Dostoevsky in Polish Post-War Humanist Reflection
A reflection on Dostoevsky’s place in post-war Polish literature and science. Constantly present and free from ideological and political pressures in émigré literature, it endured limitations typical of all communist countries, especially in the Stalinist era. The problem of Dostoevsky’s attitude towards Poles bothered (and still bothers) contemporary Polish researchers. It is difficult to identify an important author in Polish émigré literature who did not refer to Dostoevsky. The writer appears in various ways in essays (Gustaw Herling-Grudziński, Czesław Miłosz, Aleksander Wat, Józef Czapski, Józef Wittlin), in diaries (Lechoń, Gombrowicz, Bobkowski, Herling-Grudziński), in fictionalized accounts of Polish prisoners of the Gulag (Stanisław Swianiewicz, Wacław Grubiński), which significantly related to Notes from a Dead House. Dostoevsky returned to the official culture of People’s Republic of Poland with the ‘rehabilitation’ of metaphysical and experimental literature in the late 1950s. But until the fall of communism, Polish Dostoevskyologists had to deal with censorship pressure, with the awareness of possible interference. Nevertheless, the most important achievements of the period of the thirty years 1957-1989 in the reflection on the Russian genius will certainly remain in the Polish humanities forever.
Keywords: Dostoevsky in Poland, Polish-Russian literary relationship, Gustaw Herling-Grudziński, Czesław Miłosz, Witold Gombrowicz, Andrzej Walicki, Ryszard Przybylski, Andrzej de Lazari
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