Abstracts, nr 1 (7) 2024

Tadeusz Sławek

The World and Reality of Things. On Joy as Co-Existence

Starting from Coleridge’s ode On Dejection the essay attempts to define complex relationships between dejection and joy also in the domain of pedagogy conceived of as the exercise in practicing the art of living. Faust’s complaint of the elimination of joy from teaching and learning clearly aims at a larger social project: a society of people who are active and critically assess social and political reality of the day. “Training”, which education has become, adapts the individual to perform repetitive tasks in order to adapt well to an increasingly mechanistic world. Already in the early decades of the 19th century, Thomas Carlyle said that if he had been looking for a single term to describe the new age, he would have found it in the word ‘mechanical’. We understand joy as an inclusive rationality that not only allows for that which does not submit to the rigours of the currently valid understanding of rationality, but is capable of taking a step back on the path of “progress” made under the sign of rationality. It turns out to be necessary to accept the postulate of multiple ways of domiciling in the world, all of which apply in a “mild way”. Such mildness creates the right aura for the joy that comes from the practice of co-being with others.

Łukasz Musiał

Can Joy in Literature be as philosophical as melancholy? Some preliminary Thoughts

Can joy be as philosophical in literature as melancholy? The article is devoted to this question. In discussing the issue, the author focuses in particular on the 18th century and Johann Wolfgang Goethe’s novel The Sorrows of Young Werther. The publication of this novel and its reception can be considered as a turning point in the history of so-called high literature, which from then on will generally favor melancholy as the central existential human experience, and as the most philosophical one.

Péter Pátrovics

The Linguistic Worldview of Joy in the “Canticle of the Sun" of St. Francis of Assisi

In this paper, the author seeks to reconstruct the linguistic worldview of ‘joy’ appearing in the Canticle of the Sun written by St. Francis of Assisi. During the reconstruction, it caused a special difficulty that the word ‘joy’ did not occur explicitly in the work under investigation, so the contents referring and related to it could only be examined indirectly. The need to place the Canticle in a broader context made it inevitable to outline the era and include certain biographical elements, and the complexity of the analysis required the application of linguistic-historical, textological, translational and theological aspects in addition to the literary ones during the investigation. The analysis of the work was carried out by including the original Italian version of the text and its English translation together, by exploring the psychological and theological deep layers of the poetic images used by St. Francis and by presenting the mythological content associated with them. During the investigation, the author of this paper came to the conclusion that the primary source of joy that fills St. Francis as he sings about creatures in his Canticle is actually not of this world, but transcendent.

Katarzyna Kuczyńska-Koschany

Rimbaud’s Joys. Reconnaissance

The article serves as an attempt at initial exploration of the topic of joy in Rimbaud’s poetry. It is a research survey, richly inlaid with excerpts from Arthur Rimbaud’s works in the original and translation. The study makes a cross-sectional attempt at a hermeneutical and axiological description of the poetry of the author of The Drunken Boat, considering the interpretative key in the form of the indicated motif of joy. The author tries to see the chosen penetration area from a deeper perspective, which allows the details of detailed analysis, processed philologically, to be combined into comprehensive, synthetic images.

Jacek Gutorow

The Joy of Looking. On Henry James’s “Italian Hours"

This short article interprets Henry James’s Italian Hours (1909) as a series of insights into a phenomenology of seeing, treating the latter as both opening towards the surrounding reality and an act of self-consciousness. James’s phenomenological awareness is informed by his sense of joy, which turns out to be something more than mere delight with beautiful sights and scenes – it is in fact a joy of discovering the world’s freshness and novelty.

Dariusz Czaja

Italian Fairy Tale. Joyous Passages

Images of Italy by Pavel Muratov, the eminent Russian historian of art and the excellent writer as well, have been published over than one hundred years ago. This masterpiece seems to be very well known today and is commonly regarded as a very sophisticated guide of Italian art and architecture. The author presents that such kind of conceiving this legendary book is a typical form of misreading. On the contrary: he emphasizes its  cognitive and literary merit. Finally, he reveals the real content of Images of Italy as a special form of Nietzschean gaya scienza, and at the same time, as a still vivid source of the existential joy.

Szymon Wróbel

Jacques Tati or Modern Comedy

The text is an attempt to interpret Jacques Tati’s movies. The main subject of the analysis in the essay is the concept of “humor” and “comicality”. The author reflects on the sources of comedy, its mechanisms and its limits. Comparing the acting techniques of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Peter Sellers and Jacques Tati, the author aims to understand the complex relationship between comedy and tragedy and the characteristics of what he calls “modern comedy”, in which the very notion of “modernity” is ironic and ridiculed.

Leszek Koczanowicz

The Joy of Politics

The article deals with a problem that is neglected in reflection on politics, namely whether politics, doing politics, can be a source of joy. Various positions on the matter are considered, from ancient writings to modern newspapers or even tabloids. The constraints on active politicians and the concerns that their private lives may raise are shown. The second theme of the article is the enjoyment of politics by citizens who are not professional politicians. Can participating in democracy, in democratic procedures, be something joyful for them? The thesis of the article is that this is generally not the case, that negative emotions dominate in politics, including democratic politics. The article concludes with the postulate that for a democratic society to function well, it is necessary to restore the joy of participating in democracy.

Bożena Shallcross

Anamnesis of Joy

The essay’s objective is to nuance the experience of joy as mutual and communal and to seek moments that facilitate its diminishing returns (anamnesis). Framed by radical experiences of the past, the essay intertwines the theme of personal loss (punctuated by citations from private letters to the author) with the loss of a homeland.

Tomasz Kamusella

The Joy of Crossing the Dark Line of Script

The standard image of research as toil, method and the principle of objectivity appears sterile, mechanistic and devoid of human agency. But research to happen requires scholars, who are passionate about their subjects of investigation. ‘Doing research’ brings them physical pleasure, which pushes scholars beyond the formal boundaries set in a contract with a university or a grant-making institution. Pecuniary compensation is secondary and rarely adequate for compensating the effort and time expanded. The joy of discovery is the ultimate payback. The first stepping stone to research and then to other scriptaly differentiated fields of enquiry leads through the acquisition of the skill of reading (and often writing). Initially, it comes in the writing system of a person’s first language, but then other scripts tend to follow. This feat of mastering a script always frustrates before achieved, but eventually brings the joy of opening the door to another human world.

Francesco S. Perillo

The “Cycle of Kosovo" by Milan Rakić

The essay examines one of the central themes of the work of Milan Rakić, one of the greatest exponents of Serbian Modernism: the cycle of compositions that focus on the history and current affairs of that region, which has always been disputed by Serbs and Albanians. These poems arise from Rakić’s personal experience in Kosovo, still subject to the Ottoman Empire, where he had been sent at the beginning of his diplomatic career. Of the seven poems in the cycle, five sing about the tragic destiny of that land, the cradle of Serbian religiosity; one, Na Gazi Mestanu, associates the taste for historical reenactments of Parnassi’s poetics with the passionate defense and proud exaltation of the Serbian people who in centuries-old relations with their homeland have drawn the stimulus for rebirth; the last, Legacy, the most evocative and vibrant, raises that indissoluble bond with the spiritual richness of the past as a reason for existential comfort. What the love of a woman had not been able to give to the poet is offered to him by the rediscovered communion with the historical consciousness of his own race.