“We are merely a huge national banner.” Cyprian Norwid Speaks on the ‘Partition’ of Poland Cover Image
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„Jesteśmy wielkim sztandarem narodowym”. Cyprian Norwid o „rozbiorze” Polski
“We are merely a huge national banner.” Cyprian Norwid Speaks on the ‘Partition’ of Poland

Author(s): Łukasz Niewczas
Contributor(s): Dorota Chabrajska (Translator)
Subject(s): Political history, Nationalism Studies, 19th Century, Identity of Collectives
Published by: Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II - Instytut Jana Pawła II, Wydział Filozofii
Keywords: Cyprian Norwid; patriotism; civil courage; Poland; the fall; partitions; independence; insurrection; intelligentsia;

Summary/Abstract: The paper comprises an attempt at a reconstruction of Cyprian Norwid’s views on the causes of the fall of Poland in the sense of the historical fact of the disappearance of the Polish state from the political map of Europe in the late 18th century, as well as in that of the crisis the Polish community experienced in the 19th century in the situation of oppression. The starting point of the considerations is Norwid’s opinion, expressed in a letter to Jozef Bohdan Zaleski of 1869, where the poet describes the main causes of the two aspects of the fall of Poland: the ‘non-enlightened’ patriotism characteristic of the Poles and their lack of civil courage. In the second part of the paper, I provide a closer description of the tradition of ‘secular patriotism’ Norwid criticized as well as an analysis of the phenomenon of the lack of civil courage of the Polish people to which Norwid pointed. I broaden my research focus referring to other views and opinions Norwid expressed in a discursive way in his letters and political commentaries rather than in his poetry. In relation to the main theme of the considerations, I also attempt a contextual reconstruction of Norwid’s views on the Polish nation and the Polish community.

  • Issue Year: 31/2018
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 281-299
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: Polish