“…content of homeland” — Zofi a Kossak as a painter of landscapes
Zofia Kossak is seen mainly as a woman with a heroic biography, an author of excellent historical novels, books for young readers and passionate journalistic articles. What is neglected, however, is another aspect of her work: landscape as one of the major motifs in her prose, regardless of its genology. This is a kind of landscape painting, varied, using a broad palette of colours, changing, dynamic and, at the same time, reflective. Zofia Kossak was very fond of the mountains; this was one of her privileged landscapes — she had an excellent sense of its extraordinary nature and degree of sacredness. Whenever she described them, she would draw on their “spiritual and real values.” Her accounts also reveal the experience of a woman communing with the mountains, very familiar with them, a woman who is no stranger to the difficulties of treks and the joy of ascent. She walked through the Tatras, the Pieniny Range and the Beskids; she basically knew the entire Karkonosze Mountains and noticed the specific nature of the various ranges. Her protagonists are people rooted in the space surrounding them, the space that gives them the strength to carry on: being rooted in it as well as a sense of community mean that they never feel homeless, because this is a “tamed” space. For the writer and her protagonists the mountains are such a place.