République tchèque

Polish literature


Literature is one of the major cultural contributions of Poland to the world. The Polish literature walked on in harmony with the European artistic currents of the Renaissance, the Enlightment and the romanticism. The imagination of the writers, influenced by the vicissitudes of the history, offers a specific character. The first productions were born in the Middle Ages: The latin language monopolized the chronicles and the religious questions were the only topics approached. The vulgar language has been essential from the XIIIth century and opened out three centuries later under the feather of the poet Jan Kochanowski. The baroque of the XVIIth century, imported from France and Italy, is illustrated by Wacàw Potocki and Samuel Twardowski.

The Poles like literature, it is a field in which they have at all times excelled. The first outstanding works date from the Renaissance, the authors then giving up Latin to write in Polish. Among the outstanding works are the epigrams and the elegies of the poet Jan Kochanowski from the XVIth century, the novel of Jan Potocki "the manuscript found in Saragossa" written in French in the XVIIIth century, the romantic poems of Adam Mickiewicz in the XIXth century and the novel "Quo vadis" by Henryk Sienkiewicz, which made him win the Nobel Prize of literature in 1905. This novel on the oppression in the Roman Empire times (such Quo Vadis of Sienkiewicz) contains a political but extremely subtle message that only the Polish readers could decipher.

Known under the name of Joseph Conrad, Jozef Korzeniowski (1857-1924) is a Polish emigrant who did not learn English before adolescence. He is considered as one of the major British modern writer.

The first half of the XXth century is marked by the avant-gardist experiment of the "Kresy", multinational and multicultural art taken along by the Jewish authors of the east of the country. Many writers fled after the Second World War the communist regime and settled abroad such as Witold Gombrowicz, Slawomir Mrozek and the Nobel Prize of literature Czeslaw Milosz and Wislawa Szymborska.

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