”The Sixth Time through Bieszczad”. The Poetic Losses and Nostalgies of Janusz Szuber

Małgorzata Okupnik

The main subject of the poetic oeuvre of Janusz Szuber is his relationship with the land of Sanok which back in the days was a melting pot of cultures: Polish, Jewish, Ruthenian and, in less so, German and Italian. The poet appears in the role of ‘the archivist of the killed town’, he tracks down the traces of the past (literary past mostly), reminds about old folk customs and lexis, contemplates icons, writes about religious syncretism and communio sanctorum. A chronic illness made it impossible for him to wander in the Bieszczady Mountains. In his poems he reminisces about them by means of literature and maps. A separate thread worth mentioning in his works is keeping Ryszard W. Schramm company in his nostalgic ‘private journey of memory’. Szuber and Schramm were united through their longing for Sanok, which they both regarded as their own place. Geopoetics and nostalgia may constitute the key to the interpretation of their texts.

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