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Z dziejów sporu o piękno – Oda do urny greckiej Johna Keatsa i jej polscy czytelnicy

Magdalena Rabizo-Birek

From the History of the Debate over Beauty – Keats’s Ode on a Grecian Urn and its Polish Readers

The article considers one of the junctures of the continuing debate over beauty in contemporary culture since the advent of Modernism. It is linked to the growing interest in Poland in the work and ideas of John Keats a leading figure of the second generation of English Romantic poets. His poems (in particular the famous Ode on a Grecian Urn) and reflections on poetry in his letters are increasingly being translated, studied, and interpreted; indeed, he has overtaken in popularity his contemporaries Byron and Shelley, who until recently were much better known in Poland. Keats has become one of the patrons of the aesthetic strain in Polish literature, represented in this article by Stanisław Brzozowski, Czesław Miłosz, the poets of the emigré Kontynenty group (Bogdan Czaykowski, Andrzej Busza, Adam Czerniawski) and Adam Zagajewski; while the main adversary – it is argued – is the anti-aesthete and moralist Tadeusz Różewicz, who chose as his ally in the campaign against beauty the nineteenth-century poet Cyprian Norwid.