British Culture and Society 1700 to the Present – Essays in Honour of Professor Emma Harris
Some Tendencies in Polish Translations of Eighteenth-Century English Literature
English literature evoked increasing interest in eighteenth-century Poland as it became more widely known through a great number of translations.1 At that time, translations were regarded as a valuable addition to native literature, sometimes even more important and advantageous than the native literary output. With the domination of the classicist trend in Poland, translation was regarded as a close imitation of good examples, frequently understood as following ancient literary genres or specific concepts and works that had been respected since antiquity. English literature was often translated from the French, but also more and more frequently from the original texts. English language became better known at that time, due to more frequent travels to England, which enabled the travellers to be better acquainted with its literature. English literature and culture became of greater interest also due to the activity of the so-called Puławy centre and the role of Princess Izabela Czartoryska as a patroness of English literature and culture (see Aleksandrowicz). Following the loss of Polish independence, the centre was meant to shape national, intellectual and artistic activity and later on, it became the place famous for cultivating Polish patriotic history. The aim of it was to show that the nation, which is able to take care of its religion, customs, history, language and arts, is still a living nation, capable of regaining its independence. Under the aristocratic patronage of the Czartoryski family, Polish writers, artists and scholars formed the “republic of poets and scholars”, which had vivid...
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