language.
The text assumes an analysis of the situation of apocryphal texts in contemporary Polish poetry. It reconstructs the history of the term and introduces its division into apocrypha proper, medieval, and literary apocrypha. Two models of literary apocrypha are considered in the paper, namely those pertaining to the Bible, and those which constitute a different canon from the archetext. As based on Zbigniew Herbert’s poem Domysły na temat Barabasza (Speculations on the Subject of Barabbas) the author presents a model referring to the Biblical account. In turn, Jarosław Marek Rymkiewicz’s piece Wiersz na te słowa Heraklita: „Nie można wejść dwa razy do tej samej rzeki” (Poem to Heraclitus: “No man ever steps in the same river twice”) invoking the context of non-Biblical account shows a model which follows the apocryphal rule: it gives a text in the palimpsest form with emphasis put on a complex intertextual relationship, and discloses its canonical inspiration.
The article describes to date unexploited archive materials from “Gebethner & Wolff” Publishing House from the years 1915–1956 handed over by the last owner of the company to the Library of the Institute of Literary Research, Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw in 1973.
Budrowska sees, from the literary studies perspective, that most interesting are the records of published books, publisher’s agreements and correspondence with authors, and she pays most attention to those categories of documents. Referring to them, she reflects on the publishing market in Poland after the year 1945, traces the methods of private publishing houses eliminations, as well as fills the missing parts in the history of some works taking into special account the struggles of the publisher and the authors with censorship. Some issues mentioned in the article have huge research potential, i.e. Stanisław Lem’s unknown (finished) novel, a designed second part of Kornel Makuszyński’s Szatan z siódmej klasy (Satan from the 7th Grade), a renounced edition of Władysław Orkan’s Dzieła (Works) or textual changes in Gustaw Morcinek’s texts.
Two autobiographical books by distinguished literary scholars, Czesław Zgorzelski’s Przywołane z pamięci (Recalled from Memory) and Irena Sławińska’s Szlakami moich wód… (Tracking My Waters…) are made the subject of the article. The books stand out in comparison to memoirism by Polish literary researchers as, on the one hand, they present quite similar fortunes of characters, and, on the other hand, in the form of expression the writers create suggestive and dissimilar images of figures. Analysing the composition, style, and language of the books, Fitas shows that what the authors delivered are not only a fact-collecting accounts of life but also literary pieces. Recalled from Memory in a classical style and ordered with reverence memoir saves the figure of a conscientious literary historian, the author of meticulous analyses and editor, while Tracking My Waters… in an essayistic style portrays one of the most brilliant drama experts and poetry interpreters.
The article answers the questions about the existence and function of Czesław Miłosz’s poetry in German. It refers to the issue of untranslatability; it also reveals the complex process of transplantation of the lyric to other language and its introduction into German literature circulation. The considerations focus on translatological problems of Miłosz’s poetry composed in his youth and maturity (to the first part of 1960s). Chojnowski assumes a thesis that the poems make up a serious challenge for the translator, which results both from their prosody, rhythm, use of classical rhyme and Miłosz’s application of stylisation, hidden and revealed allusions and references to old and contemporary literary traditions. The article is based on the poet’s correspondence with Karl Dedecius, collected and prepared for publication by Przemysław Chojnowski, the author of the present paper.
Wisława Szymborska first became known in Korea after she won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1996, but came closer to readers with the publication of her poetry book entitled The End and the Beginning (including 170 poems) in 2007. The Korean version of Szymborska’s poetry book first drew attention of Korean poets and novelists and, later, owing to their active introduction of the book to Korea, her poems became very popular among general public as well. Her poetry book The End and the Beginning went through twelve editions in Korea, and more than 12 000 copies have been sold as the book has become a steady seller. Immediately after the publication of the book, her poems were simply read, cited and critiqued, but later they were used as motifs in the creation of literary works which went on to influence other genres such as film, ballet, and photography. Furthermore, Szymborska’s poems have been cited and interpreted in various social contexts beyond the limits of literature and art. Even though she passed away in 2012, many Korean poets, critics, scholars, and general public still enjoy reading and citing her poems.
Review: Tomasz Garbol, Po Upadku. O twórczości Czesława Miłosza. Lublin 2013
Tomasz Garbol’s monograph refers to the trend of research connected with the history of ideas. Garbol consistently sets Miłosz’s literary images into the writer’s discursive statements in order to finally place his observations in a broad perspective of questions concerning the evil which exists in the world. The key of this study’s composition are then “great affairs of humankind” presented in their diverse aspects and closely linked to the topoi from the title. The value of the book in question lies, among others, in the ability of proper selection of literary mirrors in order for Miłosz’s account of the Fall reflected in them to be seen sufficiently multidimensional. Garbol calls for such remote and serious contexts that he transgresses the limits of immanent interpretations and enters into the field of literary history synthesis.
Review: Tomasz Cieślak-Sokołowski, Moment lingwistyczny. O wczesnym pisarstwie Ryszarda Krynickiego i Stanisława Barańczaka. Kraków (2011). „Krytyka XX i XXI Wieku”. [T.] 12
The review presents the book Moment lingwistyczny. O wczesnym pisarstwie Ryszarda Krynickiego i Stanisława Barańczaka (The Linguistic Moment. On the Early Writings by Ryszard Krynicki and Stanisław Barańczak) by Tomasz Cieślak-Sokołowski, which situates early criticism and poetry of the two Polish poets, in the 1970s regarded as the New Wave representatives of linguistic poetry, within the (unstable) frames of late modernism. From that perspective Polish linguistic poetry and modernism are alike unfinished, still actual projects; the author claims that the most relevant categories to describe them would be Walter Benjamin’s “aura” as well as “moment” borrowed from critical writings by Tadeusz Peiper (Zapiski o prawach poezji [Notes of the Laws of Poetry]), Joseph Hillis Miller (The Linguistic Moment. From Wordsworth to Stevens) and Marjorie Perloff (The Futurist Moment).
Review: „Chamuły”, „gnidy”, „przemilczacze”. Antologia dwudziestowiecznego pamfletu polskiego. Wybór, wstęp, oprac. Dorota Kozicka. Kraków (2010). „Krytyka XX i XXI Wieku”. [T.] 11
The text introduces an anthology of Polish 20th century pamphlet prepared by Dorota Kozicka which contains a lengthy critical description of the conception of selection, composition and content of its four parts (On Writers…, On Critics…, On Fundamentals…, On Policy…). The reviewer, positively assessing Kozicka’s selection, her introduction and preparation, pays special attention to the complicated relations between the pamphlet and the satire, commentary journalism and literary criticism, morphological and pragmatic-functional understanding of the pamphlet.
Review: Anna Kałuża, Bumerang. Szkice o polskiej poezji przełomu XX i XXI wieku. Wrocław 2010
The text discusses a book on the poetry of the last decades. The reviewer questions the assumption of Anna Kałuża, a literary researcher, on which her theories are based, that a literary commentary and poems are related and the effect of which would be the metaphorical boomerang from the title.
Review: Andrzej Niewiadomski, Światy z jawnych słów i kwiatów ukrytych. O refleksji metapoetyckiej w nowoczesnej poezji polskiej. Lublin 2010
Andrzej Niewiadomski’s book is a successful attempt at searching for articulated poetics in the texts of 20th lyric poetry. The main subject of the treatise is an examination of 20th poetry self-awareness which, according to the author, is for such pieces a central issue. Niewiadomski proves to find in self-awareness the modernist experience of Polish poetry, thanks to self-awareness he joins in many years’ discussion about modernity, yet he does it equipped with instruments which allow to verify and reinterpret the achievements so far.