Biedermeierowskie świadectwo zarazy – „Granit” Adalberta Stiftera

Obrazek miniatury
Mazur, Aneta
Tytuł czasopisma
Tytuł tomu
Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Rzeszowskiego
The following article is an introduction to the Adalbert Stifter’s short story entitled “Granite” in Polish translation. The article explains the political and cultural origin of the work, its poetical form, its ethical and philosophical meaning. The “Granite”, included in the short story collection (Colorful Stones, 1853) is considered to be an important declaration of Biedermeier movement in Austria, its aesthetic as well as its ethic tradition, manifest of which was so-called „Gentle Law” (das sanfte Gesetz), i.e. an ordered existence harmony and an unspectacular, daily practising the humanism in the personal, country and social life. In Stifter’s piece it concerns also an extraordinary case of the epidemic, which did plagued the Bohemian countryside in the 18th century. The story plot being based on local oral tradition, presents how adult’s and children’s characters react the hazards and challenges they must confront during the illness. Playing with several allusions (such as biblical, philosophical, scientific, legendary ones) the “Granite” concludes with two distinctive thesis: the only way to survive the plague is acting with human dignity and altruistically; the survive means an irrational and paradoxical experience. The „epidemic” motive – due to historical fact, at the same time the figure of a catastrophe, of a test, of an initiation into dark rules of history and nature as well – is sophisticatedly articulated, using different text construction, plot and narrative levels or implied meanings of the work (the titel motive of „granite”, a motive of volcanic catastrophe, plays a role in all of them). There is a kind of misterious interpretative ambiguity in Adalbert Stifter’s work till now – “Granite” is to understand as a Biedermeier idyll; as an evidence of author’s world view; as a documented case of the epidemic in Boccaccio style; as a parable about humanity at the crucial moment of the life; and, finally, as a short story masterpiece.
Słowa kluczowe
Adalbert Stifter , Granite , epidemic , the plague , Gentle Law , short story , Colorful Stones , Granit , epidemia , dżuma , Sanfte Gesetz , nowela , Kolorowe kamienie
Tematy i Konteksty 11(16) 2021, s. 288–314