Humanities and Social Sciences

Ruch Literacki


Ruch Literacki | 2020 | No 1 (358) |

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In his lecture on Adam Asnyk’s poetry delivered in 1896 Jan Kasprowicz came up with the term endymionism to refer to a relatively small portion of the poet’s work characterized by a tone of extravagant egotism and narcissism. Exemplary for this extravaganza was, according to Kasprowicz, the poem ‘Endymion’. It belongs to a sequence of poems voicing the poet’s trauma after the suppression of the 1863–1864 January Uprising, and is closely connected with the ‘A Dream of the Tombs’, his most opaque and depressive poem. In the Polish literary tradition – from Słowacki’s calling Krasiński the Endymion of poetry, through Norwid and Faleński to a number of Young Poland’s poets (Rydel, Wyspiański, and Lange to mention but a few) – the figure of Endymion marked a situation of the poet being misunderstood or flouted by critics and readers. But with Asnyk’s ‘Endymion’, who, despite the appearance of a lonely dreamer is in fact a guardian of the tombs of heroes who fell in an unequal fight, this mythological figure acquired a new meaning. It became a symbol of loyalty and a noble idealism making no concessions to mundane pragmatism. In the following decades endymionism of that kind would often blend into Parnassianism, a poetic movement committed to the idea of art independent of all practical concerns and obligations.

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Authors and Affiliations

Małgorzata Okulicz-Kozaryn
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This article deals with the reception of Arthur Rimbaud’s poetry and his biographic legend by the poets of the last decades of 19th and the first decades of the 20th century, though, in fact, its earliest phase belongs to the literary period of pre-Modernist, anti-Romantic reaction (which described itself by the name Positivism, epitomized by the novels of Bolesław Prus). The process of Rimbaud’s reception proceeded in two dimensions, on the intergenerational level and in dialogue between poets and translators. Interestingly, it acted as a veritable catalyst of changes in the poetics of writers across the spectrum, from the old school (Józef Weyssenhof and Eliza Orzeszkowa) to the modernist avant-garde. The influence of Rimbaud was by no means uniform and went beyond the usual names like Zenon Przesmycki (Miriam), Julian Tuwim or Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz. This article casts its net widely to include representatives of three generations, among them some of the less acclaimed authors.

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Authors and Affiliations

Katarzyna Kuczyńska-Koschany
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This article deals with the first phase of Jerzy Jankowski’s severing ties with the Young Poland movement and his access to the futurist avant-garde. His conversion to the new poetic worldview, which he pioneered in Poland, was reflected in his articles and poems published in Widnokrąg [Horizon], a magazine he founded in 1913 to replace Tydzień [The Week], of which he was the main publisher. The rebranding came on top of disagreements between the magazine’s contributors. The divergent views focused on the assessment of Tadeusz Miciński’s novel Xiądz Faust. In May 1913, in his former magazine, Jankowski heaped praises on it. However, the following year, when it came up for debate in the Widnokrąg between Miciński’s aficionado Zygmunt Kisielewski and the skeptically-minded Leon Choromański, Jankowski sought to distance himself from both the emotionalism and the intellectualism of his colleagues. By that time he was absolutely adamant that the antinomies of Young Poland’s high art were a trap. Now that the worship of art striving for timeless perfection would have to give way to an unpretentious concern for ‘fugitive art’, the time was ripe for working out a new aesthetic, centered on the thrilling ‘beauty of big cities’, cabaret, cinema, and modern machines. Jankowski broke with his erstwhile mentor Ferdynand Ruszczyc and Zenon Przesmycki-Miriam, to follow the incomparably more exciting Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. Meanwhile, Choromański made one last attempt to bring the young man back on track by writing an article, in which he argued that Futurism was crude, and shallow, a throwback rather than a modern breakthrough. However, his warnings made no dint in Jankowski’s faith in futurism. For him its triumph was a matter of historical necessity. And, he had already thrown in his lot with the new movement by publishing his first futurist poems, ‘Spłon lotnika’ [‘Pilot in flames’] and ‘Maggi’.

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Authors and Affiliations

Radosław Okulicz-Kozaryn
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This article presents a new reading of the spoof poetic manifesto ‘Chamuły poezji’ [‘The Cads of Poetry’] written by Julian Przyboś in 1926. His use of the apocalyptic tones of early modernist poetry to lampoon a trio of acclaimed poets associated with Young Poland (especially Jan Kasprowicz) suggests a complex nature of Przyboś’s rejection and dependence on that movement. In general, the influence of Young Poland, though quite conspicuous in is juvenilia and early publications, tends to fade away. ‘Chamuły’ is a pejorative nonce word which alludes to the Biblical Ham as well as a Polish word for a cad or ill-bred bumpkin. This article adds to it another layer of meaning, based on Derrida’s interpretation of the Apocalypse, with allusions to sexual and genital imagery. And more generally, it reframes the whole Przyboś’s poetic work (not just his early poems) using Catherine Malabou’s concept of plasticity. Seen in a broader historical perspective, Przyboś’s struggles to break with Young Poland are not unlike the predicament of many eighteenth-century writers caught in the dispute between the Moderns and the Ancients, satirized in Swift’s Battle of the Books. The overall conclusion of this study is that at all times the avant-garde and the arrière-garde remain in a continuous dialogue and the innovators never lose sight of those left behind. Poetry is, after all, metamorphic and cannot be contained within within the bounds of manifestoes and artistic programmes.

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Authors and Affiliations

Iwona Misiak
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This article was prompted by a joint declaration made on 28 September 2015 by the Archbishops of Cracow and Warsaw and the state authorities of the two cities that they would provide means for publishing project ‘A Critical Edition of the Literary Works of Karol Wojtyła – John Paul II’. This decision, marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of Karol Wojtyła in May 2020, signalizes the importance of the project which goes beyond a standard publication of an author’s complete works. The series was inaugurated by the publication in 2018 of Volume One (Juvenilia, 1938–1946), whose editors are expected to continue working on the following volumes. The author of this article takes a look at the first collected works edition of The Poetry and Dramas of Karol Wojtyła – John Paul II, published in 1979 (it actually went to press in 1980) under the directorship of Jacek Woźniakowski and authorized by John Paul II himself. It was in fact a complete edition as its editors succeeded in collecting all of Karol Wojtyła literary works from the moment he enrolled at the Seminary until his election as Pope in 1978. All the texts used for that edition were collected at source and in that respect can hardly be surpassed. For over forty years it offered a reliable store of Karol Wojtyła’s poems and plays to ordinary readers, translators, producers of plays and public ceremonies. In this article we can find a first-hand account of the story of that first edition from its inception, the role of the editors of the weekly Tygodnik Powszechny, the decisions taken at the Znak head office and the author’s own contribution as editor. It is at this point that he explains the decision to exclude from their edition Karol Wojtyła’s juvenila from his student years.

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Authors and Affiliations

Jan Okoń

Editorial office

Redaktor naczelna

Anna Łebkowska

Sekretarz redakcji

Iwona Boruszkowska

Rada Naukowa

Stanisław Burkot, Uniwersytet Pedagogiczny, Kraków, Polska

Maria Delaperrière, INALCO, Paryż, Francja

Anna Drzewicka, Uniwerystet Jagielloński, Kraków, Polska

Halina Filipowicz, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, USA

David Frick, University of California, Berkeley, USA

Julian Maślanka, Uniwerystet Jagielloński, Kraków, Polska

Bożena Karwowska, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Komitet Redakcyjny

Iwona Boruszkowska Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Kraków, Polska

Tomasz Bilczewski, Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Kraków, Polska

Andrzej Borowski, Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Kraków, Polska

Tadeusz Bujnicki, Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Kraków, Polska

Anna Czabanowska-Wróbel, Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Kraków, Polska

Anna Łebkowska, Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Kraków, Polska

Roman Mazurkiewicz, Uniwersytet Pedagogiczny, Kraków, Polska

Jan Michalik, Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Kraków, Polska

Jan Okoń, Uniwersytet Łódzki, Łódź, Polska

Magdalena Siwiec, Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Kraków, Polska

Eugenia Prokop-Janiec, Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Kraków, Polska

Wacław Walecki, Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Kraków, Polska

Franciszek Ziejka, Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Kraków, Polska


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