The poem Epos-nasza.1848 by C.K. Norwid is probably the first Polish literary allusion to Don Quixote. It is the evidence of the poet᾽s childhood reading of Cervantes with all the sensuality of this experience and melancholic clarity of perception it created in adult author. It is also the evidence of the significance of this experience in author᾽s art and life, taking into account both artistic and historical context (biography of the whole generation). Reading as such is the key to Norwid᾽s way of comprehending all phenomena of culture and civilisation. The figure of Don Quixote expresses values professed by the poet as well as modern world conflicts (individual vs crowd). The lyrical subject-poet᾽s identification with Don Quixote crosses the boundary between reality and fiction, drawing attention to the fundamental importance of literariness in the poem, which makes significant the opposition literariness/truth, and not fiction/reality.