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Romantic Weltliteratur of the Western World

Edited By Agnieszka Gutthy

Romantic Weltliteratur of the Western World is a collection of essays that examine Romantic literature and art from Europe and America. Since Goethe coined the concept of Weltliteratur, scholarly interest in comparative, global, and transnational literary and cultural studies has only continued to grow. Intended to complement existing scholarship, the essays in this volume offer a variety of critical approaches to Romantic literature and explore the dialogic component of different literary works as well as their transnational intertextualities.

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7. El principe constante / Książę niezłomny: From Spanish Baroque to Polish Romanticism (Agnieszka Gutthy)

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7. El principe constante / Książęniezłomny: From Spanish Baroque to Polish Romanticism

Agnieszka Gutthy

El principe constante (The Constant Prince) found new appreciation in Europe when it was discovered by the German Romantics through August Wilhelm Schlegel’s translation, Der standhafte Prinz (1809). The play then became one of the better-known European texts. The original Spanish version fascinated Juliusz Słowacki, one of Poland’s greatest Romantic poets, whose translation, Książę niezłomny was generally faithful to the original text while leaving his own unique mark on it. It was Książę niezłomny that inspired the influential innovative theater director Jerzy Grotowski to undertake his 1965 staging with his Teatr Laboratorium in Wrocław, Poland. The following year his production of Książę niezłomny debuted at Paris’ Théatre des Nations and within a few years it was playing in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, Italy, former Yugoslavia, Lebanon, Iran, Germany, Great Britain, Mexico, and the United States, eventually becoming one of the most important events of twentieth century European and world theater.

Almost two centuries separate the original text and Słowacki’s translation. Seventeenth-century Spain and nineteenth-century Poland offered two different sociohistorical contexts. Calderón’s Spain was a Habsburgian imperial monarchy while Poland was a country partitioned by Austria, Russia, and Prussia. Calderón was a court dramatist, highly appreciated by King Felipe IV who made him a Knight of the Order of Santiago. Juliusz Słowacki was an exiled poet, very...

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