Poeta, dramatopisarz, pseudonim "El ...y" i
inne, ur. 11 IX 1838 r. w
Kaliszu, zm. 2 VIII 1897 r. w Krakowie. Pochodził
z rodziny szlacheckiej. Studiował w Instytucie Gospodarstwa Wiejskiego
i Leśnictwa w Marymoncie (1856), w Akademii Medyko-Chirurgicznej w
Warszawie (1857-59) oraz na uniw. we Wrocławiu (1859-60), Paryżu (1861)
i Heidelbergu (1861-62). Brał udział w ruchu spiskowym oraz w
powstaniu styczniowym; 1864-67 przebywał za granicą. W 1866 uzyskał
doktorat z filozofii w Heidelbergu. Po powrocie do kraju przebywał we
Lwowie, a od 1870 w Krakowie. Od stycznia 1882 r. był wydawcą
krakowskiego dziennika "Reforma", przemianowanego w
listopadzie tegoż roku na "Nową Reformę", której
redaktorem odpowiedzialnym był od grudnia 1889 do stycznia 1895. Od
1884 był radnym miejskim w Krakowie. W 1889 został wybrany posłem do
galicyjskiego Sejmu Krajowego. W 1890 uczestniczył w sprowadzeniu z
Paryża prochów Adama Mickiewicza. Był jednym z organizatorów
Towarzystwa Szkoły Ludowej w Krakowie (1882). Podejmował wyprawy
wysokogórskie w Tatry. Był jednym z pierwszych członków Towarzystwa
Poet and playwright, pen name "El ...y" and others, born on
September 11, 1838 in Kalisz, died on August 2, 1897 in Kraków. He came
from a noble family. He studied at the Institute for Farming and
Forestry in Marymont (1856), at the Medical-Surgical Academy in Warsaw (1857-59)
as well as at the universities in Wrocław (1859-60), Paris (1861) and
Heidelberg (1861-62). He took part in the conspiratorial movement and in
the January Uprising (!863/1864); during the years 1864-67 he lived abroad. In
1866 he obtained a doctorate in philosophy in Heidelberg. After
returning to his country he lived in Lwów, and from 1870 in Kraków.
From January 1882 he was the editor of the Kraków daily newspaper
"Reforma" ("Reform"), which was renamed "Nowa
Reforma" ("New Reform") in November of the same year, and
for which he worked as the responsible editor from December 1889 to
January 1895. From 1884 he was an alderman in Kraków. In 1889 he was
elected a Member of the Galician National Parliament. In 1890 he
participated in the bringing home of Adam Mickiewicz's ashes from Paris.
He was one of the founders of the Folk School Society in Kraków (1882).
He went mountaineering in the Tatra Mountains and was one of the first
members of the Tatra Society.
He travelled widely all over Europe. In 1888 he made a journey to Italy, Sicily, Malta and the north coast of Africa, finally arriving in Marseille. In 1894 he travelled to Ceylon and to India. He was buried on Skałka in Kraków.
He published his poems in the collections Poezje (1869, 1872, 1880, 1894). He began his literary career in 1864-65. His lyric poetry of the time was an expression of the spiritual perplexity of the poet experiencing a crisis of his philosophy of life, deepened by his nation's defeat. He created poems full of blasphemies (Odpowiedź), rebellion against the Creator and against the fixed order of the world (Julian Apostata), bitterness and hopelessness (W zatoce Baja), a critical account of political romanticism (Sen grobów); additionally, poems rendering the longing for "spiritual strength", the desire of "the modern soul" to be reborn, as well as humble submission to the rules of Christ's teaching (Pod stopy krzyża). From approximately 1870 Asnyk began to search for his own mode of poetic creativity: eroticism, poems based on folk motifs, meditative lyrical poetry. Over time an epic approach became predominant in his poems; the lyrical picture of human emotions was replaced by an objectified epic picture of the world, reflection was more and more frequently used instead of lyric comment. The fullest expression of this intellectualised poetry is the series of 30 sonnets, Nad głębiami (1883-94), owing to which Asnyk came to be referred to as "a poet-philosopher". This series comprises the poet's philosophical system, which was an attempt at reconciling idealism with positivist realism and scientism. What linked Asnyk's philosophy to the latter was the pragmatism of thinking, the admiration for the achievements of modern natural sciences and the right to common development. Contrary to positivists, however, Asnyk did not believe in the possibility of the empirical study of reality. The human mind appeared to be helpless as scientific knowledge expanded. The ethical foundations of the system advocated an individual's duty to participate actively in the spiritual process of aiming at common perfection. The style of the sonnets should be defined as a discursive one; it is characterised by the intellectualisation and abstractionism of the lexis, the lack of extensive images, metaphors, similes.
In Asnyk's literary output a patriotic note is always present, advocating a belief in the nation's strength and the possibility of regaining independence, a note which is polemical with the conservative programme of agreement (W 25 rocznicę powstania 1863).
The motif recurring in many poems is the landscape of the mountains, particularly of the Tatras (Ranek w górach, Kościeliska, Noc nad Wysoką, Letni wieczór, Podczas burzy, Limba, Wodospad Siklawy, Giewont) and the motifs of the sea (Podróżni, W zatoce Baja), sonnets ("Zmiennego bytu falo ty ruchliwa!..."; "Wieczne ciemności! bezdenne otchłanie!..."; "Na falach swoich toczy słońc miliony...") as well as the cycle Z obcych stron (1895), Toarmina, Noc na morzu - w drodze z Malty do Goletty, Na polach Kartagi, Pointe du Raz.
"The mountains and the sea," Asnyk wrote to his father in a letter from May 28, 1874, "are the only universal cure for all human maladies; there, breathing in fresh, fragrant air, revelling in the sight of fresh and noble nature, one can forget about pains and worries...".
BIBLIOGRAFIA - BIBLIOGRAPHY
Adam Asnyk jako
wyraz swojej epoki, Kraków 1922.
OPRACOWANIE - MAREK ADAMIEC