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On Cyprian Norwid. Studies and Essays

Vol. 1: Syntheses

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Edited By Agata Brajerska-Mazur and Edyta Chlebowska

The book is the first volume of an extensive four-volume monograph devoted to the work of Cyprian Norwid (1821–1883), one of the most outstanding Polish authors. The impact of Norwid’s oeuvre does not fade, as he addresses fundamental and timeless issues, such as the moral and spiritual condition of man or his place in the world and history and seeks to answer universal questions. The book contains an extensive selection of contributions which represent different approaches to the poet’s work. They cover various areas of research, including interpretation, thematology, genology, and editing.

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From the History of Norwidian Research

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The claim that textual criticism and the art of editing constitute the basis of research on the works of Cyprian Norwid may seem trivial and not entirely revelational, considering the fact that the process of getting acquainted and re-acquainted with the creative profile of every writer, poet or, in broader terms, cultural creator has its origins in the act of accumulating and determining the content of his oeuvre. However, a careful look at the history of Norwidian editing allows us to notice that the long-lasting process of searching for and publishing Norwid’s scattered literary legacy, teeming with interesting discoveries and sudden “plot twists” – if we recognize the symbolic epitome of this movement to be the publication of the complete critical, fully scientific edition of his work – is still ongoing.1 In the history of scholarly Norwidian editing, we are able to point to three most important moments, the first two being closely related to the activities of the eminent publishers of Norwid’s literature: Zenon Przesmycki (pen name Miriam) and Juliusz Wiktor Gomulicki. The former one, called the “discoverer,” or “reviver” of the author of Vade-mecum, or even “the father of Norwidology,” undertook, with assistance of a group of several dozen people, the search for Norwid’s dispersed writings and works of fine art on a large scale. In the beginning, he was publishing the Norwidiana in Chimera, a magazine he edited, but as early as in 1911 he began work on an exclusive edition of Norwid’s Pisma zebrane [Collected Works...

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