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Tom 61 (2022)

Człowiek w przestrzeni wyizolowanej. O kilku wizjach zamkniętego świata w utworach Bolesława Prusa

  • Elżbieta Lubczyńska-Jeziorna
13 lutego 2023


The purpose of this paper is to present different depictions of the microcosm and macrocosm in the works of Boleslaw Prus representing various literary genres. In his literary imagery the author of Lalka (The Doll) exceptionally often creates enclaves abstracted from the vastness of the external world, which overwhelms with its size and the multitude of references. With regard to Balzac’s idea of realism, an attempt has been made to define the nature of the boundaries dividing the protagonist’s inner universe, which is inscribed in a specific framework of its own milieu. Based on anthropological references, horizontal and vertical factors differentiating the two realities have been pointed out. The mutual dependencies conditioning the perception of the world from the perspective of the protagonist and the reader were also highlighted. The imaginary unity of the immediate space becomes a guarantee of understanding the rules and worldviews of the milieus inhabiting it. The microworld turns out to be isolating and protective at the same time, which ambivalently creates the sphere of sacrum: it becomes close, tame, “one’s own,” securing and protecting; however, it can also be besetting, limiting and exclusive. Thus, questions were raised pertaining to the boundaries of freedom and the consequences of violating hermeticity.