Studies in East European Thought

, Volume 63, Issue 4, pp 267-278

First online:

Around the nation’s mystic core: interactions between political concepts and the literary imagination in the works of Stanisław Brzozowski

  • Jens HerlthAffiliated withDepartment of Languages and Literatures, Slavic Studies, University of Fribourg Email author 

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The essay examines Stanisław Brzozowski’s ideas on mutual interactions between the sphere of culture and the realm of the political. It shows how Brzozowski made use of literary texts in order to elucidate social and political processes. In doing so, he insisted on a specific form of knowledge accessible through texts of literature and literary criticism, which are not limited by the mere “logic of notions.” Following Vico and Sorel Brzozowski detected an “irrational core” at the bases of human collectivities such as above all modern nations, and it is through literature that this core can be revealed. Brzozowski’s understanding of political ideas and concepts is informed—to a decisive degree—by the literary imagination. This can be shown by a semantic and rhetorical analysis of some of his later writings.


Brzozowski Legend of Modern Poland Voices in the Night The political Literary imagination Critical discourse