Wanderers Across Language
Exile in Irish and Polish Literature of the Twentieth Century
Studies In Comparative Literature 12
Legenda: Oxford, 2007
Exile has become a potent symbol of Polish and Irish cultures. Historical, political and cultural predicaments of both countries have branded them as diasporic nations: but, in Adorno’s dictum, for an exile writing becomes home. Olszewska offers a multifaceted picture of the figure of exile in postwar Poland and Ireland, juxtaposing politics and culture: whereas Irish exile appears more in an economic and cultural context, the essence of Polish exile is political. This comparative study of works by Polish and Irish authors — Stanisław Barańczak, Adam Zagajewski, Marek Hłasko, Kazimierz Brandys, Brian Moore, Desmond Hogan and Paul Muldoon — shows a literature which not only depicts the experience of exile, but which uses exile as a literary device.
Kinga Olszewska teaches courses in world literature at the National University of Ireland, Galway.