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O polskości romantycznej. W stronę komparatystyki wewnętrznej

Kwiryna Ziemba

On the Romantic Polish Identity. Towards the Internal Comparative Studies

The modern Polish national identity formed upon the collapse of the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural Republic of Poland and Lithuania, under the pressure of the partitioners, which posed a threat of denationalisation, and in relation to the beginning processes of the national rebirth of Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Belarusians and Jews. Polish Romanticism strived for reconciling the idea of the supra-ethnic Polish identity of the noble nation of the former Republic with the project of a new democratic nation, the foundation of which was supposed to be the people. This led to saturating Polish poetry with folk Ukrainian, Belarusian and Lithuanian elements, as well as with references to the Lithuanian history. Contradictions in the Romantic project of the Polish identity and overcoming them by gradually enhancing the status of the noble tradition, the heritage of antiquity and relations with the West in Polish culture are depicted on the example of the aesthetic reflection and poetic practice of Mickiewicz. The element of the ethnic pluralism in the patterns of the Romantic Polish identity inherited from Romanticism is also emphasised.