IN FLAMMARION'S ORBIT: WINCENTY KORAB BRZOZOWSKI'S PROSE POEM 'AMONG THE STARS' (W orbicie Flammariona. O poemacie proza 'Wsród gwiazd' Wincentego Korab Brzozowskiego)
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The work of Camille Flammarion (1842-1925), French astronomer and spiritualist, is an important, though much neglected, source of inspiration of Polish literature in the 19th century. The literary Positivists (like eg. Eliza Orzeszkowa) were the first to acknowledge the astounding breadth of his vision, guided by an extraordinarily agile intelligence. However, the full scope of his influence became manifest with the next generation of poets and artists, the Young Poland movement. So Wincent Korab Brzozowski's poem in prose 'Among the Stars' (1913) is in fact a paraphrase of Flammarion's 'Uranie' (1889), 'an astronomical romance' and a spiritualist version of the dreams of a follower of the Positivist Religion of Mankind. Korab Brzozowski drew on the French model in order to reassess the experiences of an over-refined, decadent, atrophying 'I'. Ironic in tone, this reappraisal shows that he longer sticks to his youthful beliefs. At the same time, however, the self-mocking momentum leaves intact the foundation of his decadent worldview, ie. the perception of one's irrevocable loneliness.
- Malgorzata Okulicz-Kozaryn, Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza, Instytut Filologii Polskiej, Zaklad Literatury Pozytywizmu i Mlodej Polski, al. Niepodleglosci 4, 61-874 Poznan, Poland
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