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DOI 10.12887/34-2021-1-133-14

Olga PŁASZCZEWSKA, The Jester and the Homo Stupidus: Some Remarks on the Present Time

Cena brutto: 7,00 PLN za szt.

The main purpose of the essay is to investigate the meaning of the figure of a jester in contemporary culture. The starting point for analysis is provided by the literary images, inspired by Jan Matejko’s paintings, of Stańczyk, the most famous Polish jester of the Renaissance (Stach Ostrożka depicted by Henryk Sienkiewicz in Potop [The Deluge] and the jester portrayed by Stanisław Wyspiański in Wesele [The Wedding]). The recognizability of those figures is interpreted as an indication that a given society succeeds in preserving their own identity. According to Vittorino Andreoli, an Italian psychiatrist and thinker, our civilization is heading for self-destruction due to the degeneration of human abilities to reason and to make connections between ideas. The figure of a jester, seen as a component of culture, remains significant as long as there is an intelligent audience, skillful in recognizing symbols, irony, and other tools used by a jester. The opposite of a jester is a modern homo stupidus who, having squandered the ability to use reason, is no longer capable of understanding his own culture and identity.

Keywords: Vittorino Andreoli, Stanisław Wyspiański, Henryk Sienkiewicz, Jan Matejko, jester, jesterhood, homo stupidus, reason, intellect, 21st-century civilization

Contact: Comparative Literature Department, Faculty of Polish Studies, Jagiellonian University in Cracow, ul. Gołębia 18, 31-007 Cracow, Poland
E-mail: olga.plaszczewska@uj.edu.pl
Phone: +48 12 4220554, +48 12 6631334

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» Plaszczewska.pdf

  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