Historian specialising in Polish and Russian literature, Professor at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences and oustanding essayist.
This outstanding essayist, a historian of Polish and Russian literature.
He was born in 1928 in Równe (Lublin Voivodeship), died on 10 May 2016 in Warsaw. Ryszard Przybylski's unique position in Polish intellectual life is based on an original style of writing which unites the essayist's ease of expression with the discipline and precision of academic reflections on literature. His publications enjoy the highest esteem within scholarly circles while also attracting a wider, non-specialist readership. His unusual ability to move in both of these modes makes each new book by Przybylski a major cultural event.
He has won acclaim as proponent of a modern concept of classicist values, and according to Przybylski, classicism is more than a question of style. It is the foundation of an outlook on the world, a choice of the order and tradition of culture over randomness and chaos. In the first of his books that evoked wide interest, Et in Arcadia ego, he traced the Arcadian myth in the work of Mandelstam, Eliot and Tadeusz Różewicz. In This Is Classicism, he took up the present situation of classicism, proposing the defense of the language of our forefathers and the Mediterranean idea of man as agent rather than object.
The book The Gardens of the Romantics, 1978, was a major intellectual event, enthusiastically accepted as a sort of "manifesto" by classicizing poets and young people in search of the beautiful. This book, like its successors, is primarily interesting because of its special approach to literary works - Przybylski's own profound dialogue with the text, in search of metaphysical experience.
Przybylski's essays reveal an uncommonly wide range of experience. Aside from studies of his favorite authors (Dostoyevsky, Mandelstam and Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz), he has also written an artistic biography of Chopin, The Shadow of the Swallow, and a consideration of the spirituality of early Christianity (Eremites and Demons). Przybylski's whole essayistic output is a protest against the vulgarity of today's world, a refusal to accept the loss of beauty and the moral order.
Uśmiech Demokryta (Democritus' Smile. Un presque rien) is a novel based on memories from the writer's childhood in Volhynia in the 1930s and '40s and his youth as a repatriate in Gdańsk just after the war, composed as a Tolstoyesque sequence of childhood, boyhood, and youth. The collection of essays, which inclue Ikona mojej matki / My Mother's Icon, Nasz Wielki Sąsiad / Our Great Neighbour and Demokrytejski szlif / Democritian Polish - each contains a personal experience that is a kind of 'initiation into fate'. Attempting years later to "extract the existential core" of each experience, Ryszard Przybylski, a seasoned hermeneutist and erudite, has taken it upon himself to interpret the text of his own life. In his book, Democritus of Abdera becomes a symbol of the fate of an inhabitant of our part of the world in the 20th Century - one sorely tried by historical circumstance.
- Et in Arcadia ego. Esej o tesknotach poetow (Essays on Poets' Longings). Warsaw: Czytelnik, 1966.
- Eros i Tanatos. Proza Jarosława Iwaszkiewicza (Eros and Thanatos: The Prose of Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz). Warsaw: Czytelnik, 1970.
- To jest klasycyzm (This is Classicism). Warsaw: Czytelnik, 1978.
- Ogrody romantyków (The Gardens of the Romantics). Cracow: WL, 1978.
- Podróż Juliusza Slowackiego na Wschod (Juliusz Slowacki's Oriental Travels). Cracow: WL, 1982.
- Pustelnicy i demony (Eremites and Demons). Cracow: Znak, 1994
- Cien jaskolki. Esej o myslach Chopina (The Shadow of the Swallow: An Essay on Chopin's Ideas). Cracow: Znak, 1995.
- Basn zimowa. Esej o starosci (A Winter's Tale. An Essay on Old Age). Warsaw: Sic!, 1998.
- Rozhukany kon: Esej o mysleniu Juliusza Slowackiego (The Capering Horse: An Essay on the Thought of Juliusz Slowacki). Warsaw: Sic!, 1999.
- Sardanapal. Opowiesc o tyranii (Sardanapalus. The Story of Tyranny). Warsaw: Sic!, 2001 (more...).
- Krzemieniec. Opowiesc o rozsadku zwyciezonych (Krzemieniec. The story of a rationality of Conquered ones. Warszawa: Sic!, 2003.
- Uśmiech Demokryta. Un presque rien. Warszawa: Sic!, 2009
Source: www.polska2000.pl, Copyright: Stowarzyszenie Willa Decjusza