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Publicly Available Published by De Gruyter Oldenbourg 2017

The Country House as a Transitory Locus for Soldiers in Polish Literature on the First World War

From the book Band 18 Housing Capital

  • Monika Szczepaniak


In Polish literature on the First World War, aristocratic estates, which played a central role in the creation of a national conditio heroica, were commonly described as locations for troop stationing by Polish military forces (Legiony Polskie). These houses offered idyllic accommodation for exhausted combatants who were fighting for an independent Poland as well as a storage place for necessities, recalling the tradition of bygone wars of liberation and at the same time symbolising an ideological fulcrum. In addition, soldiers were confronted with the occupation and destruction of country houses by enemy forces, which represented a trauma. Based on a close examination of selected novels, stories, and poems that address the First World War, this essay considers the material, emotional, and symbolic significance of the country house as a transitory locus for soldiers from the dual perspectives of spatial analysis and studies on masculinity.

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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