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    Celebrating Polish Literary Heritage: “Nad Niemnem” by Eliza Orzeszkowa

    Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

    Explore Polish literary heritage with “Nad Niemnem” by Eliza Orzeszkowa, a timeless novel depicting history and patriotism. Join the National Reading event on September 9th.


    “Nad Niemnem” is a Positivist novel written by Eliza Orzeszkowa in 1888 during the foreign Partitions of Poland. Its main purpose was to present the Polish society and its own internal dynamics as they were in mid–19th century, in reference to the Polish January Uprising against the Russian occupation.

    The 12th edition of Poland’s National Reading initiative, “Narodowe Czytanie,” is set to take place on Saturday, September 9th. This year’s chosen work is Eliza Orzeszkowa’s masterpiece, “Nad Niemnem” (By the Niemen River). The novel, known for its vivid language and profound patriotic message, invites readers to immerse themselves in the lives of characters like the Bohatyrowicz and Korczyński families, delving into conversations about Poland and everyday interactions “by the Polish table.”

    Written in 1886-1887 and published as a book in 1888, “Nad Niemnem” is Eliza Orzeszkowa’s most renowned novel. Its picturesque descriptions, well-defined characters, and historical references draw parallels with Adam Mickiewicz’s “Pan Tadeusz.” Praised for its fusion of didacticism and artistic excellence, the novel garnered praise from reviewers, solidifying its place in Polish literary history.

    The novel explores the backdrop of the January Uprising, a pivotal event in Polish history. Its significance is commemorated in 2023, marking 160 years since the uprising. The President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, highlights the book’s role in fostering national memory and its relevance to neighboring nations.

    “Nad Niemnem” continues to captivate readers across generations. Its popularity led to cinematic adaptations, with a 1939 version lost during WWII and another in the 1980s. The novel’s enduring relevance lies in its portrayal of the January Uprising’s impact on Polish identity.

    The event on September 9th invites participants to rediscover the rich landscapes and compelling characters of “Nad Niemnem.” The story not only evokes the spirit of Polish patriotism but also serves as a reminder of historical struggles that resonate beyond borders.

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