Poland Literature Part VI

By | January 25, 2022

The first impetus for the renewal of poetry also this time comes from abroad, and we gladly refer to the French Baudelaire, Verlaine and Mallarmé and, among the Italians, to D’Annunzio. But the young Polish poets also had two unusually “modern” models in their tradition: Słowacki and Norwid. It is only now that Słowacki is beginning to understand the inexhaustible genius with which his poetry adhered to the slightest moods; Norwid in turn had to wait until the beginning of the 20th century to be gradually discovered and appreciated. The love of country also inspires the new poets, who even less than their immediate precursors intend to accept supinely the sad political conditions of the present; the aversion to any practical purpose, the anti-utilitarian concept.

According to CACHEDHEALTH, two magazines: Zycie (Vita), published in Warsaw in 1887-88, and, from 1897, under another editorship, in Krakow; Chimera, published in Warsaw in 1901-907, and three writers: Zenon Przesmycki (1861, alive), Artur Górski (born in 1870, author as well as programmatic articles of an in-depth interpretation of Mickiewicz’s work: Monsalwat, 1908) and Stanislao Przybyszewski (1868-1927) are in the vanguard of the movement, which, given its presuppositions, does not naturally claim to have a unitary character. Indeed, over time the differences between individual writers become greater, the stronger are the individual individuals who, coming from different cultural conditions (Przybyszewski, for example, having actively participated in Germanic decadence, brought Nordic elements to Polish literature), they had found themselves, for a short time, united by a commonality of artistic aspirations.

It would be vain, in fact, to go in search of a common formula that applies to the three greatest poets of the period that is usually called the “Young Poland”. Suffused with a melancholic and, at times, gloomy pessimistic lyricism, is the delicate poetry of Kazimierz Tetmajer (1865, alive); robust, on the other hand, and full of an inexhaustible primitiveness, of a tenacious optimism, which shines through even in moments of despair and protest against creation, is the whole work of the great poet Jan Kasprowicz (1860-1926); Tireless seeker of strength, beauty, harmony and inner calm is Leopold Staff (1878) who, very young at the time of the “Young Poland”, is still today, also for the formal perfection of his poetry and for the austere conception he has of art, the unattainable model of contemporary poets.

If the differences between the individual poets of the time are already sensitive enough, they become very strong, when we pass from poets to narrators and dramatic writers. Intimately and inextricably connected with the social problems of pre-war Poland are the numerous novels and short stories by Stefano Żeromski (1864-1925), whose work, considered as a whole, is the most tormented examination of conscience that a writer has ever made of own generation. Less tied to social problems and more inclined to transcend the individual and collective to the universal is Władysław Reymont (1867-1925), who in his masterpiece Ch ł opi(The peasants) has been able to reconcile the highest lyricism with the most evocative narrative art, thus creating an epic that proceeds from one of the most genuine and most original traditions of Polish literature: the one that has Pan Tadeusz for its most salient moments by Adamo Mickiewicz and Ogniem i mieczemby Enrico Sienkiewicz. A very fine chiseller, but at the same time a builder of large paintings of contemporary times and the Gothic Middle Ages, in which he projects, with masterly evocative force, the eternal restlessness of the human spirit, he is the third great prose writer of the era Wacław Berent (born in 1873), all inclusive of the regenerative mission of art. Wacław Sieroszewski (born in 1858), excels in the stories of Siberian life that he describes with psychological penetration and fluidity of style, while the aforementioned Tetmajer was able to evoke (Na skalnem Podhalu, “Sul Poland rocky”) with expert primitiveness of stylistic means the so original world of the Tatras. Completely apart, while deeply affecting the spiritual life of the beginning of the century. XX, stands the combative St. Brzozowski (1876-1911), advocate of a radical revision of the social and ethical values ​​of contemporary Polish culture.

In dramatic art, as in the past, Poland appears, even in this period, less rich in real talents. In addition to numerous foreigners, national playwrights such as Gabriela Zapolska (1860-1921) and Włodzimierz Perzyński (1878-1930) provide for the current repertoire, but only Stanisław Wyspiański (v.) Was allowed to join in the drama, and at times to overcome it, the level of contemporary opera and novel. An equally brilliant painter, as well as a poet, and at the same time an exquisitely musical temperament, Wyspiański is the author of a series of dramas – of classical, patriotic-historical and contemporary subjects – pervaded by a symbolism and a pathos that often materialize in scenes of a rare power. Among the youngest, only a few (Jerzy Żuławski, Jan August Kisielewski,

Poland Literature 6