Ostatnie z bajek. Romantyczna iluzja wspólnoty ludzko-zwierzęcej i jej rozpad
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The Lasts of the Fables. Romantic Illusion of the Human-Animal Community and Its Decomposition My interest focuses on the concepts of human-animal community and its decomposition, as an experience stigmatising the nineteenth-century civilisation – as reflected in Polish texts of the Romantic period. The starting point of my considerations are transformations of the Polish animal fable, which in Polish Romanticism becomes the space of a new sensitivity that focuses around the issues of animal abuse, their autonomy against humans, and the boundaries of communication between humans and animals. In my analysis of these issues, I propose a reading of certain forgotten cultural texts of Polish Romanticism, such as e.g. Cyprian K. Norwid’s The Last of the Fables (Ostatnia z bajek); Placyd Jankowski’s The Butcher and Oxen (Rzeźnik i woły), I Believe and Do Not Believe (Wierzę i nie wierzę); Lucjan Siemieński’s The Bedouin and the Hose (Beduin i wąż); animal fables of late-stage Aleksander Fredro (Brytan-Bryś) – in the context of atrophy of traditional ideas related to the roles of humans and animals, demythologisation of the fable tropes and re-mythologisation (the case of Norwid) of a mysterious animal-human community whose decomposition influences the habitus of the nineteenth-century man. Presented texts of Polish Romanticists anticipate a breakthrough in thinking about animals that took place in the nineteenth century. In parallel, they incessantly enter into a dialogue with the European animalistic thought.
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