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Content available remote Witkacy's Adventures in St. Petersburg
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EN
Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz (Witkacy) spent the First World War in Russia, mostly in St. Petersburg, where he arrived in the autumn of 1914. Shortly afterwards he entered an exclusive officers' school then the Pavlovskiy Leib Guards' Regiment. He also continued to paint his portraits and fantastical compositions. It was in Russia that Witkacy discovered a technique of using pastels which was to liberate from within him an entirely new form of expression. Initially, in 1915, the artist added a few isolated pastel smudges/smears to some portraits made in charcoal, but it was not long before these tentative gestures were being freely applied and within two years extraordinary colourful works were taking shape. Apart from his portraits, Witkacy created some fantastical compositions, influenced to a considerable degree by literary works as well as astronomical phenomena e.g.: Nova Aurigae, Kometa Encke, Antares w Skorpionie, Algorab w Kruku (Algorab in Corvus), Liszka (Caterpillar) and Kameleon in all likelihood inspired by the proximity of the astronomical observatory (employing large numbers of Poles) and the research carried out there. In July 1916 the artist actively participated in wartime operations, including one of the bloodiest battles on the Eastern Front along the River Stochod in the Western Ukraine. For that he had shown on the battlefront, the artist was promoted to the rank of a lieutenant and received the order of St. Ann 4th class. He was also wounded, receiving serious injury to his head, as a result of which he had to be hospitalised and evacuated to the imperial capital. He was never to return to the front. He lived with his aunt, Vladislava of the Jagimins, and her husband, Leon Reynel, on Ofitserskaya Street. Socially and financially connected with the Polski Theatre in St. Petersburg, the couple introduced Witkacy to their milieu. In Spring the artist took part in an exhibition organised by the Polish minority in the Anichkovskiy Palace, at which, among other works, he presented a picture in gouache titled 'Pocalunek mongolskiego ksiecia w lodowej pustyni' (The Mongol Prince's Kiss in a Frozen Desert) which currently belongs to the National Museum in Warsaw. In the middle of 1918 and with the help of the Reynels, Witkacy returned to Poland, carrying with him fruits of an almost four years sojourn in Russia: portraits and compositions done in oil or pastel portraits, a theoretical study titled 'Nowe formy w malarstwie i wynikajace stad nieporozumienia' (New Forms in Painting and the misunderstandings arising out of them), as well as the sketches (or barely thoughts) on a series of dramas in which the echoes of real life in Russia during the war and revolution are clearly audible. 23 Illustrations.
EN
Brzozowski and Witkacy, whom Milosz initially (i.e. in his article Limits of the Arts ) rejected, may ultimately be regarded as those who inspired his own attitude. For Milosz most crucial in Brzozowski's views was praxis, contrasted with unilateral and stabilising pragmatism of various social groups, and simultaneously justifying changes of opinions and unique 'betrayals' of oneself. Brzozowski, however, is situated not exclusively on the justifying the dynamics part of the cognitional archaic myth (the myth of Nature) or circular paradigm that corresponds to it. One may also accurately point out the connections with modern myth (the myth of God) commensurate with linear paradigm, the expression of which is effect-oriented work (situated by Brzozowski also in the domain of history). Witkacy's point is similar in this respect. Alongside the terror of crash of solid values, Milosz discerns (contrary to that) acknowledging the significance of art, the one and only opponent to automated society. Such Nietzschean connection (Socrates performing music) proves to be Milosz's permanent susceptibility for years.
EN
Zakopane, located in the south of Poland in the mountains, has been a holiday area and intellectuals' favourite place since 19th century. Rich and authentic folklore, local dialect, customs and consciousness also give it a special place in Polish culture. Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz - Witkacy (1885-1939) a writer, painter, photographer and philosopher came there as a child. He created the myth of Zakopane and was subjected to it. In the years 1919-1921 he wrote three texts referring demonism and dandyism to the town and its inhabitants, lecturing on his aesthetics and philosophy. Andrzej Strug (1871-1937), the author of 'Zakopanopticon' (1913) belongs to the same tradition of writing.
EN
The article aims to analyse assorted texts by Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz in the context of postcolonial theory. The author analyses the language used by Witkacy to talk about Oriental Others in the letters written during his trip and immediately following its conclusion and in reportage. It also shows how the author, on the one hand, challenges the usurpations of Orientalistic discourse and, on the other, willingly repeats colonial gestures, yet engages in the latter only when these gestures have no real consequences.
EN
A review of the book by Tomasz Bochenski being an attempt to comprehend texts by Witkacy, Gombrowicz, Schulz through the prism of the category of black humour in the context of the attitudes towards physicality and death; it puts forward the idea of humor understanding as a peculiar form of the contemporary ars moriendi.
EN
The aim of the article is to present the main issues connected with the discussions between Witkacy and Chwistek. The method is a critical analysis of the material containing all the criticisms of Chwistek's theory of art. The article emphasizes the relationship between Chwistek’s aesthetics and his ontology, the flaws in his idea of individual systems, and the practical character of maximalist beliefs within Witkiewicz's theory of Pure Form.
EN
The main purpose of the article is to analyse the category of metaphysical boredom. It is understood as a principle of existence, an irremovable feature of existence (defined mainly in Søren Kierkegaard’s philosophy). This kind of boredom is very close to the category of romantic boredom which is an essential element of the romantic worldview and part of romantic existence. First of all, it appears to be a border experience (in the existential and cognitive sense) which constitutes the identity of the romantics. It denotes a state in which a question may be asked about the sense of existence. This leads to a description of the world in which existence is treated as nothingness. In this case boredom turns out to be a confrontation with the fact that one is condemned to existence. The bored subject has the feeling of being imprisoned in its own existence and suspended in the world defined as an abyss in which one cannot fi nd any point of support. It is in boredom that one embraces the whole existence: the bored subject sees a possibility of not existing, it perceives the world the way it is, as insignifi cant, fragile and chaotic. Słowacki and Witkacy were two great writers who wanted to explore boredom. In their works and biographies we can find examples of such boredom — showing very clearly that existence is infected by nothingness and the world is deprived of any ordering principles. A detailed analysis of the writers’ letters (mostly Słowacki’s letters to his mother and Witkacy’s letters to his wife) reveals a picture of boredom that is absolute, total, all-embracing and irremovable. Boredom is neither a transition state, nor a temporary mood. It does not exist at the emotional level. Boredom pervades everything; it becomes “air”, an irremovable element of existence. That is why one has to understand it as metaphysical boredom: as a feature of existence, a principle of existence and nothingness that is everywhere. Both the biographies of the two writers (which, as the letters show, were a constant fight with boredom) and their works (many of which were dedicated to boredom) are extremely important contributions to the discussion about the notion of boredom.
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