Gothicism according to Wojciech Has Cover Image
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Gotycyzm… według Wojciecha Hasa
Gothicism according to Wojciech Has

Author(s): Iwona Grodź
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: Wydział Polonistyki Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Keywords: gotycyzm; literatura polska; film polski; Wojciech Has; Gothicism; Polish literature; Polish film; Wojciech Has

Summary/Abstract: The greatest aim of the article is to analyse and interpret {The Saragossa Manuscript} by Wojciech Has (1964). This masterpiece is significant for two major reasons. Firstly, it initiated Has’s characteristic style. Secondly, it was the first time when a Polish director used Gothic motifs, which are mainly noticeable in two last films by Has: {The personal diary of the wicked... written by himself} (1986) and {The amazing journey of Balthazar Kober} (1988). The text that inspired Has was a novel written by Jan Potocki. Interestingly, in the context of Gothicism, in his earlier films Has usually focused on various emotions, not on intellect. In this picture, it is different. The novel is about humans, about loneliness and the necessity to make a choose between magic, intellect and experience. Books by Jan Potocki, James Hogg and Fréderic Tristan became ideal adaptation material. In conclusion, the main aesthetic characteristic of {The Saragossa Manuscript, The personal diary of the wicked... written by himself} and {The amazing journey of Balthazar Kober} is the ability to amaze the viewers. This amazement helps the audience to approach the films as the metaphors of life and Gothicism as a scenic costume. Its deeper meaning is the willingness to humiliate human stupidity and to remind that life is like a theatrical play and Pascal’s navigation.

  • Issue Year: 2010
  • Issue No: 59
  • Page Range: 303-334
  • Page Count: 32
  • Language: Polish