The Tricky Presence of Stanislaw Brzozowski in a Chain of Ideological Adventures of the Polish Intelligentsia
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The presence of Stanislaw Brzozowski's thought in the twentieth-century history of the Polish intelligentsia is as complicated as the origins and the fortunes of that wilful and independent-minded social group. His is invoked as an inspiration or a negative reference point in countless documents produced across the whole range of the ideological spectrum. For some he is something of a patron saint or a mentor, for others a traitor and heretic. His writings have continued to exert their spellbinding influence on both sides of any dividing line. Zdziechowski, Irzykowski, Milosz, Czapski, Schaff - to name but a few - reached out to his work to stake out their own positions. Yet Brzozowski's protean diversity has always made such positioning rather tricky. It seems that Brzozowski the quintessential writer of the Polish intelligentsia transcends all of the traditional dichotomies of that social group, whether it is conservatism vs. revolutionism, socialism vs. nationalism, anticlericalism vs. Catholicism, communism vs. liberalism.
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