The (Un)forgotten Charm of Masterpieces: Anonim, Barańczak, Camus… Cover Image
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(Nie)zapomniany czar arcydzieł. Anonim, Barańczak, Camus…
The (Un)forgotten Charm of Masterpieces: Anonim, Barańczak, Camus…

Author(s): Marek Piechota
Subject(s): Studies of Literature
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
Keywords: masterpiece; humanities; comparative studies; enchantment;memory;
Summary/Abstract: This is a selection of papers from the collected works published in Częstochowa, Katowice, Lublin, Warszawa, and volumes dedicated to eminent historians of Polish and world literatures, librarians, creators of culture (in Poland and Lithuania), poets, and social-cultural activists. None of these texts are reprints of their first editions. All of them have been revised for the new publication and supplemented with an updated bibliography and new, extensive fragments. In the Przedsłowie [Foreword], the author distances himself from Latinocentric studies because the formula “all roads lead to Rome” is an oversimplification; it correlates more with the first chapters of the book and less so with the ones that follow. It is only a signpost, a trace of the masterpieces being rooted in classical literature. However, we only see what we can perceive. When we look more closely, we usually find out that “all roads lead to Rome”, albeit some lead to Athens. Chapter 1 „Arma virumque cano…”. Niepowtarzalny urok pierwszych zdań arcydzieł. Potocki (Jan), Ballard, Camus, Nabokov, Tołstoj (Lew) [“Arma virumque cano…’: The Unique Charm of the First Sentences of Masterpieces. Potocki (Jan), Ballard, Camus, Nabokov, Tolstoy (Leo)] offers a view that the sentences we remembered as the first sentences of masterpieces (as our predecessors taught us) were rarely the true opening sentences of those works. A closer look at the text leads to a re-interpretation and each consecutive reading is a discovery of new meanings. Chapter 2 Wyrwane z kontekstu. O obyczaju nadawania nowych znaczeń zaledwie fragmentom cudzych myśli. Rekonesans nieco obszerniejszy [Out of Context: On the Custom of Assigning New Meanings to Someone Else’s Ideas: A Slightly Broader Reconnaissance] shows that among next generations, there is a tendency to simplify readings and retain fragmented sentences; sometimes a few hexameters remain in the common memory as half of a verse, whose interpretation is far from the original. The authors of complete thoughts presumably would not have put their names on these pieces. Chapter 3 Afraniusz i Pedan – mistrzowie niesubordynacji. Bułhakow versus Feuchtwanger [Afranius and Pedan – Masters of Insubordination: Bulgakov versus Feuchtwanger] offers a comparative study of two symmetrical composition techniques, which appeared independently of each other and almost simultaneously, in The Master and Margherita and The Jewish War. It is commonly assumed that eager subordinates follow their superiors’ orders with accuracy. Carrying them out à rebours in terms of the official wording, emphatically expressed by the one giving orders, sometimes turns out to be the highest form of obedience and allegiance on the part of the subordinate. Disobedience goes unpunished when it has advantages for the one giving the orders and relieves them of responsibility. Chapter 4 Czy w inwokacji „Pana Tadeusza” Mickiewicz użył rymów częstochowskich? Kilka dopowiedzeń z klamrą liryczną w tle [Did Mickiewicz Use Doggerel in the Invocation to Pan Tadeusz?: A Few Remarks with a Lyrical Framing Device in the Background]. Mickiewicz readily used grammatical rhymes, valued during the Renaissance period. Although his aim was to achieve the simplicity of poetic expression, he never lowered himself to doggerel (vernacular, trivialized), which prompted criticisms of commentators. It is argued that patriotic lyric poetry intertwined with personal lyric poetry prevails in the “Epilogue”, whereas personal lyric poetry, ostensibly directed at the narrator, “host of the poem”, “cordial witness” of the story told, comes to the fore in the invocation. Chapter 5 Funkcje motywu homeryckiego w „Górach o zmierzchu” Krzysztofa Zanussiego. Film – scenariusz – nowela filmowa. Trzy warianty jednej sceny i ich konsekwencje interpretacyjne [Functions of the Homeric Theme in Krzysztof Zanussi’s Mountains at Dusk: Film – Script –Short Film: Three Variants of One Scene and Their Consequences for Interpretation] confirms the belief about the distinctiveness of the three variants of artistic material (film, script, and short film). The analysis was based on a part of script inspired by antiquity, which the director of the film lent to the authors of the book Homer. Watching the film after a reading of the other two sources changes the understanding and emotional reception of the scene with the Homeric theme and the entire film. Through the completeness of sources, a broader circle of recipients was able to follow through the process of creating a film. Chapter 6 Retoryka pisania o „Zemście” Aleksandra Fredry z uwzględnieniem kategorii odbiorcy [The Rhetoric of Writing about Aleksander Fredro’s Revenge with the Consideration of a Recipient] makes us aware of the significance for a literary historian of whether they adjust their comment to a recipient. A lecture on Aleksander Fredro’s Revenge, inaugurating an academic year for the foreign students of the Polish language and culture, ended with a punchline that educated people associated “revenge” with comedy only in Poland. If it were not for other issues, our country could be thought of as a land of happy people. It turned out that the author had repressed the memory of the rather vicious and satirical television realization of Fredro’s Revenge directed by Olga Lipińska in 1994 and disregarded Bolesław Prus’s short story under the same title, with strongly postcolonial undertones. The recipient category restricts the sender regardless of whether they are aware of it or act on intuition. Chapter 7 Wśród wartości zapoznanych ze szczętem. O powieści „Bogactwo” Wandy Miłaszewskiej [Among the Intimately Familiar Values: On Wanda Miłaszewska’s Novel Bogactwo (Wealth)] points to two anachronisms: a novel that won awards shortly before the outbreak of World War II is lacking a cross-generational dialogue about sexual issues. It mainly pertains to the upper classes and to a lesser extent the “low-life”. The upper classes, people of high culture – do not discuss “these” issues. The novel seems anachronic even in the context of its contemporaneous times because it disregards the tendency to abandon social didactics in a popular novel. Sic transit gloria… Chapter 8 Ślady tradycji trzynastozgłoskowca w tomiku „Chwila” Wisławy Szymborskiej [Traces of a Thirteen-Syllable Verse in Wisława Szymborska’s Book of Poems Moment] argues that multiple readings of Pan Tadeusz, while writing a book in requirement of a Professor title, sensitizes the author to the rhythm and melodics of thirteen-syllable verse, hence he can also trace it in contemporary poems without seeing it as a relic of a bygone era, but rather a sign of longing for this verse, quite unexpectedly re-emerging in the lyric poetry at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries, including the book of poems Moment, mentioned in the title, as well as the non-mentioned Colon, Here, and Enough. Chapter 9 Romantyczne konteksty ludowej śpiewki „Kamień na kamieniu…”, czyli o pożytkach płynących z lektury cudzych listów. Z arcydziełem Wiesława Myśliwskiego w tle [Romantic Contexts of the Folk Tune Kamień na kamieniu… (Stone upon Stone…), or on the Benefits of Reading Someone Else’s Letters: With Wiesław Myśliwski’s Masterpiece in the Background] leads to a re-interpretation of Wiesław Myśliwski’s conviction that the musical theme of his masterpiece derives from folklore; this tune was known as a folk tune in the mid19th century. The benefits of reading someone else’s letters can lead to surprising discoveries; in a letter to Edward Odyniec, Salomea Bécu suggests that the author of the tune, written during a „dance soirée” in Vilnius (in the fall of 1826), was Stefan Zan, a younger brother of Adam Mickiewicz’s friend – Tomasz. The attendees of that soirée were, among the Vilnius youth, her son Juliusz and step daughters Hersylia and Aleksandra Bécu. Chapter 10 Sonet nie umiera nigdy. Barańczak i Kijonka wśród odnowicieli gatunku o blisko osiemsetletniej tradycji [Sonnet Never Dies. Barańczak and Kijonka among the Restorationists of a Genre with a Nearly 800-Year-Old Tradition] – is a study growing from a conviction that if any genre in the history of literature could claim the Horatian “Non omnis moriar”, it would most likely be the sonnet. The genre had a less or more intense presence in almost all epochs of European literatures and was undergoing transformations which do not end even in postmodernism. To sum up, the sonnet never dies, and Stanisław Barańczak and Tadeusz Kijonka are among its restorationists.

  • E-ISBN-13: 978-83-226-3602-2
  • Page Count: 268
  • Publication Year: 2019
  • Language: Polish