This article presents a comparative analysis of two poems, Stéphane Mallarmé’s ‘Soupir’ (1866) and Wacław Rolicz-Lieder’s ‘To My Sister’s Smile’, published in 1891. ‘Soupir’ is one of Mallarmé’s early poems, yet in many respects, as this analysis demonstrates, looks forward to the French poet’s mature phase and foreshadows the poetics of Wacław Rolicz-Lieder. Chief among the similarities are the autothematic focus and the intent to convey feelings of emptiness and longing for an ideal in poems refined to the point of préciosité. However, for all their preoccupation with the craft of poetry, either poet believed that inspiration was absolutely vital for creativity. This article argues that Mallarmé’s poetics, especially his ideas of inspiration and originality, was taken over by Wacław Rolicz-Lieder, who adapted it to suit his own poetic project.
This article presents little known facts sampled from the notes and personal records of Professor Stanis$aw Pigoń and Karol Wojtyła. The two met for the first time in 1938, when young Wojtyła began his studies at the Polish Department of the Jagiellonian University. A bond of mutual liking and respect, based on similar personalities and similar war experiences, morphed into an abiding friendship in the years after the war. The article chronicles that friendship on the basis of documents and private papers held in the Jagiellonian Library (Professor Pigoń’s Archives) and the Archives of the Metropolitan Curia in Cracow. Wojtyła, when he became Pope John Paul II always spoke warmly about his university teachers, especially about Professor Pigoń.
The article analizes Stanisław Pigoń’s essay ‘Some Golden Thoughts on the Chair of Polish Literature’ written to commemorate the 600th jubilee of the Jagiellonian University. Stanisław Pigoń (1885-1968), Distinguished Profesor of Polish Literature, had it published in the Cracow weekly Życie Literackie in May 1964; its expanded version was published two years later in a volume of essays Drzewiej i wczoraj [In the Old Days and Yesterday] in 1966. Both versions were published again in a a bibliophile volume in December 2018 (the manuscript and the printed versions). At the heart of Pigoń’s essay are the twin ideas of freedom and the ‘spiritual life of the nation’, borrowed from Juliusz Słowacki’s epic poem The Spirit King. The article examines Pigoń’s key theme and the manner in which, as he saw it, it shaped the lectures of the most eminent professors of Polish literature in the 19th and 20th century (Michał Wiszniewski, Karol Mecherzyński, Stanisław Tarnowski, Ignacy Chrzanowski). Pigoń’s survey ends in 1910, but, as the author of the article observes, by that time the ideas he so strongly believed in were as relevant as ever.
The ten years Stanisław Pigoń spent in Wilno (1921-1931) was a very important phase of his life. Wilno not only attracted a great deal of his research but also became the focus of a lasting emotional attachment, a sentiment which he reaffirmed in a memoir published shortly before his death in 1968. Although a lot is already known about Pigoń’s Wilno decade, there are some episodes that are worth a closer examination. One of them is a debate about Konrad’s cell which he triggered off just before leaving Wilno. The controversy concerns a cell in the former Basylian Monastery where Adam Mickiewicz was imprisoned in 1823 and where Konrad, the main character of his Dziady (Forefathers’ Eve) undergoes a spiritual transformation, the climax of the poetic drama. Pigoń contributions to this interminable debate exhibit a fine balance of scholarly precision and passionate conviction. This article not only looks at the origin and the early phases of the Konrad’s cell controversy in their contemporary background but also tries to show Pigoń’s involvement in the life of the university and the cultural and literary life of Wilno.
The article attempts to outline Adam Mickiewicz’s concept of subjectivity. He introduces it in his visionary poetic drama Dziady (Forefathers’ Eve) where a radically ambivalent situation is presented through the duality of the main character Gustaw/Konrad. The article describes this duality in terms of Paul Ricoeur’s distinction between cogito exalté and cogito brisé. In Dziady Mickiewicz dramatizes the transition from exaltation to dejection, the condition of cogito brisé (living with a wound). His romantic subject cannot throw away his past, but because he is acutely aware of his failings and his inadequacy he is able to free himself from delusions of grandeur and self-centered pride. The condition of uncertainty, inadequacy and chronic insatiability is like a gaping wound or a lack which may lead the ‘I’ to open up and seek the Other. It is a vision of man who knows he is deeply flawed but capable of pursuing a noble desire; vulnerable and fallible, beset by ‘endless error’ and yet able to act and get his act together; self-centered and yet, because of the relational nature of the human identity, capable of redirecting his emancipatory energy to Others. It can be summed up the concept of homo capax (homme capable) which, as this article argues, provides the key to Mickiewicz’s anthropology.
This article is a critical reappraisal of Juliusz Słowacki’s translation of Calderón’s El príncipe constant (1843), which acquired a place of its own in Słowacki’s oeuvre and continued to attract a lot of interest throughout the 20th century. Its lasting appeal is due to its extraordinary unity of tone, dramatic construction and stylized language, which in effect, as some critics have said, out-Baroques Calderón’s Baroque original. This article analyzes this contention in detail and tries to answer the question what were the sources and reasons of Słowacki’s fascination with the 17-th century Spanish poet and playwright. The second part of the article deals with two of the 20th-century stage productions of the drama and the adapters’ handling of Słowacki’s text. The summary includes a brief survey of the treatment Calderón’s heirs accorded to his key trope perigrinatio vitae (‘life is pilgrimage’).