Abstracts, nr 1 (2) 2020

Angelantonio Spagnoletti

Bona Sforza – between Poland, Naples, and Bari. The Rivalry of the Great European Powers in the 16th Century

In this article, the history of Bona Sforza is examined in the context of the relations between the European states of the first half of the 16th century, that is, the Empire of Charles V and the Catholic Monarchy and of Philip II in particular. The Queen of Poland and Duchess of Bari attempted to play a leading role in the international relations of the epoch, but she had to succumb to the wishes of the two Habsburgs, interested in regaining control over the Duchy of Bari and forming anti-Turkish alliances with Sigismondo II of Poland, a son of Bona.

Agnieszka Bender

Bona Sforza d’Aragon and the Role of Fashion in Creating Her Image

The main goal of the article is to examine how queen Bona Sforza’s taste and interest in fashion has been influenced by her nearest milieu – including her mother, Isabella of Aragon – since her childhood in Italy and until her arrival in Poland. In the first part of the text, the author seeks to obtain an answer to the question of how the Renaissance fashion could influence Bona’s look and garments. The author proposes her own translations of several sources which shed new light on the subject. The description of wedding celebrations written by Giuliano Passero, Giuliano Passero cittadino napoletano o sia prima pubblicazione in istampa, delle Storie in forma di Giornali (Napoli, 1785) is especially important for this article. The new translation of this text differs occasionally from that published by Władysław Pociecha several years ago. In the second part of this article, the author analyses ceremonial dress and jewellery which we can see on the earliest preserved portrait of Bona, painted most likely in Italy, around 1518. The woodcut, included in Jost Ludwik Decjusz’s De Sigismundi regis temporibus liber III in 1521, could not precisely depict the facial features and details of the young queen’s apparel.

Monika Werner

The Image of Queen Bona in Polish Drama

The article presents a literary image of queen Bona appearing in Polish 19th and 20th century drama, and makes an attempt at explaining the reasons for painting such an image. The events of the majority of plays discussed in this text (written in the 19th century and the early 20th century) was inspired by the stormy marriage between Sigismund Augustus and Barbara Radziwiłł, whereas Bona, a character depicted in dark colours, was opposed to excessively idealised Barbara. The queen from the Sforza family was shown as a woman blinded by hatred and thirsty for power, cunning and unscrupulous plotter, pitiless poisoner, foreigner acting against the Polish interests and implementing the controversial teachings of her countryman, Machiavelli. The negative and historically false image became blurred with the passing years to change radically as a result of a more critical attitude to Barbara, visible in the literary works written after the Second World War. From a bad monarch wishing Poland ill, Bona turned to be a wise ruler and far-sighted politician, defending the interest of her second homeland. The article discusses separately radically different images of queen Bona outlined in two dramas set in Bari and not inspired by Sigismund Augustus’s marriage. Additionally, the stage history of one of them is presented.

Janina Janas

 The Portrait of Jan Grotkowski in the Poems of Jan Andrzej Morsztyn and the Question of the “Neapolitan Sums”

The author of the article draws a literary portrait of Jan Grotkowski (a forgotten poet of the Baroque period) based on four poetic works by Jan Andrzej Morsztyn. Consequently, an interesting figure of a writer, diplomat, and influential participant in international politics emerges from the darkness of oblivion. He is connected with the figure of Queen Bona only by a mysterious death. Thus, he is included in the list of people who, as Kantecki claims, “fell victims to the matter haunted somewhat by the curse of Queen Bona”. Trying to solve the issue of “Neapolitan sums,” Grotkowski, like Reszka, Mąkowski and others, died in unexplained circumstances.

Monika Werner

A Forgotten Film about Barbara Radziwiłłówna

The article focuses on the first Polish film in which the figure of Bona Sforza appeared, namely Barbara Radziwiłłówna, created by Józef Lejtes, a well-known director, in 1936. Moreover, it discusses the circumstances in which the film was made, and the image of the queen presented therein. Numerous comments which appeared in the press, both contemporary and of a later period, have been recalled.

Maurizio Griffo

 National and Liberal. The Constitutionalism of the Italian Risorgimento

The Italian Risorgimento, that is the historical process that led to the unification and independence of Italy, is characterized by the constant conjugation of the national principle with the request of institutions of freedom. The article reconstructs this process through its topical moments (Jacobin triennium, motions of 1820-1821, decade of preparation), focusing on the post-1848 phase, when only the Kingdom of Sardinia maintained the constitution, becoming, thus, an essential point of reference for the patriotic movement.

Iwona Dorota

Zofia and Livio Odescalchi in Two Epistolary Sources

The princely Odescalchi family was at the center of political and social events of 1847-1848 in Rome, in the midst of the revolutionary turmoil that shook Europe in general. Such events are mirrored in the correspondence of Zygmunt Krasiński and the Odescalchi-Branicka couple. Zofia and Livio come across as active figures, deeply engaged politically and emotionally. Along with their correspondence, Krasiński’s letters represent a complex canvas of facts and imagination, emotions and events, depicting many of the crucial figures and developments of the 19th century.

Weronika Korzeniecka

Roberto Saviano. A Few Words about Contaminating His Own Nest and Its Consequences

Roberto Saviano is an Italian writer and investigative journalist who has been living under strict police protection for thirteen years. He wrote Gomorrah, a bestselling book, that drew the mafia’s attention and resulted in a death sentence. Life in hiding is a price he pays for revealing the harsh truth about the activity of Neapolitan Camorra. The aim of this paper is to investigate what drives his uncompromising pursuit for truth, the strategies he uses to achieve this aim, and the response to his approach, coming from Italian politicians, intellectuals, ordinary people, and international general public.

Robert Papieski

The Funeral of the Queen by Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz – Editing the Text

The article mainly quotes a previously unpublished manuscript of Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz’s novel about Bona Sforza, entitled The Funeral of the Queen, which he has worked on between the 6th of June 1949 and 1953. The editor presents the origins of the book and its development. Additionally, all documents that Iwaszkiewicz researched and collected while working on the novel are included in the book, including notes, nine versions of the first sentence of the novel, and the letters from Ludwik Kolankowski and Zofia Zarembianka, who provided Iwaszkiewicz with factual information. The conclusion of the article reveals the nature of Iwaszkiewicz’s writing, showing that a huge amount of documents he researched– instead of helping him – paralysed him.

Janina Janas

 Miron Costin – Chronicler and Poet

The text is based on the analysis of the historiographic and literary work of Miron Costin, who held positions of primary importance in the military, administrative and political life of the Principality of Moldavia during the central decades of the 17th century. In particular the narrative structures of his chronicles are examined, which are often inspired by the texts of contemporary and earlier Polish historians. Furthermore, the contribution to the affirmation of the Latinity of the Romanian people is clarified, when the question had not yet been put on the agenda. Finally, the echoes of Greek and Latin classicism are identified in the verses of the poem La vita del mondo (The Life of the World), steeped in motifs and modules of the overflowing spirit of the Baroque era.

Francesco Cabras

 Some Reflections on a New Edition of C. Carmignano’s Viaggio della Serenissima S. Bona Regina in Polonia

The article is a review of Andrea Colelli (ed.), C. Carmignano: Viaggio della Serenissima S. Bona Regina in Polonia, con nota introduttiva di Luigi Marinelli. Roma, 2018. While discussing this edition, it includes proposals concerning the intertextual dimension of the poem, drawing attention to the similarities between the first ‘capitulo’ of the poem and Joannes Secundus’s elegy I 8, both texts being denied as epithalamia.

Katarzyna Kowalik

Italian History of One Literary Genre

The text is devoted to Giancarlo Alfano and Francesco de Cristofaro’s monograph Il romanzo in Italia published in 2018. The work is an attempt to systematize the information about Italian tradition of the genre which nowadays unquestionably dominates the publishing market. Moreover, it describes the structure of the publication, methodological assumptions adopted by the authors, their objectives, and the way of their realisation. The analysis of these elements shows whether the work discussed can be an important point of reference for future academic works dedicated to Italian novels.

Daniele Stasi

Letters from Concentration Camps and Prisons as a Depiction of Camp Reality

The article discusses Lucyna Sadzikowska’s book entitled Listy z lagrów i więzień 1939–1945. Wybrane zagadnienia (Letters from the Concentration Camps and Prisons 1939–1945. Selected Issues. Katowice 2019). According to the author of the article, the published letters of the inmates kept in concentration and labour camps remain interesting descriptions of the camp reality that redirect the reader towards literature of the personal document. The purpose of Sadzikowska’s book is to describe and codify the prison and camp letter with regard to its theoretical and practical aspects. She analyses and elaborates on official and unofficial camp and prison correspondence (e.g. secret messages, letters smuggled in or out of camps and prisons), and presents a peculiar supplement to this epistolography, i.e. the literary letters of Gustaw Morcinek. The reviewed work not only presents the author’s commitment to elaborate on camp and prison epistolography written in the period between 1939 and 1945, but also points out the inspiring potential of personal documents.

Alessandro Ajres

Tommaso Fiore and the Crows of Warsaw

The book is a commentary on the second trip that Tommaso Fiore made to Poland in 1953. He enthusiastically confronts what he considers to be enormous progress in comparison to his first visit (1948). Moreover, while speaking with some representatives of Polish society, he explores various topics, such as agriculture, the state-religion relationship, or the freedom of intellectuals. The text is a rare and detailed account of what was the Poland of the 1950s as seen from the perspective of a great historian.

Ewa Litwin

The Birth of Polish National Thought from an Italian Perspective

The article aims to present the work of Daniele Stasi regarding the birth of Polish nationalism. The book was published in 2018 in Italian by Francoangeli as Le origini del nazionalismo in Polonia. The author puts forward some theses concerning the process of national building in the period preceding the Big Partition in Poland, which represents terminus a quo for his analysis of the ideologies related to the national issue and rebirth of Polish state. Terminus ad quem of the author’s analysis is Roman Dmowski’s Myśli nowoczesnego Polaka. Based on rich and interdisciplinary literature, Stasi’s work aims to fill the gap in Italian historiography, related to the birth of Polish nationalism.