We are proudly publishing the first issue of Fabrica Litterarum Polono-Italica devoted to Kazimiera Alberti: a mysterious yet inspiring author. Alberti belongs to both Polish and Italian literary traditions and functions in these two cultural and linguistic spaces even though this presence bears different implications in each case. Despite the incontrovertible merits of her writings, she still remains unknown to the wider audience if not entirely forgotten by it. Cutting-edge and capacious in its aims and scope, this mostly unprecedented issue we thereby present is bilingual, just as Alberti’s writings.
The paper focuses on an undercurrent analysis of social problems present in almost all Kazimiera Alberti’s work written in an interwar period. A kind of “hierarchy” of people suffering from social, economic, ethnic and gender inequality is evident in Alberti’s works. This “hierarchy” could be considered as hell circles, although a gradation of pain and misery depends on a level of social rejection, not on committed sins. Alberti puts cultural and ethnic hybrids in the deepest circle of hell – those people are perceived as others/aliens (and often not as human beings) by both (or more) cultures/communities, they are “made” from.
The paper is an attempt to analyse and interpret one of Kazimiera Alberti’s novel, The Decried Ghetto / Ghetto potępione, using new theoretical tools and methodology, i.a. Derrida’s deconstruction and feminist approach. The novel’s main character, Róża Grünszpann, not only torments herself with self-reproach and her own prejudices towards ethnic group, she came from – she also struggles with gender perception. These three factors are inseparably connected. Hence, Róża – by helping people from her childhood home, the ghetto – tries to manage her own fears, repulsion and identity issues.
The text is a polemic with critical literary studies that recognize Kazimiera Alberti as a poet creating “light and simple” works. In the volume Kalinowa Hour can be traced wealth of tradition from which the poet drew: from the Franciscan, by biblical references, to the Kabbalah. In addition, the poems of the Alberti contain “crevices and cracks” which, interpreted in the context of Kierkegaard’s philosophy, Derrida and Agata Bielik-Robson’s works, may indicate the originality of poet. Going beyond the ideas of minoritas and fraternitas lead the careful reader to the metaphor of the string and interesting reflections on the desire and animating attitude of insatiability. The intuition that the poet has overtaken her age is not only the poems, but their realization and extension – a rich and extraordinary life.
The article deals with the subject of the Tatra landscape in Kazimiera Alberti’s debut poems published in the yearbook „Wierchy” (1926) and in the volume „Avalanche revolt” (Bunt lawin) (1927). The author, referring to the earlier achievements of the Tatra literature, especially the Young Poland period, presents the most important motifs concerning the mountains in the Polish poet’s work – symbolism of nature, fascination with highlander culture, embedding the action of works in Tatra space. All this adds up to a special “tatro(geo)graphy”, which is an underspecified, poetic map of the Tatra Mountains and their surroundings.