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Musicality of a Literary Work


Andrzej Hejmej

This book represents an attempt to capture different links between modern literature and music. The author examines strict intertextual correlations, the phenomena of musicality and musicality of literary works, the musical structure in literature, so-called musical literary texts. He focuses on the novel Le Cœur absolu by Philippe Sollers, the poem Todesfuge by Paul Celan, the Preludio e Fughe by Umberto Saba and the drama Judasz z Kariothu [Judas Iscariot] by Karol Hubert Rostworowski. The analysis also includes Stanisław Barańczak’s cycle of poems Podróż zimowa: Wiersze do muzyki Franza Schuberta [Winter Journey: Poems to the Music of Franz Schubert] and a fragment of Scène from Hérodiade by Stéphane Mallarmé in Paul Hindemith’s composition «Hérodiade» de Stéphane Mallarmé.

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5 Listen and read: two sources of one interpretation strategy: (Stanisław Barańczak’s[[I119]] Podróż zimowa [Winter Journey])

5Listen and read: two sources of one interpretation strategy (Stanisław Barańczak’s Podróż zimowa [Winter Journey])

Podróż zimowa as a literary text and a virtual vocal text

A most general and strongly paradoxical observation regarding Stanisław Barańczak’s cycle of poems Podróż zimowa: Wiersze do muzyki Franza Schuberta351 [Winter Journey: Poems to the Music of Franz Schubert] – would be as follows: in the majority of attempts at interpreting this cycle the interpretative context is treated marginally or generally omitted although it is clearly indicated by the literary work. It could be constatated a little differently, more precisely, that interpretative inquiries are limited to the semantics of literary text, while reducing, or even excluding, the intersemiotic and intermedial perspectives of a literary work352. Thus, for the most part, they do not refer to musicological analysis, they only stop at the study of metaphorical imaging or thematic reminiscences353. Meanwhile, the intermedial references in this case drive the ←119 | 120→basic text-creating mechanism, which on account of the interference of verbal notation with the notation of a particular musical work establish a degree of complexity of the literary work. The placing of literary text with musical text, characteristic in every poem of Barańczak’s cycle, graphically exemplifies their formal interdependence, and is merely an external manifestation or rather an emblem of genre indefiniteness (nota bene the referenced musical quotation shows here the difference between the boundaries of a text and the boundaries of a literary work in the strongest way).

The problem of the intermedial complexity of the cycle, essentially reducing to the plane of genology, remains analytically and interpretatively unresolved until the non-literary source of literary construction is noticed. It is not adequate to say generally that Barańczak’s texts are in some way connected to Schubert’s354 composition, and also Müller’s texts, and that this issue can be equally well taken into account as well as eliminated from the research area355. For what should be done in the second situation with a detailed subtitle, with specific musical quotations or with explanations from the author? In this case, I think, it is necessary to start with the fundamental recognition of a musical-literary experiment, stating above all that each work of the poetic cycle is simultaneously a virtual vocal text356 (within the musical hierarchy as an element deprived of autonomy) and a literary text (as an autonomous construction). Further consequences in recognition of Podróż zimowa in the dimension of a literary work seem to be only an effect of understanding and interpreting the ontological relationship of the literary text and the vocal text. Adam Poprawa aptly signals the genological complication: “It is better not to ask: what does Schubert’s music accompanying Barańczak’s poem mean? […] However, it is reasonable to ask the question: how does Barańczak’s poem have meaning when combined with Schubert’s music?”357. In other words, the opposition of “vocal text” with “literary text” seems both sufficiently clear, and quite adequate to interpret the intermedial source of the cycle358. In a sense, even the author defines it a fresco in the paratextual plane, determining the status of the literary text first and foremost through the title of the cycle, while the vocal text – through the subtitle (Wiersze do muzyki Franza Schuberta [Poems to the Music of Franz Schubert]). Thus, it can be seen that both types of texts, closely related to one another in ontological terms, take root in Schubert’s Winterreise in very different ways: nominally and genologically. While the title directly reveals the connection between the literary text and Schubert’s composition and the text of the German Romantic in it, so the subtitle as a literary equivalent of musical formulation of the type: “song to words…” indirectly situates the vocal text in relation to musical convention (thus, it shows the reverse of the traditional order and direction of adaptation between the two arts). The definition “poems to the music…” in Barańczak unquestionably signals a case of borderland poetics, reveals the structure of genological conditions, and thus directly defines one of the most interesting literary phenomena, which in the perspective of musical-literary studies includes here the category of musical literary text.

In Barańczak the vocal text as a simultaneously concrete and seemingly potential element of the verbal-musical structure (concrete, because it is so conceived in the structural sense, seemingly potential, because it is not intended to be taken up again in the artistic sense), for the recipient of the literary cycle it functions only virtually, in the immediate context of Schubert’s composition. This is also why in the foreword the author’s suggestion of simultaneous listening359 and reading ←121 | 122→(or listening before reading) is not selfless: only by juxtaposing these actions and the clash of reflections of separate reception levels can the vocal text reveal the basic paradox – its existence and non-existence. It exists, because undoubtedly at the stage of mimesis I360 (according to Ricoeur’s terminology) it fills, as a palimpsest, the field of verbal construction originally belonging to Müller’s text. In consequence this immanently determines the way it is understood and provokes an interdisciplinary interpretation, which I would call “parallel interpretation”. In turn, this does not exist, because its autonomous treatment in the space of mimesis III seems to be something quite absurd; vocal text written to Schubert’s musical text would assume obligatory musical use (contrafactum convention), and therefore in the perspective of receipt – listening.

Masterfully devised from beginning to the end Barańczak’s poetic cycle (which matured in the author’s consciousness for several years361) has neither primary nor secondary character of use in the musical sense, its individual literary texts rather require, above all, a philological reading. At the same time, subtle indicators formulated by the author – starting from naming expressis verbis the character of the genological experiment (“poems to the music…”), through also recollection and literary functionalisation of musical quotes, until agreeing upon a multitude of interpretations – undoubtedly testify that the recipient is expected to exercise somewhat greater effort than reading alone. Consent, therefore, to limit perception exclusively to the level of reading should be interpreted with great caution, as its literal understanding leads in ←122 | 123→a completely unfounded way to a non-musical view of the cycle, discussion about text (both literary and vocal), but not a about literary work. If we treat the acts of listening and reading in terms of “either-or”, then indeed the author’s formulations become a source of analytical-interpretative misunderstandings. Some, and even the majority of the nuances of Podróż zimowa with certainty cannot be convincingly explained in isolation from the aspect of musical source – without theoretical awareness, that the basic rules of the genre game within literature determine the musical work.

Searching for reminiscences or traces of the vocal text in the literary text will demand meticulous scrutiny, hence I will attempt to formulate observations concerning the constructional conditions of Barańczak’s entire volume based on the last poem in the cycle – XXIV (incipit “Stojąc przed witryną” [“Standing in front of the shop window”]). As closing the whole of Barańczak’s composition, it gives the opportunity to show reference points in the general perspective with the culminating works of Müller and Schubert362, confronting objects of various fields of art in the hermeneutic field (interdisciplinary and comparative). Nevertheless, the legitimacy of choosing this very poem should be seen above all in two specific facts: firstly, its musical entanglements, i.e. an integral relationship with Schubert’s song twenty four363, seem very representative in the dimension of the poetic whole; secondly, it is not a literary translation, but diverges semantically and formally from Müller’s poem, although it functions in relation to it in its intended, multi-faceted opposition.

Stojąc przed witryną, w jej lustrzanym tle

widzę kątem oka kubek w kubek mnie.

Wielkie podobieństwo, do złudzenia aż,

gdyby nie ta zmięta, postarzała twarz;

na wkroczeniu w starość przyłapana twarz.

W uszach tkwią słuchawki, więc na sercu ma

kieszonkowe radio – znowu: tak jak ja.

Mógłbym się założyć o Nic lub o Byt,

że nie słucha rapu z kompaktowych płyt;

prędzej już Schuberta – to ten chyba typ.

Więc to prawda, bracie w zwierciadlanym szkle?

Mam jakiegoś ciebie, masz jakiegoś mnie?364

The first review of the literary work, quoted here fragmentarily – without musical quotation, and so in a form reduced to the boundaries of literary text – turns out to be surprising in the context of the creativity itself of the author. This kind of poem (just like the others in Podróż zimowa), limited only to the text level, does not resemble the complicated structures of earlier Barańczak, but foggily announces another manifestation of the poet’s concept. In terms of versification or syntax it is extremely simple, all too simple, hence the intuitive suspicions that understanding the intended simplicity (?) of the whole structure brings about, absurdly, the most difficulty. In all of this, the interpreter lacks the ambiguity caused by enjambements, by syntagmatic resonances disturbances and the nuances of the free verse; in short, obviousness… they become dangerous. This absurdity, which is absolutely not hypothetical, despite many attempted analyses of individual poems from Podróż zimowa, can be described in yet another way – namely, it is easiest to describe the poetics of the phenomenon in negative categories, at the same time blurring the necessity of examining the musical-verbal interferences. This is enough to abandon an extremely hermetic, non-musical position, to seek instead an appropriate argument ←124 | 125→in the opposite strategy, so in all the “obviousnesses”. This is not, of course, about cataloguing information of the type: Barańczak’s poem XXIV is a syllabotonic verse, a trochaic six-foot catalectic with a caesura after the sixth syllable, with rigorously respected oxytonic accents in the clausula, and male rhymes, etc. It is necessary to ask questions using the word why: why does a syllabotonic verse appear here? why do only male rhymes, specifically characterised by the nature of the Polish language, function in the clausula?

Musical matrix (context of Schubert’s text)

Apart from any other indications and comments, the fact that Roman numerals appear in place of verbal titles is a strong metatextual signal that for Barańczak the structural scheme is not directly Müller’s literary works, but Schubert’s songs365. The superior role of intersemiotic/intermedial palimpsestial work (in relation to intertextual366) is confirmed by any attempt at literary analysis, leading to negative recognition; negative in the sense, that it provokes the supplementary application of non-poetical research procedures, a kind of complement to poetic tools. Looking at the problem differently: apart from the musical composition, suggesting and somewhat preparing the technique of verbal notation, Podróż zimowa loses not so much even the fundamental context as the real foundation, it only superficially shows the cohesion of the language organisation. As a consequence of the initial diagnosis, a sensible explanation of the form of the poetic whole can only lead one way: through considering the metrical scheme of the verse as imposed by the segmentation of the musical structure. Locating the issue in this light opens the space of musicological analysis367 and introduces – otherwise, in line with the suggestions formulated on another occasion by Barańczak-the translator368 – aspects of interdisciplinarity in the area of literary research. Without doubt, the musicological view makes it possible to indicate the close relationship between the segmentation of the melodic line of Schubert’s composition and the syllabic segmentation of Barańczak’s text. This is clearly shown by the juxtaposition of the first line of poem XXIV with two bars from song 24 (bars 9–10)369, where we find the initial fragment of Müller’s Der Leiermann:

Sto_jąc przed wi_try_ną, w jej lu_strza_nym tle

The flow of the melodic line in the first quoted bar is marked just by eighths, the continuation of which results in a certain rhythmicity (the song is composed in the meter 3/4), broken only in the second bar, when the fragment is closed in a musically natural way by a quarter note. This calls for special attention particularly because here falls the oxytone: “tle” [“background”], showing its given significance within a fragment of the vocal text on account of its musical value – figuratively speaking, double the duration in relation to the previous syllables. In the space of the literary text itself, it would be difficult to accurately define the function of this word in the field of the catalectic foot, and in particular the semantic relationship with the remaining words in the line and throughout the whole work. This reference point focused on the position in the vocal text is argued only by the musical necessity that in the entire ←126 | 127→work the oxytones only appear in the clausula, but it still does not determine the literary necessity.

Nevertheless, even a two-bar quote is enough to formulate the most general remark with however far-reaching consequences concerning the subject of the rules of adaptation of the verbal text within the music by Schubert and the connotational introduction of musical text to literature by Barańczak. This is very important, because the construction of the texts of Podróż zimowa has a direct connection with the type of word-music dependence in Winterreise, and secondarily reflects the Schubertian organisational schema. In this light, the fact that all of Schubert’s compositions are distinguished in a structural sense mainly by syllabic rhythm is not without significance. The use of the technique of combining separate materials, which minimises the introduction of disruption within the scope of the verbal text, testifies to the intended preservation of its readability in the musical space370. In song twenty four the properties of the syllabic style in comparison with other compositions of the cycle are very exposed, among other things, through the minimum range of means used and the extremely economical background accompaniment, very interestingly related to the theme of Der Leiermann371. Schubert, not just in the two bars cited, but throughout the whole composition, does not allow any melismas to appear, the notes of the melody correspond rigorously to the syllables. Analogously, in Barańczak’s last poem, one syllable falls on every note in Schubert, so there is a fundamental similarity in modeling. And although the situation of subordination in the system à rebours also develops structural parallelism through the prism of syllabic rhythm, the mechanism of linear shaping of correspondence is subtly reversed, creating a genologically new kind of polarisation between the verbal text and the musical text.

The effects of this operation can be seen in close-ups in many surprising places, because even the profile of the melodic line falls within the scope of literary research, despite the fact it cannot be directly transferred to written language. There is often intentional semantic parallelism between its shape and verbal meaning, which will be revealed immediately by two examples perfectly exemplifying the extent of interdependence. They show the phenomenon simultaneously in the musical and literary perspective, give an answer to the question of how the notation of the musical text suggests potential solutions and at the same time how they are introduced into the field of literary text, as they are interpreted by Barańczak. The fragment in the first part of verse five: “na wkroczeniu w starość” [“trespassing into old age”], appears exactly in the place where in Schubert the melodic line rises gradually in seconds (its profile will turn out to be important); on the basis of an identical solution in the musical text, the beginning of verse ten is created, which fills the expression “prędzej już Schuberta” [“more likely Schubert”]:

The meaning of language formulae corresponding to the established musical scheme is completely different each time and is undoubtedly the result of a literary effort to interpret the smallest details of Der Leiermann. It is necessary here to exclude the accidental convergence between the nuances of Barańczak’s text and Schubert’s musical text, and this example should be treated as a manifestation of the “microscopic” conceptismo of the poet. This time the poetic realisation goes far beyond the mathematical structure of assigning a syllable to a sound, that is, beyond respecting the schematicism of syllabic rhythm. Through a thorough analysis of the musical material, Barańczak partially breaks the inability to linguistically embrace the musical ←128 | 129→reality for a moment372. In the first case, this is clearly about the basic meaning associated with the word “wkraczanie”373 [“trespassing”] (in an abstract sense), about lexical semantics, in the second however – the expressive value of the statement, intonation semantics, giving the possibility to contain it in a graphical contour of the expression: (I will come back to this place while considering the function and meaning of italics).

However, key to the verbal construction in terms of the nuances of accentuation is the value of individual component notes of the musical text as well as their succession and position within the bar, that is being located on the strong or weak part of the bar (it is probably significant that the word “Nic” [“Nothing”] falls on a sixteenth, and “Byt” [“Being”] on a quarter note)374. Considering in this way the problem of musical functioning and the rhythmic characterisation, fundamental to any musical song375, a degree of intermedial conditioning is perceived. Through the musical pattern, the actual source of the syllabotonic poem gradually becomes visible as the type of poem most strongly rhymed of all. It is enough to compare the verbal text with musical text only in order to find out that the construction pattern for particular lines of the first two strophes is a two-bar space, subjected by Schubert to a slight rhythmic transformation. Sequences of subsequent verbal-musical correlations can be presented in general: the first bar of the matrix is provided by the pre-caesura segment, the second – after the caesura; in other words, two bar lines correspond to the caesura and clausula. (Nota bene Schubert’s verbal-musical construction was dictated by a clearer correspondence, because each line ←129 | 130→of Müller’s text immediately determined a separate bar376). As a result of interdisciplinary matching of constituent elements of structures, it is easy to combine three consecutive types of two-bar matrices with small rhythmic modifications:

Clarifying linear dependencies: in comparison with the first the second line is based on an identical rhythmic pattern and even an unchanged melodic line (type I); the third on a partially similar basis (type II), because the first bar rhythmically remains the same, while in the second the rhythm differs – in the strong part of the bar the eighth is extended by half its value at the expense of the next sixteenth (“do złu_dzenia” [“until illusion”]). The scheme of the fourth, in which the initial syllable of the word falls on the elongated eighth and the adjacent sixteenth: “po_sta_rzała” [“aged”] is analogous to the third line. The fifth line differs in the shifting of the phenomenon of lengthening and shortening of values from the second bar and from the strong part to the first bar and its weak part: “w sta_rość” [“into old age”] (type III). All lines of the second strophe per analogiam are usually formed as equivalents of lines of the first strophe (lines 6 and 7 correspond to lines 1 and 2, lines 8 and 9 – 3 and 4, line 10 – line 5) with a slight difference in rhythm between the variant of the matrix for line 9 relative to 4377.

The construction of the last two verses does not seem to deviate from the preceding ones, in the range of literary text it does not signal separateness as written into the obligatory trochaic, six-foot, catalectic metrical scheme. The matter, however, looks completely different in the perspective of virtual vocal text, that is, at the time of revealing that the final lines were not made in accordance with one of the two-bar matrices, but on the rhythmic basis of a three-bar matrix. Inasmuch as the caesura segment is located in the field of one bar (caesura line = bar line), so the clausula segment is spread out here, unlike the earlier ones, in the area of two bars (clause ≠ bar line). Thus, a new and final three-bar source structure in two variants is added (types IVa and IVb) to the three two-bar matrices. In terms of rhythm, its initial bars are similar to each other, the middle most strongly divergent from the previous ones, and the final are rather identical:

Interdisciplinary identification of musical matrices as a mechanism of delimitation in a poetic work is just the beginning of deciphering the intersemiotic code and the genological problem. At this moment, in addition to reading, Barańczak’s poem would demand the most attentive listening to Schubert’s composition, and also following the score in order to locate the place of the key words of both the vocal text, and – consequently – the literary text. By introducing a three-bar matrix, the composer musically interprets the final two questions of Müller’s text; that is – he interprets the intonation of the questioning sentence in general. The natural intonation suspension required in language at the moment of asking a question in music is best realised on a strong part of the bar and in direct connection with a pause. In short, the space of two bars is no longer enough for Schubert with a fixed number of syllables of the verbal text, hence the “musical question” is closed in the next bar with a half note and a quarter note rest. The inconspicuous musical solution has a paradoxical strong resonance in Barańczak’s entire poetical structure, although it cannot be seen in the ←131 | 132→perspective of the literary text itself, where the problem of intonation is solved graphically in a conventional way: a question mark. However, reviewing the last two lines through the prism of the virtual vocal text, that is, the reference of the specifics of the verbal text to musical notation makes it possible to locate the source of the oxytonic accents in the clausulae in the musical area. The result of this is the constantly occurring phenomenon of catalexis, which contains a six-foot trochaic sequence in each verse:

In order to determine the origin of oxytones in the clausula, it was initially enough to compare the first verse with a fragment of the musical text; now the isolation of two- and three-bar matrices on the one hand confirms the hypothesis concerning the type of accentuation, and on the other it reveals something much more important for the interpretation of the poem. The last rhyme in the poem, combining distich (“szkle” – “mnie” [“glass” – “me”]), because it arises, unlike earlier rhymes, on a strong part of the bar and on a half note (a variant of this in the last verse is the connection of the quarter note of the second bar with the half note of the third and the longest note in the whole song in the vocal part), and reveals the central point in the area of the verse. If a paroxitonic accent were to appear here, and also in the other clausulae – it would destroy the logic of musical notation378, created thanks to compliance with both the quantitative principle of matching (a sound corresponds to a syllable), and qualitative rules (ending the musical phrase with an accented note provokes oxytone). For this reason, female rhymes could have appeared, as for example in the last two verses, but only as internal rhyme (the only one to be found in the whole poem: “bracie” – “ciebie” [“brother” – “you”]), that is, in a situation allowing the arrangement of a two-syllable rhyme space on two sounds (eighths). The occurrence of only expressive male rhymes in the clausulae, caused by the necessity of restrictive oxytonic accent, comes from the intersemiotic nature of the palimpsests, from the creation of sentence strings whose base is the design of musical matrices. For this reason, rhymes primarily do not have a delimiting meaning, because from the beginning the basic mechanism of delimitation of lines turns out to be musical pattern. At the same time it is characteristic that he basically eliminates all enjambments379 at the meeting point of various types of matrices, but allows the possibility within identical ones (for example in the second strophe: “ma/kieszonkowe radio” [“has/a pocket radio”]). However, the fundamental function of all rhymes is the instrumental function (rhymes “for the ear”), and to an even higher degree, the semantic function – as a linguistic abbreviation and somehow a vertical code. In other words, Barańczak’s rhyming technique of itself is of little importance, the schematic notation of the rhyming order brings little: aabbb ccddd aa. However, in the moment when the rhyming words are juxtaposed together, we can see extremely interesting linguistic phenomena that remain, I think, in direct relation to the static nature of the described situation, with the hero looking at his own reflection in the exhibition glass.

Let us specify a general observation: in the first strophe of the initial rhyme: “tle” – “mnie” [“background” – “myself”] responds in the closing distich figure: “szkle” – “mnie” [“glass” – “myself”]; the two rhymes – let us name them – frameworks characterise the situation of staying and being aware of standing in front of the shop window – phenomenon and epiphenomenon380. The next rhyme, “aż” – “twarz” – “twarz” [“until” – “face” – “face”], expresses the moment of more and more complete perception of the contours of one’s own face in reflection, a kind of epistemological cognition, and finally a moment of existential reflection. Doubling the word “twarz” and the tautological rhyme is therefore logically justified (it will turn out later that it is also structurally validated). In the second strophe, the first rhyme (“ma” – “ja” [“has” – “I”]) seems in itself to be uninteresting and banal, as if forced by juggling oxytones in their attunement to the musical structure381, and gains proper meaning only in the context of the later rhyme: “Byt” – “płyt” – “typ” [“Being” – “discs” – “type”]. The construction of the latter is in fact a clever concept, because it creates the equivalent of the mirror image effect in language material with an unusually coherent anagram. In the phonetic plane the word “Byt” read backwards exactly gives the word “typ”, which indeed also applies to the relationship “płyt” – “ty(ł)p”. It can be easily seen through this kind of semantic play on words that the relations of particular rhymes are not accidental, they are not created only for the rigour of forming the sound layer in the field of musical construction, but that they are ←133 | 134→constantly bringing the phenomenon of mirror reflection to our attention. They are additionally emphasised by the parallelism of both strophes: if in the first there appeared superior opposition “mnie” – “twarz” [“myself” – “face”], in the second it returns in a semantically identical version: “ja” – “typ” [“I” – “type”]. As a result of a simple ordering of mutual lexical relations, the manner of presentation is revealed, a phenomenon defined linguistically, among others by means of the words “mnie” and “ja” inevitably accompanied by an epiphenomenon – “twarz”, “typ”. One is defined in the internal perspective, abstractly, in the form of pronouns; the second in the external perspective, through concrete and clear noun forms.

Ultimately, the conclusion is reached, in agreement with the initial suspicion concerning the rules of accent in the clausula that both form and quality of the rhyme emerge from the musical space. In Barańczak they constitute a trace of virtual vocal text, which, of course, must have much in common with the contours of Müller’s musically transformed text. However, the relationships in the construction of the two literary texts, in complete contrast to the semantic ones, are not direct; one would like to say that they shine through Schubert’s musical structure in other directions, they converge on both sides. The basic formal discrepancy explains even just the typographic detail concerning the use of italics, which does not appear in Müller’s original layout of Der Leiermann at all. The reason for the use of typographic modulation in poem XXIV and its added significance cannot be explained without deep interdisciplinary analysis (nothing here helps comparative viewing of both literary texts), nor beyond the sphere of internal intertextuality382 of Barańczak’s cycle. Italics in the whole Podróż zimowa, apart from traditional functioning (for example in the notation of the phrase: “ex post383 in VIII or in the negative version: “stylu raczej cool niż hot”384 [“in a style that is rather more cool than hot”] in poem VI), indicates in principle the space of the repeated vocal part in the song, i.e. a precise repetition of a verbal fragment that appears in Schubert385, and does not occur in Müller’s original. Given that the cycle is written to the composer’s song, the supplement to the musical adaptation of the text must remain with Barańczak, but in this it is subject to far-reaching modifications. In general, the mechanism of poetic repetition is presented by poem I in which there is an exact repetition of a musical, “Schubertian”, nature:

„Po ogień” to przesada,

lecz wpadliśmy – to fakt.

„Po ogień” to przesada,

lecz wpadliśmy – to fakt386.

But immediately there is no similar duplication, but recognisable – as it should be called – “non Schubertian” processing of the text, paraphrasing of a literary character:

A wypaść – nie wypada:

okazać trzeba takt.

Wypadać – nie wypada:

poza tym – nie ma jak387.

In extreme cases, most often associated with strongly ironic comments, reminiscences of musical repetition – single lines, a few lines or entire strophes (III) – meaning is indicated by the use of italics388, as for example in poem VI:

Spod okładu arktycznego

spływa gorączkowy pot.

Rzecz nie bardzo w stylu śniegu,

jego zwykłych szkód i psot –

stylu raczej cool niż hot389.

Without a brief definition of the rules of this kind of semantics of notation, a literary text, which in the space of the whole cycle are presented as much more complicated390, the two lines in italics in poem XXIV are not in themselves readable enough. They do not appear to be repetitions of previous lines, but as they finish the next strophes, it would be necessary to look for traces of any similarity with neighbouring verses. The exact repetition of a part of the verbal text at this point in Schubert’s composition is not equivalent to the repetition of a fragment of the musical text, because apart from reducing the characteristic accompaniment to a minimum (the return throughout the whole song of an obsessive chord of a fifth391) there is transformation of the melodic line. It unambiguously reinterprets the semantics of the repeated fragment of the vocal text:

Similarly, Barańczak’s poetical intention is directed to achieving an effect in a comparable manner although it materialises in completely different conditions. In essence, it requires the intrusion into the specifics of the musical solution and searching for an adequate equivalent in the verbal matter. Autonomous literary text is supposed to imply – very difficult to interpret without recourse to Schubert’s song – a virtual bi-text or intersemiotic construct, revealing traces of the ontological integrity of a verbal text with musical text, their secondary “dialectical392 relationship. The task is extremely risky: in using the means of one material, an attempt is made to unleash the mechanism of connotation of meaning, originally functioning in the situation of direct collision of two materials. Hence, many repetitions in Podróż zimowa are kept to a minimum (for example lexically, syntactically or semantically) in accordance with potentially duplicated verbal text in music, to allow simultaneous introduction of linguistic modification in agreement with song convention. The extreme result is signalled, among other things, by the double use of italics in poem XXIV:

gdyby nie ta zmięta, postarzała twarz;

na wkroczeniu w starość przyłapana twarz.


że nie słucha rapu z kompaktowych płyt;

prędzej już Schuberta – to ten chyba typ.

(If not for this crumpled, aged face;

this face caught trespassing into old age.


that he does not listen to rap from compact discs;

more likely Schubert – probably the type.)

Transformation in Schubert’s song 24, doubling the fragment of the verbal text, has a musical source and musical realisation; in the poetic work the musical source remains, while the possibility of creating the effect changes radically – only linguistic means of expression are available. In these two cases, Barańczak certainly does not follow Müller’s lead, because there would be no room for verses written in italics, or even for the version of the text from Schubert’s song, because then the double lines would take the form of a restrictive repetition (conventionally named Schubertian):

gdyby nie ta zmięta, postarzała twarz;gdyby nie ta zmięta, postarzała twarz;
gdyby nie ta zmięta, postarzała wkroczeniu w starość przyłapana twarz.
że nie słucha rapu z kompaktowych płyt;że nie słucha rapu z kompaktowych płyt;
że nie słucha rapu z kompaktowych płyt.prędzej już Schuberta to ten chyba typ.

The appearance of the prepared notation on the left side (this is how the literary text would look in the situation of an exact representation of the arrangement of the verbal text from the song Der Leiermann393) has a deeper justification. Along with the issue of the origin of the italics, he explains the fundamental meaning of the earlier analysed play on words in the rhythmical space. Poetic “repetition” in poem XXIV at first glance has nothing to do with ←138 | 139→the duplication of the vocal text in the version proposed by Schubert, the verses do not show any similarity or structural gravity towards each other (which is exposed by the graphic strikethrough of elements without an equivalent). With one exception, however, in both cases: in the first – still relatively legible – remnant of virtual repetition there is a lexical repetition in the rhyming position; the word “twarz” in addition to the indicated semantic function, therefore fulfils a very important structural function. In the second in turn there is no identical word, in a similar place in the verse there is only phonetic correspondence that explains the affinity between the words “typ” and “płyt” within the shown anagram (“Byt” – “płyt” – “typ”). It is possible to say even more, although the matter seems to be extremely subtle in its complexity: when a homogeneous thematic reflection in connection with the epistemological diagnosis develops in the area of both verses – then the situation well reflects the lexical tautology (“twarz” – “twarz”), when, on the other hand, doubts gradually enter the field of cognition and it becomes necessary to wait on suspicions or assumptions, this is immediately reflected in the linguistic construction (opposition shows the mechanism of mirror reflection: “p(ł)yt” – “typ”). Briefly concluding, finally the most important consequence of limiting the scope of the repetition (particularly to the lexical minimum) is a broadening of the semantic structure of Barańczak’s literary text – not just, naturally, in relation to Müller’s original, but also to its modified, extended version as a verbal text from a musical composition.

Semantic shift (context of Müller’s text)

The essence of Barańczak’s conceptismo is determined in a basic way by the construction of the literary text on the foundation of Schubert’s composition. Therefore, the context of an extremely rare palimpsest, on the borderline between the arts, is integrally modeled also through Müller’s text in the adapted version, to be more precise, through putting an element of the song through the rigour of coexistence in new circumstances. The type of structural affinity of poem XXIV can be discerned in the moment of confronting its contours with the text of Der Leiermann in two forms: literary (given by Müller) and musical (defined by Schubert). The shape of musical matrices has the effect that from the entire cycle it was precisely in this poem of Barańczak that the system of the original literary prototype was most strongly deconstructed. Until now, the differences of delimitation boiled down to either to combination of two strophes into one (X), or breaking up – like in the musical structure – transformation of the stichic notation into strophically irregular notation (XVII, XIX) or regular (distiches ←139 | 140→in poem XXIII)394. This time, the initial functioning of the majuscule within the songs signals the symptomatic change in the rules of delimitation caused by the introduction of an intersemiotic medium. In the German poet’s notation, it marked the beginning of each line, but in the composer’s notation, only the traditional sentence structure starts that way:

Drüben hinter’m Dorfe
Steht ein Leiermann,
Und mit starren FingernDrüben hinter’m Dorfe steht ein Leiermann,
Dreht er was er kann.und mit starren Fingern dreht er, was er kann.
Barfuß auf dem Eise wankt er hin und her,
Barfuß auf dem Eiseund sein kleiner Teller bleibt ihm immer leer,
Schwankt [Wankt] er hin und her;und sein kleiner Teller bleibt ihm immer leer.
Und sein kleiner Teller
Bleibt ihm immer leer.
Keiner mag ihn hören,
Keiner sieht ihn an;
Und die Hunde brummen [knurren]Keiner mag ihn hören, keiner sieht ihn an,
Um den alten Mann.und die Hunde knurren um den alten Mann.
Und er läßt es gehen alles, wie es will,
Und er läßt es gehendreht, und seine Leier steht ihm nimmer still,
Alles, wie es will,dreht, und seine Leier steht ihm nimmer still.
Dreht, und seine Leier
Steht ihm nimmer still.
Wunderlicher Alter,
Soll ich mit dir gehn?Wunderlicher Alter, soll ich mit dir gehn?
Willst zu meinen LiedernWillst zu meinen Liedern deine Leier drehn?
Deine Leier drehn?395

A simple juxtaposition of the primary literary and secondary delimitation, imposed musically, exemplifies their important hierarchisation within the plan upon which the literary text is based. If the layout of the original on the left does not yet resemble the outline of Barańczak’s text, abstractly prepared next to it – based on two- and three-bar structure of the Schubertian matrices – the version of the strophic arrangement is already a perfectly applicable model ←140 | 141→of the topological space396. Now the arrangement of rhymes in the vocal text reveals the exact correspondence of both strophes (aabbb aabbb), about the existence of which it is possible in poem XXIV to conclude not directly from the rhyme structures (aabbb ccddd), but through the prism of the identicality of the base musical matrices (respectively: aa and cc = type I, bb and dd = type II, b and d = type III) and as a consequence, momentary analogies in the semantic plane. Non-accidental intonational-sentence similarities are revealed, somewhat obscured when compared with the version of the original, and with reference to the modified song variant gives testimony to Barańczak’s consideration of the specifics of the phrases of the intertext in the adapted version. Secondary structural dependence can immediately be seen in many places: the endings of the sentences overlap with the ending of identical lines (hence the analogous use of the initial majuscules in the line); each time the repetition covers the full line space – i.e. not subject to shortening or extension; two characteristic final questions remain. It must be repeated once again that reading Müller’s text in the field of a specific kind of verbal-musical coexistence becomes an inevitable task in the chosen poetic strategy.

Between the poems of Barańczak and Müller, not only indirect (through Schubert’s composition), but also direct structural-semantic correspondence is created, and references appear in two dimensions at the same time. The composer, musically interpreting the final questions of Müller’s hero, formally implies a question structure in poem XXIV. However, the degree of entanglement of both texts in this place (the closure of the act of identifying with “foreign”) is undoubtedly due to a very careful reading of the original Müller text. Even this example of semantic approximation (at the same time with a significant shift in the sphere of thematisation) is eloquent enough to cope with the question of intertextual rooting in the plane: Barańczak–Müller. Only now, perhaps, do we find arguments that make possible, after first locating formal reference points on the Barańczak–Schubert line, definitive clarification of the relationship Podróż zimowa with Winterreise and determining the purpose of the poetic cycle. The author’s introductory comment, pointing to the existence of “situational, thematic and even phonetic inspirations”397 in the context of Müller also suggests a project researching this ←141 | 142→matter. While maintaining the proposed hierarchy or sequence of aspects, I will try to show different parallels between the works: XXIV and Der Leiermann, with full awareness that analysing the space of selected works only fragmentarily reveals the phenomenon. The whole cycle – apart from intertextual extra-textual relations – immanently creates no less important internal intertextual relations, which previously showed, among others, the problem of semanticising italics.

Situational inspirations

The first type of analogy between poems crowning the poetic cycles can be reduced simply to the aspect of construction and meaning of the static nature of the situation. The musical text – to compare all three solutions in an interdisciplinary perspective – finds expression of the static system in 3/4 meter (in opposition to the march 2/4), in a tempo (“nicht zu langsam”), in the predominant dynamics (pp), in the accompaniment reduced to a minimal structure398; both verbal texts – in the form of a description of the situation. Between these descriptions, there is certainly general similarity in the static distribution of plans: a standing person appears or, perhaps it is better to say, a traveller/passer-by at the moment of chance stopping. Barańczak takes the idea, transforms it individually and at the same time constructs a network of allusions – starting from the initial formulation: “Stojąc przed witryną” [“Standing in front of the shop window”] – relating to Müller’s representation of the hurdy-gurdy player (“Barfuß auf dem Eise”).

The ways of describing the situation remain strongly separate, however, and even extremely contradictory, as in the use of the characteristic monothematic paradigm in both cycles. While Müller’s winter terminology persistently serves the metaphorical parallel with the fate of the traveller, in Barańczak not only does it become unnecessary this time, but disappears altogether – the background is filled just with a reflection of the face on the glass. The laconical nature of the presentation perhaps seems to brighten slightly when we see within Podróż zimowa a certain relationship between this situation and the presentation in poem XVIII. Severe frost reaches straight to the face, here it takes on a new form – the coldness of the exhibition window, which takes over the semantic ←142 | 143→function of the winter topics. The association of distributed signals leads to the conclusion that Der Leiermann and poem XXIV in fact implement two opposing views of reality: open space, with the hurdy-gurdy at the centre, corresponding to the point perspective “in its mirror background”, a panorama – “self-portrait with a mirror”399. Juxtaposition of this type: external and internal orientation, indisputably reveals the intended dialogicality of descriptive strategies in both texts and in consequence one of the most important aspects of the intertextual play through the prism of “figure of the crossing”400. This play boils down to cultural semantics of the static closure of both Journeys, contextually unambiguous in Müller, and greatly modified in Barańczak. Apart from the sense of expressing the journey towards death401 there is the manifestation of additional – not to say: basic – meaning. Staticness as a cessation of motion, a momentary immobility, here has nothing to do with discharge and lack of tension, on the contrary, it leads to a climactic dynamisation of consciousness, to an explosion of self-awareness. An earlier exemplification of this in the cycle is found in poem XX, when the moment of stopping “na czerwonym świetle” [“at the red light”]402 does not cause relaxation, but a situation in which man can “na chwilę spiąć” [“tighten up for a moment”]403. In the last poem both the place of the event changes (also accidental like the situation at the “red light”), and the general context caused by the genuine lack of the other person, nevertheless, the inconspicuous situation similarly provokes the decisive tension in the whole of Podróż zimowa – an act of self-awareness in the presence of an unusual witness. It is partly predicted by one of the distiches of the preceding poem (“Gdy plami nam nienawiść twarz –/przed lustrem postaw, spojrzeć każ” [“When hatred stains our face –/place us before the mirror, and demand we look”]404, XXIII), that the fact of contemplating one’s own face refers directly to the religious meaning of the act of repentance and moral purification.

Thematic inspirations

Within the boundaries of individual poems, it is possible to indicate all situational similarities without any difficulty due to their limited interference field. Much more trouble is created by thematic entanglements, which during examination of fragments of the cycle often turn out not to be transparent, and even rather too enigmatic, as in the case of the analysed poem. In his prototype, for the final time Müller takes the fundamental and only theme of Winterreise for a punch line – the tragic fate of the wanderer. Making use of the topos of a romantic journey405, in a very conventional way presents a romantic hero against the background of the winter aura of snow and frost, in an atmosphere whose threat is intensified by barking village dogs. In this aspect, Barańczak performs a kind of thematic distraction, both in the sphere of external intertexuality and intratextual intertextuality: firstly, none of the last signs of nature and no afflictions of the romantic traveller’s situation406 remain with him, secondly – searching in vain for metaphorised symptoms of winter scenery, frequently returning in the cycle. Furthermore, the contemporary hero does not travel this time, not even in the way he was shown in a few previous close-ups, that is, in the moments of being a car driver (X, XIX, XX), aeroplane passenger (XVII), “baedeker” globe trotter (I). The question arises, therefore, regarding what type of relationship occurs between not so much the two concepts corresponding to each other at the level of thematisation in the final poems, as the two types of existential travel.

The preliminary answer suggests reading the next poems of Winterreise407 on a negative basis – it reveals the stereotypical modus vivendi of a “frenetic madman”408, one of many types of romantic hero. His journey to the end of his ←144 | 145→life seems pointless in the sphere of reality: moving in space as a result of a negative reflex ceases to be approaching the topographic point and is replaced by blindly moving away from an unhappy place and time. In this sense, the “winter” travel of Barańczak’s hero in the inevitably identical direction not only takes on completely different forms of civilisation, but in the sphere of consciousness is caused by something fundamentally distinct. Whilst the romantic is morbidly absorbed by the past, immersing himself in subsequent visions, he is unable to return to the reality of “here and now”, the man of the twentieth century can hardly distance himself from it: he cannot and does not want to. The pace of life, on the one hand, is accelerated artificially by modern civilisation, which does not allow him to reflect for a moment (“Sąd będzie lecz nie teraz” [“The court will be, but not now”]409, XI), on the other – he himself is searching from the inside for “hustle and bustle”410 (XXIII) as an absurd way to fill time and overcome fear. In spite of everything, however, Barańczak’s hero – watching or even peeping from the distance of the ironist who desacralises the world – neither runs away from anything, nor is he internally shaken because of failure. He accepts the perspective hic et nunc, admittedly very skeptically (once with the voice of irony, at other times with the voice of prayer), but does not reject it, it does not approach the limits of nothingness or despair411. It is in such an atmosphere that the evolution of mankind’s worldview and consciousness at the end of the twentieth century is undertaken, mankind presented in this cycle in different perspectives, starting from the situation of the traveller in the universe and within the collective group (I), to the situation of a lonely meditating passer-by (XXIV). After casual experiences and phases of existential journeying, marked “w wersyfikacji zim” [“in versification of winters”]412 (III), after all, he appears to be an unhurried passer-by – with a hermeneutic need to discover the meaning of his own reality. This pathway makes it possible to recognise the fundamental importance of the title journey in both cases, especially in Barańczak (and above all in the poem XXIV): not in the thematic plane, where it reveals itself completely marginally, but in the field of rhetoric413.

If in poem XXIV semantic shift in relation to Müller’s text is intuitively sensed from the beginning, its source is later found primarily in the sphere of the protagonists’ polarly distributed awareness. In other words, the essence of cultural and civilisational dissonance is not just shown through the appearance of new objects (“headphones”, “pocket radio”, “compact discs”) or phenomena (rap, listening to Schubert in the street). Oppositions in the sphere of props, even just as exaggerated as between an instrument for creating and a sound reproducing tool, between a “hurdy-gurdy” and a “pocket radio”, do not fully express the semantic rupture between Barańczak’s Podróż zimowa and Müller’s Winterreise, at most, they reveal its trace. The overriding contrast between the travellers is explained, for example, by the parallelism of the acts of perception that take place at different levels and lead to diverse behaviours. When the romantic hero, watching and listening to the hurdy-gurdy, makes the decision to establish direct dialogue, the contemporary hero – on the contrary, listening and above all looking – goes towards internal dialogue with his own reflection on the glass. When Müller’s protagonist raises questions under the pretext of the lack of a hurdy-gurdy414 as a suitable instrument to express his way of feeling the world, and therefore identifies himself with the situation of the hurdy-gurdy, Barańczak’s hero identifies himself both culturally, through the fact of listening to Schubert, and existentially, through reaching out beyond the form of “us” (strongly accented again in the litany poem XXIII) to the truth about himself in the world. The need to experience reality guides travellers in two different directions: for one the purpose of cognition is determined by the sense of the horizon, for the other – by the sense of accidental concreteness. The protagonist of Podróż zimowa through an empirical analysis, alien to the romantic, checks the degree of the identity of his own reflection with himself, conducts a study of similarities which become impossible to unequivocally specify from a certain moment. Only elements of the external sphere do not raise suspicions (the similarity “do złudzenia” [“until illusion”] is shocking), but the entire internal space ←146 | 147→falls beyond the perceptually accessible area; the protagonist can only assume that the “I” from the exhibition window rather does not listen to rap. Hence, the process of getting to know the hero initiates departure from the enthusiasm of the statement of the initial identity (“kubek w kubek” [“cup in a cup”], “wielkie podobieństwo” [“great similarity”], “znowu: tak jak ja” [“again: just like I”]) and heads towards the final questions that bring awareness of the ontological discrepancy (“Więc to prawda, bracie w zwierciadlanym szkle?/Mam jakiegoś ciebie, masz jakiegoś mnie?” [“So that’s true, brother in the mirror glass?/Do I have any of you, do you have any of me?”]). In this way, along with the transition from the sphere of epistemology to the space of ontology, a conscious, philosophical cognition takes place – one’s own reflection gives birth to a foreign witness, it deforms, distracts, creates at most a “brother” or “any of you”.

Phonetic inspirations

The literary roots of Podróż zimowa finally indicate, with microscopic accuracy, similarities in the plane of phonetics, which determine the extent of the use of intertextual palimpsest within the general approach and overriding intersemiotic/intermedial palimpsest technique. This time, in the nuances Barańczak shows the mechanism of the literary palimpsest, which causes the appearance of places of showing similar, and often identical, sound sequences in different languages. As a result, a search for phonetic equivalents is created, if we could say, paronyms and – due to the frequent breaking of the word borders – cultural pseudoparonyms. They also exist in poem XXIV, but they are not quite so clearly accented, like for example in poem XIII (repetition of the expression “mein Herz” finds four phonetic variants: “na śmierć” [“to death”], “a śmierć” [“and death”], “zna śmierć” [“knows death”], “ma śmierć” [“has death”])415 or XV (“krecha” [“line”]416 as an equivalent, it appropriates the German sound “Krähe”, “crow”)417. Barańczak extremely carefully and economically inlays the text of Podróż zimowa with phonetic affinities, not allowing them to be devalued by undue excess and avoiding schematic solutions. This lack of schematism also applies to the two indicated cases, because recognition of the phonetic relationship with the expression “mein Herz” is only possible when listening to the song (this expression does not appear expressis verbis in poem XIII), and the ←147 | 148→relationship between the expressions “die Krähe” and “Białą krechą” [“white line”] is already visible on the level of the literary work itself, in the juxtaposition of the fragment of the vocal text (in the field of music quotation in Schubert) with the literary text.

Phonetic inspirations manifest themselves not only in different ways, but have a hierarchical degree of readability: the significance of “mein Herz” in the context of poem XIII is noticed immediately while listening to Schubert due to the multiple use and frequency of equivalents in Barańczak, however, similar attention is not drawn to the same wording that has been twice recast as “masz chęć” [“you have desire”]418 in poem VII. Individual cases require extremely meticulous study of texts and can be classified in a scalar system whose poles determine on the one hand identicality, on the other – far-reaching phonetic modification. The exclamation “Ach”419 (XII) functions identically in both texts; in Barańczak the word “haust” [“gulp”] (II) corresponds to the German “Haus”420; the apostrophic exclamation: “śniegu” [“snow”] (VI) is provoked by Müller’s “Schnee, du”421; “dach” [“roof”] (XXI) appears in the place of “gedacht”422; in poem XXIV we hear the colloquial expression “kubek w kubek” [“a cup in a cup”] which answers to the sequence: “dreht er, was er”, in turn, the personal pronoun “ja” [“I”] situates itself both phonetically, and semantically in relation to “Mann”. Following this trope further, it would be necessary to examine semantic equivalents and interpret verbal relations of the kind: “mrok” [“murk”] (IX) – “Grab”423, “topielec” [“drowned person”] (XIX) – “Wandersmann”424, and in the case of poem XXIV: “bracie” [“brother”] – “Alter”.

All intertextual relations – ranging from situational, through thematic to phonetic – fit into the established topological space and show general and sometimes specific references to the texts of Podróż zimowa. In the perspective of intertextuality, undoubtedly Barańczak’s analytic meticulousness is thought-provoking, especially since the intermedial literary strategy potentially allowed multiple solutions for interpreting the language component and its function in the field of ←148 | 149→musical structure, from the asemantic to the semantic variants425. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the importance of the choice of the option of constructing a single or double palimpsest approach. Barańczak could confine himself to mathematical exploration of the musical text and on listening to the song “beyond the words”426, that is, mechanically use matrix schemes previously formed in accordance with a particular sound sequence (i.e., asemantically). The effect of the achieved structural consistency of the poetic works in relation to the individual musical interpretations of Schubert would remain equally satisfactory. But this would then mean in addition to eliminating intertextual relations with Müller’s texts and abandoning a polemical cultural dialogue with him – suppressing the argument necessary for proper assessment of the genological experiment. In the centre of the poet’s interest we find an opposite, semantic possibility of situating itself in relation to the pretext, so that through multi-faceted uncovering of “common spaces” (topoi) amongst others, suggests the status of relations between literary texts of Podróż zimowa and the musical texts of Winterreise. Therefore, the real character of the uniqueness of the genre cycle, its genological indeterminacy or – moving Michał Głowiński’s conclusion to the area of literature – “formal uniqueness”427, is necessary to find first and foremost mutually illuminating intermedial and intertextual entanglements.

Consequences of listening and reading – musical literary text

The initial, paraliterary interpretation – which recognises the specific functionalisation of a musical work in literature – takes place through listening to Schubert’s composition, when the literary text shows its initial song articulation, gradually weakened and finally broken even during the act of creation. Describing more exactly the poetic strategy: through overcoming the original ←149 | 150→musical articulation, the specificity of which is determined by the syllabic rhythm of the musical text and the quality of the Schubertian melodic line, the vocal text becomes virtual and is reborn as an autonomous literary text. The non-literary view opens the basic field for analysis, reveals the scale of the structural dependence and the degree of determination of the poetic actions, which in turn constitutes the foundation of the interpretation of Podróż zimowa as a literary work. There must therefore exist, in the interpretive sense, a special type of “double passage” through the poetic whole, requiring – as Michael Riffaterre proposes – two phases of reading: heuristic and hermeneutic428. The first, which in this situation should be called a pre-interpretation, would be a stage not so much about getting to know the non-literary context as much as to trying to find an appropriate and precise argument for it; only the second – the proper interpretation. Barańczak, reaching for the genre from the side of literature to music and a particular genre of romantic song (in German – Lied), agrees to the conditions of “incorporating” words and verses into the musical model, and so, in a sense, resigns from the influence on the basic constructional determinants. The rigour in terms of the distribution of accents and the syllabic shaping of the verse at the moment when the topological space of Müller’s text is adopted in the version from Schubert’s composition is a priori imposed by the presented matrices, defining the mechanism of intersemiotic references429.

The Polish poet’s Podróż zimowa is turned into a provocative operation of adaptation of the literary text in music: it shows its variant from the perspective of literature, in direct relation however to the musical convention. Schubert starts Winterreise from the name and the first twelve texts by Wilhelm Müller430, which imply and at the same time determine musical solutions in nuances. Barańczak starts Podróż zimowa above all from Schubert’s musical texts, realises the close ←150 | 151→verbal-musical or – more precisely defining its direction – musical-verbal interdependence. The operation itself would not be anything extraordinary, because similarly, to limit itself to the present day, the procedure is often applied in popular music. But firstly, the text “appended” there is mainly, and even only utilitarian (hence, very rarely crosses the limits of its own dependence), and secondly – at all costs, if we avoid the cases of creating contrasts in the parodying genres, it fits into the character of the musical text, verbalises the musical sense. Here the intention seems to be in fact different, as if doubly negative, both in the genological dimension, and in the semantic dimension. By reversing the perspective and mechanism of constructing dependence the literary text is isolated from the possibilities of secondary adaptation, it only shows how it “de-adapts itself” from the musical composition area. As a result, it defends itself completely against external deconstructive actions and does not expect musical adaptation, despite the fact that it has the immanent form of a source vocal text that should be reconstructed at the moment of starting analytical-interpretative work activities. In other words, this text grows palimpsestually from the musical structure – on top of Wilhelm Müller’s text – but at the same time it is quite perversely cut off from pragmatic use; it is to argue that the song schema as a construction space may be as useful in literature as sonnet form or the contours of a white piece of paper431.

At this point, the primary function of the multi-faceted accentuated semantic shift between both poetic cycles, which determines, I think, the non-utilitarian character of Podróż zimowa, becomes visible. The formally occurring symmetry of Barańczak’s literary texts in relation to Schubert’s musical texts is not enough to neutralise the culturally characterised semantic discrepancy. “The essence of song includes an organic relationship […] with the sphere of feelings. When this relationship is loosened, ‘is mediated’, then the song becomes artificial, unreal, unnecessary as a song; perhaps it also ceases to be a song, it becomes something ←151 | 152→else (some other genre, form)432. The poetic case of Barańczak is an exemplification of an ephemeral attempt to force verbal-musical coexistence in the field of literature. The literary texts of Podróż zimowa undoubtedly arise within the range of song, in the stage of creation they are vocal texts and maintain traces of this forever, but finally they are placed outside of – or to say more visually – next to the musical composition. As a result, they do not become elements of songs (as a translation Lipa [Linden] remains the exception here), but they create a new type of one-off genre in literature. The argument for defending such a claim can be found indirectly also with Barańczak, who clearly avoids the term “song” in relation to Podróż zimowa (this is probably not just a matter of chance or omission on my part) and thus very eloquently defines his own position. But interpretative approaches diverge from this point of view, insufficient attention is paid to the fact that the difficulties in adequately naming a literary experiment result precisely from the indeterminacy of the cycle genre. An intuitive search for an appropriate formula for “poems to music” means that sometimes we speak of “song”433, other times – in a conservative way – about “poem-song”434; that sometimes the genre ambivalence is perceived (“poems, or rather songs”435), and at other times concealed with a metaphorical generalisation (“Barańczak’s Pożegnanie [Farewell]”436).

Literary texts (more broadly: verbal texts), which could become elements of musical compositions, show potential readiness both in the semantic plane, as well as especially in the sound layer. In Barańczak however this ex post potentiality immediately becomes very complicated; it does not exist, so to say, in a pure form. This potentiality seems absurdly negated in relation to Schubert, absurdly, because in the field of sound instrumentation and prosody, all desirable nuances were realised flawlessly at the starting point. If we actually try to sing the texts of Podróż zimowa or it is heard in the imagination as sung, it is accompanied by an identical impression – in terms of form perfectly tailored to the musical texts. Nevertheless, the secondary juxtaposition of two representations of human consciousness, made through literary notation in the twentieth century and the musical notation in the nineteenth century, turns out to be only “grammatically” correct. “This was intended […],” said Barańczak, “I wouldn’t ←152 | 153→perhaps call the effect dissonance, but contrast, or perhaps, more exactly, irony (or auto-irony), which produces at times contact of what the text tells us, with what the music says”437. In fact, the attempt to collide a literary text as a coexisting verbal text in the space of a song, that is, in a situation that creates both an “alliance of prosody and conflict of direct word meanings”438, can only be a kind of parody439. It should be added: a semantic parody, because a person who does not speak Polish will listen to Schubert’s song with Barańczak’s text with satisfaction and without the slightest suspicion. The matter of non-compatibility of contemporary poetic works in relation to Schubert’s romantic songs is settled in the plane of semantics; in other words, the second negativity, the semantic criterion is decisive concerning the non-musical purpose of Podróż zimowa. Aside from poem V (apart from the cycle bearing the title Lipa) none of the other works are suitable for musical performance. Not for the reason – to repeat again – of formal discrepancies or a lack of structural rigour440, but the transformation between two fields of cultural civilisation, revealed at the textual and metatextual levels. A virtual vocal text, very paradoxically, can only be a literary text, although at the same time – as a musical literary text – it does not lose its intermedial rooting.

Musical literary text in its own autonomous field demands a very specific reading, maintaining the native musical context, and in the farthest-reaching interpretation formula of a literary work – an interdisciplinary reading. Such a case in literature should be called literary bi-textuality through simple analogy to musical bi-textuality441. In music, the appropriated verbal text functions either directly, in the sense of a vocal text (for example Müller’s texts in Schubert’s Winterreise), or indirectly, as in the symphonic poem. In literature the matter appears to be very similar, because musical text can be introduced into a literary work either directly, in the form of a musical quotation, or indirectly, connotatively, through different types of thematising or – in the ←153 | 154→most sophisticated form – through structural filiations. In Barańczak, quoting individual fragments of Schubert’s songs, which are not incipits of the musical text, but incipits of the vocal work, i.e. the initial parts of the vocal line (melodic line without piano accompaniment)442, are not just of an aesthetic character (this aspect seems to be completely marginal). On the other hand, this meaning should be seen as fundamental in the emblematic signaling of the intermedial source of each of the twenty-four poems. Undoubtedly, the quotation of Schubert functions in anticipation of Barańczak’s literary text, implies a type of reception in which the act of listening is very important or is perhaps even the primary context for the act of reading. The musical fragment in the motto’s position thus becomes the first part of the heuristic stage of the research, which consequently means that this part of the interpretation given to the recipient along with the literary work… belongs to Barańczak.

There is a basic difference between the types of meaning of musical quotations in a literary work, depending on whether the quotation is of a conclusive or anticipatory nature. Both cases in the literature of the twentieth century, treated in a broad sense as avant-garde, most often appear in isolation and, most importantly here, are limited only to the level of the literary text. On several occasions in Kuncewiczowa’s Cudzoziemka [The Stranger] we encounter the conclusive use of musical notation in constructing and giving coherence to the plot, in turn in Juan Ramón Jiménez’s Arias tristes (mottos and also fragments from Schubert…) – in anticipation443. In this context Podróż zimowa is an exceptional artistic phenomenon, combining both types of functionalisation of a musical quotation on completely different levels. At the same time, it demands complementary interpretations of the paraliterary element in the area of music (on account of the vocal text), and literature (on account of the literary text): “my ambition,” Barańczak concludes, “was to write such texts that could be sung to a specific melody, and simultaneously – also read in isolation from music as independent poems”444. Perhaps this is the decisive moment to understand the author’s commentary more critically, as it is frequently unjustifiably equated with consent to an extra-musical interpretation. Reading the “independent poems” does not however indicate the exclusion of their source musical context, just like singing them does not prejudge their functional purpose. It is possible, of course, to consider these poems from different research perspectives, because the cycle opens many interesting analytical-interpretative possibilities, related even to the sphere of intratextual intertextuality. No matter how we look at the whole, we cannot avoid the problem of musical reminiscences that show the need for a parallel philological and interdisciplinary study. Therefore, I strongly adhere to the initial reservation that it is not possible to resolve the issue of both interpretative optics, musical and non-musical, metaphorically expressed through the acts of listening and reading, through simplifying by elimination of one from the area of the second445.

Barańczak’s musical literary text – to finally summarise the considerations – on the one hand, undertakes intermedial play as if written linearly “first and foremost to the composer’s melody”446, but on the other however, through situational, thematic or phonetic references to Müller’s texts, does not resign from intertextual play. As a consequence, the border complexity of Podróż zimowa in the sense of a literary work, a new variant of the poet’s concepticismo in the field of melic poetry447, can be seen only through comparing the nuances of intermedial play (enough to determine the status of the vocal text) and intertextual play (converting vocal text into literary text). The result of permanent polarisation between them determines that the literary text – revealing the virtual form of the vocal text through interdisciplinary reconstruction – takes on an autonomous, purely literary form. In ontological terms, however, the process of particular focusing is constant, which is well characterised by the concept of syndrome: the literary text “coincides” with virtual vocal text and only in its context reveals the genological complication within the palimpsest structure. Barańczak’s cycle in the final examination turns out to be much more than just a “stylisation game”448 based on reversing the mechanism of deconstruction of verbal text in a musical work. Structurally, it creates an extremely equilibristic type of intersemiotic stylisation449, intermedial transformation, hence also the highly sophisticated form of musical literary text.

351S. Barańczak, Podróż zimowa: Wiersze do muzyki Franza Schuberta, Poznań: Wydawnictwo a5, 1994.

352The analytical activities of Adam Poprawa are an exception: “Drogowskazy muzyki: O trasach zimowej podróży Schuberta, Müllera oraz Barańczaka,” in: Warsztaty Polonistyczne, 1 (1995): pp. 100–109; “Wiersze na głos i fortepian: O nowym tomie Stanisława Barańczaka,” in: NaGłos, 21 (1995): pp. 161–175. See also Z. Bauer, “‘Podróż zimowa’ Stanisława Barańczaka: Kilka sugestii interpretacyjnych,” in: Ruch Literacki, 1 (1999): pp. 51–71. A few years after the publication of my study (Pamiętnik Literacki, 2 (1999): pp. 67–94) Marcin Poprawski’s text was published “Poetycka kontrafaktura jako recepcja dzieła muzycznego. ‘Winterreise’ Müllera, Schuberta i Barańczaka,” in: Filozofia muzyki: Studia, ed. K. Guczalski, Kraków: Musica Iagellonica, 2003, pp. 243–255.

353See for example: A. Węgrzyniakowa, “‘Wszystko i Nic’ w ‘Podróży zimowej’ Stanisława Barańczaka,” in: Opcje, 1/2 (1995): pp. 105–111; A. Libera, “Głosy o ‘Podróży zimowej’ Stanisława Barańczaka,” in: Zeszyty Literackie, 2 (1995): pp. 108–112, reprint: idem, Zimy i podróże Stanisława Barańczaka, introduction in: S. Barańczak, Zimy i podróże, Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie, 1997, pp. 17–23; M. Stala, “Między Schubertem a cmentarzem samochodów: Nie tylko o jednym wierszu Stanisława Barańczaka,” in: Tygodnik Powszechny, 46 (1996): p. 8, reprint: idem, Druga strona: Notatki o poezji współczesnej, Kraków: Znak, 1997, pp. 123–128.

354This is how it would be possible to talk about the case of the appearance in Barańczak of the context of Winterreise in Przywracanie porządku, that is the presence of a musical work in the plane of thematisation (see S. Barańczak, Atlantyda i inne wiersze z lat 1981–1985, London: Wydawnictwo Puls, 1986, p. 7). Incidentally, a much more enigmatic relationship would concern the nominal relationship of the two cycles by Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, covering a total of twenty four poems: Podróż zimowa, a collection of ten works indicated by Roman numerals (see J. Iwaszkiewicz, Wiersze wybrane, Warsaw: Wydawnictwo J. Przeworskiego, 1938, pp. 148–159), and Druga podróż zimowa, fourteen poems described by verbal titles (see J. Iwaszkiewicz, Jutro żniwa, Warsaw: Czytelnik, 1963, pp. 27–42).

355The meanders of the study of the “independence” of these poems are perfectly illustrated, among others, by Magdalena Sukiennik’s proposal. M. Sukiennik, “Między ‘papierowym’ a rzeczywistym światem: (Jeszcze jeden głos o ‘Podróży zimowej’ Stanisława Barańczaka),” in: Teksty Drugie, 3 (1997): pp. 131–155.

356The term “vocal text” is treated in a purely musicological sense and indicates verbal text (literary and non-literary), which is adapted or – to say more bluntly – deconstructed in many different ways in the musical composition. See H. Sabbe, “O związku pomiędzy kreacją tekstu słownego i muzycznego w kompozycji wokalnej,” trans. Z. Piotrowski, in: Res Facta, 7 (1973): p. 122 (see H. Sabbe, On the Interpenetration of Poetry and Music in present-day Composition for Voice, Brussel: Typoscript archief Departement Musicologie Universiteit Gent, 1966).

357A. Poprawa, “Drogowskazy muzyki,” p. 102.

358Michał Bristiger’s distinction between direct or indirect coexistence of many texts within Podróż zimowa – amongst other things, also a “pure” poetic text and verbal-musical text – creates an interesting theoretical construct, but in examining the cycle turns out to be of little use. See M. Bristiger, “Głosy o ‘Podróży zimowej’ Stanisława Barańczaka,” p. 104.

359For the potential recipient of Podróż zimowa Barańczak indicates the names of a few known performers and recordings of Winterreise. Here the text of Podróż zimowa is accompanied by one of the proposed performances – that of Günther Leib from 1971. F. Schubert, Die Winterreise, op. 89: Ein Zyklus von Wilhelm Müller, Günther Leib (Bariton), Walter Olbertz (Klavier), Eterna Edition 8 26 255/56.

360See P. Ricoeur, “Temps et récit: La triple mimèsis,” in: idem, Temps et récit, vol. 1, Paris: Éd. du Seuil, 1983, pp. 105–162 (see P. Ricoeur, “Time and Narrative: Threefold Mimesis,” in: idem, Time and Narrative, vol. 1, trans. K. McLaughlin, D. Pellauer, Chicago–London: The University of Chicago Press, 1984, pp. 52–87).

361Barańczak’s first intention was to translate Müller’s texts, the only witness to which is Lipa [Linden] (in Podróż zimowa as poem V). See S. Barańczak, Ocalone w tłumaczeniu: Szkice o warsztacie tłumacza poezji z dołączeniem małej antologii przekładów, Poznań: Wydawnictwo a5, 1994, pp. 225–226. See also discussion with Barańczak led by Magdalena Ciszewska, Roman Bąk and Paweł Kozacki OP, “Po stronie sensu,” in: W drodze, 10 (1995): p. 61. It is interesting in this context that many years before Barańczak, Stanisław Grochowiak carried around the idea of writing poetic texts to Schubert’s music, as he mentioned in his interview with Witold Rutkiewicz amongst others. W. Rutkiewicz, “Stanisław Grochowiak: Dysputy przewrotne,” in: Świat, 17 (1968): p. 11.

362The term has a deeper meaning, because Schubert, taking two editions of Müller’s poems several months apart, changed the order of their sequence within Winterreise (see J. Chailley, “Le ‘Winterreise’ de Schubert est-il une oeuvre ésotérique?,” in: Revue d’Esthétique, 2 (1965): p. 114). Der Leiermann, similarly to Müller, remains as the last work, and so today we can speak about the common perspective of three wholes (Müller, Schubert and Barańczak), summarising the cycles in their own way.

363Interestingly, that André Hodeir, otherwise known as a musicologist and jazz composer, also used the last song of Winterreise as a kind of structural model a little earlier in the novel Musikant (Paris: Éd. du Seuil, 1987). See autocommentary: A. Hodeir, “Un peu de piano préparé littéraire…,” in: Six musiciens en quête d’auteur, ed. A. Galliari, Isles-lès-Villenoy: Pro Musica, 1991, p. 57 ff.

364S. Barańczak, Podróż zimowa, p. 42. In literal translation:Standing in front of the shop window, in its mirror backgroundI see myself in the corner of my eye, a cup in a cup.A great similarity, until illusion,If not for this crumpled, aged face;this face caught trespassing into old age.The headphones are in the ears, so on the heart hasa pocket radio – again: just like I.I could bet about Nothing or about Being,that he does not listen to rap from compact discs;more likely Schubert – probably the type.So that’s true, brother in the mirror glass?Do I have any of you, do you have any of me?(Lindsay Davidson)

365This is the case even when it comes closest to Müller’s original: Barańczak precedes the translation of Der Lindenbaum beyond Podróż zimowa with the verbal title Lipa (see S. Barańczak, Ocalone w tłumaczeniu, p. 357), but in the cycle – to emphasise the primary meaning of the musical text as a model – is opened only with a Roman number.

366It is necessary here to distinguish two main types of palimpsesticity: intertextual and intersemiotic. Gérard Genette in Palimpsestes concentrates his deliberations entirely around widely understood “intertextuality” (there he calls this phenomenon by the name “transtextuality”, but this is not the time to reflect on the terminology which he constantly modifies), intersemioticity, however, is only indicated when speaking of the existence of “hyperartistic practices”. See G. Genette, Palimpsests: Literature in the Second Degree, trans. C. Newman, C. Doubinsky, Lincoln–London: University of Nebraska Press, 1997, p. 384 (see G. Genette, Palimpsestes: La littérature au second degré, Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 1982, p. 444).

367See A. Poprawa, “Wiersze na głos i fortepian,” p. 167.

368See S. Barańczak, Ocalone w tłumaczeniu, pp. 225–226, 342–343.

369The two-bar quote that performs the function of a motto appears in Barańczak’s poem XXIV in the original tonality of a minor. Here, the musical examples are given after the edition from Peters and are referenced several times in the tonality of g minor, in which song twenty four is most often found in various editions of Winterreise (Günther Leib also performs the work in this key). F. Schubert, Der Leiermann, in: idem, Lieder, vol. 1, Leipzig: Edition Peters, no year, pp. 120–121.

370See analysis by Françoise Escal, showing the complementarity of the verbal text and musical text in Winterreise and Schubert’s Schwanengesang. F. Escal, Espaces sociaux, espaces musicaux, Paris: Payot, 1979, pp. 82–92.

371Schubert interprets the thematic detail of Müller’s text by referring, through the sphere of construction, to the conditions of the instrument of the title hurdy-gurdy. From the beginning, the vocal part is obsessively accompanied by a two-note sound of a fifth, because in the left hand of the piano part the composer imitates the so-called drone fifth effect, the characteristic and basic chord of the hurdy-gurdy. This instrument, in the folk version, widespread in the seventeenth century (earlier was of a larger size and, above all, used in sacred music), next to extreme melodic strings in unison – had two, three or four “drone strings”. See C. Sachs, The History of Musical Instruments, New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1940, pp. 271–273. See also Vielle à roue, in: Science de la Musique: Technique, Formes, Instruments, vol. 2, ed. M. Honegger, Paris: Bordas, 1990, p. 1074.

372In this context, the greatest temptation could arise to formulate questions about the possibility of intersemiotic translation. The a priori negative answer (see for example A. Barańczak, “Poetycka ‘muzykologia’,” in: Teksty, 3 (1972): p. 116) however, excludes any “liberalising” constatations, and hence the opinion of Jan Kott, that “Barańczak’s cycle is a translation of music” can be received only as a metaphorical formulation. J. Kott, “Głosy o ‘Podróży zimowej’ Stanisława Barańczaka,” p. 107.

373The reverse of this analogy, probably more suggestive, is a coincidence in poem XII, where the word “spadł” [“fell”] (in reference to “fallen angel”) is unambiguously provoked by the musical construction – a sudden drop by an octave in the piano accompaniment (bar 18). See F. Schubert, Einsamkeit, in: idem, Lieder, p. 90.

374Barańczak considers the issue of interdependence of words and music on another occasion, namely “recognition” of the difficulty of translation of John Lennon’s Maxwell’s Silver Hammer. See S. Barańczak, Ocalone w tłumaczeniu, p. 342.

375According to Bohdan Pociej all songs can be defined using three concepts (rhythm, poetry and feelings), and the most important among them – “as a result of which the song becomes a song” – is rhythm. B. Pociej, “Istota pieśni,” in: Zeszyty Naukowe, vol. 2, Poznań: Akademia Muzyczna, 1982, pp. 28, 29.

376Müller’s text in the original layout will be quoted according to: A. Feil, Franz Schubert. “Die schöne Müllerin”. “Winterreise”, 2nd edition, Stuttgart: Reclam, 1996, p. 171.

377It should be noted, however, that this difference exists in Peters’ source edition (legibly preserved in Günther Leib’s interpretation), in some editions it is not taken into account at all (see for example Schubert-Album, Henry Litolff’s Verlag, Collection Litolff, No. 305, p. 127).

378See S. Barańczak, Ocalone w tłumaczeniu, p. 225.


380In this way the “‘mirror’ poetics of the text”, which Anna Węgrzyniakowa notices at the level of the relationship hero-double, can be indicated at the level of analysis by using elementary tools from poetics. A. Węgrzyniakowa, op. cit., p. 110.

381See S. Barańczak, Ocalone w tłumaczeniu, p. 342.

382Lucien Dällenbach, maintaining the traditional division into “internal intertextuality” and “external intertextuality”, in such a situation proposes using the term “autotextuality”. L. Dällenbach, “Intertexte et autotexte,” in: Poétique, 27 (1976): p. 282.

383S. Barańczak, Podróż zimowa, p. 22.

384Ibidem, p. 19.

385See A. Poprawa, “Drogowskazy muzyki,” pp. 103–104.

386S. Barańczak, Podróż zimowa, p. 11. In literal translation:

“For fire” is an exaggeration,

but we came – this is a fact.

“For fire” is an exaggeration,

but we came – this is a fact.

387Ibidem. In literal translation:

And to fall out – it does not fall out:

one must show tact.

To fall out – it does not fall out:

Besides – there is no way.

388Outside of the musical context, it is extremely difficult to explain in most cases the origin and function of italics, so intuitive resolutions raise the most doubts: Magdalena Sukiennik called fragments written in italics “‘secret’ refrain”, “commenting ‘voice’” and “internal voice” (M. Sukiennik, op. cit., pp. 135, 136, 145); Jerzy Kandziora defines in turn “repeating” strophes in poem XXII with the name “second voice”, but places the expression in quotes, aware of its metaphorical use (J. Kandziora, “Życie i dalsze okolice,” in: Twórczość, 7 (1996): p. 50).

389S. Barańczak, Podróż zimowa, p. 19. In literal translation:

From under the arctic poultice

hot sweat pours out.

The thing is not very much in the style of snow,

its usual damage and mischief –

in a style that is rather more cool than hot.

390The noted remarks about italics refer only to the direct-worded form of the verbal text within the song. In many places, however, in Podróż zimowa the italic works in a non-schematic manner: if the presented scheme of its use was consistently realised – they would obligatorily appear for example in poem V (the lack is probably justified by the translation convention), and could not exist at all for example in XXIII. In this respect, the greatest difficulty is presented by poem XI (similarly to XIII, XVII and XVIII) as a kind of semantic negative. Its lines 5 and 6 in the third and sixth strophes are written in italics, although they “should be” with straight font, in turn the exactly repeated end lines in the first and fourth strophes remain undistinguished (there is undoubtedly a connection with the type of notation in poem V due to the use of quotation marks).

391See R. Stricker, Franz Schubert: Le naïf et la mort, Paris: Éditions Gallimard, 1997, p. 296.

392Secondary, because it is a variant (reverse) of the relationship considered as “dialectical” by Nicolas Ruwet, between the words and music in the vocal composition. See N. Ruwet, “Fonction de la parole dans la musique vocale,” in: idem, Langage, musique, poésie, Paris: Éd. du Seuil, 1972, p. 55.

393The identity of the distich remains for understandable reasons in the literal translation by Stanisław Kołodziejczyk:

miskę jego pustą zawiał śnieżny pył,

miskę jego pustą zawiał śnieżny pył.

[…]patrzy w swoją skrzynkę i piosenkę gra,

patrzy w swoją skrzynkę i piosenkę gra.

(the dusty snow blew into his empty bowl,

the dusty snow blew into his empty bowl.

[…]he looks in his box and plays the song,

he looks in his box and plays the song.)

See F. Schubert, Lirnik, trans. S. Kołodziejczyk, in: idem, Pieśni wybrane, No. 1, ed. S. and J. Hoffman, Kraków: PWM, 1955, pp. 55–58.

394Compare corresponding constructions in Müller’s poems: Rast, Im Dorfe, Täuschung, Die Nebensonnen, in: A. Feil, op. cit., pp. 166, 169, 170, 171.

395Quotation after: A. Feil, op. cit., p. 171.

396The term “topological space” I understand in a purely mathematical sense, i.e. without any connection to the surplus meanings in the humanities (for example with “topological principles” in Jean Burgos, Pour une poétique de l’imaginaire, Paris: Éd. du Seuil, 1982).

397S. Barańczak, “Od autora,” in: idem, Podróż zimowa, p. 7.

398In Brigitte Massin’s opinion the composer decidedly deepens Müller’s effect of staticness: “Musically, Schubert changes the meaning of a poetic work: while it still contains a certain idea of movement, Schubert transforms it into a completely static song; worse: fixed once and for all in terrible passivity; worse yet: this passivity comes from the musical object, the old man’s instrument”. B. Massin, Franz Schubert, Paris: Fayard, 1987, p. 1183.

399A. Poprawa, “Wiersze na głos i fortepian,” p. 168.

400C. Reichler, “Écriture et topographie dans le voyage romantique: la figure du gouffre,” in: Romantisme, 69 (1990): p. 8.

401In this context, he unambiguously places himself in the musical character of song 24, which was originally supposed to be written in the tonality of b minor (for Schubert this had “dramatic and funeral” resonance; see B. Massin, op. cit., p. 1183). In the belief, amongst others of Jacques Chailley, this composition constitutes “a desperate coda” in the musical space. J. Chailley, op. cit., p. 118.

402S. Barańczak, Podróż zimowa, p. 37.


404Ibidem, p. 41.

405The topical way of presenting it and its rhetorical function is accurately specified by Janina Kamionka-Straszakowa: “In a romantic cognitive or self-cognitive journey, […] external action can be reduced, as it is only a pretext for internal action or vision. The place of a multi-faceted action full of events replaces the linear order – the path as a compositional and situational frame, making possible the gradual uncovering of the individual sensitivity of the hero, his reflection and meditation, memories and dreams”. J. Kamionka-Straszakowa, Zbłąkany wędrowiec: Z dziejów romantycznej topiki, Wrocław: Ossolineum, 1992, p. 297.

406See R. Barthes, “The Romantic Song,” in: idem, The Responsibility of Forms: Critical Essays on Music, Arts, and Representation, trans. R. Howard, New York: Hill and Wang, 1985, pp. 290–291 (see R. Barthes, “Le chant romantique,” in: idem, L’obvie et l’obtus: Essais critiques III, Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 1982, p. 257).

407See A. Feil, op. cit., pp. 163–171.

408J. Kamionka-Straszakowa, op. cit., p. 22.

409S. Barańczak, Podróż zimowa, p. 27.

410Ibidem, p. 41.

411See M. Janion, “Pastorał, kostur, kij,” in: Ex Libris, 71 (1995): pp. 2–3 (supplement to Życie Warszawy, 3 (1995)).

412S. Barańczak, Podróż zimowa, p. 14.

413Compare E. Pich, “Essai de lexicographie poétique: le mot ‘voyage’,” in: Actes du Colloque: Voies, voyages et voyageurs dans la littérature (II), ed. K. Kupisz, Łódź: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego, 1994, p. 154.

414There can be no ambiguity regarding the type of instrument appearing in the work Der Leiermann. Nota bene Anna Węgrzyniakowa’s proposal that to translate the title of the last number in the cycle of Schubert’s songs as Kataryniarz [The Organ-grinder] and, consequently, talk about a “barrel organ” is completely unfounded (see A. Węgrzyniakowa, op. cit., pp. 106, 110). Between the hurdy-gurdy (from the seventeenth century, the functioning name in German was Leier; today – Drehleier) and “barrel organ” (German Leierkasten) there is only just some similarity at the level of playing technique. Curt Sachs states: “Schubert’s famous lied, Der Leiermann, refers to a stringed hurdy-gurdy, not to a modern street organ”. C. Sachs, op. cit., p. 273.

415S. Barańczak, Podróż zimowa, pp. 29–30; W. Müller, Die Post, in: A. Feil, op. cit., p. 168.

416S. Barańczak, Podróż zimowa, p. 32; W. Müller, Die Krähe, in: A. Feil, op. cit., p. 169.

417See A. Poprawa, “Wiersze na głos i fortepian,” p. 170. See also A. Węgrzyniakowa, op. cit., pp. 107, 108.

418S. Barańczak, Podróż zimowa, pp. 20–21.

419Ibidem, p. 28; W. Müller, Einsamkeit, in: A. Feil, op. cit., p. 167.

420S. Barańczak, Podróż zimowa, p. 13; W. Müller, Wetterfahne, in: A. Feil, op. cit., p. 164.

421S. Barańczak, Podróż zimowa, p. 19; W. Müller, Wasserflut, in: A. Feil, op. cit., p. 165.

422S. Barańczak, Podróż zimowa, p. 39; W. Müller, Das Wirtshaus, in: A. Feil, op. cit., p. 170.

423S. Barańczak, Podróż zimowa, p. 24; W. Müller, Das Irrlicht, in: A. Feil, op. cit., p. 166.

424S. Barańczak, Podróż zimowa, p. 36; W. Müller, Täuschung, in: A. Feil, op. cit., p. 170.

425Anoni Libera presents the types of possible poetic behaviours in a kind of typology: 1) translation to music (Lipa [Linden]), 2) translation independent of music, 3) nominal reference to Winterreise, 4) creation of the cycle of “original poems, differing fundamentally from Müller’s texts, which, however, fit Schubert’s compositions”. A. Libera, op. cit., p. 109.

426This manner of perceiving music, in which the verbal text is directly located, is quite widespread. In the opinion of Bohdan Pociej: “in work of really high class vocal music (such as the song of Schubert […]), and precisely in the impact of this work on us, the conceptuality of the text, in the normal sense of the term, plays a negligible role”. B. Pociej, “Po co muzyce słowa?,” in: Ruch Muzyczny, 21 (1984): p. 8.

427M. Głowiński, “Gatunki literackie w muzyce,” in: idem, Prace wybrane, vol. 2: Narracje literackie i nieliterackie, Kraków: Universitas, 1997, p. 186.

428See M. Riffaterre, “L’illusion référentielle,” translated from English P. Zoberman, in: R. Barthes, L. Bersani, P. Hamon, M. Riffaterre, I. Watt, Littérature et réalité, Paris: Éd. du Seuil, 1982, pp. 96–97 (see M. Riffaterre, “The Referential Fallacy,” in: Columbia Review, 2, Vol. 57 (1978): pp. 21–35).

429The whole problem is explained by Barańczak on another occasion, describing the specificity of the translation of Der Lindenbaum: “What particularly complicates the translation of texts intended for singing is the necessity of one hundred percent accurate representation of their syllabic-accent structure. […] Similarly with the issue of linguistic accents that must fall on exactly these and not other syllables, so as to coincide closely with musical accents”. S. Barańczak, Ocalone w tłumaczeniu, p. 225.

430Schubert took the name of the cycle from twelve songs by Wilhelm Müller, published in 1823 by Friedrich Arnold Brockhaus in Leipzig (Urania. Taschenbuch auf das Jahr 1823, pp. 207–222). A full edition of the twenty four poems of Winterreise appeared a year later published by Christian Georg Ackermann, in the second part of Gedichte aus den hinterlassenen Papieren eines reisenden Waldhornisten (Dessau: Christian Georg Ackermann, 1824, pp. 75–108).

431Such a comparison is justified in the historical sense: amongst others in Mallarmé, the space of the white card constitutes a matrix explained through strictly musical parallels. See S. Mallarmé, Préface to: Un Coup de dés, in: idem, Oeuvres complètes, ed. H. Mondor, G. Jean-Aubry, Paris: Gallimard, 1970, pp. 455–456 (see S. Mallarmé, Preface / Préface to: A Throw of the Dice / Un Coup de dés, in: idem, Collected Poems, trans. H. Weinfield, Berkeley–Los Angeles–London: University of California Press, 1994, pp. 121–123). See C. S. Brown, “The Musical Analogies in Mallarmé’s ‘Un Coup de dés’,” in: Comparative Literature Studies, 1/2, Vol. 4 (1967): pp. 67–79.

432B. Pociej, “Istota pieśni,” p. 34. Emphasis – A. H.

433M. Sukiennik, op. cit., p. 132 ff. See also: J. Kandziora, op. cit., pp. 46, 47, 48 ff; Z. Bauer, op. cit., p. 64.

434J. Kandziora, op. cit., pp. 51, 52.

435K. Biedrzycki, “Ten taki sobie świat,” in: idem, Świat poezji Stanisława Barańczaka, Kraków: Universitas, 1995, p. 283.

436A. Węgrzyniakowa, op. cit., p. 106.

437Opinion formed during a discussion with Magdalena Ciszewska, Roman Bąk and Paweł Kozacki OP, “Po stronie sensu,” p. 60.

438M. Bristiger, op. cit., p. 105.

439See A. Libera, op. cit., p. 112; M. Stala, op. cit., p. 8. See also B. Pociej, “Półka z książkami,” in: Wychowanie Muzyczne w Szkole, 5 (1995): p. 231.

440From this perspective the text is ideally worked out and does not cause the slightest performance difficulties, as shown by Jerzy Artysz, who performed Schubert’s songs to Barańczak’s words (these songs were presented by Polish Radio II in the programme Atelier; Podróż zimowa, Studio Classic 1999, 02 1999 2). J. Artysz, “Głosy o ‘Podróży zimowej’ Stanisława Barańczaka,” p. 103.

441The reverse to this situation, in music, would be amongst others the “orchestral recitation” by Paul Hindemith, “Hérodiade” de Stéphane Mallarmé. See chapter 7: Literature beyond literature: “Hérodiade” – “‘Hérodiade’ de Stéphane Mallarmé” by Paul Hindemith, pp. 181–202.

442This is how Jan M. Kłoczowski’s wording should be treated, that Barańczak’s verses are preceded by “a reproduction of a few initial bars of the next songs by Schubert”. J. M. Kłoczowski, “Głosy o ‘Podróży zimowej’ Stanisława Barańczaka,” p. 106.

443This type of functioning of musical quotation can be found in Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz in prose, for example fragment of Liszt’s composition in the narrative story Mefisto-Walc [Mephisto Waltz] (see J. Iwaszkiewicz, Opowiadania muzyczne, Warsaw: Czytelnik, 1971, p. 147), and also poetry, for example Schumann’s reminiscence in Vöglein als Prophet (see J. Iwaszkiewicz, Śpiewnik włoski: Wiersze, Warsaw: Czytelnik, 1974, p. 31).

444S. Barańczak, “Od autora,” in: idem, Podróż zimowa, p. 7.

445See Adam Poprawa’s commentary on the theme of “dual reception method” of Podróż zimowa. A. Poprawa, “Wiersze na głos i fortepian,” p. 164.

446S. Barańczak, “Od autora,” in: idem, Podróż zimowa, p. 7.

447See E. Balcerzan, “Oceny dorobku Stanisława Barańczaka,” in: Opcje, 1/2 (1995): p. 83.

448G. Borkowska, “Wolny od doskonałości,” in: Tygodnik Powszechny, 51/52 (1997): p. 17.

449In fact, it would be possible in this situation to speak of the occurrence of double intersemiotic stylisation: in a traditional sense, defining the relationships between different arts (Barańczak–Schubert), but also in an added sense (see S. Balbus, Między stylami, Kraków: Universitas, 1993, pp. 143–144), regarding references between various literature systems (Barańczak–Müller).