Author: Wojciech Kaute
Institution: Uniwersytet Jana Kochanowskiego w Kielcach
Year of publication: 2018
Source: Show
Pages: 81-94
DOI Address:
PDF: tpom/27/tpom2706.pdf

“A tear dripping on the moustache...” “The Legend of the Young Poland” by Stanisław Brzozowski that is we and Europe

Since the beginning of the modern times, one of the main problems of the Polish culture has been the answer to the question concerning the relation: Poland and Europe, the West. A tremendous variety of literary works concerning this topic has been written. One of the outstanding and broadly discussed literary works is The Legend of the Young Poland by Stanisław Brzozowski which was written at the turn of the twentieth century. The main theory expressed by Brzozowski is: Poland has remained beyond Europe since the beginning of the modern times. Its culture has been shaped by the gentry. It is the culture assuming its superiority over Europe. All failures of Poland are treated here as the nonculpable facts and – in the face of all Polish ideals – unjust...And this is H. Sienkiewicz. Therefore Brzozowski suggests using these elements of the Polish culture archetype which – contrary to the tradition of the gentry – are the most valuable. This is the thought of A. Mickiewicz and Romanticism. At the same time, as it was indicated by Gombrowicz in his works, one should bear in mind the fact of the specific character of the Polish culture. The answer to the question about the relation Poland and Europe is – contrary to the radical standpoint of the Legend... – ambiguous.

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