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The Language of Polish Modernism

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Ryszard Nycz

This book debunks the myth of Polish Modernist literature as rooted in rash, immediate expression. The author compares programmatic statements on language by turn-of-the-century writers such as Wacław Berent, Bolesław Leśmian, Stanisław Brzozowski or Karol Irzykowski with notions deduced from their literary works. He demonstrates that these writers’ linguistic self-consciousness informs their implicitly self-reflexive texts and sheds light on their values and characteristic qualities. The author treats Modernist literature itself as a sort of «language» – a distinct entity that emerged through systematic differentiation within the general literary discourse. The book enhances the understanding of the transformations behind this important philosophical and artistic movement.

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