2012-03-11
2012-03-23

Mickiewicz Adam

Adam Mickiewicz

(1798–1855), Poland’s greatest poet, creator of and inspiration behind the most significant strands of the national traditions of the Polish theatre. In this context he played a critical role as the author of Dziady (Forefathers’ Eve; parts II and IV – 1823; part III – 1832), works which used the theatre as a tool for revealing and communicating knowledge on the metaphysical order of the world (see parts II and IV), or the fate and future of the nation (part III). In Dziady he also created the figure of Gustaw-Konrad, a Polish cultural hero who was the model of spiritual transformation through suffering. An essential element linking all the parts of the cycle is the ritual of the title – dziady: a Pagan-Christian rite in honour of the dead which is also an act of a community’s rebirth involving all generations. The unusual form and power of the work’s impact inspired future generations of artists to experiment, which resulted in some of the most important strands of Polish theatre (including teatr przemiany [the theatre of transformation], the monumental theatre, the theatre of death and the theatre of musicality). Mickiewicz also had an impact on theatre and performance-based experiments as an author and practitioner of the concept of ‘embodied poetry’ [‘poezja wcielona’], the living Word and the ‘total human’ [‘człowiek całkowity’] – all ideas which he presented as a lecturer at the Collège de France between 1840 and 1844. He tried to bring these ideas to life in practice by working with the theosophical Koło Sprawy Bożej (Circle of God’s Cause), which was inspired by the ideas of the mystic Andrzej Towiański. The Mickiewiczian tradition, as one of the most important and loftiest strands of twentieth-century Polish culture (and also as a result of the polemics and derision aimed at it), was one of the most essential inspirations for the creators of the Theatre of 13 Rows. Ludwik Flaszen had a crucial role in this, as he studied Polish Literature in Kraków under some of the leading experts on Mickiewicz: Stanisław Pigoń and Kazimierz Wyka. Grotowski’s relationship with the Mickiewiczian tradition was clearly evident in his adaptation of Dziady, which he composed according to the dialectic of apotheosis and derision. In the later period, more important for Grotowski’s experiments were the deep inspirations stemming from references to source traditions (the same ones that provided the foundation of Forefathers’ Eve) and the inspiration derived from Mickiewicz’s Paris lectures and his activities in the Circle of God’s Cause.

Bibliography: 

Halina Filipowicz: Mickiewicz – Performer. Dramat jako problem w studiach performatywnych, przełożył Grzegorz Ziółkowski, „Pamiętnik Teatralny” 2000 z. 1–4, s. 347–369.

Jerzy Grotowski: O praktykowaniu romantyzmu, wypowiedź na kongresie naukowym „Grotowski I”, poświęconym pierwszemu dziesięcioleciu Teatru Laboratorium, zorganizowanym w styczniu 1979 roku w Mediolanie przez Centro di Ricerca per il Teatro, stenogram przygotował do druku Leszek Kolankiewicz, „Dialog” 1980 nr 3, s. 112–120.

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Leszek Kolankiewicz: Dziady. Teatr święta zmarłych, Gdańsk 1999. Warszawa 1995, s. 35–64.

Dariusz Kosiński: Polski teatr przemiany, Wrocław 2007, s. 39–116.

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Zbigniew Osiński: Teatr Dionizosa. Romantyzm w polskim teatrze współczesnym, wyd. 1, Kraków 1972.

Ryszard Przybylski: Słowo i milczenie Bohatera Polaków. Studium o „Dziadach”, Warszawa 1993.

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Tenże: Przeciw (w) literaturze: esej o „poezji czynnej” Mirona Białoszewskiego i Edwarda Stachury, Bydgoszcz 1987, s. 65–116.

Janusz Skuczyński: Misterium teatralne: Mickiewicz i inni. Studia i szkice z dziejów dramatu i teatru XIX i XX wieku, Toruń 2000.

Wiktor Weintraub: Poeta i prorok: rzecz o profetyzmie Mickiewicza, Warszawa 1998.

Alina Witkowska: Mickiewicz. Słowo i czyn, Warszawa 1998.