A NONCONFORMIST APPROACH TO THE PROBLEMS OF CENSORSHIP AND FREEDOM OF SPEECH (RUSSIAN AND POLISH) IN COMPARATIVE STUDIES BY ALEKSANDER SWIETOCHOWSKI (Polish title below)
(Polish title: Nonkonformistyczne ujecie problematyki cenzury i wolnosci slowa (zaborczej i polskiej) w komparatystyce Aleksandra Swietochowskiego). In 1926, in 'Mysl Narodowa', Aleksander Swietochowski wrote among others: 'For almost fifty years my spirit has endured the torture of Russian censorship, suffering torments, and yet I felt less terror then than I do now.' Such a comparison of the Russian censorship (foreign) to the Polish one (native), favourable to the former, was seen by many as highly controversial. Was it a valid comparison? Can foreign censorship be judged according to different criteria than the native one? Which criteria can one apply to the very phenomenon of censorship in general? The problem of freedom of speech and censorship took up a special place in Swietochowski's literary production: as a writer, publicist, editor and publisher he had to face numerous instances of the restrictions imposed on the freedom of speech. He used to draw attention, not only to the institutional censorship but also to the informal pressure exerted by the clerical and conservative circles. Following the concepts of Jurgen Habermas and Pierre Bourdieu this article aims to conceptualise the sphere of the freedom of speech presented in the writings of Aleksander Swietochowski.
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