Reytan. Lekcja ciemności, która wraca echem żywym
Reytan. The lesson on darkness which returns as a living echo
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The plot of Rymkiewicz’s Reytan. Upadek Polski (Warsaw 2012) about the close of the 18th century in Poland is full of digressions on our times. This tale-essay written by a learned philologist and poet is about history which is being revived here and now. Tadeusz Reytan’s mosaic biography is presented by a detective narration which is not free from doubts deliberately raised by the author, who revives various documents and iconographic materials, above all Matejko’s painting-allegory Upadek Polski. Their significances have an effect on our history; they are the source of our anxieties which we fail to dispose of. The author-polymath has acquired in the internal world of this plot the status of the major element. He is prone to putting forward hypotheses and spins a fragmentary, unformed and open tale. He reveals his own thinking about the past and its echoes in the present. Our today and the 18th century yesterday create a marriage that is impossible to separate. They worry us and evoke the shape of tomorrow. ‘From St. Petersburg to Smolensk an icy wind is still blowing’.
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