Polish Literature


Under its massive amount and creative brilliance, Polish literature unquestionably earns a position among the best. Yet, it has stayed substantially less widespread than its Russian or French rivals, possibly due to the language gap. Polish literature is the country’s cultural history. The legacy of Polish literature is among the most enthralling in the world. Here are some details about it that will most likely give you a new perspective on Polish literature and inspire you to learn more about the rich heritage.

Is Mikolaj Rej really the Father of Polish Literature

Mikoaj Rej is known as the “Father of Polish Literature” because of being the first writer to publish entirely in Polish. However, few people realise that Jan Kochanowski (1530-1584) practically monotonously lifted Polish literature to unparalleled levels. With his writings, the Polish literary language found a mature and graceful form that is completely understandable even to modern readers after 400 years.

A feminist start to Polish literature

The first Polish phrase originated in the 13th century in the Latin-written Book of Henryków. “ut ia pobrusa, a ti poziwai,” the sentence said by a husband to his wife while she hand-grinds grains. This was then translated to “Let me grind, and you take a rest!” which was very rare to see when the females were oppressed. This passage begins a documented Polish speech legacy that transcends the customs of many of Poland’s allies.

Polish became a deadly language

During the 17th and 18th centuries, Polish writers created a highly unusual type of language known as Macaronic, a combination of Polish and Latin. This was essentially Latin with a heavy influence from Polish sentence construction and word formation.

However, this was widely acknowledged at the time. Nonetheless, it found its way into the royal court, schools, and political gatherings and also was regarded as Poles’ third language. But it was also the language that was on the verge of taking the lives of the Poles.

Polish Literature was not just written in the Polish language

Poland has served as a melting pot for various ethnic backgrounds for many years. As a result, Polish literature thrived in numerous languages, ranging from Latin to Hebrew, Yiddish, Ukrainian, and others. Esperanto was one of the last languages to grow and prosper in Poland, and its literature flourished.

Another, arguably more important, language was Yiddish, which evolved in Polish lands in the 16th century, with some of its most notable writers hailing from Poland. To confuse matters further, probably the most influential book of this ‘non-Polish language literature was published in French in the early nineteenth century named “The Manuscript Found in Saragossa by Jan Potocki.”

Polish Literature

People wrote Polish Literature of different nationality

Turning the lens back, you’ll notice that Polish literature has been authored by authors of all countries and cultural groupings over the years. Some of them, such as I.L. Peretz, Yanka Kupala, and Joseph Roth, began writing in Polish before moving toward becoming classic writers of literature in other dialects.