Krasicki, Ignacy


Krasicki, Ignacy

▪ Polish poet
born February 3, 1735, Dubiecko, Poland
died March 14, 1801, Berlin, Germany
 a major Polish poet, satirist, and prose writer of the Enlightenment.

      Born to an aristocratic but impoverished family, Krasicki was educated at the Warsaw Catholic Seminary and became bishop of Warmia (Ermeland) at age 32. He served as one of the closest cultural counselors to King Stanisław II August Poniatowski; in 1795 he was named archbishop of Gniezno.

      Krasicki's satires—the first collection was entitled simply Satyry (1779; “Satires”)—concentrate on vices such as drunkenness and greediness. In “Pijaństwo” (“Drunkenness”), Krasicki portrays the gradual process of alcohol addiction. His mock-heroic poems include Monachomachia (1778; “War of Monks”), a satirical attack on ignorant and dissolute monks.

      Krasicki also introduced the modern novel to Poland with Mikołaja Doświadczyńskiego przypadki (1776; The Adventures of Mr. Nicholas Wisdom). Influenced by the works of Daniel Defoe (Defoe, Daniel), Jonathan Swift (Swift, Jonathan), and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Rousseau, Jean-Jacques), it is written in the form of a diary and consists of three sections, the second of which introduces an imaginary island whose inhabitants live an ideally simple life.

      Krasicki was scholarly, skeptical, and critical but fundamentally optimistic and never cynical. The fables in Bajki i przypowieści (1779) and Bajki nowe (1803) are among his best work. Typical of these fables is the four-line “The Lamb and the Wolves,” which is the story of an encounter between three powerful predators and a weak little lamb. When the lamb asks the reason for the predators' attack, they respond: “You're tasty, weak, and in the woods!” and eat it up “in one bite.” Polish readers of that time could read its universal message (“Whoever seeks to conquer will find an excuse”) as a concrete example of the partition of their country between Russia, Prussia, and Austria. Most of the fables in these two volumes appear in Polish Fables (1997). They are told in concise, unambiguous language and reflect the author's skepticism about human nature, tempered by sympathetic understanding.

Additional Reading
David J. Welsh, Ignacy Krasicki (1969).

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Ignacy Chrzanowski — (* 5. Februar 1866 in Stok Lacki; † 19. Januar 1940 im KZ Sachsenhausen) war ein polnischer Literaturwissenschaftler. Er gilt als Begründer der polnischen historischen Literaturwissenschaft. Das Gymnasium in Warschau besuchte er von 1876 bis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Krasicki —   [kra ɕitski], Ignacy, polnischer Dichter, * Dubiecko (Galizien) 3. 2. 1735, ✝ Berlin 14. 3. 1801; wurde 1766 Fürstbischof von Ermland, 1795 Erzbischof von Gnesen; hervorragender Vertreter der polnischen literarischen Aufklärung. Zu seinen… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Krasicki — (spr. ßitzki), Ignacy, Graf, berühmter poln. Dichter und Schriftsteller, geb. 3. Febr. 1735 in Dubiecko, gest. 14. März 1801 in Berlin, besuchte die Schule in Lemberg, widmete sich dem geistlichen Stand und studierte 1760–61 in Rom. Nach Polen… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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  • Ignacy Krasicki — Retrato de Krasicki por Per Kraft, 1767. National Museum de Varsovia. Conde Ignacy Krasicki (Dubiecko, Galizia, 3 de febrero de 1735 Berlín, 14 de marzo de 1801), escritor polaco de la Ilustración. Biografía Descendiente de una familia… …   Wikipedia Español

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