The author of the sketch poses the question: is editing a form of literary criticism? He analyses the sources of meanings of the key concepts: of the words “critical,” “criticism,” “textual criticism,” “literary criticism,” and its relationship with the editorial tradition, connections between editing and theory and history of literature and interpretation. The author of the sketch confirms the thesis that “every text prepared by a text critic is a product of literary criticism,” reflecting, among others, his/her aesthetic preference. Each edition inevitably reflects some ideology, and there are no more or less natural or specific ways of presenting the text and the apparatus specific to the given work, because “the codes of meaning” that the editors included in them form a part of the “total ideological construct.” Specific examples of editing ideologisation, with an important political and national component, are provided in the thoroughly discussed collected edition formula. The editor mythologizes the literary facts and is a literary critic in the strict sense, when he/she presents old phenomena in his/her contemporary perspective: he/she cannot completely disable his own field of values in favour of the field of values reconstructed for a given historical and literary situation. The author of the sketch analyses the editor’s attitudes from the perspective of all functions of literary criticism, examining the fulfillment of the literary critical act in the editorial act. The study leads to the conclusion that there are no neutral editions in the literary critical perspective, although the degrees of their involvement or “non-autonomy” varies, regardless of the nature of the edition, the way it is defined, and the scope attributed to the notion of literary criticism.
Several Remarks on Heterogeneity of Scholarly Editing
The article refers to the theoretical and practical problems of scholarly editing. The author primarily focuses his attention on the methodological polarisation of editing in the world. The presented arguments convince that there is not, and never will be, a single mode of editing practice, and striving to formulate universal methods within this discipline cannot be conceived. There are various aims, as the author claims, with which the editors equip their work, and so dissimilar are definitions of the central notions that establish ground and determine the practical solutions. As based on the textological history of “Gulliver’s Travels”, the author assures that the editor wishing to prepare a contemporary edition of the text faces a challenging task, the result of which will fail to satisfy all the readers.
The article discusses the problems and possibilities of the contemporary academic edition. Editorial preparations of texts by late authors throughout the 20th century underwent more and more rigid normalisation. Discussions in Poland mainly referred to specific solutions, though they rather seldom raised the issues of text theory and criticism, broadly developed and examined both in Western and in Russian literary studies. In effect of the stiffening rules, the crucial pieces of information about the text failed to be included within an edition, and it almost completely neglected the text-forming issues. The knowledge about the transformations of a given work may extend its interpretive potential. Solution to the problems addressed within the framework of text criticism, against its initial assumptions, will not be worked out on the ground of text criticism unless concepts of digitisation designed to individual works separately are developed.
The essay is devoted to considerations about irrational behaviour of some editors of Polish literature, which lead to academic and publishing failures. The reason of the failures are often insufficient compliance in editorial activities to the changing technological conditions, and problems with proper teamwork organisation. The situation in which the humanities, and editing as its basic domain, extorts from the philologists to constantly master academic workshop, adjust the workshop to new software and technological potential; it also induces the necessity to quit the old forms of work organisation. The essay also highlights the practical attitude and academic rationality as condition for success of the endavours, since editing is presently the domain of the concrete in which the idea, often idealistic (mad) in its nature, crashes with the text’s reality on the one hand, and on the other hand with the laws of economy which are not always considered and reflected in research.
A letter to his father, dated March 15th, 1830, and sent from Genève, mentions three balls in which young Zygmunt Krasiński took part. Footnote commentary by Stanisław Piogoń, the correspondence’s editor, indicates that “Chapeaurouge” from the letter is “probably a society nickname of a Genève woman,” thus suggesting the woman’s connection with a Genève red-light district. However, the letter does not use a nickname, but a real name: the hostess of the house mentioned by Krasiński was a greatly meritorious figure, one of so-called “Thirty Maidens of Genève,” who towards the end of the 18th century served to conduct a huge financial operation. The operation consisted in granting a loan to the French king by the Genève bankers, the repayment of which was to have been in the form of life pensions tailored to young and healthy girls. Mrs. Chapeaurouge was selected one of the girls to whom the life pension was to have been paid. The French Revolution cancelled the transaction, and in effect brought the Genève banks heavy loss. When young Krasiński met Mrs. Chapeaurouge, she belonged to the city’s elite. Her house was found at Rue des Granges, one of the most elegant street in Genève, in the surrounding neighbourhood of the place where Krasiński lived.
The paper is trying to reconstruct, as based on printed and archive documents, the textological awareness and the editors’ method applied to Orzeszkowa’s collected works, namely “Pisma” (“Writings”) from the years 1937–1939 prepared by Aureli Drogoszewski and Ludwik Brunon Świderski, and “Pisma zebrane” (“Collected Writings”) published between 1947 and 1953, prepared by Julian Krzyżanowski and Edmund Jankowski, the latter of which until now is a basis of our knowledge in the writer’s creativity. Considerations focus on the terms used by the editors: “critical edition,” “authentic source,” “editorial censorship.” The aim of the research is a planned confrontation of the first half of the 20th century editorial ideas with the latest textological and editorial conceptions (concentrating not on the author’s intention but on the text history and changeability) for the needs of a new edition of Orzeszkowa’s collected writings that started this year.
The year 2014 marks the issuing of the first volume of Bolesław Prus’ “Pisma wszystkie” (“Collected Works”) financed by the National Programme for the Development of Humanities. The publication was planned to amount to 70 volumes and, as signalled in this title, meant to include the writer’s whole output. None of the initiatives to publish Prus’ work undertaken so far has been completed. The project realised according to the newest (textological, typographic, and literary-historical) principles by the editorial committee, Prus scholars, aimed to offer the edition to various scholars (literary, history, press etc.) as well as to preserve in the model version one of the elements of national heritage—highest artistic quality literature. After the publication of the volume 35, the edition was suspended due to lack of further financing.
The paper discusses the already published volumes, comments on e.g. its editorial shape, composition, level of explicatory introductions, and the importance of the edition for Prus scholars and other researchers of the second part of the 19th century. The discussion is accompanied by a reflection over the condition of the Polish humanities, and especially over the problems caused by neglecting by the changing decision-makers of by its nature long lasting process of petrifying the shape of national identity and preserving the cultural memory.
The first part of the paper discusses the worldview and thematic affinities between Witold Gombrowicz’s “Kosmos” (“Cosmos”) and genetic criticism—research in text-forming process. It also presents the difficulties that the genetic critic faces when trying to understand and scrutinise the process of composing Gombrowicz’s last novel. The second part offers exemplary genetic analyses of selected fragments from “Kosmos,” disclosing the writer’s work when constructing the figure of Leon. The third part shifts the obscurity to the editorial issues: it delineates the differences between a critical and a genetic edition, signals a critical edition of “Kosmos” prepared by Jan Zieliński, and a genetic project of the novel’s edition.
The paper contains a critical edition of “Maszkary mięsopustne i powszechne, przy tym Kłoda popielcowa z Parnasu” (“Shrove Tuesday Masks and Common Masks, and also Ash Wednesday Wood Log from Parnassus”) by Stanisław Serafin Jagodyński, text of which has been considered irretrievably lost until now. In fact, unique print disappeared even before World War II, however, its faithful copy survived in Karol Badecki’s manuscript stored in the Jagiellonian Library (Ms 7777 III, pp. 310–318). The published text is accompanied by a literary historical and linguistic commentary.
The discovery of the literary journal from the travels of Juliusz Słowacki to Greece, Egypt and Palestine (1836–1837) allows to commence new investigations to and revise textological-editorial analyses of a dozen of the author’s lyrical works. The most current state of research and the frame of reference for the whole notebook can be found in the three-volume collective publication dedicated to the manuscript (“Raptularz wschodni Juliusza Słowackiego” <”Juliusz Słowacki’s Eastern Notebook”>, vol. 1–3, Warszawa 2019).
The subject of this work are two Egyptian-themed poems, unpublished by the poet and available in manuscript only: [Rozmowa z piramidami] ([A Conversation with the Pyramids]) and “Pieśń na Nilu” (“A Song on the Nile”). The new reading of the autographs, correlated with a contextual analysis of the manuscript and the critical reflection on the editorial tradition, leads to a new interpretive proposals and a suggestions to change the philological shape of both texts. [Rozmowa z piramidami] ([A Conversation with the Pyramids]) and Pieśń na Nilu (A Song on the Nile) are a peculiar “sepulchral diptych,” and together with the series of five texts [Listy poetyckie z Egiptu] ([Poetic Letters from Egypt]), they form a truly fascinating record of the existential experience and poetic reflection of Słowacki, originated in his great Eastern journey.
Research in Henryk Sienkiewicz’s Archive has led to finding four unpublished to this day letters by the writer to his friend Stanisław Witkiewicz. The collection of letters come from the time when Sienkiewicz was unmarried, and include new pieces of information to the writer’s studies. The author of the article scrutinises the new correspondence, settles its chronology, and includes the letters into the earlier collection published by Maria Bokszczanin. Edition of the letters with endnotes is a crucial element of this publication.
10 years after the publication of six volumes of Żeromski’s letters, there was found a small collection of his reciprocal letters to Maria Zawadzka, Anna Zawadzka’s mother—many years his life partner. The letters cover the time span from December 22nd, 1912, to July 4th, 1914, the most dramatic and also the least known period of Żeromski’s life. Towards the end of the year 1912, Anna informed the writer that she was pregnant with his child, later she was sent with her mother to Florence where she spent a few last months before childbirth, and where at the end of May 1913 their daughter Monika was born. From April, for many months, Żeromski stayed with them, folding the real reason for his long visit back from his wife and son… The last in the collection are letters from the time when Żeromski decided not to marry Anna, thus did not file for divorce, but formally decided to father Monika as his illegitimate child.
A Supplement to Bibliography
The paper registers and discusses Zbigniew Herbert’s unknown to scholars early journalism. 48 press papers from the years 1948–1955, found mainly in Toruń mutated edition of “Ilustrowany Kurier Polski” (“Illustrated Polish Courier”) and in “Słowo Powszechne” (“Universal Word”) of the PAX Association, are a marked supplement to the work by Paweł Kądziela “Twórczość Zbigniewa Herberta. Monografia bibliograficzna” (“Zbigniew Herbert’s Creativity: A Bibliographical Monograph”, 2009), and to Herbert’s journalistic papers “Węzeł gordyjski oraz inne pisma rozproszone 1948–1998” (“The Gordian Knot and Other Scattered Writings 1948–1998,” 2001; second impression, extended and amended 2008), also collected and prepared by the same author. The years 1949–1951 is also the time when Herbert co-worked with the Gdańsk Radio Station, and with the Pomeranian Radio Station in Bydgoszcz and in Toruń of the Polish Radio, which resulted in radio broadcasts. The paper examines 16 such broadcasts, pieces of information about which were found in the National Archives in Gdańsk and in Bydgoszcz.
This text contains the concept of the future edition of “Mój wiek” (“My Century”) prepared by the author for the Ossolineum Publishing House for the series “Biblioteka Narodowa” (“National Library”). It contains many unpublished and previously unknown materials from the collections of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (Yale University), as well as from the private collections of Andrzej Wat, the poet’s son. The most important goal here is to construct an avant-text of “Mój wiek” (“My Century”), organise, describe and interpret it. The text’s methodological foundations are based on the assumptions of genetic criticism. The researcher considers the complex question of the book’s authorship. He also tries to define its formal boundaries which go far beyond the classic definitions of autobiography and make it a work of unique and exceptional character.
On the Rough Drafts of Władysław Broniewski’s “Anka” (“Annie”)
In 1965 Władysław Broniewski published a collection “Anka” (“Annie”) that includes poems devoted to his deceased daughter. Linking the date with the time of political breakthrough led to believe that the elegy’s personal overtone is a declaration made by “the Polish People’s Republic leading poet” to depart from committed poetry. However, critics and reviewers discerned in some poems references to his socialist realist creativity. Feliksa Lichodziejewska, the main editor of Broniewski’s pieces, discerned in the poems traces supporting the view that the poet eliminated or changed fragments of the initial version of the poems that later shaped this elegiac cycle. In such actions undertaken by Broniewski, the editor and also other critics disclosed the will to hide emotions and a plan to preserve the image of an unshaken poet-revolutionist. Presenting “Anka” (“Annie”) as a token of resigning from “formal optimism” characteristic of socialist realist literature, Lichodziejewska attempted to eradicate or to invalidate the proofs of Broniewski’s involvement into politically and historically compromised reality. Reading the elegiac cycle as an attempt to cut off from the past creativity effected in disregarding the poet’s past achievements and deprived the title character—a young director and documentary filmmaker Joanna Broniewska-Kozicka—of her voice. The fragments that the editor regarded as an expression of complete breaking up with the socialist realist convention were indeed allusions to the previous poems or conversations with the daughter. Kozicka’s premature death a while before the Polish October 1956 resulted in her “getting stuck” in time.
Review: Marcin Paszkowski i jego „Dzieje tureckie i utarczki kozackie z Tatary” (1615). Wstęp i opracowanie: Ewa Siemieniec-Gołaś, Agata Pawlina. Kraków 2018. „Orientalia Polonica. Polskie Tradycje Badań nad Orientem”. T. 8
The review comments on the contemporary publication of a 17th century print by Marcin Paszkowski “Dzieje tureckie i utarczki kozackie z Tatary” (“Turkish History and Cossack Skirmishes with Tatars”) (issued in 1615 by Mikołaj Lob) edited by Ewa Siemieniec-Gołaś and Agata Pawlina as a part of the series “Orientalia Polonica. Polskie Tradycje Badań nad Orientem” (“Orientalia Polonica. Polish Traditions of the Research on the Orient”). With regard to the rich Turkish material, preparation of the edition by the Orientalists is a justified decision. However, since the publication in question is also a source for the researchers in the 17th c. Polish language history and history of Polish literature, there arises a question whether preparation of Old-Polish material meets the criterial of Polish studies editing.
Review: Bronisława Waligórska, Listy z cytadeli 1886. Ancilla libri Monika Rudaś-Grodzka. Warszawa 2018. Seria „Archiwum Kobiet”. [T. 1]
The review contains a scrutiny of an edition of Bronisława Waligórska’s “Listy z cytadeli 1886” (“Letters from the Citadel 1886;” Warsaw 2018) and a characteristics of the series “Archiwum Kobiet” (“Women Archive”) which starts the mentioned series. The publication in question offers a documentary edition of a dozen or so handwritten letters by a member of “Proletariat” political party to her sister composed in the year 1886 in The Warsaw Citadel where Bronisława Waligórska committed suicide, a reconstruction of the investigation, and the epistolographer’s biography. Assumptions of the series “Archiwum Kobiet” (“Women Archive”) are also subject of the review. The reviewer describes the guidelines for publishing woman private documents proposed by Monika Rudaś-Grodzka and the committee to the series, and attempts to evaluate the adopted editorial and biographical solutions.
Review: Ihor Nabytowycz, Derewo żyttia literaturnoho rodu: Iwan Fedorowycz, Wołodysław Fedorowycz, Darija Wikonśka. Kyjiw 2018. „Postati kultury”
The present text is a review of Ihor Nabytovych’s monograph “Derevo zhyttya literaturnoho rodu: Ivan Fedorovych, Volodyslav Fedorovych, Dariya Vikonska” (“Life Tree of a Literary Family: Ivan Fedorovych, Volodyslav Fedorovych, Dariya Vikonska,” 2018) that treats of three generations of the Fedorovych family. Every chapter of the book in question refers also to a specific literary epoch: the portrait of Jan Fedorowicz (Ivan Fedorovych), the senior, is presented against the background of Romanticism, Volodyslav Fedorovych’s work is linked with Positivism, and the research and output by Dariya Vikonska (Lina Malicka, de domo Fedorovych) are set in Modernism.
A Nomad from another Place