Salt of the Earth in the Context of Mythical-Ritual Cover Image

Dokąd zmierza Piotr Niewiadomski – o bohaterze Soli ziemi Józefa Wittlina w kontekście mityczno-rytualnym
Salt of the Earth in the Context of Mythical-Ritual

Author(s): Dorota Siwor
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego

Summary/Abstract: The author returns to Sól ziemi regarded in the mythical and ritual context, shows the characteristic plot elements allowing to interpret the story of the protagonist through the lens of an initiation scheme, yet her interpretation of the novel is different than earlier ones. She comes to a conclusion that the writer, using poetics of myth and the initiation model, not only demythologizes the war but also diagnoses the situation of the European civilization on the eve of the disaster of World War II. Moreover, Wittlin puts to judgment the fascination with the myth of primordiality and the oversimplifying concepts of return to the state of untainted nature as an antidote for the dangers of civilization of his age. The author also discusses the meaning of creation of the protagonist, Piotr Niewiadomski, as an innocent simpleton. Using the context of an initiation ritual, one can regard Niewiadomski’s journey as a road to recognition of his own situation in the world, through rebellion to cognition and selfconsciousness, however, the protagonist fails to fully reach these goals. Thus, he remains unable to bear the knowledge on the world and to participate consciously. Therefore, Wittlin in Sól ziemi asks a question about the responsibility of us all for the evil, including the one resulting from simplification and mythologization.

  • Issue Year: 8/2012
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 65-79
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: Polish