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Book Title: Pan Tadeusz|
The author of the book: Adam Mickiewicz
Date of issue: 2008
ISBN: No data
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Format files: PDF
The size of the: 996 KB
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Pan Tadeusz is an epic tale of country life among the Polish and Lithuanian gentry in the years 1811 and 1812. It is a poem of the love of country, to which all people belong.
Pan Tadeusz, the full title in English: Mister Thaddeus, or the Last Foray in Lithuania: a History of the Nobility in the Years 1811 and 1812 in Twelve Books of Verse (Polish: Pan Tadeusz, czyli ostatni zajazd na Litwie. Historia szlachecka z roku 1811 i 1812 we dwunastu księgach wierszem pisana) is an epic poem by the Polish poet, writer and philosopher Adam Mickiewicz. The book was first published in June 1834 in Paris, and is considered by many to be the last great epic poem in European literature.
Pan Tadeusz is recognized as the national epic of Poland. It is compulsory reading in Polish schools. A film based on the poem was made in 1999 by Andrzej Wajda.
The story takes place over the course of five days in 1811 and one day in 1812 at a point in Polish history, when Poland-Lithuania had already been divided between Russia, Prussia, and Austria (see Partitions of Poland) and disappeared from the political map of Europe, although Napoleon had established the Duchy of Warsaw in the Prussian partition in 1807.
The place is situated within the Russian partition, in the Lithuanian village of Soplicowo. Pan Tadeusz recounts the story of two feuding noble families, and the love between Tadeusz Soplica (the title character) of one family, and Zosia of the other. Another subplot involves a spontaneous revolt of the local inhabitants against the occupying Russian garrison. Since Mickiewicz published his poem as an exile in Paris, he was free of the Russian censors.
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Read information about the authorTo a Pole, the name Adam Mickiewicz is emblematic of Polishness and greatness. What Homer is to the Greeks, or Shakespeare to the British, Mickiewicz is to the Poles. He is a cultural icon, a name inextricably connected with Polish literature and history, and one mentioned with pride. Mickiewicz stands out in the consciousness of Poles both as a man of letters and a political leader.
Despite his unquestionable status and fame, however, much of Mickiewicz's biography is shrouded in mystery. Even the generally accepted date of his birth, December 24. 1798, is uncertain, since it hasn't been determined whether it refers to the Gregorian or the Julian calendar. Nor has it been established conclusively whether Mickiewicz was born in Nowogrodek or at Zaosie, a mile or so apart. Many biographical facts, particularly those pertaining to his relationships with women, were deliberately obscured to preserve a flawless public image of the poet. Likewise, his interest in mysticism and involvement in mystical cults tended to be minimized, especially during the years of Communist rule in Poland when the official line was to shun spirituality of any kind, not to expose the poet to ridicule.
Mickiewicz's son. Władysław, can be held partially responsible for this state of affairs, but he is not the only one. Having gained control of his father's papers after the poet's death, Władysław Mickiewicz destroyed various documents which might have potentially tarnished his father's public image. Likewise, many critics and scholars tended to overlook significant facts in the poet's biography, as well as significant themes and issues in his writing, to sustain the idealized view of Mickiewicz as a Polish national bard. This tendency to carefully "whitewash" Mickiewicz is hardly surprising. Born three years after the final partition of Poland, Mickiewicz became a spiritual leader of the Polish nation. An ardent patriot, he animated the Polish national spirit through his poetic, dramatic and political writings, providing hope and spiritual sustenance to Poles under the Russian, Prussian and Austrian rule, as well as to the many exiles, particularly the emigré circles in Paris, where he settled in 1832. Given the history of Poland and the long streak of political oppression and subjugation, the need for heroes and the idealization of Mickiewicz as a leader are perfectly understandable.
Yet already in the 1930s, there were critical voices against the bowdlerization of Mickiewicz's work (since some editions of his works eliminated the more racy passages) and objections were raised against the cover-up in renditions of his biography. The prominent critic, Tadeusz Boy-Źieleński, for instance, in his work "Brązownicy" objected to the distortions of facts and the "sins of omission" in critical writings on Mickiewicz. In recent years, a much more vast and thorough re-examination of Mickiewicz' life and oeuvre has occurred. This is partially due to the overall re-examination of Polish history and Polish literary tradition after the collapse of Communism and, generally. a much greater openness in discussions of various issues previously relegated to the sphere of national taboos. Thus, much has been written lately about the white spots in Mickiewicz's biography. particularly about his mystical leanings and the Jewish origin of his mother. The evidence of Mickiewicz's fascination with mysticism is overwhelming, and there is some basis for the allegation of his mother's Jewishness.
(quoted from Regina Grol's piece posted on InfoPolan, University of Buffalo's website; for continuation see link below)
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