2015_08_02_7 - XLinguae

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Fryderyk Chopin in Polish literature
Libor Martinek

DOI: 10.18355/XL.2015.08.02.85-98

The composer Fryderyk Chopin is connected with the Czech lands through a number of visits (to Carlsbad, Prague, Děčín, Teplice, Marienbad) during which he spent happy times meeting again his family, who lived in a Russian-occupied territory. He met there and fell deeply in love with Maria Wodzińska, who unfortunately didn’t share his feelings. In Prague he got acquainted with Czech national revivalists (Václav Hanka, among others) and with famous composers of the time. In Vienna, the centre of the Habsburg monarchy, he got in touch with many Czech composers and befriended the violinist Josef Slavík. Chopin was invited to play at several Czech castles; he received an especially warm welcome in Děčín. His music teachers in Warsaw were of Czech origin. Chopin’s numerous relations to the Czech lands inspired the establishment of the Fryderyk Chopin Society, of the international festival held in Mariánské Lázně (formerly Marienbad), and even musicological symposia. Many Czech people – poets, fiction writers, literary historians, musicians and music scholars – expressed their attitude to Chopin and his music. They were inspired by the many notable facts associated with Chopin’s visits and experiences in the Czech lands and elsewhere in the Austrian monarchy; by his romantic life, democratic thinking, personal qualities and artistic skills. Various interesting literary works include poetry books by Kamil Bednář, Jiří Karen, Josef Pávek, Oldřich Zemek, Karla Erbová, and a collection of three novellas by Vladislav Mareš. Apart from writing about Czech Chopin-related works and translating key Polish chopiniana into Czech, the author of the study focuses mainly on the interpretation of the relations between literature and music in the works of the above-mentioned Polish writers: Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, Tadeusz Łopalewski, Janina Siwkowska, Maria Kuncewiczowa, Juliusz Kaden-Bandrowski, Jerzy Broszkiewicz, Mira Jaworczakowa et cetera.

Key words
Fryderyk Chopin, music, Poland, Polish literature (belles-lettres, memoirs)

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