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A.M. Gorky Institute
of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

IWL RAS Publishing

A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences


Povarskaya 25a, 121069 Moscow, Russia



Types of publications

About the author:

Malgorzata Krzystofik, Doctor Hab., Professor, the Institute of Literature and Linguistics, Jan Kochanowski University, Żeromskiego st. 5, 25-365 Kielce, Poland.

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The History of Polish Literature (1900–1907) by Stanislaw Tarnowski (1837–1917) was written in a rhetorical style, emotional, subjective in judgments, it is an interpretation of the political, moral, aesthetic and religious views of the author. As the flagship of literary research of its time, it continues to be one of the most important historical and literary surveys of Polish literature. This work is the crown of Tarnovsky’s many years of scientific activity. It is based on previous publications and lectures given at the Jagiellonian University. According to Tarnowski, the essence of literary history is to show the history of literature in changes, turns, and the reasons for these turns. Tarnowski’s work is an expression of a positivist historical and literary consciousness that emphasizes the close relationship between literature and historical and cultural change, as well as the political situation. In chronological order, the author describes various areas of Polish literature. In addition to fiction, it also discusses epistolography, biography, religious and philosophical literature, and historiography. The History of Polish Literature became Tarnowski’s contribution to the struggle to preserve Polish national identity. For many generations of Poles, it was a textbook on the literature, culture and history of Poland.

  • Keywords: “History of Polish Literature”, epistolography, biography, religious literature, philosophical literature, historiography, Polish national identity.


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