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DOI 10.12887/33-2020-2-130-14

Mirosława OŁDAKOWSKA-KUFLOWA, Between Fidelity to the Scripture and Artistic Creativity: Biblical Inspirations in Zofia Kossak’s Literary Works

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The article addresses the manifold ways in which Zofia Kossak refers to the Holy Bible in her literary works. She draws on the Scripture indirectly, through hagiography, e.g., while presenting the figure of St. Francis (Franciscus alter Christus), and through the Biblical lessons read at the Holy Mass throughout the liturgical year, e.g., in her description of the customs followed by Polish country people. However, the Bible informs her work also directly, particularly in the three short stories and the novel discussed in the present paper. Only one of the short stories is based on the events recounted in the Gospel, while the other two are set in the context of The Old Testament. The stories remain faithful to the original text to various degrees. Usually, the writer does not simply reproduce the situations, events, and characters depicted in the Bible, but uses them to achieve her particular artistic aims. As to their general meaning, her creative inventions do not contradict the Catholic interpretation of the Scripture; at the same time, however, Kossak deliberately takes advantage of the artistic freedom to which she is entitled as a created writer. 

Key words: Biblical inspiration, Biblical short story, Biblical novel, Zofia Kossak

Contact: Katedra Literatury Współczesnej, Instytut Literaturoznawstwa, Wydział Nauk Humanistycznych, Katolickim Uniwersytecie Lubelski Jana Pawła II, Al. Racławickie 14, 20-950 Lublin, Poland
E-mail: kufel@kul.pl
Phone: +48 81 445 44 21

  1. ISSN 0860-8024
  2. e-ISSN 2720-5355
  3. The Republic of Poland Ministry of Science and Higher Education Value: 100.00
  4. Quarterly “Ethos” is indexed by the following databases: EBSCO, CEEOL, Index Copernicus (ICV 2017: 55.26), Philosopher’s Index, ERIH Plus.
  5. DOI Prefix 10.12887