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The Literature of Polish Romanticism in Its European Contexts

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Edited By Krzysztof Trybuś

The book contains essays on the heterogeneity of Polish Romantic literature and its links with Europe’s cultural heritage. The essays deal with, among other topics, the idea of beauty and truth, correspondences between the arts, the role of tradition and memory in the Romantic era, and the significance of mysticism and irony. The authors of the essays write about such seemingly distant issues as music and revolution in Chopin’s times, and travel to places as disparate as Siberia and Italy. Their thematically diverse reflections are linked by questions they pose about the romantic roots of today’s Europe. The works of Mickiewicz and other Romantic poets discussed in this book thus clearly do not concern merely the past, but also speak to the present day, describing the experiences of everyday life in its various dimensions.

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Princess Trubecka in a Siberian Hell. A Dialogue Between Three European Poets. (With the Participation of Dante)

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Abstract: The subject of the chapter is the influence of the Decembrist uprising in Russia in the year 1825 across three literatures: Polish, French and Russian. A comparative analysis of the following poems: Anhelli by Juliusz Słowacki, (ed. 1838), Wanda. Histoire russe by Alfred de Vigny (published posthumously in 1864) and the two-part epic poem by Nikolay Nekrasov Russian Women [Russkie zhenschiny], 1871–1872) allows us to present the significance of an important historical event from three different national perspectives. All three poems feature the historical figure of Princess Ekaterina Trubetskaya (1800–1854), who went to Siberia of her own free will to accompany her husband, convicted of revolting against the tsar. The story of her life (and other repercussions suffered by the Decembrists and other victims of the era of Russian tsar Nicholas I) is one of the 19th century’s great martyrological and historiosophical traditions. The literary tradition of Dante’s Divine Comedy is for Słowacki, de Vigny and Nekrasov a common frame of reference, and serves, to a certain extent, as an interpretative matrix.

Keywords: Romantic Poetry, Decembrists, images of Siberia, national martyrology

The three large poems, placed next to one another and read together in this outline, were created at roughly the same time, but in three different languages, and they belong to three different cultural circles, and historical and literary contexts. The three pieces, though, are linked by so much on the thematic and ideological levels, as well as...

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