ANTONI MALCZEWSKI’S MARIA IN VIEW OF CONTEMPORARY CONCEPTS OF “BURNOUT SYNDROME.” AN ATTEMPT AT A NEW READING
In my article I try to read Malczewski’s Maria (1825) — the first and fully mature romantic tale representing the Polish romantic “Ukrainian school” — in a new way. Taking into account the biography of the author and some of its strict connections with genesis of the work, pessimistic conception of heroes’ fate, and also specific way of creating and picturing space, I have taken as a fundamental context of my interpretation the theory of “burnout syndrome” borrowed from contemporary psychology.
The analysis and interpretation of some parts of Maria in my essay have given me some basis to treat this work of Polish early Romanticism as the first Polish-language literary work giving a poetical explanation and picture exemplification of burnout psyche. I also tried to demonstrate that in the case of reading Maria in view of the theory of “burnout syndrome,” apart from some poetical descriptions of emotional conditions of protagonists, specifically shaped images of Ukrainian nature play a very important role. The images strongly motivate this hypothesis. In this context especially the recurrent motif of steppe is significant, the steppe which is a distinct equivalent of deserted, disinherited and burn out psyche.
Translated by Sławomir Bobowski