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Abstract

Polish modern literature emerged from the nineteenth century in a state of inner tension and contradictory drifts. Its messianic tradition and national commitment were challenged by the forerunners of Modernism, particularly by Stanisław Przybyszewski, who wrote proudly in his Confiteor (1899) that ‘art has no aim, it is an aim in itself’ and, consequently, ‘tendentious art, art-pleasure, art-patriotism, art possessing a moral or a social aim ceases to be art and becomes a biblia pauperum’. His idea of the ‘naked soul’ in all its vagueness aimed at a much broader concept of ‘absolute consciousness’. Another Modernist, Zenon Przesmycki, went so far as to condemn unequivocally social equality and mass education in the belief that they resulted in increased pressure on genuine art from a semi-illiterate mob, whose vulgar taste and mediocre aspirations were hostile to sublimity and metaphysical yearnings.

Keywords

Mass Education National Commitment Polish History Polish Literature National Mythology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© School of Slavonic and East European Studies 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stanislaw Eile

There are no affiliations available

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