Melancholia and Katabasis in Majkowski’s Life and Adventures of Remus Cover Image

Melancholia and Katabasis in Majkowski’s Life and Adventures of Remus
Melancholia and Katabasis in Majkowski’s Life and Adventures of Remus

Author(s): Joseph J. Hughes
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Studies of Literature
Published by: Uniwersytet Opolski
Keywords: Katabasis; Kashubia; Melancholia; Classical literature; Aleksander Majkowski; Life and Adventures of Remus

Summary/Abstract: A complex system of light and dark imagery pervades the Kashubian activist Dr. Aleksander Majkowski‟s 1938 novel „Life and Adventures of Remus‟. The light, of course, stands for the Kashubian culture and the dark for the German overlords. Underscoring this system of imagery are the themes of katabasis, or descent to a real or symbolic Land of the Dead, and melancholia, a turn of the century term for clinical depression derived from the Greek melaina khole, or “dark bile.” These two themes, so important to the novel‟s literary goals, are somewhat compromised in the otherwise excellent 2008 English translation, due to the vagaries of the English language: what would be evident to a Kashubian or even Polish reader is cloaked to an English-language reader.

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 47-55
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: English