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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 Concept of the “Whole”

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Abstract: In this chapter, the author tries to trace different meanings of “the whole” in Norwid’s writings and to indicate some other linguistic means of expressing these meanings. At the same time, she shows the particularly important groups of phenomena and problems which Norwid understands as wholes (real or postulated). The opposition part-whole is an object of Norwid’s constant interest, especially when “the whole” means something that contains all essential, constitutive elements; the poet usually emphasizes the presence of spiritual, transcendent elements.

Keywords: Cyprian Norwid, linguistics, linguistic means, wholeness, semantics

1

Within Norwid Studies, much has been written about Norwid’s intellectualism. In this article, I would like to share some reflections on this aspect of his interests, or intellectual-emotional passions even, and examine how it relates to his understanding of całość [wholeness].1

With this in mind, I focused my analysis, first and foremost, on the use of the noun całość [wholeness], the adjective cały [whole], and the adverb cało [wholly] in Norwid’s texts.2

Because I am interested in the meaning of Norwid’s “całość” [wholeness] and the different ways in which it can be verbalised, I will also elaborate on the use of words that are closely related to całość and its metaphors, of which there are many in Norwid’s (not just poetic) works.

2

2.1

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