Adam Mickiewicz: The Life of a Romantic

Roman Koropeckyj

Published by Cornell University Press 2008-09-25, 2008
ISBN 10: 0801444713 / ISBN 13: 9780801444715
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Adam Mickiewicz (1798–1855), Poland's national poet, was one of the extraordinary personalities of the age. In chronicling the events of his life―his travels, numerous loves, a troubled marriage, years spent as a member of a heterodox religious sect, and friendships with such luminaries of the time as Aleksandr Pushkin, James Fenimore Cooper, George Sand, Giuseppe Mazzini, Margaret Fuller, and Aleksandr Herzen―Roman Koropeckyj draws a portrait of the Polish poet as a quintessential European Romantic.

Spanning five decades of one of the most turbulent periods in modern European history, Mickiewicz's life and works at once reflected and articulated the cultural and political upheavals marking post-Napoleonic Europe. After a poetic debut in his native Lithuania that transformed the face of Polish literature, he spent five years of exile in Russia for engaging in Polish "patriotic" activity. Subsequently, his grand tour of Europe was interrupted by his country's 1830 uprising against Russia; his failure to take part in it would haunt him for the rest of his life. For the next twenty years Mickiewicz shared the fate of other Polish émigrés in the West. It was here that he wrote Forefathers' Eve, part 3 (1832) and Pan Tadeusz (1834), arguably the two most influential works of modern Polish literature. His reputation as his country's most prominent poet secured him a position teaching Latin literature at the Academy of Lausanne and then the first chair of Slavic Literature at the Collége de France. In 1848 he organized a Polish legion in Italy and upon his return to Paris founded a radical French-language newspaper. His final days were devoted to forming a Polish legion in Istanbul.

This richly illustrated biography―the first scholarly biography of the poet to be published in English since 1911―draws extensively on diaries, memoirs, correspondence, and the poet's literary texts to make sense of a life as sublime as it was tragic. It concludes with a description of the solemn transfer of Mickiewicz's remains in 1890 from Paris to Cracow, where he was interred in the Royal Cathedral alongside Poland's kings and military heroes.

Review:

"This superb, meticulously researched, richly detailed book places the great Polish Romantic poet and patriot in the midst of European events of his time. . . . Koropeckyj portrays Mickiewicz (1798–1855) as a genuine human being full of Romantic thoughts and intentions yet distracted by amorous advances and his allegiance to Andrzej Towianski's schism. The flowing narrative is firmly grounded in scholarly research. . . . Providing vivid descriptions of historical events, political struggles, and Romantic turmoils in Europe, Koropeckyj reveals details unknown even to avid scholars of Polish literature."―Choice



"The best-researched and most readable biography of a major Romantic figure since Kenneth Johnston's 1998 book The Hidden Wordsworth, Roman Koropeckyj's Adam Mickiewicz: The Life of a Romantic covers the Polish national poet's life and works against the background of post-Napleonic Europe with scholarly sophistication, detailed accuracy, and masterful contextualization. The chapter on the years 1841–1846 is especially meticulous in its suggestive evocation of Mickiewicz's relationship with the trends and major Romantics of his time, and sets out beautifully the life and times of his reputation prior to his role in organizing the Polish legion in Italy. A model for future biographies of Romantics, Koropeckyj's work stands as a key source for future study of Polish Romanticism."―Prism(s): Essays in Romanticism



"A magisterial work. Roman Koropeckyj's astute, readable, beautifully researched biography marks a major contribution not just to Slavic scholarship, but to the field of European Romanticism generally."―Clare Cavanagh, Herman and Beulah Pearce Miller Research Professor in Literature, Northwestern University



"Adam Mickiewicz: The Life of a Romantic at last provides a definitive, sophisticated, accessible study of a major figure in Polish and European Romantic culture to an English-speaking audience. Roman Koropeckyj's book delivers a masterful, contextually well-grounded, and meticulously detailed biography of the great Polish poet and activist ―this is a major artist's life story told by a supremely knowledgeable expert."―Beth Holmgren, Duke University



"Adam Mickiewicz: The Life of a Romantic fully demonstrates Roman Koropeckyj's excellent biographical craftsmanship and, as such, it will be the main reference point for every student of Mickiewicz in the English-speaking world. Koropeckyj's impeccable scholarship is readily accessible and written with verve and brio."―Bozena Shallcross, University of Chicago

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Title: Adam Mickiewicz: The Life of a Romantic
Publisher: Cornell University Press 2008-09-25
Publication Date: 2008
Book Condition: New

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Book Description Cornell University Press, United States, 2008. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Adam Mickiewicz (1798-1855), Poland's national poet, was one of the extraordinary personalities of the age. In chronicling the events of his life-his travels, numerous loves, a troubled marriage, years spent as a member of a heterodox religious sect, and friendships with such luminaries of the time as Aleksandr Pushkin, James Fenimore Cooper, George Sand, Giuseppe Mazzini, Margaret Fuller, and Aleksandr Herzen-Roman Koropeckyj draws a portrait of the Polish poet as a quintessential European Romantic.Spanning five decades of one of the most turbulent periods in modern European history, Mickiewicz's life and works at once reflected and articulated the cultural and political upheavals marking post-Napoleonic Europe. After a poetic debut in his native Lithuania that transformed the face of Polish literature, he spent five years of exile in Russia for engaging in Polish "patriotic" activity. Subsequently, his grand tour of Europe was interrupted by his country's 1830 uprising against Russia; his failure to take part in it would haunt him for the rest of his life. For the next twenty years Mickiewicz shared the fate of other Polish emigres in the West. It was here that he wrote Forefathers' Eve, part 3 (1832) and Pan Tadeusz (1834), arguably the two most influential works of modern Polish literature. His reputation as his country's most prominent poet secured him a position teaching Latin literature at the Academy of Lausanne and then the first chair of Slavic Literature at the College de France. In 1848 he organized a Polish legion in Italy and upon his return to Paris founded a radical French-language newspaper. His final days were devoted to forming a Polish legion in Istanbul.This richly illustrated biography-the first scholarly biography of the poet to be published in English since 1911-draws extensively on diaries, memoirs, correspondence, and the poet's literary texts to make sense of a life as sublime as it was tragic. It concludes with a description of the solemn transfer of Mickiewicz's remains in 1890 from Paris to Cracow, where he was interred in the Royal Cathedral alongside Poland's kings and military heroes. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780801444715

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