2012 | 18 | 59-88
Article title

Bez winy i wstydu. Seksualność w polskiej poezji obscenicznej o tematyce erotycznej doby Oświecenia

Title variants
Without Guilt and Shame. Depictions of Sexual Issues in the Playful Poems of Polish Enlightenment
Languages of publication
The article is devoted to the strategies used in Polish playful poems, adapted from French and Italian literature (Boccaccio, Ariosto, La Fontaine) for the witty, pleasant in perception performance of sexual vitality of men and women. Those works revealed current manifestations and mechanisms of sexual morality of people of different status, condition, age and gender, not excluding secular clergy, monks and nuns of various orders (“hoods, hairshirts, cassocks, scapulars”). The following issues has been analysed: numerous metaphorical approaches derived from different layers of literary tradition and folklore, and the author’s of these poems creativity, an interesting plot and moral realities (Polish: “medieval” royal court, Sarmatian province; or Italian), a theme of travel rich in erotic adventures, avoiding obscene words, and above all, witty, humorous perspective (in the narrative and linguistic content) to sensitive, from the point of view of morality, taboo issues (like: sexuality — in general, erotic desire as a natural need; young people’s interest in eroticism, sexual performance and its sources; adultery not only in case of marriages unequal regarding the age; lifestyle of clerics seducing married women and hypocrisy; promiscuity at courts and in orders, etc.). All those factors constrain the poems ("Słowik", "Czyściec", "Pielgrzym", "Hilary"), attributed to Adam Naruszewicz, a Jesuit and a diocesan bishop, entertaining not only a group of writers on Thursday dinners, organised at the court of the King Stanisław August, but also contributed to a great readership in the manuscripts’ circulation, what is certified by noble 'sylwy'. The taboo was disarmed by laughter and emphasising the universality of sexual behaviours, officially hidden, and maybe also by a caricaturing–grotesque image of erotic struggles at times. Reading was probably accompanied by laughter, amusement, which accompany us today, too. In the analysis of the above mentioned scenes of sexual problems, the examined texts can also be situated within the erotic literature, briefly referred to heterogeneous, diverse criteria used for identifying the types, including: the realm of language, another time the themes (the so–called dominant topic or “erotic portions”), ethical and moral meaning of sexual contents contained in the works, their functions carried out in the reception of texts, as well as the aim of the authors (the mocking, acceptance, and fun).
  • Uniwersytet Łódzki
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.