Self-Rapists, Adulterers and Unrelenting Inquisitors – How Bogusław Butrymowicz and Edmund Cięglewicz Introduced Aristophanic Comedy into Polish Reading Culture

Authors

  • Olga Śmiechowicz Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.12797/CC.20.2017.20.08

Keywords:

Aristophanes, reception, comedy, Poland, translations, Cięgiewicz, Butrymowicz

Abstract

Self-Rapists, Adulterers and Unrelenting Inquisitors – How Bogusław Butrymowicz and Edmund Cięglewicz Introduced Aristophanic Comedy into Polish Reading Culture

In this article, I would like to reflect on the question of the introduction of Old Attic comedy to Polish reading culture. My main source for trying to recon­struct how Aristophanes’ comedies have been brought into Polish reading culture is the first “complete” translations produced at the beginning of the 20th century by Bogusław Butrymowicz and Edmund Cięglewicz. We are still in the period parallel to the Victorian era in England, so we can apparently predict, before even getting down to reading, what both the authors’ translation strategies may look like, es­pecially in the face of Aristophanes’ prolific sexual innuendos. It turns out, how­ever, that each of the authors being reviewed by me somehow tried to pick up the gauntlet which had been thrown down by the ancient playwright. Their courage to translate the original meanings without beating about the bush surprises us many a time, especially when we compare the Polish translations by them with those made into English by Benjamin Bickley Rogers, in the same period. Both Butrymowicz and Cięglewicz worked directly on the original Greek texts. Their prose translations released by the most popular publishers enabled outsiders to the small circle of ex­perts to read pieces of ancient literature. As for pupils, students, theatre directors and theatregoers, their first (and usually only) contact with Aristophanes was by reading those translations.

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Published

2017-05-12

How to Cite

Śmiechowicz, O. “Self-Rapists, Adulterers and Unrelenting Inquisitors – How Bogusław Butrymowicz and Edmund Cięglewicz Introduced Aristophanic Comedy into Polish Reading Culture”. Classica Cracoviensia, vol. 20, May 2017, pp. 141-63, doi:10.12797/CC.20.2017.20.08.

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Articles