ROMANTIC VIEWS OF POLISH ENLIGHTENMENT LITERATURE
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The canonic Romantic assessment of the literature of the Polish Enlightenment took shape first and foremost in the literary criticism of Maurycy Mochnacki. On the whole the Romantics had an unfavourable view of their predecessors, whom they found deficient in originality, national feelings, or genuine poetic inspiration. However, the new generation did recognize the artistic excellence of some satirical and descriptive works by Krasicki, Naruszewicz and Trembecki. A respectful recognition was also granted to the sentimental and patriotic poets of the early 19th century (Karpinski, Kniaznin, Niemcewicz, but especially Woronicz). Meanwhile, the Warsaw neoclassical poets (Kozmian, Osinski) were treated with scorn or condescension, although later they found a few defenders. In fact the late Romantic period saw a growing number of appeals for a favourable reassessment of the legacy of the Enlightenment.
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