Polish Literature and National Identity
Title Details

352 Pages

22.8 x 15.2 cm

Series: Rochester Studies in East and Central Europe

Imprint: University of Rochester Press

Polish Literature and National Identity

A Postcolonial Perspective

by Dariusz Skorczewski

Translated by Agnieszka Polakowska

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
  • Reviews
A postcolonial study of Polish literature from Romanticism to the twenty-first century
For nearly half a century East-Central Europe was part of the Soviet empire and was subject to its "civilizing" mission. Despite its colonial status, this part of the world has escaped the attention of most postcolonial critics and remains a blank spot in global studies of postcolonialism. Dariusz Skorczewski is among the first scholars to apply postcolonial thought to Polish realities, at the same time modifying the theoretical framework developed by other scholars of postcolonialism. Polish Literature and National Identity reveals how the experiences of foreign domination and the history of empire have shaped contemporary Polish culture and society.

The book, newly translated from the Polish, introduces Anglophone audiences to the potential implications of postcolonial studies on an understanding of Poland's unique historical position within Europe. Skorczewski explores transformations of national identity as reflected in Polish literature and critical discourse from Romanticism to the twenty-first century. The narrative thus tackles questions surrounding Poland's postcolonial status in contemporary East-CentralEurope, a region where globalization and cosmopolitanism clash with resurgent national sentiments and where predictions about a speedy transition to a postnational era now seem premature.

DARIUSZ SKORCZEWSKI is associate professor of Polish literature at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin.
Prologue: How It All Began
Through the Lens of Humanism, with a View to Transcendence
Postcolonialism in Poland
National Identity in a Postcolonial Framework
Literature as Compensation
Confronting the Romantic Legacy
The Natives' Exclusion by the Empire's Poet? (Adam Mickiewicz, The Crimean Sonnets)
Identity as an Object of Inquiry (Pawel Huelle's Castorp)
The (East-)Central European Complex (Andrzej Stasiuk, On the Road to Babadag and Fado)
Colonized Poland, Orientalized Poland: Postcolonial Theory and the "Other Europe"
Slavic Issues with Identity: Marginal Notes to Maria Janion's Uncanny Slavdom
The Melancholia of Borderlands Discourse

Dariusz Skórczewski, Ph.D. Hab., is Assistant Professor of Polish literature at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (see Profile) where he is also head of cultural anthropology program in the Faculty of Humanities, Institute of Literature. In 2001-2004 and 2006-2007 as a Kosciuszko Foundation Fellow he was a visiting professor of Polish Studies at Rice University in Houston, Texas, and University of Illinois at Chicago. He has lectured at Georgetown (USA), Toronto (Canada), Bloomington (USA), Renmin and Beijing University of Foreign Studies (China), Bochum and Köln (Germany), and at numerous academic and cultural institutions in Poland.

"[T]he author presents a clear and consequential vision of Polish literature and demonstrates rhetorical passion, which is so infrequent in academia. Engaging and original, Skórczewski's publication may stir some controversy, as it is surely one of the most thought-provoking projects in Polish studies available in English that you will have the pleasure to read this year." Agnieszka Jezyk, AB IMPERIO

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9781580469784

February 2020

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9781787446687

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Title Details

352 Pages

2.28 x 1.52 cm

Series: Rochester Studies in East and Central Europe

Imprint: University of Rochester Press