JULIAN WOLOSZYNOWSKI'S ORAL TALE STYLIZATIONS
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This article deals with a late autobiographical book by Julian Woloszynowski, a writer, theatre critic and actor, who made his name in the interwar period. In 1959 he came back into the limelight with 'Podolian Stories', one of the first books addressing the sensitive subject of the lost homeland in the east to be published in postwar Poland. Woloszynowski draws on the memories of childhood and youth as well as family documents to draw a broad picture of life in 'Podole', a historical province to the east of the River Bug, at the turn of the 19th century. In his stories he employs a whole range of stylized narrative forms, ie. legend, fairy tale, and creative adaptations of some great Russian writers (Lermontov, Tolstoy, and Bunin). However, he was most partial to the traditional oral genres of the nobleman's tale (gaweda szlachecka) and the folk tale. His reconstructions of the Podolian local colour are all set in the Romantic-Modernist key. They owe a great deal to the image of 'our county' from Mickiewicz's 'Ballads and Romances' and the folk moral code. Woloszynowski's 'Podolian Stories' are saturated with quotations: the conspicuous presence of 'direct speech', ie. live words and rhythms of the nobleman's tale, lends the text something of the status of a material relic or record. Moreover, frequent intrusions of Ukrainian and Russian speech illustrate the processes of slow erosion of the Polish ethnic identity in the remote corners of the Eastern Borderlands. The formal devices which structure the 'Podolian Stories' recur in the poetics of the fragment, which gives shape to a subseguent collection 'Before the Rise of the Moon'.
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