Humanities and Social Sciences

Folia Orientalia


Folia Orientalia | 2018 | Bibliotheca vol. 1 |


This article traces the concept of Place in the poetry of exiled Palestinian poet and literary critic Yūsuf Šihāda,1 now a Polish citizen. The article analyzes Place as the objective correlative through which one can discern the ensemble of the intricate existential relationships in the poetry of this exiled Palestinian intellectual who is torn between its complexities. The Slavic Place and place in general in his poetry constitute the backdrop to understanding the hidden meanings, the existential dilemmas, the entangled human relationships between East and West, and the moral stance the poet reflects in his work. Šihāda’s poetry is based on the poles of open-closed and inside-outside. It reflects loss, wandering, and emotional, intellectual, psychological, humanitarian, and existential alienation. Analysis of the types of place in his poetry – the polar, the intimate, the border, and the utopian - indicates that the poet’s voice has become the voice of the minority, and through the dialectics within the different types of places, he portrays his own crises and those of his people, the various restrictions placed upon them, their dreams of a free, unfettered life, and their yearning to live in an intimate place where they can unite with the universe.

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Nineteenth century was an era of extended pilgrimage movement to the Holy Land. Due to communicational facilities falling out from the Industrial Revolution and political changes (weakening of the Ottoman Empire and increasing penetration of Levant by the European countries) more and more Europeans decided to travel to Palestine basked in an aura of holiness. An equally meaningful factor was also an image of an ancient and mysterious Orient molded by the artists of the Romantic period. Poles also followed this trend and may pilgrims published their memories and reflections. Such pilgrims as Ignacy Hołowiński, Feliks Laassner, Feliks Gondek and Karol Niedziałkowski (worth mentioning all of them were priests) were obviously focused mainly on religious issues. However they were keen observers and left more or less detailed but always interesting testimony of everyday life of Muslim and Arabic dwellers of Levant. They described Middle Eastern customs and rites. This work focuses on those subjective images which equally present the Levantine ways of living, Poles’ level of knowledge on Orient and shaping ethnical stereotypes.

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The purpose of the paper is the attempt to point one of the most important aspects of the cultural contact of the Poland and Arabic countries with the consideration of the historical perspective. The author assumes that the language is the basic carrier of such contacts and also the main area of the mutual influences. Therefore, she discusses the Arabic and Polish relations mostly on the level of the translation of the literary and scientific output of both sides, as well as the linguistic interference mainly in the aspect of the lexical borrowings. The author quotes many examples of such linguistic contacts and underlines their great meaning in the existence and development of other types of relations: political, commercial, and cultural.

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The given article is an analysis of Władysław Wężyk’s Travels to the ancient world taking into consideration the most important problems and components of the 19th century Romantic worldview. Particular attention will be paid to the great Romantic themes such as folklore, art, music, spontaneous literary works and concepts of new humanity. Wężyk’s memoir reveals his openness towards the Other and the understanding of foreign cultures which is by far the most important feature of a Romantic intellectual.

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The aim of the article is an attempt to reconstruct a description of the image of Arab World on the basis of selected (yet representative) writings from the second half of the 18th century. In that period, due to the trending Enlightenment orientalism understood as a fascination with the Orient and references made to it in the culture, the Arab world appeared among Polish representatives of the Age of Reason. These trends were expressed in art, customs, literature and – in the form of various concepts and images – in social consciousness. These images differed between each other both in terms of content and form. Some of them aimed to depict the Arab world objectively and extensively, whereas the other, on the contrary, were merely delineations focused on particular elements of the Arab world, depicting only one or a few aspects. Some of them, such as the image of Arabia Felix or utopian reminiscences refer to the tradition and update it. Some of them were created for the time being. Nevertheless, each of them reflects the topics, problems and questions which concerned the minds in Enlightenment Poland. Moreover, relatively high correlation between European archetypes and the image of the Arab world which occurs in the writings of the Polish Enlightenment confirms that Poland belongs to the Old Continent cultural group, which was crucial for the promoters of Polish Enlightenment.

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Al-Mas‘ūdī, a 10th century Arab traveller and writer spoke of a pagan custom present among the Slavs and the Rūs living in the Khazar capital, Ātil. Namely the posthumous marriage of an unmarried man. Another Arab author, Ibn Fadlān, witnessed and described in detail a burial ceremony of a Rūs chieftain, which had many elements of a wedding ritual. The two testimonies can be easily associated together. The practice of posthumously marrying an unmarried person has been present in Slavic culture for centuries. Even now some of its aspects can still be observed among Slavs, including Poles, although their true significance has long been forgotten.

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This paper intends to present an semantic and cultural analysis of Rabī‛ Jābir’s novel Druzes of Belgrade. Published in 2011, the story deals with a period in Slavic history of the 19th century that parallels the reality of Middle East in the same time. The aim of the contribution is to examine the narrative context of historical events in the hero’s life which are narrated primarily through the juxtaposition of historical facts. Distinctions that are made between the real and the imaginary in the novel are bound to mystify – perhaps even mask – the historical and cultural relationship between Arab and Slavs. The writer is not only involved in producing the story of the mutual Arab – Slavic (co)existence within the Ottoman empire in Lebanon and Balkan as well, but is equally intent on providing the story behind the (hi)story. As a mode of representing reality the analysed literary work isn’ t neutral; it presupposes system of moral values which underlies the Arab Christian hero’s factual statements connected with the powerstructure and power-relations of the Ottoman society the protagonist lives in. Between history and narrative literature exists a relationship of complementarity that can only enrich and deepen reader’s understanding of a given culture and society. The narrative representations of historical facts in the novel Druzes of Belgrade are semantic and philosophical operations and as such can be misrepresentations according to Rabī‛ Jābir’s literary tendency in a specific historical and intellectual setting.

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The great 13th century scholar Yāqūt al-Hamawī, compiled his well-known geographical dictionary – Mucğam al-Buldān – using an incredibly vast corpus of sources that allowed him to describe the lands lying beyond the realm of Islam. The aim of this paper is to identify the sources he used to describe issues dealing with the Slavs or those peoples and areas thought by Arab writers to belong to or be connected with the Slavs. The results shed some light on the state of knowledge of this area among 13th century inhabitants of the caliphate. At the same time, the author’s analysis of the methods employed to compose the material on the Slavs that appears in the Dictionary helped determine the aim and the role of this work in the caliphate.

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The article discusses the matter of portraying Suleiman I the Magnificent in 16th century Croatian and Slovakian literature. The source material comprises three texts: Ferenc Črnko’s Croatian chronicle titled Podsjedanje i osvojenje Sigeta [The Siege and Capture of Siget], the Croatian epic tale Vazetje Sigeta grada [The Caputure of Siget Town] by Brne Karnarutić and the Slovakian anonymous historical song Píseň o Sigetském zámku [A Song about Siget Castle]. By looking at these texts the author hereof contemplates what image of the Turkish ruler has been recorded in Slavic literatures.

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The Koran became an inspiration to the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin (1799–1837), made obvious in many of his works, such as Imitations of the Koran, The Prophet, and In a Secret Cave. Pushkin studied the translation of the Koran carefully and used many verses of its Surahs in his texts. Many of his contemporary poets and followers were influenced by his poetry, like Ivan Bunin (1870–1953), who continued the traditions of Pushkin. Bunin repeated many thoughts from Koranic discourse and placed them in his poems that were full of faith and spirituality. He wrote many of them at the beginning of the 20th century1, before his emigration to France in 1918, for example: Mohammed in Exile, Guiding Signs and For Treason. It has been noted that Bunin was quoting verses from the Koran to create an intertextual relationships between some Surahs and his poems, showing a great enthusiasm to mystical dimension of Islam. We find this aspect in many works, such as The Night of al-Qadr, Tamjid, Black Stone of the Kaaba, Kawthar, The Day of Reckoning and Secret. It can also be said that a spiritual inspiration and rhetoric of Koran were not only attractive to Pushkin and Bunin, but also to a large group of Russian poets and writers, including Gavrila Derzhavin, Mikhail Lermontov, Fyodor Tyutchev, Yakov Polonsky, Lukyan Yakubovich, Konstantin Balmont, and others.

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This article is a description and comparison of Polish and Arabic taboo-based intensifiers in terms of both the semantic domains from which they are derived and their level of desemanticization. For this objective, four domains were selected: (1) death, (2) religion, God, and demons, (3) sexuality, and (4) family. Within those domains an array of linguistic forms were analysed with the aim of examining to what extent they retained traces of the original meaning. Another question to elucidate is whether the transition from one category to another in the process of semantically-driven grammaticalization is accompanied by the loss of the taboo element of these lexemes.

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Editorial office


Tomasz Polański

Editorial Board

Sergio Baldi (Naples), Seymour Gitin (Jerusalem),

Michael Knüppel (Göttingen), Anna Krasnowolska (Kraków),

Manfred Kropp (Mainz), Ewa Siemieniec-Gołaś (Kraków),

Lidia Sudyka (Kraków), Joachim Śliwa (Kraków),

Wilfred Watson (Newcastle)


Arkadiusz Płonka

International Advisory Board

Werner Arnold (University of Heidelberg)

Emanuela de Blasio (University of Viterbo)

Salem Chaker (IREMAM, Université de Provence, Aix-en-Provence)

John Huehnergard (University of Texas)

Jacobus A. Naudé (University of Bloemfontein)

Mehmet Ölmez (University of Istanbul)

Karin Preisendanz (University of Vienna)

Stephan Procházka (University of Vienna)

Thomas Schneider (University of British Columbia, Vancouver)

Harry Stroomer (University of Leiden)

Gabor Takács (Szekesfehervar)


English Language Consultant

Teresa Bałuk-Ulewiczowa



Tomasz Polański

“Folia Orientalia”

Polish Academy of Sciences – Cracow Branch

ul. św. Jana 28

31-018 Kraków, Poland

tel. +48 12 356-23-00

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Instructions for authors


The scholarly journal Folia Orientalia (ISSN 0015-5675) was founded in 1959 by Professor Tadeusz Lewicki, a prominent Polish Arabist. It is published by the Orientalist Commission of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków. Professor Lewicki’s editorial work was continued by Professor Andrzej Zaborski, who specialized in the comparative linguistics of Semitic-African languages. Folia Orientalia focuses on Oriental studies (on the Near, Middle and Far East, and Africa). The periodical covers the research fields of linguistics, literature, history, archaeology, religious studies and anthropology.


Notes for Contributors


The contributors are kindly asked to submit their papers in English, German, French, Italian, or Russian.


-         Contributions sent to Folia Orientalia should not be submitted to any other journal or publishers, nor should they have been previously published elsewhere in any language.


-         All articles and reviews should be based on original research.


-         Each article will be anonymously assessed by two independent referees.


-         Text copies accepted for publication will not be returned.


-         There is no standard length of articles, but usually up to 25 pages of approximately 1,800 characters per page is the best option.


-         Contributors are requested to send one hard copy of their paper, and one software copy – on CD or DVD (Microsoft Office Word only). All the fonts used in the paper, except for Times New Roman, should be enclosed. The printed copy is going to be the basis for publication, therefore it should be absolutely correct and identical with the contents of the disc.


-         The Authors are also kindly asked to append abstracts and key words.


-         The style sheet and especially the references should follow as closely as possible the standards used by Language – Journal of the Linguistic Society of America, which can be checked at


-         Maps, photos and other illustrative material which cannot be edited by Word, should be produced in clear copies on separate sheets.


-         The authors are requested to give their affiliation and e-mail addresses.






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