Published: 2018-09-301

The myth of the Wild West in the post-war Polish prose narratives of Warmia and Masuria in 1945-1989

Jakub Rudnicki


When the Second World War has finished, the new authorities of Poland depend on the rapid process of adaptation and integration of people in new lands. This target was achieved by creation of new myths helping to know and settle in the Recovered Territories. The one of the myths, which can be referred to literary prose is the myth of the Wild West. Moving it to the Warmian and Masurian literature can expand the multidimensional interpretation of literary by finding the conscious or unconscious authors games with the Western convention. Among the many parallels to the settlement of the Wild West in the literature of Warmia and Masuria can be listed: the category of unknown lands colonized by migrants and settlers often expecting a quick profit, business pioneers, the lack of a stable government and general chaos. Among the hero colonizers inhabiting the lands there can be identified some bandits – members of the robber mafias or former guerrillas – “forestry”, the sheriffs – usually representatives of the new government, security agencies and the police. Western scheme has not been fully described in any of discussed poems of Warmia and Masuria, so the myth of the Wild West can not be used as the key to overall reading of analyzed texts. It is, however, a contribution to a multifaceted collection of literature, which often requires ideologically and schematic nature of special kind of contemplation.


Warmia and Masuria, the myth of the Wild West, a pioneer, colonization

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Rudnicki, J. (2018). The myth of the Wild West in the post-war Polish prose narratives of Warmia and Masuria in 1945-1989. Prace Literaturoznawcze, (1). Retrieved from

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