The Same in Polish, or Peculiarities of Bilingual Occasional Poetry in the Eighteenth-century Grand Duchy of Lithuania


  • Asta Vaškelienė Lietuvių literatūros ir tautosakos institutas Antakalnio g. 6 LT-10308, Vilnius



eighteenth-century bilingual literature, parallel texts, neo-Latin occasional poetry, Grand Duchy of Lithuania


The paper addresses eighteenth-century occasional poetry of Lithuania written in parallel Latin and Polish. The research seeks to draw attention to bilingual creation as a literary phenomenon that reflects the linguistic priorities and cultural needs of the time, and to reveal the most distinct semantic and artistic peculiarities of bilingual occasional poetry. As a phenomenon of Lithuanian neo-Latin literature, bilingualism has not yet been addressed in detail in scholarly historiography. Only an article by Eugenija Ulčinaitė, in which she introduces linguistic expression, semantics and stylistics of sixteenth to seventeenth-century Lithuanian bilingual texts is devoted to this thematic. Research in eighteenth-century occasional poetry of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania has shown that parallel texts occur in nearly all poetry genres, but they were most popular among epigrams. Language variants of the works can be written both by the same and by different authors. Comparative analysis of texts has shown that when the primary – Latin – content is conveyed in Polish, it can be modified or complemented with information relevant to the dedicatee. Such alteration causes semantic and stylistic differences and creates a shift in the emotional tone of a work. Despite the fact that both – Latin and Polish – versions of a work are officially dedicated to the same dedicatee, the group of recipients seems expanded. It is quite possible that the Latin version is addressed to the individual named in the title, while the Polish version is meant for the general public or people lacking in education necessary to understand the Latin text. The need to convey the same content in Polish points to the vitality of occasional literature and its universally perceived purpose.


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