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Literature & Politics in Poland

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 September 2018

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If Westerners harbored any doubts about the role of the Catholic Church in sustaining the Polish national spirit, the recent visit of Pope John Paul II to his native land surely laid them to rest. And yet the Church's historic partner in the enterprise of keeping Polish nationalism alive is still generally overlooked. That partner is Poland's national literature.

Polish literature helped sustain the nation through centuries of oppression, and its role in the post-World War II epoch has been no less critical. From the Romantic classics of the nineteenth century to a (for Eastern Europe) remarkably free modern literature, Poland's authors and poets are its unsung heroes in the struggle to preserve an independent national culture.

Copyright © Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 1983

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