Choice of essays- Translated by Karolina Krasuska and Jedrzej Burszta
Women’s Perspective in Szymborska’s Poetry — an Attempt at a Postfeminist Perspective: Bożena Karwowska
Women’s Perspective in Szymborska’s Poetry — an Attempt at a Postfeminist Perspective
“Women constitute about half of Earth’s population, similarly as men, and this is not in any way reflected in poetry”1 — Małgorzata Baranowska wrote in her excellent essay in which she also examines the poetry of Wisława Szymborska. “Gender does not determine the shape of a work of art”2 — Grażyna Borkowska noticed, analyzing the characteristics of women’s literature. It seems that in literature the fact that a writer is a woman is becoming less relevant, compared with the question of whether and how the author can express her femininity in the language of literature. Here lies the problem as no one really knows what it exactly means to express femininity in literature, and what this femininity is or should be in literature. According to Borkowska: “We stand … rather helpless, facing the phenomenon of women’s literature/poetry, believing that definitions paradoxically do not satisfy the need for clarity embedded in every utterance, and clear utterances are never completely true.”3 The problem is, however, much more complicated, as it generally deals with the notion of “femininity” and the different ways of defining it. For example, femininity, as defined in the masculine world order, signifies a complete (or almost complete) subordination to stereotypes and patterns that have been created for women by men. Feminist critique attempts to deal with the conventional (patriarchal) uses of this category, adjusting its meaning according to...
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