The Iconosphere of the History of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Depicted with the Pen of Maciej Stryjkowski (Summary)

Krzysztof Obremski (PDF)

According to Hanna Dziechcińska, the iconosphere is a visualising literary reality where the text creates the illusion of the obvious. The iconosphere, understood in this way, is characteristic of Maciej Stryjkowski’s work ‘On the beginnings, accounts, virtues, marital and domestic affairs of the famed nations of Lithuania, Samogitia, Ruthenia (…)’ and especially of the battle scenes. Thanks to the verbal images created by the author, historian and poet, it is possible to see and hear what he is writing about while reading the text. The past is first knowable through the eyes of the imagination and is transformed into a variety of plastic images rather than a very precise factography. The text creates the illusion of the obvious through several means: description and narration, comparisons, poetic imagery and images within images. Although the illusion of the obvious is the most important para-visual form, Strykowski sometimes strives for the obvious for the quasi-obviousness, such as a personally experienced hike through the Carpathians. The history of old Lithuania acquires an iconographic status. It is based on the feedback between historical knowledge and the deeds of the ancestors, depicted in the words of the historian, which are meant to serve as an example for future generations. The picture of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania drawn with Stryjkowski’s pen is saturated with wars; one can even speak of a monoculture of internal and external wars.

Keywords: iconosphere, illusion of the obvious, quasi-reality, monoculture