Jarosław Marek Rymkiewicz’s encyclopaedias as histories of literature
In the article the author analyses, from the point of view of generic studies, Jarosław Marek Rymkiewicz’s encyclopaedias devoted to Słowacki, Mickiewicz and Leśmian. The author examines whether these works are encyclopaedias by name only, whether they fulfil the task of the history of literature (whether they take on the duties of a historical-literary synthesis) and to what extent they are a response to the crisis in pursuing history proclaimed in the methodological discourse of historiography today.
Part one presents the distinctive features of the form called by Rymkiewicz “encyclopaedia”; in the following (Wszystko i nic [All and nothing]), the author checks the quantity of literary and scientific elements of Słowacki, Mickiewicz and Leśmian. Wnętrze encyklopedii [Inside the encyclopaedia] tackles the problem of the genre of the various entries comprising these works of literary studies, while Encylopedyczna historia (nie)była [An encyclopaedic history was(not)] focuses on the historical hypothesis as an important quality of Rymkiewicz’s works.
These analyses are summed up in Możliwa historia literatury [A possible history of literature], in which the author argues that the encyclopaedia can function as a historiographic genre and that Jarosław Marek Rymkiewicz’s encyclopaedia is a proposal of a history of literature, which, however, is not free of ideology.