Oddzielenie i odosobnienie. Listy Józefa Szymanowskiego do Anieli ze Świdzińskich Szymanowskiej

The article recollects the letters of Józef Szymanowski to Aniela Szymanowska (née Świdzińska) , written in the years 1792–1801. The state of isolation seems to be an important perspective for understanding the nature of the correspondence. This could be discussed in many inter-connected aspects, each shedding light on the other. The separation and isolation of Szymanowski stem both from being in a situation of pressure, as well as from his own choice. At the same time, they do not become a reason behind the voluntary breaking off of ties, separation from loved ones, or an experience of social exclusion. Letter writing is one of the coping mechanisms for the state of isolation in every-day existence. The first aspect of reviewing the letters is the state of separation of the correspondents, imposed by political events. The second one is connected to the progressing process of isolation, induced by the deteriorating health of Szymanowski. This has a significant bearing on the activity of the author, it forces him to undertake treatment and restrict personal contacts, it makes him unable to meet with others and determines his moods. Gradually, it forces him to take up letter-writing as a form of maintaining ties with his loved ones. The inability to write and, in some instances, dictation (which, to a great degree, removes the quality of intimacy), restricts the length of the letters. The third aspect is the attitude of separateness as a way of participating in life. We take into consideration the moral aspects and the patriotic stance, which determine the withdrawal, and the choosing of a role of an observer and commentator. Likewise, physical constitution causes remaining out of the spotlight (though in regular contact) to appear as a solution which can guarantee psychological comfort. Separateness is also an attitude resulting from the author’s personality, which was important in the documented period of his life. It is related to an inner need for independence. It also refers to the bond between the correspondents. The above-mentioned aspects of isolation, forced and chosen, have been utilised as a perspective for reading the correspondence of Szymanowski. They illustrate the methods and range of communicating via letters.
Chachaj, Małgorzata (2021). Oddzielenie i odosobnienie. Listy Józefa Szymanowskiego do Anieli ze Świdzińskich Szymanowskiej. Napis, XXVII, s. 57-74. http://doi.org/10.18318/napis.2021.1.5
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