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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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Beauty and Truth in Cyprian Norwid’s Italian Novellas

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Abstract: The chapter discusses the presence of the category of beauty and truth in the works of Norwid. The basic field of reference is the Platonic concept of the triune of Truth, Goodness and Beauty, but the poet also adopts a Christian perspective. Most often these function as components of Norwid’s concept of art. This issue – in a number of variants – is undertaken by the writer in Lord Singelworth’s Secret, Ad leones! and Stigma. In the first story, Norwid analyses the problem of mutual misunderstanding between the writer and the reader, and also reflects on the sense of the artist’s mission. Meanwhile, Ad leones! is a commentary on the artist’s situation in the reality of capitalism. One of the main characters of Stigma, in turn, is a violinist whose sensitivity makes it impossible to communicate with people. On the basis of the Italian Novels – whose canvas is writing, sculpture and music – Norwid builds his concept of art, in which truth and beauty coexist.

Keywords: Cyprian Norwid; art; beauty; truth; Platonic triad

To develop a reflection on beauty and truth in the works of Cyprian Kamil Norwid (1821–1883), one must remember that the poet’s artistic activity coincided with a time when various currents of thought were clashing.1 This had a ←149 | 150→strong influence on the development of Norwid’s artistic expression, in which a recurrent theme was the mutual incomprehension between the artist and the audience. Understanding the importance of this problem extended to...

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