Górski) 2 / 2023
Gallagher’s focus of interest in the paper is fictionality in the novel – the issue that has been troubling scholars and novel writers from the moment the first narratives were issued and the novelistic form took its shape as a literary genre. Referring to examples from various literatures (mainly American, but also English, French, and Russian), the researcher traces the modes in which narration was conceived, examines the changing concept of referentiality, scrutinises the various approaches to the (in)credible, falsehood, imaginary events, and proper names in a fictional composition. Since her observations in majority are reader-oriented, she refers to the concept of emotional effect and the suspension of disbelief (in Samuel Coleridge’s view) to observe the relationship between the fictional character and the public. Gallagher convincingly proves that the development of 18th-century literature mirrors a rise of fictionality since readers of that time became increasingly familiarised with the notion of fiction that is non-referential and detached from real-world figures, places, and circumstances.
The article “A Cultural History of the 19th Century Novel” presents a project on the same subject, and discussed in accordance with the logic of developing the idea. Its beginning is a reflection on the 19th century that failed to await a binding that differs from a system of oppositions (work–creativity, progress–tradition, individualism–collectivism, activism-passivism, etc.). The author of the paper proposes to acknowledge the history of the (realist) novel told anew as a factor that binds “the long 19th century.” The terms “realism” and “realistic” detach here from their simplest meanings, become a synonym for multifarious narrative matter that while sticking to the general rules of probability (and often even breaking them), it plays its own games with the reality. Conceived of in this mode, the 19th c. realist novel claims its cultural history embedded in all aspects of social and literal reality, from hearth and home of authors to abstract developmental lines of novelistic genre.
The paper focuses on three categories, namely on time, space, and experience, in the context of cultural, social, ethnic, and geographical diversification of the Polish territory under the partitions. The author also considers the implications that arise from a wide application of the term “modernity” in the research in the Polish 19th century, and he concludes that the mentioned term reduces the diversified space to a limited class- and space-conditioned segment. The author also points to the multiplicity of temporal orders defining the lives of post-partition Polish citizens and the identity models that determined their life choices. Towards the end, referring to Ryszard Nycz’s “poetics of experience,” Forajter analyses fragments of Jadwiga Maria Strumff’s “Spostrzeżenia nad ludźmi. Szczere wyznania Massażystki” (“Ideas about People. Honest Confessions of a Masseuse”) to follow with conclusions about heterogeneity of experience in the second half of the 19th century.
The paper contains an interpretation of selected industrial and environmental novels of the Positivism and Young Poland. Ideologies of the pieces are defined with the discourses of anthropocene and capitalocene. The dynamic development of capitalism in the second part of the 19th century found its expression in literature. Authors of Polish industrial and environmental novels—Artur Gruszecki, Stefan Żeromski, and Ignacy Maciejowski (Sewer)—represented various ideological stances. In their approaches to the mechanisms of capitalist industry they most often criticised the economy based on misuse of working force, and on exploitation of nature (deposits of coal and petroleum). Gruszecki in his novels “Krety” (“Moles”) and “Hutnik” (“Steelworker”) as well as Żeromski in “Ludzie bezdomni” (“Homeless People”) disguised the capitalist logic, showing its destructive influence on a man and natural environment. The sharpest criticism of capitalocene and anthropocene is found in Żeromski’s novel.
The paper attempts to reconstruct the views on realism and its semantic content formulated by two novelists, namely Zygmunt Kaczkowski and Józef Ignacy Kraszewski. Their understanding of the realism in the discussed period—1850s and 1860s—is a conglomerate of several approaches to the various kinds of art (as it tells not only about literature, but also, presumably, first and foremost, about fine arts), as well as of discourses. What counts here is both the then literary-critical discourse, and the philosophical, economical, as well as political one. Ultimately, realism is viewed not as a variety of a literary presentation, but also as an attitude towards the world, art, politics, associated with liberalism and situated between Romanticism and naturalism.
The aim of the article is to show that the intertextual perspective activated by Krzysztof Kłosiński, the author of “Mimesis w chłopskich powieściach Orzeszkowej” (“Mimesis in Orzeszkowa’s Peasant Novels,” 1990), allowed to search for the specificity of the realist novel not as a typical world and people mapping, but as characteristic transformations of literary and non-literary matrices into presentations. Kłosiński’s analyses portend what provides foundations of novelistic realism and objectivity: forgotten language productivity, but also compositional and stylistic diversity. Eliza Orzeszkowa, when depicting the country’s life after granting land to peasants, referred to other works but, as Kłosiński demonstrated, she consciously transformed them and in many ways to employ them as elements of her own narratives, presentations, and meanings.
The article analyses Eliza Orzeszkowa’s novel “Bene nati.” It points out three separate and imprintable types of ambitions that form a “field” (in Pierre Bourdieu’s understanding) to which characters are “thrown.” The interactions produced in this way are interpreted according to sociological rules of entering into marriage that are endogamy, quasi-endogamy, and exogamy. The functioning of these rules is also explicated in ethical categories.
Foster” 2 / 2023
The article aims to trace the mechanisms that characterise the Polish reception of Joseph Conrad’s “Amy Foster” from the moment of publishing its first translation in the year 1914 until the beginning of the 21st century. The reception in question, supplemented by the mechanisms of domestication of the story in the Polish literary space, for a long time imposed a close relation of the piece with its author’s biography, inter alia, the liaisons with Conrad’s first homeland. Only in the last years, under the influence of Western examinations, we have observed broadening of interpretive frames that include new research contexts, namely philosophical, anthropological, and social one. The story’s current potential gradually exceeds the senses linked to historical-ethnographic realia for universalisation of the problems of invincible interpersonal foreignness.
The paper presents the ideological connections between Joseph Conrad’s and Gilbert Keith Chesterton’s output and between social-political activities of the two figures. Regardless of a manifest worldview discrepancy (Conrad’s agnosticism versus Chesterton’s Christian fideism), a strong spiritual link can be found between the writers. Their works are marked by interest in the man—deliberate and morally responsible creative subject, thus personalistic anthropological assumptions, while in journalism they shared devotion to modernly understood Latin tradition seen as a fundament of European civilisation. The two writers were distinguished by antiutopian sensitivity and sophisticated criticism of technocratic ideas of social reforms developed in the Fabian Society. As regards political issues, they supported the Poles’ aspirations to independence. Critically speaking about pan-Germanic militarism and about the Zionistic politics led upon alliance contracted with Germany at the expense of Poland, they forcibly wrote about destructive impact of Bolshevism and communism.
This paper is a contribution to the study of the relationship between literature and sociology at the end of the 19th century in partitioned Poland. In particular, it explores the theoretical potential of Ludwik Krzywicki’s concept of “migration of ideas” for comparative literature studies. It explains the context of the interplay of literary criticism and sociology among the Warsaw intelligentsia and examines how the work of foreign anthropologists and sociologists of literature (Hutcheson Macaulay Posnett, Charles Letourneau) was received in these circles. Even in the earliest sociologically based studies in the field of comparative literature, one can discern a postulate of functional connection between literature and what sociologists call “the social bond” and what in the debate of the time is often figured as “social sympathy.” The article reconstructs this line of reasoning and discusses the factors that led to its disappearance in the subsequent history of the discipline.
The paper is devoted to a mixing of the dash with other punctuation marks, characteristic to the 19th c. texts, today hardly known procedure, absent from punctuation rules and analyses, and thus hard to interpret when one faces somewhat older texts. The author carried out a search query of about 800 publications referring to language, starting from the year 1700, and established that the procedure of mixing the dash with other punctuation marks was reported by 20 grammarians, in sum in 59 publications (including reprints) in the period 1830–1935. Lesiakowski also discusses what the authors wrote about the problem, what types of mixing they listed, how they interpreted and evaluated them as regards the correct usage rules, which meaning they attributed to them and if they employed them in their own writings. He also raises the treatment of the mixing in question in contemporary editions of 19th c. texts.
Henryk Sienkiewicz travelled to America in 1876. He sent letters from his journey to the Warsaw Publishing House of “Gazeta Polska” (“The Polish Gazette”) that published them in column serials. Soon, “Listy z podróźy do Ameryki” (“Portrait of America”) was issued in a book form. A critical edition of the author’s entire output was prepared in 1950 by Julian Krzyżanowski. The letters’ manuscripts are lost. A careful analysis of Sienkiewicz’s account proves that the printed text contains many errors, most probably an effect of the handwriting’s improper deciphering by the Warsaw compositor of “Gazette.” Vast majority of the errors later entered into the subsequent editions, including the critical one by Krzyżanowski. Numerous misprints are visible in the spelling of American toponyms. The 19th c. maps help to eradicate them. Errors are also found in proper names of real figures, and here correction can be helped by the everyday American press from the years of Sienkiewicz’s travels. Contaminations of the “Portraits” with errors allow to state that the anonymous compositor became a co-author of this American report.
The article refers to an early period in Władysław Stanisław Reymont’s biography; it traces the figure of Stefania Liwska, née Hulanicka, mistakenly identified by the writer’s monographer Barbara Kocówna as Stefania Kluge, a young wife of a stationmaster in Rogów. Love to Liwska, Reymont’s first serious affection, left in his memory and in women literary creations an indelible mark. Due to finding and exploring new sources and proper deciphering diary notes and correspondence, the paper sketches Liwska’s biography and that of her husband Ignacy, Reymont’s superior from the time of his work for the railroad, as well as traces the probable and set in a proper reality course of their relationship with Reymont. Additionally, it attempts to verify Reymont’s alleged fatherhood.
The text is a detailed discussion on a two-volume publication “Reprezentacje Zagłady w kulturze polskiej (1939–2019)” (“Representations of the Holocaust in the Polish Literature <1939–2019>,” 2021) composed of scholarly essays about Jewish extermination in the movie, theatre, arts, and popular culture. The reviewer reconstructs the methodological foundations of the book’s chapters, describes the type of academic narration employed by the essays, and also formulates critical remarks to the conception of the book as a whole that was adopted by the editors.