The Cracow Anniversary of Jan Czubek and a Handful of Notes on Piotr Kochanowski's Translation of Ariosto's Orlando Furioso
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The long list of round anniversaries that are going to be celebrated in Poland in 2005 probably does not include the centenary of the complete editio princeps of the early 17th-century translation of Orlando furioso. The project was carried out thanks to the extraordinary dedication of Jan Czubek (1849–1932) and published in the series Library of Polish Writers, under the auspices of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences (PAU) in Cracow. Documents recording the complicated history of that edition can be found in the Science Archives of the two Academies, PAN and PAU in Cracow. The 1965 edition of the Polish translation of Orlando furioso, prepared by Roman Pollak, an outstanding Piotr Kochanowski specialist, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Jan Kochanowski, Piotr's nephew, did not get high marks for scholarly excellence, principally because it contained only a selection of the original text. Piotr Kochanowski with his translations of Ariosto and Tasso was the first poet to inscribe our own epic into the tradition of the chivalric epic, born in medieval France and continued in Italy. In Poland Piotr Kochanowski's achievement can be compared to that which Italian literature owes to Pulci, Boiardo, Ariosto and Tasso taken together. Jan Czubek's critical edition of Orlando furioso has had no equal in the publishing history of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cracow; it remains invaluable.
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