twenty‑ and twenty‑first‑century literature; Polish poetry; postsecu‑ larism; afterlife; postmodernity
Katowice : Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
The monograph Refurnishing (in) the eternity. Visions of the un-derworld in contemporary Polish poetry is dedicated to the analysis and interpretation of significant poetic creation of the Other World which can be found in poetry written after 1945. However, it should be noted that the selected material represents secularised vision of the afterlife, and from the analysis were excluded poems which, after Stefan Sawicki and Maria Jasińska‑Wojtkowska, can be classi‑ fied as religious. In the selected materials new, extemporary beliefs and eschatological hope are formed inside the textual world, just to fight this overwhelming nothingness which attacks postmodern society. These works are a kind of projection of social thoughts, but the reader has to deal with them in individual attempts to find God, or, more generally, contact the Higher Power, or simply an attempt to soothe the fear of death which ends all — the existence deprived of opportunities for further duration.
One of the key questions in this monograph is the one about the reasons of insecurity and motivations to create visions of the contemporary underworld in Polish poetry of the second half of the twentieth century. Although there will be a hearing referenc‑ es to the works of the early twentieth century, the basic research material will be poetry published after 1945. This time interval is especially justified for the theme of faith, metaphysical questions and eschatological horizon evoked by literature, because it was the atrocities of the World War II, and later — Polish conditions of the political system and the transformation of civilization and the image of contemporary culture, and the subsequent stages of its development. All references to the topos derived from religious systems also allow to observe the change in the fabric of language. The quantity and quality of these new correlations certainly prove that the ideas of the afterlife in poetry of the second half of the twentieth and early twenty‑first century have evolved in relation to the creation established in the tradition, bringing new quality ‑ not always clear and easy to read.
The key word in this research has become a “necessity”. Neces‑ sity of faith and finding new ways to talk about it is very important in every analyzed poem. Although I do not qualify them as reli‑ gious poetry, surely they become a response to the gap left after the cancellation of grand narratives ordering pre‑modern world, a gap that modern man is trying to fill strongly and consistently.