japonisme: the way of the world

04 January 2008

the way of the world


Trawo, trawo do kolan!
Podnieś mi się do czoła,
Żeby myślom nie było
Ani mnie, ani pola.

Żebym ja się uzielił,
Przekwiecił do rdzenia kości
I już się nie oddzielił
Słowami od twej świeżości.

Abym tobie i sobie
Jednym imieniem mówił:
Albo obojgu - trawa,
Albo obojgu - tuwim

Julian Tuwim


Grass, grass up to my knees!
Grow up to the sky
So that there won't seem to be
Any you or I

So that I will turn all green
And blossom to my bones,
So that my words won't come between
Your freshness and my own.

So that for the two of us
There will be one name:
Either for both of us - grass,
Or both both of us - tuwim.

Julian Tuwim

Translated by Lawrence Davis

as with every other culture we've looked at, poland had its own 'versions' of japonisme, with its own names for it. for the poets, they were called the skamander poets after a magazine of that name that they started.

and, from wikipedia, 'Young Poland (Młoda Polska) was a modernist period in Polish art, literature and music, covering roughly the years between 1890 and 1918. It was an effect of strong opposition to the ideas of positivism and promoted the trends of decadence, neo- romanticism, symbolism, impressionism or art nouveau.

'The Polish literature of the period was based on two main concepts. The earlier was a typically modernist disil-

lusionment with bour- geoisie, its ways of life and its culture. Artists fol- lowing this concept also believed in decadence, end of all culture, conflict between humans and their civilisation and the concept of art as the highest value (art for art's sake).'

in other words, in this corner of europe, as in all the others, the fin of one siecle was the beginning of another. and constant thanks to green tea blog for keeping us aware of all this.

(see another view of irina)

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Blogger harlequinpan said...

These are rare good paintings,i didn't know them before, thank you for open another window.

06 January, 2008 08:47  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

thanks hp==i'm so glad you like them! they're all new to me too. thank the green tea blog for opening windows!

06 January, 2008 20:06  
Blogger A.Decker said...

By the comments already, I see I'm not alone in saying, I knew none of this before. These paintings are very interesting and enjoyable, and your presentation says a lot in a short space.

I thank you!

07 January, 2008 06:16  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

and i thank you! it's really cool when you spend a lot of time researching and someone appreciates it... and says so!

08 January, 2008 16:21  
Blogger Michael said...

Weird coincidences at work again, lotus. I was just looking at Leon Wyczolkowski's work yesterday, after I had dropped into the huge collection of Polish paintings here:

I was struck by one thing that was missing from so many of the artist's folios there: There were hardly any nudes. I had to remember just how Catholic Poland was in the years leading up to World War 2, and then also take into account the extent to which the Germans and the Russians pillaged nearly every single painting in the country during and after that terrible war.

I wish I could understand Polish so as to get a better insight of the painting culture of this astounding country who have been squeezed between two giant bellicose nations for so long.

27 January, 2008 08:37  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

interesting thoughts, michael. yeah, it's interesting to question the various cultural effects.

you don't find much nudity in the japanese work either, unless they're bathing, or sticking gigantic organs into gigantic orifices. but a very high percentage of the women featured are courtesans. go figure.

there used to be a good polish/english translation site, but i haven't been able to find one lately, so yeah--that's frustrating for me too.

thanks for the link. i'll go explore.

27 January, 2008 19:22  

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hi, and thanks so much for stopping by. i spend all too much time thinking my own thoughts about this stuff, so please tell me yours. i thrive on the exchange!

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