Invitation to the Rediscovery and Translation of Mario Rapisardi
This article is intended to constitute a first approach towards a critical, comparative, and bibliographic study of the forgotten figure of Catania-born Mario Rapisardi (1844-1912), “the Etnean poet.” A poet and polemicist, he expressed himself in the climate of Positivism during and after Italian Unification, distinguishing himself with an ethical temper that did not make him abandon the Promethean tension towards ideals. Due to these ideals, the poet came into conflict with both the academic and ecclesiastical worlds, resulting in his consequent literary isolation—but not social and human isolation, clearly demonstrated by the fact that more than 100,000 people would attend his funeral. This article is also an invitation to rediscover and translate Rapisardi’s work into Polish, as his presence is almost non-existent, given that only four short poems are translated into Polish: three published in 1921 (Disinganno, La montagna fatale, Dinanzi a un ritratto) and one in 1931 (Nox). The translations are by Jadwiga Lipińska, Józef Puzyna, Julian Ejsmond, and Julia Dickstein-Wieleżyńska, respectively. The article chronologically traces the Polish criticism of Rapisardi, starting from 1880 with two articles by Polish writers and literary critics Waleria Marrené-Morzkowska and Julian Adolf Święcicki, up to the present times, and is based both on studies by famous literary scholars, such as Maurycy Mann, and on articles that appeared in literary magazines, such as Przegląd Humanistyczny and Przegląd Współczesny.