ABSTRACT. The article analyses the critical voices raised against the young poets and artists who promoted Futurism in Poland during the first half of the Twentieth century. Futurist manifestos influenced the new Polish poetry, stimulating a lively debate among intellectuals of the calibre of Stefan Żeromski and Karol Irzykowski. In general, the coeval criticism of Polish Futurism focused on three main points: the lack of originality and servile imitation of foreign literary models; the repudiation of the past and national traditions; Futurism as an expression of ideologies such as Fascism in Italy and Bolshevism in Russia. In this article, specific attention is devoted to an analysis of the essay Snobizm i postęp (Snobbery and Progress, 1923) by Żeromski. The writer, criticising Polish imitators of Russian Futurism, affirmed that Polish literature and culture, in the context of national reconstruction after three partitions of Poland, needed to maintain its natural connection with the past and at the same time, without losing its national nature, to weave some universal suggestions into the plot of purely Polish themes. The goal of this article is to reveal that Żeromski and Irzykowski’s critical stance towards the Polish Futurists, which influenced the critics of the next generation, was dictated by a shallow analysis of Futuristic works and by their inability to understand Futuristic efforts to modernise Polish art and literature.
«pl.it / rassegna italiana di argomenti polacchi», 7, 2016, pp. 61-76