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Polish and Russian soul anno 1914 and today


FlaglessPole 4 | 669
10 May 2011  #1
In my very laid back quest for answers as to what constitutes strengths and flaws of Polish mentality, brought about by aphro's uptightness ;) and my recent sightings of Russian tourists (I don't meet many Poles so they are the closest Slavic reference I have) I stumbled upon this gem from 1914. Its religious overtones (Orthodox-Catholic antagonism) may at first seem outdated yet not lacking in the present day relevance as they pertain more to the spirituality and the general out-look on life rather than the dogmatic differences between the two faiths and their practitioners. After all both societies were much less secular at the time and Russia had yet to be 'blessed' with communism.A very interesting read

berdyaev.com/berdiaev/berd_lib/1914_178.html]
Enjoy. Here an excerpt to whet your appetite:

The Polish soul -- is aristocratic and individualistic to the point of morbidity, in it so powerful is not only the sense of honour, connected with the knight-chivalrant culture unknown to Russia, but also an obdurate ambition. This is the most refined and elegant soul within Slavdom, drowning in its own suffering fate. Pathetic to the point of affectation. The mannerisms of the Polish soul always strike Russians as artificially elegant and sweet, lacking in simplicity and directness, and repelling in its sense of superiority and suspiciousness, of which the Polish are not free. The Polish have always seemed lacking in a sense of the equality of human souls before God, of brotherhood in Christ, as connected with the acknowledging of the infinite value of each human soul. The unique spiritual aspect of the Polish nobility has poisoned Polish life and played a fateful role in its state destiny.

P.S. At this point I need a professional help, I'm crow-struck - I just posted a thread containing word Slavdom lol
Bratwurst Boy 5 | 9,730
10 May 2011  #2
What happens to the polish sould when they are successfull aka not suffering?
OP FlaglessPole 4 | 669
10 May 2011  #3
It evaporates into oblivion and its bodily veneer seeks a German passport ;)
boletus 30 | 1,366
10 May 2011  #4
as they pertain more to the spirituality and the general out-look on life

Somewhere out there is another good essay about: Russian vs. Polish souls, generalizations about beliefs (deep vs. shallow), Dostoevsky and his hate of Poles, etc. I cannot find it now but perhaps this would do for the last part.

Russian Imperial Presence in Literature
ruf.rice.edu/~sarmatia/407/272ungure.html
OP FlaglessPole 4 | 669
10 May 2011  #5
Somewhere out there is another good essay about: Russian vs. Polish souls,

good I'll get to it some other time :P Now back to my find:) Here another interesting passage apropos Polish gf's being control freaks:

In the Polish soul there is a terrible jealousy over women, a jealousy, often assuming repulsive a form, spasmodic and convulsive. This power of women, the slavishness of sex is sensed very powerfully in the contemporary Polish writers, Przybyszewski [Stanislaw Feliks, 1868-1927], Zeromski [alt. Zheromski, Stefan, 1864-1925], et al. In the Russian soul there is no such sort a slavery over women. Love plays less a role in Russian life and Russian literature than with the Polish. And Russian sensuality, with genius expressed by Dostoevsky, is altogether different, than with the Polish. The problem of women for the Polish is posited altogether differently than it is with the French -- this is a problem of suffering, and not of delight.
boletus 30 | 1,366
10 May 2011  #6
This power of women, the slavishness of sex is sensed very powerfully in the contemporary Polish writers

So I presume that you know Przybyszewski and Żeromski and therefore know exactly what's your treasure trove find is talking about? You must also know something about Orzeszkowa, Pawlikowska-Jasnorzewska, Kossak, Kuncewiczowa, Szymborska, Kochanowski, Mickiewicz, Norwid, Tuwim, Schulz, Witkiewicz, Gombrowicz, Gałczyński, Miłosz, Mrożek - to name the few, who all wrote about various forms of gentle love.

Or you just blabbing?
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
10 May 2011  #7
Or you just blabbing?

Flagless is quoting N. A. Berdaev, who couldn't know about Gombrowicz, Schulz, etc. because he wrote the essay quoted in 1914.
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,444
10 May 2011  #8
brought about by aphro’s uptightness ;)

why, thank you, but you give me way too much credit;)

Or you just blabbing?

we'll see;)
boletus 30 | 1,366
10 May 2011  #9
Flagless is quoting N. A. Berdaev, who couldn't know about Gombrowicz, Schulz, etc. because he wrote the essay quoted in 1914.

There should be a purpose in quoting, usually a basis for further discussion. Berdaev is just demonstrating a little attitude here: "our love is better, your love is slavish". Perhaps based on Przybyszewski's tumultuous life. So my question to flagless is: Does he agree with Berdaev's statement that Polish writers exclusively dealt with "repulsive love, etc", as he quoted, and if yes - why? Sources?
OP FlaglessPole 4 | 669
10 May 2011  #10
So I presume that you know Przybyszewski and Żeromski

No I don't and probably never will as I the list of books I'd like to read is already far too long... but that's not the point here. Your prickliness however is totally misplaced here. It's the general notions in this almost 100 year old text I find fascinating as they, at least in my opinion, ring a contemporary bell loud and clear regardless of their literary references. But hey go on puff yourself up with your indignation and sense of intellectual superiority which btw seems to be a very Polish thing to do.
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
10 May 2011  #11
Setting aside the merits of Berdaev's psychic analysis, one must say that his political analysis, regarding Poland and Russia, was rather off the mark when he wrote: "The historical quarrel is outmoded and finished, and there is beginning an era of reconciliation and unity." A mere six years later the resurrected Polish state and revolutionary Russia would be at war. Perhaps Berdaev was merely a century early in announcing the start of an era of Polish/Russian reconciliation, but I doubt it.
boletus 30 | 1,366
10 May 2011  #12
But hey go on puff yourself up with your indignation and sense of intellectual superiority which btw seems to be a very Polish thing to do.

I am fine, this had nothing to do with my perceived indignation or superiority. I really wanted you to take a look at the link I posted, because this actually explains some of Polish-Russian rivalry and the different positions taken. No wonder that Berdaev writes what you quoted. Please, do not ignore it and check it out. It should help.
OP FlaglessPole 4 | 669
10 May 2011  #13
A mere six years later the resurrected Polish state and revolutionary Russia would be at war.

true true yet one wonders what would have happened if the Soviet Union didn't arise, mind you in all likelihood there wouldn't be any Ukraine, Belorus and Baltic states wedged in-between thus forcing Poland and Russia to have a 'closer look' at each other.

I am fine, this had nothing to do with my perceived indignation or superiority. I really wanted you to take a look at the link I posted, because this actually explains some of Polish-Russian rivalry and the different positions taken.

Cool, and I will I was just kidding with this it-all-about-me-and-my-thread retort :)
boletus 30 | 1,366
10 May 2011  #14
I was just kidding with this it-all-about-me-and-my-thread retort

OK then, I missed the :) emoticon.
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
10 May 2011  #15
There was an essay published some time ago (in the journal Kultura If i remember correctly) that explained the differences between Russia and Poland during the cold war as arising from both peoples remaining mired in the attitudes of bygone eras. Polish attitudes towards Russia remained mired in the bitterness first engendered by the partitions of the 18th century, this was understandable given Poland's thralldom to the USSR at the time. Russians however, despite nearly two centuries of dominance, still saw Poland through 15th century eyes, because the Russians, despite their ultra-modern Communistic pretensions, were still basically living in the 15th century under the sway of a brutal feudal autocracy. The Russians irrationally still believed in, what Berdaev called, the "danger of the polonisation of the Russian people". Thus Russian brutality towards Poland during the 20th century was born out of the undying fear Russians had for Poles during the days of Poland's supremacy.
southern 75 | 7,097
10 May 2011  #16
I agree with this Berdaev in some aspects for sure the old had depth.I would try to describe the differences between the russian and polish mentality but what is important is the point of view if you see them as Mediteranean,Westerner or Slav.
OP FlaglessPole 4 | 669
10 May 2011  #17
Your Mediterranean insight would be the obvious one to start with as the most natural and intuitive to you as a Greek.
chichimera 1 | 186
10 May 2011  #18
The Polish have always seemed lacking in a sense of the equality of human souls before God, of brotherhood in Christ

Why? We do believe in the equality of all before God, provided that Poland is the Christ of the nations... ;)

What happens to the polish sould when they are successfull aka not suffering?

Our soul does struggle with that a little...
OP FlaglessPole 4 | 669
10 May 2011  #19
We do believe in the equality of all before God, provided that Poland is the Christ of the nations... ;)

Mother Russia, why have you forsaken me ?;)
boletus 30 | 1,366
10 May 2011  #20
1. Perhaps the attitude of Conrad to Dostoevsky is worthy to note in context of this thread, since it reflects on some Polish-Russian relations.

Dostoevsky's deeply prejudiced treatment of Poles and his virulent opposition to Poland's historical traditions, combined with Conrad's familial and personal experience of Russian oppression (…) amply explain both Conrad's hatred of him and his painful "sense of Russia as a source of evil."
There was no name in literature that Conrad detested more than that of Dostoevsky

From: The life and the art: a study of Conrad's "Under western eyes" By Keith Carabine
Yet his novel "Under Western Eyes" bears the patent similarity to Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment" and is viewed as Conrad's response to the themes explored in the latter. On the other hand Conrad sympathizes with ordinary Russians, which are main heroes of his novel.

2. Poles were hostile to idea of Pan-Slavism, considering it a continuation of Russian imperialism. For some reason some Slavs, including some Russians, considered Poles the traitors to the idea of the "brotherly love".

Again Joseph Conrad, in Notes on Life and Letters.:


"...between Polonism and Slavonism there is not so much hatred as a complete and ineradicable incompatibility." ...Conrad argues that "nothing is more foreign than what in the literary world is called Slavonism to his individual sensibility and the whole Polish mentality"

- from wikipedia, Pan-Slavism

During Poland's communist era the USSR used Pan-Slavism as propaganda tool to justify its control over the country. The issue of the Pan-Slavism was not part of the mainstream political agenda, and is widely seen as an ideology of Russian imperialism.

3. Stalin's famous statement "The introduction of communism in Poland would be similar to the imposition of the saddle on a cow" demonstrates a continuation of justifiable Russian distrust of Poles.
Wiedzmin_fan - | 79
11 May 2011  #21
Stalin's famous statement "The introduction of communism in Poland would be similar to the imposition of the saddle on a cow" demonstrates a continuation of justifiable Russian distrust of Poles.

except Stalin wasn't Russian.
gumishu 11 | 5,012
11 May 2011  #22
yeah sure he imposed Georgian imperial policies on poor Russians - everybody had to learn Goergian or end up in a GULAG
PolskiMoc 4 | 324
11 May 2011  #23
I don't really think it is a coincidence that Stalin & Lenin weren't really Russians.
That most of the Bolsheviks were not Russian.
In fact 95 percent of the Bolsheviks were jews.

I think the Bolshevik revolution was a Jew, German & Western European plan to be a Slavic genocide.

The German government & Even Woodrow Wilson & A whole bunch of Jews Banks & Banks in the West supported the Bolsheviks

It is pretty sick.
hague1cmaeron 14 | 1,377
11 May 2011  #24
Just so that you know, I do hope that you are joking, otherwise you would be the sick one if you weren't.

quote=Wiedzmin_fan]boletus: Stalin's famous statement "The introduction of communism in Poland would be similar to the imposition of the saddle on a cow" demonstrates a continuation of justifiable Russian distrust of Poles.[/quote]

It can be done, as this German girl demonstrated.

youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=D4WtxKoal-c
PolskiMoc 4 | 324
11 May 2011  #25
Just so that you know, I do hope that you are joking, otherwise you would be the sick one if you weren't.

Russians kicked out the Bolsheviks.
Then Later the German Government purposefully sent the Bolsheviks with supplies to create the Bolshevik Revolution during WW1 to help destroy Russia & To Russia weakened so Germany could have a better shot at WW1

Lenin was half Volga German

Woodrow Wilson helped Leon Trotsky!

ellhn.e-e-e.gr/books/assets/wall_street_bolshevik_rev.pdf

In April 1917 Lenin and a party of 32 Russian revolutionaries, mostly Bolsheviks, journeyed by train from Switzerland across Germany through Sweden to Petrograd, Russia. They were on their way to join Leon Trotsky to "complete the revolution." Their trans-Germany transit was approved, facilitated, and financed by the German General Staff. Lenin's transit to Russia was part of a plan approved by the German Supreme Command, apparently not immediately known to the kaiser, to aid in the disintegration of the Russian army and so eliminate Russia from World War I

While Lenin himself did not know the precise source of the assistance, he certainly knew that the German government was providing some funding. There were, however, intermediate links between the German foreign ministry and Lenin, as the following shows
OP FlaglessPole 4 | 669
11 May 2011  #26
It would more interesting and certainly more on topic to hear people's views and insights into the mentality of modern Poles and Russian and see if they somehow overlap N. A. Berdaev's observations from 1914. Personally I think they do.
hague1cmaeron 14 | 1,377
11 May 2011  #27
Woodrow Wilson helped Leon Trotsky!

Yes but somehow implying that it was all motivated by destroying the Slavs is just paranoid nonsense.
OP FlaglessPole 4 | 669
11 May 2011  #28
Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised since the thread was moved from Society and Culture to History of Poland section (wtf!?!) hence the paranoid nonsense.... foooooking hell it's already the 21st century!
PolskiMoc 4 | 324
11 May 2011  #29
Yes but somehow implying that it was all motivated by destroying the Slavs is just paranoid nonsense.

Why else did so many Non Slavs come together to create the Soviet Union where 62 million Slavs were mass murdered?

The Soviet Union not only Murdered Slavs, But kept slavs back.

There is certainly an Anti Slavic Agenda in the West. Anyone who can't see that is blind.
Wiedzmin_fan - | 79
11 May 2011  #30
yeah sure he imposed Georgian imperial policies on poor Russians - everybody had to learn Goergian or end up in a GULAG

he didn't - but you are quoting him to demonstrate "Russian distrust of Poles".


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