Humanities and Social Sciences

Ruch Literacki

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Ruch Literacki | 2019 | No 5 (356) |

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Abstract

The Triumphs (Triumphi) by Petrarch is a series of six poems honouring the allegorical figures of Love, Chastity, Death, Fame, Time and Eternity, who vanquish each other in turn. The Italian poem sequence was virtually unknown in Poland (although a Polish translation of The Triumph of Love appeared c. 1630, only few readers would have read it as it was circulated exclusively in a small number of hand-made copies). The illustrations, however, caught the eye of the printers and became immediately popular. They depicted each of the victorious figures riding on triumphal chariot, followed by procession of captives. This article examines the Polish verses inspired by the illustrations rather than the text of the Trionfi i.e. written in the course of the late 17th and 18th century.

The author of the most remarkable poetic response to the pictorial representations of Petrarch's Triumphs was Samuil Gavrilovich Piotrowski-Sitnianowicz (aka Symeon of Polotsk). As a student of the Academy of Wilno, he came across an emblem book with copperplate engravings of the Triumphs designed by Maarten van Heemskerck in 1565. His Polish verses (composed c. 1650–1653) follow loosely the Latin epigrams (subscriptiones) by Hadrianus Junius (Adriaen de Jonghe). Symeon of Polotsk was the first Polish-language author whose verses reflected in extenso the pictorial representation of the Triumphs (before him verses inspired by Petrarch's allegories had been written by Mikołaj Rej, Maciej Stryjkowski and Stanisław Witkowski).

Wespazjan Kochowski's volume of miscellaneous pieces in verse published in 1674 includes an epigrammatic poem The Triumph of Love, inspired by Plate One of the Triumphs. However, Kochowski's description suggests that he must have seen an engraving showing Cupid's victims under his feet. That iconographic variant appears, among other, in the woodcuts of Bernard Salomon (1547) and the copperplates designed by one of van Heemskerck's pupils (mid-16th century) or Matthäus Greuter (1596).

The following two poems were written about a century later. In 1779 Franciszek Dionizy Kniaźnin published in his second volume of Erotyki [Erotic poems] a song called The Triumph of Love. Its scenic arrangement, inspired by the illustrations of Petrarch's first Triumphus, is adapted to present twenty-one pairs of suitors. The description is stylized in conformity with the current Rococo manner and spiced up with touches of parody. A similar treatment of this subject can be found in some 17th-century paintings, for example in the Triumph of Love by Frans Francken the Younger, or an identically titled picture by the Italian Baroque artist Mattia Preti. The other poem, On the picture of the 'Triumph of Death', can be found in Franciszek Karpiński's Zabawki wierszem i przykłady obyczajne [Diversions in Verse and Moral Exemplars] published in 1780. It names eleven preeminent ancient conquerors and rulers, all cut down by Death personified by a scythe-wielding skeleton. Karpiński's description was no doubt inspired by a copperplate engraving produced by Silvestro Pomarede and designed about 1748–1750 by Gianantonio Buti after Bonifacio de' Pitati. In each of the two prints most of the figures on the ground round the chariot are identified by name. It may also be noted that Karpiński rounds of his poem with two stanzas evoking the last plate in the cycle, The Triumph of Eternity.

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Authors and Affiliations

Radosław Grześkowiak
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Abstract

This article examines the sources of literary invention in Philtron, a treatise in verse on the theme of Christian love by the Polish and neo-Latin Renaissance poet Sebastian Fabian Klonowic. To get a better appreciation of his work it is necessary to look at his sources, especially books of humanist erudition, learned compendia, dictionaries, handbooks of rhetoric, anthologies and commonplace books. An analysis of his use of those sources in Philtron and an examination of his notes indicate that Klonowic probably did not read all of his books through from beginning to end. Some of his readings were intentionally selective. In particular, while collecting material for his treatise, he would mine the grand 16th-century reference books like Ambrogius Calepinus's multilanguage Dictionarium, Dominico Nani's anthology Polyanthea, or Erasmus' Apophtegmata. The argument and topoi in at least some parts of Philtron are much indebted to the contemporary compendia and erudite research.

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Authors and Affiliations

Tomasz Lawenda
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Abstract

In the last phase of Franciszek Karpiński's life as a writer (the first quarter of the 19th century), he practically gave up poetry and concentrated instead on writing memoirs. This article tries to find out to what extent his autobiographical work, especially his Historia mego wieku i ludzi, z którymi żyłem [A History of My Century and the People with Whom I Lived], is influenced by an attitude characteristic of the sentimentalism of the previous century. As this analysis shows Karpiński's narrative exhibits both a sensitivity much indebted to Rousseau's autobiographical method and skilful shifts of tone, from satire and irony to various shades of melancholy. For sentimentalist aesthetic and poetics the continual manipulation of tone is a means of alerting the reader to the world's complexity. As in the novels of Lawrence Sterne, that complexity is experienced by way of careful observation of fragments of reality, defined by the subjectivity of the observer and the truth of his emotions.

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Authors and Affiliations

Grzegorz Zając
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Abstract

This essay is a new reading of Jan Barszczewski's collection of stories Szlachcic Zawalnia czyli Białoruś w fantastycznych opowiadaniach [Nobleman Zawalnia, or Belarus in Fantastic Stories of the Imagination] in the context of the 19th-century reception of the Arabian Nights and, more importantly, as an example of a genre which combines the oral and the literary traditions to express the identity-fostering experience of living at a time of upheaval and epochal change. This approach has little interest in revisiting the connections between Barszczewski's tales and Belorussian folklore. Instead, it places his stories in their direct historical context, i.e. a series of famines in Belarus the first decades of the 19th century, and the significance of 1816, the year in which the action of the stories is set. It is no coincidence that it was also the Year without a Summer, a catastrophic global climate anomaly, which made a great impact on the Romantic imagination.

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Authors and Affiliations

Iwona Węgrzyn
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Abstract

The window is a recurring image in the imaginarium and the art of Tadeusz Kantor. Fixed in his memory at an early age, it resurfaced in the spectacle Wielopole, Wielopole (1980) as a plain object "of the reality of the lowest kind", and in the 'cricotage' A Very Short Lesson (1988) as a quasi stage prop charged with metaphysical meaning. The window motif is also a persistent feature of his graphic art. Most notably, it appears in the drawing Man and window (1971), a picture for the Dead Class (Window) from 1983, an autothematic cycle of paintings You cannot look inside through the window with impunity (1988-1990), and Kantor's last dated drawing of pigeons being watched through a window. Kantor's fascination with the window as an objet d'art can be explained by his philosophical aesthetics (especially the use of objects as markers of the 'spaces' of the stage action). This article analyzes the image of the window as a 'site' of special significance in Kantor's art (an object that encapsulates the antynomy of inside/outside, or a claustrophobic incarceration/a barrier to entry) in the context of Hans-Ulrich Gumbrecht's theory of latency (i.e. the inability of throwing off the past, the suspension of time symbolized by artistic constructs of imprisonment).

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Authors and Affiliations

Katarzyna Szalewska

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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