Andrzej Bobkowski's Return to Motherland Cover Image

Andrzeja Bobkowskiego powrót do ojczyzny
Andrzej Bobkowski's Return to Motherland

Author(s): Ewa Zwolak
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Studies of Literature, Polish Literature, Philology
Published by: Ośrodek Badawczy Facta Ficta
Keywords: Andrzej Bobkowski;epistolography;Sketches in Pen;emigration;autobiographical sites
Summary/Abstract: The purpose of the chapter is to show that the case of Andrzej Bobkowski—which emerges from his extensive epistolography—eludes all renditions of the concept of emigration. The associated strategy of creating identity is the result of the confrontation of the author of Sketches in Pen with the otherness, which was the result of constant contacts with ideologically deformed Europe. Bobkowski’s correspondence (with, among many others, Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz, Jerzy Giedroyc, Jerzy Turowicz, Tymon Terlecki and Aniela Mieczysławska) witnesses the end of French universalism. According to the epistolographer, Europe of that time became the center of totalitarian ideology and he took on the role of “the third”—an observer, not enclosed within the symbolic register of reality. The fall of the ideals from youth inspired Bobkowski to ask a question about his own subjectivity. The place considered, until World War II, a quintessence of Western European civilization and at the same time the center of Bobkowski’s own symbolic universe, ceased to be a reference system for his identity. Therefore, paradoxically, the place which was foreign to him culturally and socially, allowed him to self-determine and reforge his cultural identity. He managed to find his spiritual home in Guatemala. Consequently, the strategy adopted by Bobkowski in building his own subjectivity prompts the question of whether the protection project of his “I” was a fight against strangeness or, on the contrary, its affirmation.

  • Page Range: 115-126
  • Page Count: 12
  • Publication Year: 2018
  • Language: Polish