The Philosophical Aspect of Critical Reception of Cervantes’ Don Quixote in Poland (1843–1918)

Kazimierz Sabik

The first scholar in Poland who focused on the philosophical aspect of Don Quixote was Edward Dembowski, philosopher, critic and literary historian. Following into the footsteps of German philosophers and literary historians of Romantic Period, especially Schelling and Hegel, who saw in Don Quixote a symbolic meaning and allegorical concept of life close to Hegelian dialectics of oppositions, in 1843 E. Dembowski offered a new interpretation of Cervantes’s novel. This opinion gained support of the literary historian Adolf Święcicki half a century later, while a radical change of philosophical interpretation occurred  in the seminal work of the Polish philosopher Michał Sobeski, published in 1918. This work gives a deep philosophical and aesthetic comment based on close reading and original reflections on Don Quixote off ered by the famous Spanish writer and philosopher Miguel de Unamuno.


Keywords: Miguel de Cervantes · Poland · Don Quixote · philosophical commentary · German Romanticism

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