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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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Norwid’s Producing Hand

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Abstract: The article is devoted to the problems of stage play, including dramatic language in Norwid’s plays and reflection. The following three issues are analysed in detail: stage silence, the use of a human group on stage, and a “real live woman” as an actor. The author draws attention to the theatricalisation of silence in Norwid’s dramas, its transposition on stage and its means of expression. Later, using a few examples, she proceeds to characterize his collective scenes, emphasizing the individuality and specificity of the functions of particular groups of characters and pointing to the changes taking place in this respect in the poet’s work to arrive at a discussion of the verbal construction of these scenes. Finally, she discusses Norwid’s appeal for a significant and not decorative or episodic participation of female figures in drama.

Keywords: Cyprian Norwid, drama, stage play, actor, silence, woman

The title of this essay is inspired by a British researcher, Richard Flatter. In 1948, his book Shakespeare’s Producing Hand caused much stir among his Shakespearean colleagues. The book’s subject was defined in more detail in the subtitle: A Study of His Marks of Expression to Be Found in the First Folio. The author analysed the graphic shape of the lines, line divisions, the use of colons, pauses and any metric disturbances. All those “mistakes” Shakespeare made were once corrected. Flatter proved that each deviation from the norm was introduced purposefully, to express Shakespeare’s “directing” or “producing” intention.

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