11 cze 2010

Adam Mickiewicz

For me there was no doubt - the first Pole that is worth knowing is Adam Mickiewicz - a poet, visionary, man of letters, activist. I studied Polish philology also because of him and spend a lot of time in his fascinating life. He was born in the 1798 on today's Belarusian territory which after the partitions of the Commonwealth was ruled by Russians. One of his quotations (known by every Pole) is "Lithuania, my homeland" so you can have doubts if he was really Polish. He was born in a region where nobles spoke Polish and had Jewish, Belarusian and Lithuanian neighbours. Mickiewicz's first language was Polish, then he wrote also in French. He is regarded as the national poet of Poland, Lithuania and Belarus and of course every nation searches his ancestors.

His life was too complex to write here his biography but I want to just give you some ideas.

Mickiewicz's family was poor but thanks to the scholarship he was able to finish studies on the Vilnius University. As a student he started to write poetry and it became obvious that his talent was outstanding. Too modern for classical old masters he was quickly popular among young people. After unclear investigation about his and his friends' involvement in the patriotic organization he was expelled from home forever. Forced to live in Russia he spent a few years in Petersburg and Moscow. Fortunately, supported by the Russian aristocracy he didn't have to earn a living. It was the time of his personal development, new works, romance. He was not only a sensitive genius but also very attractive man:) He managed to escape from Russia and wandered a few years in Europe (Germany, Switzerland, Italy). Depressed in his thirties he felt like an old man. As many Poles that time he settled in Paris. Too rashly decided to get married. His marriage with mentally ill Celina Szymanowska was very difficult. They had 6 children and were very poor. By the age of 35 he wrote his greatest works. Then he was involved in European politics, wrote articles, became a lecturer of Slavic languages and literatures at the Collège de France. With Andrzej Towiański - a self-made religious leader - he created a sect and lived the EXTRAORDINARY life. After their break-up Mickiewicz was involved in the revolutions of 1848. After his wife's death in the 1855 he went to Constantinople in order to form a Polish and Jewish legions to fight against Russians. His sudden death surprised everybody. He was buried in Paris and then moved to Wawel in Cracow.

Next time more about his works!

5 komentarzy:

  1. Uwielbiam Mickiewicza! Piszę o nim swoją pracę magisterską. :)

  2. Hi Paulina,

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  3. It unnerves me, that "humanists" owns Mickiewicz. He was a reall humanist - like Leonardo - not only poet, but scientists - he teached physics and calculus at Vilnius University, he even invented air pipe "telephone" system to be able to listen to classes from his house. He was great organisator.

    Reducing his life to only great writer is not right.

    We in Poland have weird thing for poets and rebels - only those people are great, that are poets or rebels (preferably these 2 at once:). We had great scientists, engineers and economists that are remembered only because they wrote or painted.

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