2012 | 18 | 175-190
Article title

„My nie jesteśmy: ty i ja. My jesteśmy czegoś katastrofalną tylko konsekwencją”. Maria Jehanne Wielopolska pisze historię kobiet

Title variants
“My nie jesteśmy: ty i ja. My jesteśmy czegoś katastrofalną tylko konsekwencją”. Maria Jehanne Wielopolska Writes a History of Women
Languages of publication
Virginia Woolf said in 1927 that women should finally write the history from the beginning, because this one already written is seen from the male perspective and, in fact, is the history of men. In such history there is no space for women. In the later feminist research even a deconstruction of the very word 'history' — understood as 'his' — 'story' (his history/story) — was proposed, and a replacement by a word 'herstory' (her history/story). The article deals with the history written, as if, from scratch, which gives voice to the mute participants of events. Therefore, women are made the foreground figures of history. The text refers to contemporary feminist researchers, undertaking the problem of female historiography, such as Joan Kelly, Joan W. Scott, Natalie Zemon Davis, or Ewa Domańska. The protagonist of these considerations will be Maria Wielopolska, a writer working in the late of the 19th and 20th centuries, whose reflections about women and their place in the world turn out to be very modern. Breaking with conventions of writing history in which a key role is played by men, Wielopolska shows women who have an impact on the course of history, but also, and perhaps above all, on the fate of the men presented in the background of a great history. The author in her texts depicts domineering women, with strong characters, who can be just as dangerous, violent and torn by passions, like men. Her heroines are very often determined and ready to fight for what is their own at all costs: “patrycyuszki zwodne, renesansowe duchessy, […] dusze jagnięce, białoruniste i krogulcze” — as the author calls them. There are no embarrassing issues for Wielopolska — women’s body, sexuality, brutality of men, unwanted marriage, duplicity of the secular and ecclesiastical authorities, political games — these are the problems that are touched by the author, totally ignoring public criticism, as well as social and cultural taboo. The aim of the article will be to present the work of this very modern and brave writer with a focus on a specific philosophy of history, which she managed to create in the works devoted to women and their history.
  • Uniwersytet Warszawski
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
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