Polish Literature and National Identity: A Postcolonial Perspective [Hardback]

Dariusz Skórczewski(Author); Agnieszka Polakowska(Author); Agnieszka Polakowska(Translator)

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ISBN: 9781580469784 | Published by: University of Rochester Press | Series: Rochester Studies in East and Central Europe | Volume: 23 | Year of Publication: 2020 | 352p, H9 x W6,
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Polish Literature and National Identity

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For nearly half a century East-Central Europe was part of the Soviet empire and was subject to its "civilizing" mission. Despite its colonial status, this part of the world has escaped the attention of most postcolonial critics and remains a blank spot in global studies of postcolonialism. Dariusz Skorczewski is among the first scholars to apply postcolonial thought to Polish realities, at the same time modifying the theoretical framework developed by other scholars of postcolonialism. Polish Literature and National Identity reveals how the experiences of foreign domination and the history of empire have shaped contemporary Polish culture and society.

The book, newly translated from the Polish, introduces Anglophone audiences to the potential implications of postcolonial studies on an understanding of Poland's unique historical position within Europe. Skorczewski explores transformations of national identity as reflected in Polish literature and critical discourse from Romanticism to the twenty-first century. The narrative thus tackles questions surrounding Poland's postcolonial status in contemporary East-CentralEurope, a region where globalization and cosmopolitanism clash with resurgent national sentiments and where predictions about a speedy transition to a postnational era now seem premature.

DARIUSZ SKORCZEWSKI is associate professor of Polish literature at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin.

Table of Contents

Prologue: How It All Began
Through the Lens of Humanism, with a View to Transcendence
Postcolonialism in Poland
National Identity in a Postcolonial Framework
Literature as Compensation
Confronting the Romantic Legacy
The Natives' Exclusion by the Empire's Poet? (Adam Mickiewicz, The Crimean Sonnets)
Identity as an Object of Inquiry (Pawel Huelle's Castorp)
The (East-)Central European Complex (Andrzej Stasiuk, On the Road to Babadag and Fado)
Colonized Poland, Orientalized Poland: Postcolonial Theory and the "Other Europe"
Slavic Issues with Identity: Marginal Notes to Maria Janion's Uncanny Slavdom
The Melancholia of Borderlands Discourse

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