Leopold Tyrmand as an idol. Ways to create the author’s myth in popular culture of Polish People’s Republic
Popularność Tyrmanda, dziś i ponad pół wieku temu, nie jest związana z jakością artystyczną jego książek, ale z jego stylem życia i biografią. To styl życia dandysa, opisującego ukochane rodzinne miasto, Warszawę, zwalczającego komunizm elegancją minionej epoki i zamiłowaniem do jazzu.
The popularity of Tyrmand nowadays as well as over half a century ago, is not connected with the artistic quality of his books, but with his lifestyle and biography. The lifestyle of a dandy, describing his beloved hometown Warsaw, fighting communism with the elegance of the previous era and with his love of jazz. I would like to divide my work into two parts. The first one is going to concern culture in the post war Poland (political culture), but I would like to focus mainly on the concept of an idol functioning in the popular culture. I assume, that understanding this concept in a country, where culture was so strongly connected with politics, differed from the one of the western countries, where culture also meant industry. In the socialist Poland, the concept of an idol, was not ideologically accepted, however there were attempts to create similar roles, though using a different terminology (socialist labour hero, honoured activist, leader etc.) In this way, socialism produced its own idol. It varied from the western idol in the same way as socialist mass culture remained different from western popular culture. The second part of my work is the analysis of Tyrmand’s auto creation tools, not only the literary ones. Thus my interest in the world surrounding the author – a street, a café, a flat – where people, deciding who and what becomes popular, lived. Numerous authors agree that autobiographism has been a fundamental feature of Tyrmand’s work. That it seems as if one and the same person has been appearing in all of his books. A person who, though having various names, is so similar to the author himself. The authors also have no doubt that literature was the main tool to create the myth of the writer. I want to add a description of the second tool – Tyrmand’s lifestyle and ways of living.
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