In the Old Cinema. Stefan Grabiński and Expressionism

Joanna Majewska

Abstract


Stefan Grabiński, a famous Polish author of weird fiction, who is known especially for his collection of short stories Demon ruchu (The Motion Demon, 1919), lived and worked in a period marked by a new artistic style – expressionism. Although Grabiński came from Lviv, often regarded as a province in Poland after the Great War, he could have a contact with the latest ideas concerning art and philosophy. Indeed, both in his short stories and in his novels may be found some traits typical for the expressionist poetics as, for example, a subjective perspective, a color sensitivity or a tendency to violent and dynamic use of formal elements. Grabiński was fascinated by a German literature – he read Gustav Meyrink, E.T.A. Hoffmann and an expressionist magazine “Der Orchideengarten”. Moreover, he liked going to the cinema where he could watch, for example, a famous German expressionist film – The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. The only text by Grabiński which was adapted into film in his life was a short story Kochanka Szamoty  (Szamota’s Mistress, 1922). Although this seemed to be a great material for an expressionist film, the director – Leon Trystan – decided to realize it in an impressionist poetics.

Keywords


Stefan Grabiński; expressionism; film; cinema; weird fiction; Lviv

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