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The Routledge World Companion to Polish Literature



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ISBN 9780367691622
September 1, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
440 Pages

 
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Book Description

The Routledge World Companion to Polish Literature offers an introduction to Polish literature through thirty-three case studies, covering works from the middle ages up to the present day. Each chapter draws on a text or body of work, examining its historical context, as well as its international reception and position within world literature.

The book presents a dual perspective on Polish literature, combining original readings of key texts with discussions of their two-way connections with other literatures across the globe. With a detailed introduction offering a narrative overview, the book is divided into six sections offering a chronological pathway through the material. Contributors from around the world examine the various cultural exchanges at play, with each chapter including:

  • Definitions of key terms and brief overviews of historical and political events, literary eras, trends, movements, groups, and institutions for those new to the area
  • Analysis and notes on translations, including their hidden dimensions and potential
  • Textual focus on poetics, such as strategies of composition, style, and genre
  • A range of historical, sociological, political, and economic contexts

From medieval song through to the contemporary novel, this book offers an interpretive history of Polish literature, while also positioning its significance within world literature. The detailed introductions make it accessible to beginners in the area, while the original analysis and focused case studies will also be of interest to researchers.

Table of Contents

Tomasz Bilczewski, Stanley Bill, and Magdalena Popiel

Introduction: Polish Literature and Its Worlds

 

PART 1

OLD POLISH LITERATURE: MIDDLE AGES, RENAISSANCE, BAROQUE

1. In Search of Origins: Bogurodzica

Emiliano Ranocchi

2. World Order in a Harmonious Hymn: Jan Kochanowski’s "What Dost of Us Require, Lord, for Thy Plenteous Graces?"

Andrea Ceccherelli

3. A Child’s Death, the Poet’s Immortality: Jan Kochanowski’s Laments

Charles Zaremba

4. The Poetry of “Passage”: Mikołaj Sęp Szarzyński’s Sonnets

Luigi Marinelli

 

PART 2

SOURCES OF MODERNITY: THE ENLIGHTENMENT LEGACY

5. The Adventures of Mr. Nicholas Wisdom: Reading Ignacy Krasicki with Kant

Bożena Shallcross

6. The “Fairytale” Magic of Speech: Franciszek Karpiński’s Lukierda’s Plaint

Rolf Fieguth

7. Is Jan Potocki’s The Manuscript Found in Saragossa a Polish Work?

François Rosset

8. The Letters of Jewish Lovers in Dutch: Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz’s Levi and Sarah

Kris Van Heuckelom

 

PART 3

THE NINETEENTH CENTURY: ROMANTICISM AND POSITIVISM

9. The Culture of Memory: Adam Mickiewicz’s Pan Tadeusz

Brigita Speičytė

10. Adam Mickiewicz: Two Poems and their Brazilian Readings

Henryk Siewierski

11. "Being’s Fated Shade": Cyprian Kamil Norwid’s "Irony"

Michał Mrugalski

12. Bolesław Prus’s The Doll: Polish Historical Vistas from a Japanese Perspective

Tokimasa Sekiguchi

13. Toward Mass Culture: The Global Renown of Henryk Sienkiewicz’s Quo Vadis

Monika Woźniak

 

PART 4

POLISH MODERNISM: FROM YOUNG POLAND TO THE INTERWAR PERIOD

14. Stanisław Brzozowski’s Flames

Jens Herlth

15. “Rebellion Against Boundaries”: Bolesław Leśmian’s The Meadow

Katia Vandenborre

16. The Polish Avant-Garde in Japan: Bruno Jasieński’s I Burn Paris

Ariko Kato

17. “A Man on the Brink of Disaster”: Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz’s Insatiability

Michał Paweł Markowski

18. History and Myth: Bruno Schulz’s Spring

Stanley Bill

19. Psychological Realism and Modernist Poetics: Zofia Nałkowska’s Boundary

Ursula Phillips

 

PART 5

POSTWAR LITERATURE: TRAUMA, EXILE, IDENTITY

20. Witness and Form: Tadeusz Borowski’s This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen

Bożena Karwowska

21. Gustaw Herling-Grudziński’s A World Apart

Maria Delaperrière

22. Making Sense of Trans-Atlantyk: The Reception of Witold Gombrowicz’s Exile Novel in Norway

Knut Andreas Grimstad

23. Archaism as a Tool of Change: Reflections on a Poem by Czesław Miłosz

Tomas Venclova

24. Stanisław Jerzy Lec’s Unkempt Thoughts

Leonard Neuger

25. Stanisław Lem’s Solaris: Interpretations in the Russian-Speaking World

Wiktor Jaźniewicz

26. Translating Memory: The Reception of Miron Białoszewski’s A Memoir of the Warsaw Uprising in North America

Joanna Niżyńska

 

PART 6

BEYOND IDEOLOGY: LITERATURE OF THE LAST FOUR DECADES

27. The Drama of Otherness: Tadeusz Różewicz’s White Marriage

Tamara Trojanowska

28. Wisława Szymborska: “Writing a Résumé”

Giovanna Tomassucci

29. Zbigniew Herbert and Antiquity: Poetry, Oppression, and "the Classic"

Arent van Nieukerken

30. The Untranslatable Trope: Mariusz Wilk’s "Russian" Cycle

Irina Adelgeym

31. A Thicket of Hieroglyphs and Ideograms: Ryszard Kapuściński’s Travels with Herodotus

Wu Lan

32. "Try to Praise the Mutilated World": Adam Zagajewski and the Poetry of 9/11

Clare Cavanagh

33. Micro-suspense and the Desire to Keep Reading: Translating Olga Tokarczuk’s The Books of Jacob

Jennifer Croft

AFTERWORD

Norman Davies (Oxford)

A World History of Polish Literature

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Editor(s)

Biography

Tomasz Bilczewski is Associate Professor and Director of the Centre for Advanced Study in the Humanities at the Jagiellonian University, Poland.

Stanley Bill is Senior Lecturer in Polish Studies and Director of the Polish Studies Programme at the University of Cambridge, UK.

Magdalena Popiel is Professor in the Department of Anthropology of Literature and Cultural Research at the Jagiellonian University, Poland.