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Abstract

This article analyses the relationship between word and image in the caricature. The research is centred on the moral caricature, which provides a social commentary on the attitudes of Varsovians during the First World War and later. Examples of cartoons reproduced and discussed in the text come from Polish magazines such as Oset (Thistle), Polski Tygodnik Humorystyczny (Polish Humour Weekly), Sowizdrzał (Eulenspiegel), Szczutek (Fillip), and Świat (World). They were also drawn from graphic albums such as Stanisław Dobrzyński’s and Bogdan Nowakowski’s Ogonki wojenne (Lines during the War of Occupation), Warsaw 1918; Antoni Romanowicz’s and Zygmunt Grabowski’s Warszawa podczas wojny (Warsaw During the War), Warsaw 1918; and Bogdan Nowakowski’s Ciężkie czasy, czyli: Wspomnienia wojenne warszawianki (Hard Times, or the War Memories of a Varsavian), Warsaw 1922. The paper examines the comical aspect of caricature and the types of humour found in it (from jokes to serious satire). The studied material distinguishes between various types of caricature, including cartoons free of any deformation, where the critique inherent in caricature is solely contained in the title and/or caption, and drawings without captions (the so-called humour without words). Selected pictorial and textual comparisons point to such research problems as the interdependence of image and text, and the context of press cartoons. In the case of the latter, the background for a given image is created by other images and press articles often addressing the same subject or idea, and evaluating people, their behaviour, and situations in a similar way. The formal analysis of the reproduced caricatures poses questions about the individual style of the cartoonists, who gave up their ‘manner’ for formal means more suitable for the given message.
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