Whereas Wincenty Pol’s topographical verse has usually been viewed as an expression of a ‘sentimental geography’, this article proposes a new reading of a well-known poem A Song about Our Land by Wincenty Pol in terms of ‘imagined geography’, a key term of an approach inspired by geopoetics and postcolonial studies. ‘Imagined geography’ refers to a poetic map, i.e. travelogue laced with motifs from the repository of national heritage. Its images, reshaped by the writer’s imagination, form an ideologically charged whole in which an emotive sense of place or scenery (‘touching the heart’) uncovers a complex cultural stratigraphy of the ‘imagined geography’. In the light of this approach, based on the insights of geopoetics, Wincenty Pol’s poem can be treated as textual representation of a map of the real and the symbolic territory of Poland.
The problem of Hungarian identity is one of the themes of Stanisław Vincenz’s essays written at the time of the Second World War. Inspired by Wincenty Pol’s thinking about relationship between the sense of geographical place and literature, he decided to explore the ‘general impact of landscape’ and in particular identify the place that would convey the essence of ‘Hungarianness’. The article looks at various aspects of this problem in Vincenz’s essay ‘Landscape – the background of history’ in the context of his other essays in which the idea of place is discussed. In effect, the article lays down a theoretical formula of indeterminate spots in modern literature. The indeterminate spot possesses six constitutive features: changeability and transmutability; fuzzy borders; shifty positioning between utopia and atopia; great semantic potential; the experience of place is involved in irreducible inconsistencies but rests on a solid ideological foundation.