No direct memory of Poland, its history, its cities, its political traditions, even in relation to the events of the Empire, is to be included in the work of D., if not the quotation, in Pg VII 101, of Wenceslaus IV (v.), king of Bohemia from 1278, and of Poland from 1300 until his death, which took place on 21 June 1305 (but the occasion for which he is remembered: the presence in the valley of the Antipurgatory of his father Ottokar II, and the comparison between him and his bearded son, whose lust and idleness grazes, places the quote in a mere context of Bohemian history). In fact D. had only very vague news of the Polish nation; he knew that it bordered on the Hungarians from B. Latini, Tresor, ed. Chabaille p. 165, and perhaps the Pole is among the peoples designated generically after some cited exactly.
Fortuna DI D. In Poland. – Everything that can be traced back to D. in pre-nineteenth-century Polish literature can be reduced to an arid bibliographic list. So for example, in the year 1321, the news of the poet’s death in the fifteenth-century chronicle of Dlugosz, or some later memory of his name. In the century of the Enlightenment, Bishop Krasicki’s attempt to translate a small passage from Paradise was to serve only to illustrate one of his encyclopedic treatises. Right on the threshold of the following century, in 1795, the year of the third and definitive partition of Poland, Adam George Czartoryski wrote his Polish Bardo (published however only in 1840). For the first time we witness a pilgrimage through Hell, which however is not to be sought in the legendary abyss, but is found on earth: a venerable poet guides his young companion through his terribly devastated hometown. Subsequently, the contemporary world will not infrequently reveal to Polish writers its atrocious affinities with Dante’s Malebolgia, and the motif of the pilgrimage through the painful realm will almost become a literary convention.
Also in Poland it was Romanticism that counted D. among its greatest inspirers. The admiration for the poet found support in the compassion for the exile, deeply felt especially by the Polish emigrants after the defeat of the revolution in 1831.
The poetry of the great Polish romantics presents a unique case of the absorption of Dante’s motifs in original works of the highest value, which for several generations without political independence, must have enclosed the most imperishable part of the national heritage. Krasinski’s non-divine comedy (1835) already recognizes in the title its Dantesque kinship, transparent in the dramatic clash between the aristocratic defender of the past and the infernal revolutionary crowd, led by the ardent tribune. Slowacki in Anhelli (1838) transposed the infernal representation to Siberia, where the cruelty of fate looming over the exiles seems to be attenuated by the snowy landscape. But alongside these particularly significant works, many others can be cited.
In the following generations the line of the faithful continues by D .: C. Norwid (1821-83), an innovator artist, later recognized, but today among the most admired, effective translator of some songs of the Comedy; A. Asnyk, author of the Dream of the Tombs (1865); T. Lenartowicz (1822-1893) who contemplates the afterlife with the eyes of the naive commoner, or the Parnassian Falenski (d. 1910). JI Kraszewski, the inexhaustible inventor of the Polish novel, dedicated a careful literary study to the great Florentine (1869), published in German in 1870, also engaging in the translation of the Comedy. However, among the Polish writers of the nineteenth century who spoke of D. not incidentally, the first place undoubtedly belongs to J. Klaczko. (V.). For Poland 2010, please check programingplease.com.
Five complete versions of the Comedy have seen the light in the last hundred years, starting with J. Korsak’s alternating rhymes in 1860, without taking into account many translations of single episodes, sometimes of great value, and leaving out various attempts remained manuscripts or lost. A. Stanislawski reached a good level by using the loose hendecasyllable (1870). Classical remains the translation by E. Porębowicz published in the years 1899-1906 and reprinted several times, most recently to celebrate the 1965 anniversary, with engravings by 34 of the best contemporary Polish artists. In 1947, A. Swiderska’s version came out, finished twenty years earlier.
The Porębowicz in the best moments manifests more momentum and vigor, although it has not been able to preserve itself from the extravagances of the language and from the twisted constructions, even if not justified by the word of D. himself. Swiderska’s version, also faithful to the third rhyme, flatter and simpler, without offending the art of D., favors its access to the common reader. As a curiosity, the translation due to the head of the Mariavite religious sect, M. Kowalski (1933), can be noted.
Of the minor works La Vita Nuova has found five translators, the last of whom – Porębowicz himself – holds the primacy (the typographical appearance of the volume, printed by S. Tyszkiewicz in Florence in 1934 is also beautiful). J. Feldhorn was responsible for a choice of the Canzoniere (Krakow 1926, but printed in Rome: 30 poems); a higher level, however, was reached by Falenski, Lange, Porębowicz or Jastrun in the versions of some isolated sonnet or song. The Porębowicz – alongside the scattered studies – has published a book on D. (1906, 1922²) which revives the era and the environment, presents the life and work of the poet and takes on a personal accent when he puts it highlight the imaginative power.
The centenary of 1921 left a notable harvest of studies, essays and articles concerning above all the fortune of D. in Poland. Most try to trace the influence of the Italian poet, perceptible in particular works, especially of the great romantics. There is no shortage of essays scattered in the magazines, only partially reproduced later or assembled in volume; nevertheless he always expects a synthesis capable of defining the place of D. in the development of Polish culture.
Particular attention, in the twenty years between the two wars, aroused the works of Konstanty Michalski, professor and rector of the Jagiellonian University. A well-known historian of medieval thought, over time he got closer and closer to the work of D., trying to clarify the various philosophical aspects and the profound unity of the message, culminating in the idea of love. The most complete exposition of Michalski’s investigations is to be found in the essay Eros i Logos u Dantego (Cracow 1936). In it appears not only the historian of the spiritual currents of the late Middle Ages, but the scholar very attentive to the development of contemporary thought, capable of finding, without too ingenious expedients, points of contact between Adler, Freud, Spranger or Ingarden and the distant thinkers of the Two. and Trecento.
The large book by Kalikst Morawski, DA (Warsaw 1961), judiciously sums up the huge amount of research and substantive discussions, offering exact indications to those who want to enter Dante’s world.
Without claiming an eminent place in world dantology, even occasional writings or spontaneous impressions serve to continue a tradition, never weakened in Poland, of humanistic culture, and often offer a noteworthy personal aspect. More than the contributions, destined for a small group of scholars, are the references in the literary works of the writers of the twentieth century that mark the extension of D.’s fortune in Poland.
The Hell of the romantics, indissoluble from national tragedy, has now gone down in history, and the poetry of the Florentine exile can be felt without mixing accidental elements, albeit very important at the time. If in the famous historical novels, such as Zeromski’s Ashes or Berent’s Living Stones, the references to D. serve to detect the local color and the air of the past, the allusions that are presented to the poets of the following generation – Tuwim, Lechon or Jastrun – attest to a more personal and intimate bond.