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Cyprian Norwid and the History of Greece


Maciej Junkiert

Ancient Greek history holds a special place in the works of many 19th-c. writers. The same goes for Cyprian Norwid, one of the most eminent poets in the history of Polish literature, a thinker, and an artist. This book scrutinizes Norwid’s fascination with Greek history and culture, especially his peculiar synthesis of Greek thought and Christianity. It focuses on the key themes of the relationship of Platonism with early Christian writings and their presence in Norwid’s contemporary culture, the opposition of memory and history in 19th-c. literature and social life, and the image of the artist and its influence on social life in modern everyday. The book analyzes Norwid’s oeuvre in a broad comparison with representatives of French, German, and British literature and the humanities.

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In Polish, this book was first written as a doctoral dissertation at the Institute of Polish Philology at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. I would like to thank my supervisor, Professor Krzysztof Trybuś, for his invaluable help and tremendous support at all stages of the book’s preparation. I wish to thank Professor Maria Kalinowska and Professor Jerzy Fiećko for their thorough and insightful reviews, which allowed me to avoid many inaccuracies and lapses.

Furthermore, I owe many thanks to Professor Barbara Bokus, head of the AAL Inter-University Program of Interdisciplinary Doctoral Studies, for extraordinary scientific sessions and great dedication to the affairs of the Program. I express my gratitude to Professor Marcin Król for inspiring reader’s advice. I would like to especially thank Professor Jerzy Axer, who was my supervisor during my studies at the “Artes Liberales” Academy. Thursday seminars with Professor Axer shaped my passion for the study of tradition, in particular ancient tradition in the nineteenth-century literature.

To my wife, Kinga, I thank you for your creative and understanding presence at every written page.

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