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Adam Mickiewicz. What is his motherland: Poland or Lithuania?


Nathan 18 | 1,363
27 Feb 2010 #31
Have you read his works? Which parts would you like to quote as so bad? Go ahead, give us some examples. Or are you relying on UPA anti-Polish propaganda in your illustrious literary criticism?

Wow, Darius. I do not criticize his literary achievements. I respect his input into Polish and world literature. I remember back in high school our Ukrainian language and literature teacher was infatuated with Adas' (this is how she called him :) I haven't read his works, unfortunately. I read Sienciewicz, Prus, Raymond, some others and the latter two are my all time favorites. I don't see what Ukrainian Insurgent Army and non-existant anti-Polish propoganda have to do with it. In Ukrainian schools we read works by writers from all over the world and I have never heard about any anti-Polish propaganda, forget about a literary one. This is what you are fed in certain Polish circuits about UPA and our views on literature. I called him mediocre, because of his political views in regards to Lithuania and its language. So chill out.
z_darius 14 | 3,968
28 Feb 2010 #32
But it doesn't matter, I am not going to waste my time on mediocrity. If I was a Lithuanian, I would never called him Lithuanian - he's not a bit worth it.

This is what you are fed in certain Polish circuits about UPA and our views on literature. I called him mediocre, because of his political views in regards to Lithuania and its language.

So political views mean someone is mediocre?

Well then, what were these views of his on the subject that made him so mediocre?
Nathan 18 | 1,363
28 Feb 2010 #33
For me - yes (have no idea and, frankly, don't care where others apply mediocrity to, paintings?). Sell-outs for something perceived as "superior" and shuffling aside one's roots and folks are by me mediocre personalities, talking about which wastes my time.
SSakavik
31 Jul 2017 #34
Historical Lithuania(Litwa) is not to be confused with contemporary Lithuania. Prior to the Union of Lublin , it was primarily a Slavic and Orthodox Christian nation, according to Herberstein, an Austrian diplomat. According to Pulitzer Prize winner Czeslaw Milosz, the Old

Belarusan language was spoken by the Lords of Litwa in Warszawa, and that language was used in all public governmental documents, since Lithuanian was not a written language at the time. One could hypothesize that Mickiewicz was a Belaruan poet, in the same way that

Robert Burns was a Scotish Poet, even though he wrote in English!
If I' m not mistaken, Mickiewicz may have never set foot in Warsaw, and probably did not visit Kraków until his death.
gregy741 4 | 1,204
31 Jul 2017 #35
Historical Lithuania(Litwa) is not to be confused with contemporary Lithuania.

of course...need to add as example that Vilno-capital of Grand duch of lithuania had around 5% of ethnic lithuanians living in it at that time.

ppl who ask about Mickiewicz ethnicity are ignorant.
GDL was something completely different from todsys Lithuania,only same name had in common.but its like saying Roma gypsies create Roman empire.
GDL was multiculti state with majority of ruthenians population,then polish then jews...lithuanians were some poor fishermans living by the coast of Baltic.who spoke some obscure language

saying that Mickiewicz was ethic lithuanian is laughable. he said Lithuania was hes motherland because that was name of the land he was born.he had nothing in common with todays lithuanians who are descendants of peasants from baltic coast.
jon357 67 | 16,921
31 Jul 2017 #36
Mickiewicz ethnicity

Identity. The concept of the nation state has changed hugely over the centuries. Looking at that period under a filter of today's ideas is flawed to say the least.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,399
31 Jul 2017 #37
If I' m not mistaken, Mickiewicz may have never set foot in Warsaw, and probably did not visit Kraków until his death.

That's true, he neither did in the former nor in the latter. The only time he set foot on the territory of the so-called Crown as opposed to the Grand Dutchy was in Greater Poland, including Poznań, where he stayed from August 1831 to March 1832. He travelled across the Grand Dutchy of Poznań (in Prussian hands) under the name of Adam Mühl.

He felt Lithuanian in the sense of being the son of the Great Duchy. At the same time he considered himself Polish because one identity did not exlcude the other. In contemporary terms we may compare this to being Scottish and British.
jon357 67 | 16,921
31 Jul 2017 #38
At the same time he considered himself Polish because one identity did not exlcude the other

Exactly. The Scottish, Welsh, English & British is a good analogy.
Crow 148 | 9,320
31 Jul 2017 #39
I know one thing. Mickiewicz served Poland.

Desperate due to French and British misguidance (what reflected in using Poles solely against Russians) and manipulations when it comes to independence of Poland, Polish Prince Adam Czartoryski sought to change his approach in his work on Polish independence. Back in 1841, he consulted with most prominent Polish intellectual elite of that time- what should be done about it. After consultations one name appeared as the most trustworthy and credible to give him direction in actions. Name of Adam Mickiewicz. So, Prince Czartoryski went to famous poet to ask him to give suggestion for most reliable factor on the path of regaining Poland`s independence. Without hesitation, Mickiewicz said- Serbians. And happened what can not be.
Lyzko 30 | 7,386
31 Jul 2017 #40
When he writes "Litwo, ojczyno moja.......", presumably Mickiewicz was referring here to his spiritual rather than exclusively his ancestral homeland!
Merely an educated guess on my part:-)
jon357 67 | 16,921
31 Jul 2017 #41
Mickiewicz was referring here to his spiritual rather than exclusively his ancestral homeland!

Remember the name of the place, the concept of the nation state, the historic origin of the Gedyminic nobility (of which he was in part descended) and which communities lived where are key here.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,399
1 Aug 2017 #42
Mickiewicz was referring here to his spiritual rather than exclusively his ancestral homeland!

He was referring to both. Notice that Rzeczpospolita legally started to be considered a unitary state from the 3rd of May 1791 when the Constitution abandoned the former duality introducing common institutions instead which however reflected the country's past by adopting the term of 'Both Nations' in the administrative practices. But since this reformed country came into non-existence just in four years after that (in 1795), people's memory continued to keep it as a dual state whose political, but not administrative unity was declared in the act of the Union of Lublin in 1569.

Adam Mickiewicz was precisely a heir of that former tradition which was well alive until approximately the year 1850.
Lyzko 30 | 7,386
1 Aug 2017 #43
Thanks, Ziemowit!
guet
28 Oct 2017 #44
What the hell are you all talking about??
Yes, he said "Lithuania my motherland" in the prologue and in the epilogue guess what? "O Mother Poland"...

And Soplicowo in "Pan Tadeusz" which is located in LITHUANIA is described as "centrum polskości" which means "centre of Polish identity".
"Polak, chociaż stąd między narodami słynny" another quote from "Pan Tadeusz" meaning "A Pole, though famous amongst the nations".

And another one - "W której jest trochę szczęścia dla Polaka: (a Pole)
Kraj lat dziecinnych! (land of childhood times) On zawsze zostanie
Święty i czysty jak pierwsze kochanie."

He was a Pole, he was a SLAV, he spoke Polish language, he was inspired by Slavic mythology. Lithuanians are a Baltic nation, not Slavic. Historical Lithuania and nowadays Lithuania are two different things. The Baltic Lithuania you know today used to be Żmudź (Samogitia in English) during the times of Commonwealth. And for centuries Poles were divided into two groups - Koroniarze (people from the Crown) and Litwini (people from historical Lithuania, Mickiewicz was one of them). Stop saying that he was Lithuanian, like a nowaday Lithuanian. He was not. He was the Slavic bard and is the greatest Polish poet.

So please, if you don't know our history or literature - do not argue. Hope I explained everything.
Crow 148 | 9,320
28 Oct 2017 #45
I know few things about Mickiewicz. He loved Serbs, trusted them and was aware that Serbian struggle leads to Polish independence.
DoggyDogg
28 Oct 2017 #46
Istanbul has his museum. It worth to visit.
Crow 148 | 9,320
29 Oct 2017 #47
What? Turks has museum of Mickiewicz? Crazy
DoggyDogg
29 Oct 2017 #48
That's normal. Check his life If you interest. Istanbul is so important place for his life. He died in Istanbul.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,399
29 Oct 2017 #49
Stop saying that he was Lithuanian, like a nowaday Lithuanian. He was not. He was the Slavic bard and is the greatest Polish poet.

He obviously felt Lithuanian, but not in the modern sense of the word. He felt Lithuanian in the sense of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania which Duchy comprised all of today's Lithuania, all of today's Belarus, some tiny parts of today's Russia and some tiny parts of today's Poland. Here's an excerpt from PAN TADEUSZ (Book 4) which shows how the poet feels about his motherland through the trees which grow there. All these places mentioned where those trees grow (Białowieża, Świteź, Ponary, Kuszelewo) are outside today's Poland except Białowieża which was also on the Lithuanian territory in the times of the First Commonwealth, that is until 1795. In this excerpt he also names pagan Lithuanian rulers only who lived long before any unity between the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy came into being (Witenes, Mindowa, Giedymin).

Rówienniki litewskich wielkich kniaziów, drzewa -----[rówienniki = rówieśnicy]
Białowieży, Świtezi, Ponar, Kuszelewa!
Których cień spadał niegdyś na koronne głowy -----[koronne = koronowane]
Groźnego Witenesa, wielkiego Mindowy
I Giedymina, kiedy na Ponarskiej górze,
Przy ognisku myśliwskim, na niedźwiedziej skórze

Drzewa moje ojczyste! jeśli Niebo zdarzy,
Bym wrócił was oglądać, przyjaciele starzy,
Czyli was znajdę jeszcze? czy dotąd żyjecie?
Wy, koło których niegdyś pełzałem jak dziecię...

Ja ileż wam winienem, o domowe drzewa!

Crow 148 | 9,320
29 Oct 2017 #50
Yes, that part of his life is unknown to me. He must be in some mission in Turkey. Its not just like that. You know, Mickiewicz was mastermind behind Polish Balkan policy. His key players were Serbs, for dealing with Russian and Austrian threats, against Turks. And he ended up in Instambul, you say? To watch things from within? To watch over English and French moves? Double agent maybe? Maybe Serbs asked him to do so?

Interesting, very interesting.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,399
29 Oct 2017 #51
He must be in some mission in Turkey.

He was. His mission was trying to form a Polish legion. He stopped at Luxembourg Hotel first and then moved to the house of Mrs Rudnicka at Tatli Badem Sokak 23 where he prepared himself for a venture to Bulgaria and Serbia. This did not happen as he had died in this house from cholera (possibly) at the age of 57.
Crow 148 | 9,320
29 Oct 2017 #52
When asked by Czartorisky about liberation of Poland, relying on England and France, brat Mickiewicz answered, let me paraphrase: ``F*** yourself with England and France. We have our issue with Russia but those western European bastards only using us. One can hardly tell whom they hate more, Russians or Poles but, on the contrary to Russia, they can manipulate Poland and so they pretend to be our friends.`` Czartorisy, double French agent himself was literary stunned by that statement of Mickiewicz. So he asked, Mickiewicz, let me paraphrase again: ``then what?`` And then Mickiewicz told him: ``You can rely only on Serbs.`` and added, let me paraphrase: ``They love us and they need us as much as we need them. Only Serbs, in this whole f**** Europe and world.``
guet
29 Oct 2017 #53
@Ziemowit
Yes, but in those times as I said before Poles were divided into two groups - Litwini and Koroniarze. Mickiewicz was a Lithuanian Pole. More than that, Lithuanians thought themselves "real" Poles, true patriots and looked down on Koroniarze. Being a Pole and being Lithuanian was the same, just like being a Koroniarz and being a Pole was the same, but being Lithuanian and being a Koroniarz was not. Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was made of Crown and Lithuania, but overall, commonly, Commonwealth was called simply Poland.

And once again - in "Pan Tadeusz" action takes place in Lithuania but ALL of the characters call themselves Poles, just like Mickiewicz.

"Oh Mother Poland..." -

"O Matko Polsko! ty tak świeżo w grobie
Złożona - niema sił mówić o tobie!"
Ziemowit 13 | 4,399
29 Oct 2017 #54
Mickiewicz was a Lithuanian Pole

The term "Lithuanian Poles" has existed exclusively in Poland and most notably on Telewizja Polska. Perhaps the Lithuanian Poles have adopted it by now, I don't know. Typically they used to say of themselves "Poles from Lithuania".

Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was made of Crown and Lithuania, but overall, commonly, Commonwealth was called simply Poland.

But much more often than that, this state was referred to as "Rzeczpospolita" rather than "Poland". The term "Polak" was used mainly for a describing someone without pointing out to his territorial affinity, that is either "Koroniarz" or "Litwin". If you had read my previous post, you would know that there existed one essential formal obstacle for adopting the official term "Poland" for both parts of the state taken together, namely that old term still existed and "Poland" was officially applied to only one part of it: the Kingdom of Poland.
guet
29 Oct 2017 #55
@Ziemowit
Answer me those questions: why did Mickiewicz himself spoke Polish as his native language, served Poland? Why characters from "Pan Tadeusz" are from Lithuania and yet they are Poles? Poles, not Lithuanians.

After 1569 Rzeczpospolita and Poland were practically synonyms.
Bulgakov was born in Kiev and yet he is considered Russian writer because he spoke Russian, his family was Russian. Mickiewicz's family were Poles of either Polish or Belarusian origin polonized centuries before. He was a Lithuanian just like for example I am a Małopolanin. But overall he was a Pole.
Lyzko 30 | 7,386
29 Oct 2017 #56
Many of the borders of Europe at the time changed hands so often, one could literally get dizzy:-) Today's Lithuania, formerly under Soviet hegemony, might well have fallen under Polish dominance during Mickiewicz' time! I too have examined maps from the mid-19th century and they all point to constant battles between neighboring countries, both verbal as well as military:-)
kaprys 3 | 2,511
29 Oct 2017 #57
To make things more interesting, he was born in what is now Belarus. ;)
But IMHO he was Polish.

That odd feeling when someone paraphrases Mickiewicz's words to 'f*** yourselves' :S

BTW, just two days left to Dziady - cicho wszędzie, głucho wszędzie ;)
guet
29 Oct 2017 #58
@kaprys
I absolutely agree with you :) And thanks for recalling "Dziady". Another quote:
"Our nation is like lava. On the top it is hard and hideous, but its internal fire cannot be extinguished even in one hundred years of coldness. So let's spit on the crust and go down, to the profundity!"

This is a quote about Poles in Mickiewicz's "Dziady". Which is another ultimate proof that Mickiewicz was Polish. He was a child of Mother Poland, like he would call his country in the epilogue of "Pan Tadeusz".
Lyzko 30 | 7,386
30 Oct 2017 #59
The man wrote in Polish and is firmly ensconced in the Polish literary canon! Although Joseph Conrad wasn't born in England and only came there while still a young seaman, he wrote only in English, therefore is considered English to the bone:-)
kaprys 3 | 2,511
30 Oct 2017 #60
Although considered one of the best English writers, Conrad was Polish ^^

Dziady is tomorrow - co to będzie? Co to będzie?


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