Polish literature

Polish literature


Polish literature is the literary tradition of Poland. The majority of Polish literature was written in the Polish language, though other languages used in Poland over the centuries (including Latin, Yiddish, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Belarusian and German) have also contributed to Polish literary traditions.

Middle Ages

The earliest monuments of Polish literature date to the Middle Ages. Most were religious tracts transcribed by local copyists from Latin works popular in western (i.e. Christian) Europe. The first substantial books were created about the 11th century, when the first scriptoria were founded on Polish soil.

The first recorded sentence in the Polish language reads: "Day ut ia pobrusa, a ti poziwai" ("Let me grind, and you take a rest") and was a paraphrase of the Latin "Sine, ut ego etiam molam." The circumstances in which this phrase was written reflected the cultural conditions in early Poland. The sentence appears in the Latin chronicle "Liber fundationis", the history of the Cistercian monastery in Henryków, Silesia, written between 1269 and 1273 by a German abbot, known simply as Piotr (Peter), and referred to an event almost a hundred years earlier, supposedly uttered by a Bohemian settler, Bogwal ("Bogwalus Boemus"), a subject of Bolesław the Tall, when he felt compassion for his wife, who "very often stood grinding by the quern-stone." [cite web|url=http://staropolska.gimnazjum.com.pl/ang/middleages/Mikos_middle/Literary_m.html|title=MIDDLE AGES LITERARY BACKGROUND|last=Mikoś|first=Michael J.|date=1999|publisher=Staropolska on-line|accessdate=2008-09-25]

Notable works of literature from the medieval period include:
* "The Chronicle of the Bavarian Geographer" (11th century)
* "The Holy Cross Annals" (early 12th century)
* "The Chronicles of Gallus Anonymus"
* "The Chronicles of Wincenty Kadłubek" (13th century)
* "The Chronicle of Janko of Czarnków" (14th century)
* "The Czerwińsk Breviary"
* "The Holy Cross Sermons": the oldest extant manuscripts of fine prose in the Polish language.
* "Queen Zofia's Bible" (earliest Polish-language Bible)
* "The Puławy Psalter"
* "Saint Florian's Breviary" (late 14th century, partially in Polish)
* "Bogurodzica": a hymn in praise of the Virgin Mary, written down in the 15th century though popular at least a century before; one of the earliest texts printed in Polish.
* "Statua synodalia Wratislaviensia" (1475): a printed collection of Polish and Latin prayers
* Jan Długosz's "Chronicle" (15th century)
* Jan Długosz's "Catalogus archiepiscoporum Gnesnensium"

Most early Polish vernacular texts were influenced heavily by Latin sacred literature. These include "Bogurodzica" ("Mother of God"), a short hymn praising the Virgin Mary, which served as a national anthem, and "Rozmowa mistrza Polikarpa ze śmiercią" ("Master Polikarp's Conversation with Death").

In the early 1470s the first printing houses in Poland (see Spread of the printing press) were set up by Kasper Straube in Kraków. In 1475 Kasper Elyan of Glogau (Głogów) set up a printing shop in Breslau (Wrocław), Silesia. Twenty years later, the first Cyrillic printing house was founded at Kraków by Schweipolt Fiol for Eastern Orthodox Church hierarchs.

The most famous Polish works of the late medieval – early Renaissance period are the Latin "Missal" of Bishop Erazm Ciołek and "Olbracht's Gradual".

Renaissance

With the advent of the Renaissance, the Polish language was finally accepted on an equal footing with Latin. Polish culture and art flourished under Jagiellonian rule, and many foreign poets and writers settled in Poland, bringing with them new literary trends. Such writers included Kallimach (Filippo Buonaccorsi) and Conrad Celtis. Many other Polish writers studied abroad or at the Kraków Academy, which became a melting pot for new ideas and currents. In 1488 the "Sodalitas Litterarum Vistulana‎", the world's first writers' club, was founded at Kraków by Conrad Celtis.Fact|date=November 2007

One of the last Polish writers to use Latin as his principal vehicle of expression was Klemens Janicki ("Ianicius"), who became one of the most notable Latin poets of his time and was laureled by the Pope. Other writers such as Mikołaj Rej and Jan Kochanowski laid the foundations for a Polish literary language and modern Polish grammar.

Notable Polish writers and poets active in the 16th century, and some of their works, included:

* The "Gradual" of King John I Olbracht of Poland
* The "Missal" of Erazm Ciołek (ca. 1515)
* Florian Ungler of Bavaria ("Hortulus Animae", 1513, the first book printed entirely in the Polish language)
* Jan Łaski ("Communae Poloniae Regni privilegium")
* Mikołaj Rej (1505-69)
* Jan Kochanowski (1530-84)
* Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski (1503-72)
* Johannes Dantiscus (1485-1548)
* Klemens Janicki ("Ianicius", 1516-42)
* Andrzej Krzycki (1482-1537)
* Bartosz Paprocki (c.1543 - 1614), writer, historiographer, genealogist.
* Daniel Naborowski (1573-1640)
* Szymon Szymonowic (1558-1629)
* Łukasz Górnicki (1524-1603)
* Piotr Skarga (1536-1612)
* Maciej Kazimierz Sarbiewski (1595-1640)
* Mikołaj Hussowski ("Hussowczyk", died ca. 1533)
* Jan Andrzej Morsztyn (1621-1693)
* Wacław Potocki (1621-1696)

Enlightenment to the present

Novelists and prose writers

"Main article:" List of Polish-language authors

Writers in chronological order of birth:

* Ignacy Krasicki (1735–1801)
* Jan Potocki (1761–1815)
* Józef Ignacy Kraszewski (1812–87)
* Eliza Orzeszkowa (1842–1910)
* Henryk Sienkiewicz (1846–1916), Nobel Prize in Literature in 1905
* Bolesław Prus (1847–1912)
* Stefan Żeromski (1864–1925)
* Władysław Reymont (1867–1925), Nobel Prize in Literature in 1924
* Zofia Nałkowska (1885–1954)
* Maria Dąbrowska (1889–1965)
* Bruno Schulz (1892–1942)
* Józef Mackiewicz (1902–85)
* Witold Gombrowicz (1904–69)
* Eugeniusz Żytomirski (1911–75)
* Stanisław Lem (1921–2006)
* Tadeusz Konwicki (* 1926)
* Joanna Chmielewska (* 1932)
* Janusz A. Zajdel (1938–85)
* Andrzej Sapkowski (* 1948)
* Andrzej Stasiuk (* 1960)
* Olga Tokarczuk (* 1962)
* Rafal A. Ziemkiewicz (* 1964)
* Andrzej Majewski (* 1966)
* Daniel Koziarski (*1979)
* Dorota Masłowska (* 1983)

Poets

"Main article:" List of Polish-language poets

* Biernat of Lublin (1465? – after 1529).
* Mikołaj Rej of Nagłowice (1505–69)
* Jan Kochanowski (1530–84)
* Klemens Janicki ("Janicius", 1516–43)
* Ignacy Krasicki (1735–1801)
* Adam Mickiewicz (1798–1855)
* Juliusz Słowacki (1809–49)
* Zygmunt Krasiński (1812–59)
* Cyprian Kamil Norwid (1821–83)
* Antoni Lange (1863-1928)
* Franciszek Nowicki (1864–1935)
* Bolesław Leśmian (ca. 1877 –1937)
* Maria Pawlikowska-Jasnorzewska (1891–1945)
* Jan Brzechwa (1900–66)
* Tadeusz Różewicz (born 1921)
* Miron Białoszewski (1922–83)
* Julian Tuwim (1894–1953)
* Władysław Broniewski (1897–1962)
* Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński (1905–53)
* Czesław Miłosz (June 30, 1911 – August 14, 2004), Nobel Prize in Literature, 1980
* Eugeniusz Żytomirski (1911–75)
* Wisława Szymborska (born 1923), Nobel Prize in Literature, 1996
* Zbigniew Herbert (1924–98)
* Andrzej Bursa (1932–57)
* Halina Poświatowska (1935–67)
* Rafał Wojaczek (1945–71)
* Ewa Lipska (born 1945)
* Richard Tylman (born 1952)
* Grazyna Miller (born 1957)
* Cezary Geroń (1960–98)
* Marcin Świetlicki (born 1961)
* Andrzej Majewski (born 1966)
* Jan Stanisław Skorupski (born 1938)

Essayists

* Bolesław Prus (1847-1912)
* Gustaw Herling-Grudziński (1911-2000)
* Ryszard Kapuściński (1932-2007)
* Paweł Huelle (born 1957)
* Jerzy Pilch (born 1952)
* Ludwik Stomma


= Nobel laureates =

* Henryk Sienkiewicz (1905)
* Władysław Reymont (1924)
* Czesław Miłosz (1980)
* Wisława Szymborska (1996)

ee also

* List of Poles
* Polish comics
* Polish poetry
* Science fiction and fantasy in Poland
* Skamander
* Three Bards

References

External links

* [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12196a.htm Polish literature in the Catholic Encyclopedia]
* [http://www.schulzian.net Bruno Schulz's Stories (translated by John Curran Davis)]


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