Count Zygmunt Krasinski

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Krasiński, Count Zygmunt


Born Feb. 19, 1812, in Paris; died there Feb. 23, 1859. Polish writer.

The descendant of a magnate family, Krasinski lived abroad from 1829, occasionally visiting his homeland. His first works, notably The Grave of the Reichstals (1828), were written in the tradition of the “horror novel” and incorporated literary devices of W. Scott, They were unoriginal in form and showed a predilection for the supernatural and idealization of the feudal past. The dichotomy between his class sympathies and patriotic feelings isolated Krasiński from the national liberation movement and placed him among the conservatives in Polish romanticism. Nevertheless, Krasifiski was a sensitive and observant, if contradictory, aritist. His most important works date from the 1830’s. In the play The Undivine Comedy (1835), published anonymously, he portrayed the social contradictions which are the moving force of history, using abstract and publicistic images. He showed the impending doom of even the best representatives of the aristocracy. However, even in this drama, Krasifiski could not abandon his tendentious presentation of revolutionary forces. His drama Iridion (1833–36) dealt with the nationalist movement, which he set in the period of the fall of Rome. During the 1840’s, Krasiński began to defend the aristocracy and to preach antirevolutionary messianism—for example, his visionary poem Before Dawn (1843) and the Psalms of the Future (1845–48). He is also famous for his intimate and philosophical lyrics. Some of Krasiński’s works are written in French.


Pisma. vols. 1–8. Kraków-Warsaw, 1912.
In Russian translation:
Iridion. St. Petersburg, 1904.
Nebozhestvennaia komediia, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1906.


Stakheev, B. F. “Zygmunt Krasin’skii.” In Istoriia pol’skoi titeratury, vol. 1. Moscow, 1968.
Janion, M. Zygmunt Krasiński—debiut i dojrzatość. Warsaw. 1962.
Libera, Z. Z. Krasiński. Warsaw, 1968.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.