WEMSK35c:Old West Slavic Literatures
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



 
 

               WEMSK35c - West Slavic Literatures

[For medieval purposes, West Slavic literatures are Czech, Slovak,
and Polish.  It was perhaps a bad decision to use the linguistic
division, since it is not a cultural one.  Culturally, we should
include Slovenian (the first document in Slovenian is in Latin
letters) and perhaps Croatia (use of Latin alphabet), since these
are under Western influence to a great extent, as are Czech and
Polish.]

                             General

Don't forget to look in more general works, e.g:

1. Grundriss der romanischen Literaturen des Mittelalters, ed. Hans
Robert Jauss and Erich Koehler, vol. 1, VIII "Die romanisch-
slavischen Literaturbeziehungen im Mittelalter (Heidelberg: Winter,
1972), 408-466.  Good on Czech and Polish.  Good bibliography, 680-
683.

2. Deutsche Philologie im Aufriss, 2d ed., vol 3 ed. Wolfgang
Stammler (Berlin: Erich Schmidt, 1962). "Tschechisch-deutsche
Literaturbeziehungen," 503-524; "Polnische Literatur in
Deutschland," 525-550.

                         Czechoslovakian

1. Bibliography:

a. George J. Kovtun, Czech and Slovak Literature in English: A
Bibliography, 2d ed. (Washington, DC: LOC, 1988).  Update to
Lewanski.

2. Chrestomathies:

a. Heinrich Kunstmann, Denkmaeler der alttschechischen Literatur
von ihren Anfaengen bis zur Hussitenbewegung. (Berlin: VEB
Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, 1955). Texts + short
commentary with bibliography.

b. Vybor z ceske literatury od pocatku po dobu husovu [Selection of
Czech Literature from the Beginnings to the Time of Hus] (Prague:
Academy of Sciences, 1957).

c. Vybor z ceske literatury doby husitske [Selection of Czech
Literature at the Time of Hus], 2 vols. (Prague: Academy of
Sciences, 1963-64]. With b and c you have a fair survey of Old
Czech literature.

d. An Anthology of Church Slavonic Texts of Western (Czech) Origin:
with an outline of Czech-church Slavonic language and literature
and with a selected bibliography, by Francis Wenceslas Mares.
Slavische Propylaen 127 (Munich: Fink, 1979). A strange book; it
belongs rather under the rubric of Old Church Slavic than here.
 

3. Surveys:

a. A short survey with some texts and commentary: Stuart E. Mann,
Czech Historical Grammar (London: Athlone Press, 1957).

b. Josef Hrabak, Starsi ceska literatura. Uvod do studia [Old Czech
Literature. Introduction to its Study] (Prague: 1964).

4. Histories of Literature:

a. Walter Schamschula, Geschichte der tschechischen Literatur.
Bausteine zur Geschichte der Literatur bei den Slaven 36, vol. 1,
Von den Anfaengen bis zur Aufklaerungszeit (Cologne: Boehlau,
1990-)

b. Winfried Baumann, Die Literatur des Mittelalters in Boehmen:
deutsch-lateinisch-tschechische Literatur vom 10. bis zum 15.
Jahrhundert. Veroeffentlichungen des Collegium Carolinum 37
(Munich: Oldenbourg, 1978). With good bibliographies; this should
perhaps be your first port of call.

c. Thin, but frequently cited: Arne Novak, Czech literature, tr.
Peter Kussi, edited with a suppl. by William E. Harkins. The Joint
Committee on Eastern Europe Publication Series 4 (Ann Arbor:
Michigan Slavic Publications, 1976. Translation of his Strucni
dejiny literatury ceski with a "Supplement: 1945-1974," 333-355.

d. A good general history, not very full of the medieval period: H.
Jelinek, Histoire de la litterature tcheque (Paris, 1930-35).

5. Comparative:

a. A large and important item: Reinhold Trautmann, Die
alttschechische Alexandreis, mit Einleitung und Glossen
(Heidelberg: Carl Winter, 1916).

b. For works on the Tkadlecek, the Old Czech version of the
Ackermann aus Boehmen, see the Verfasserlexikon, "Johannes von
Tepl"

                             Polish

1. Bibliographies and guides:

a. Francoise de Bonnieres, Guide de l'etudiant en Polonais (Paris:
Institut d'Etudes Slaves, 1980). Good coverage, but not trustworthy
on details. Cites most authors by first initial, e. g. "Kot, S."
Not really a guide; just a bibliography.

b. August Gerald Kanka, Poland: An Annotated Bibliography of Books
in English. Garland Reference Library of the Humanities 743 (NY:
Garland, 1988). 1585 books under 140 subject headings.

c. For thorough work, for those who know Polish, the "Korbut" is
the place to go: Gabrjel Korbut, Literatura polska ..., 2d ed., 4
vols. (Warsaw: Sklad Glowny w Kasie Im. Mianowskiego, 1929-31).
This is brought sort of up-to-date by the Nowy Korbut: Bibliografia
litertury Polskiej, ed. Kazimiers Budzyk (Warsaw: Panstwowy
Instytut Wydawniczy (1963-).  The first three vols. concern us
most: Roman Pollak, Pismiennictwo staropolskie, 3 vols.
Bibliografija literatury polskiej Nowy Korbut 1-3 (Warsaw:
Panstwowy Instytut Wydawniczy, 1963-65).

d. For really thorough work: Jan Los, Poczatki pismiennictwa
polskiego [microform]: przeglad zabytksw jezykowych, 2d ed. (Lwow:
Wydawn. Zakladu Narodowego im. Ossolinskich, 1922). Microfiche ed.
by Inter Documentation Center, Zug, Switzerland, 1982, 10 fiches.
OCLC ID No.: 09627309

e. Marion M. Coleman, Polish Literature in English Translation: A
Bibliography (Cheshire, CT: Cherry Hill Books, 1963). There is a
useful Italian translation of some Old Polish pieces in: Teatro
religioso del medioevo fuori d'Italia, ed. Gianfranco Contini
(Florence: Bompiani, 1949), 515-532.

2. Chrestomathies:

a. Wladyslaw Nehring, Altpolnische Sprachdenkmaeler. Systematische
Uebersicht, Wuerdigung, und Texte (Berlin: Weidmann, 1886). A good,
readable survey of the corpus known at the time.

b. Wieslaw Wydra and Wojciech Ryszard Rzepka, Chrestomatia
Staropolska. Teksty do roku 1543 (Wroclaw: Ossolineum, 1984). This
ought to be your first port of call.  It functions almost as a list
of the corpus. Copious facsimiles, bibliography with each item.
Glossary.

c. Stefan Vrtel-Wierczynski, Wybor tekstow staropolskich. Czasy
najdawniejsze fo roku 1543, 4th ed (Warsaw: Panstwowe Wydawnictwo
Naukowe, 1969). Not totally replaced by a.  Good facsimiles,
bibliography (sometimes fuller than a), glossary.

d. Monumenta Polonica. The First Four Centuries of Polish Poetry,
ed. Bogdana Carpenter. Michigan Slavic Materials, No. 31 (Ann
Arbor: Michigan Slavic Publications, 1989).  Sparse. Only the first
77 pages are Old Polish. Don't trust the bibliography.

3. Aids:

a. If you are beginning to learn Old Polish, a good guide is: Paul
Diels, Die altpolnischen Predigten aus Heiligenkreuz. Mit
Einleitung, Uebersetzung und Wortverzeichnis (Berlin: Weidmann,
1921). Also the Florjan Psalter is good to start out with, since
everybody knows the Psalter (or can look in the Vulgate, aided by
Douay); Vrtel-Wierczynski, 15 ff.; or the Pulaski (great name!)
Psalter, 52 ff. If you are learning Polish, A. Schenker, Beginning
Polish, rev. ed., 2 vols (Yale UP, 1973) is highly praised (e.g. by
Bonnieres).  I am getting off the subject, but I have found an old
standby good: Joseph A. Teslar, A New Polish Grammar, 6th ed.
(Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, 1953).  There will be a WEMSK on the Old
Polish language.

b. Zygmunt Gloger, ed., Encyklopedia staropolska ilustrowana, 4
vols. (Warsaw: Laskauer and Babicki, 1900-1903). Not scholarly, but
a good place to look up an unfamiliar term.  Its section on the
Bogorodzica has the music.

c. Polish Encyclopedia, vol. 1. Publications of the Polish National
Committee of America (Geneva: ATAR, 1926; repr. NY: Arno Press &
The New York Times, 1972).  Its section (ca. 45 pp.) on Old Polish
literature is sparse, but a good quick read.

4. Latin:

a. Marya Kasterska, Les po tes latins-polonais jusqu' 1582 (Paris:
A. Rousseau, n. d.). Bibliographie, 188-195.

b. Alexander Brueckner, Sredniowieczna poezya lacinska (Cracow,
1892).

5. Comparative; the Polish contribution to the Walther story:

a. Waltharius und Walthersage, ed. Emil Ernst Ploss (Hildesheim:
Georg Olms, 1969).  Collection of articles plus a bibliography.

b. Francis P. Magoun, Jr. and Hamilton M. Smyser, Walter of
Aquitaine. Materials for the Study of his Legend. Connecticut Coll.
Monographs 4 (New London, Conn.: Connecticut College, 1950). Cf.
also their translation in Conn. Coll. Monogr. 1, 1941.

c. Felix Liebrecht, "Zur slavischen Walthariussage," Germania 11
(1866), 172 f.

d. Richard Heinzel, Ueber die Walthersage (Wiener Sitzungsberichte
117, No. 2, 1889). Contains an edition of the Latin and the Polish,
plus a translation.

e. Gerard Labuda, Zrodla, sagi i legendy do najdawniejszych Dziegow
Polski (Warsaw, 1960. pp. 243-295: "Powiesc o Walgierzu z Tynca i
o Wislawie z Wislicy" (with a French summary, 307 f.).

Internet Resources

STAROPOLSKA ON-LINE (OLD POLISH LITERATURE)
A great resource created and maintained by Roman Mazurkiewicz and Mariusz Gorniak. The main page is in Polish but English translations are avaible (click on the UK flag) -- German and Swedish version seem to be in the making as well.