THE TATRAS AND ZAKOPANE AS EXPERIENCED BY JERZY ŻUŁAWSKI
The mountains, especially the Tatras, occupy a special place in Jerzy Żuławski’s life. As a place where one can escape from the noise and chaos of the civilised world, they become important as one of the most influential spaces shaping the creative personality of the mountaineering writer. The article is an attempt to examine the author of Trylogia Księżycowa (The Lunar Trilogy) from the perspective of a mountain hiker’s experiences. The present author analyses both memoirs and journals— which reveal to the readers a lesser known side of Żuławski, an experienced mountaineer, one of the co-founders of the Tatra Volunteer Search and Rescue and activist in Zakopane — and literary works, especially his lyrics, which reveal the writer’s wandering predilections and record his authentic experiences of mountain spaces. What emerges from these writings is a symbolic image of the mountains as an area of freedom (also political freedom), a place where God’s creative power is revealed, finally — a place of physical and mental liberation, requiring as much courage and fortitude as humility in confrontation with the primeval forces of nature. The author of the article, pointing to intertextual references and traces of literary and philosophical tradition (influence of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, Spinozian pantheism, Romantic images), seeks to demonstrate the individuality of the writer, for whom the ultimate reference in his Tatra oeuvre is always an authentic experience of wandering.