Rosja i Rosjanie w korespondencji Elizy Orzeszkowej. Listy do Wacława Makowskiego, Leopolda Mėyeta, Erazma Piltza i Józefa Sikorskiego z lat 1866–1909
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The nineteenth-century extensive correspondence of Eliza Orzeszkowa, a great Polish writer, is a mirror showing the epoch in all its complexity, beginning with great matters such as the formation of modern nations in Central and Eastern Europe, ending with the prose of everyday life. Based on the first two volumes of the writer’s correspondence, edited and published by Edmund Jankowski, this article aims to signal a broad problem, which was the attitude of E. Orzeszkowa to Russia as a partitioning state and to Russians, both those representing the Romanov Empire, i.e. various officials, as well as representatives of Russian literature, art or ordinary admirers of talent of the author from Grodno. From the letters to Wacław Makowski, Leopold Mėyet, Erazm Piltz and Józef Sikorski written in 1866–1909, one can see the great knowledge of the political realities of the era and the deeply humanistic vision of man in all its social and psychological complexity. Eliza Orzeszkowa, who lived in the „western governorates of Russia”, had an attitude to her, similar to most Poles who were hardly repressed after the fall of the January Uprising. But at the same time, she did not transfer her hostility towards the Russian state to all people of Russian nationality – as in every nation, she saw righteous and decent people, especially among those named by A. Mickiewicz „Muscovites-friends”.
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