THE FOREST IN WACLAW POTOCKI'S WORKS. BETWEEN NATURE AND CULTURE
Waclaw Potocki is a baroque writer-landowner, who often wrote about nature, among other things about the forest (circa 250 pieces). The forest, in his view, is regarded either as a real space (nature) or a metaphorical one (culture). In both instances Potocki points at advantages and disadvantages of a man set in the forest. He highlights the former ones, especially the chance of seizing meat and furs as an effect of chasing (in which he sees the surrogates of the war, and which he regards as a dignified activity). Also, though not often, he notices the aesthetic values of the forest and maintains that its beauty, manifesting in birds' singing, proves the grandeur of the Creator. Simultaneously the writer signals the dangers for a man who finds himself in an uncivilized space: wild nature symbolizes the chaos (also moral one) being conductive to, for example, brigands and forgers, and signifying a metaphorical space in which a hunter-Satan waits for a chance.
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