Walery Gostomski 1854-1915

He studied at the Saint Petersburg University and Riga Polytechnical Institute. In 1893 he became a member of the Warsaw Scientific Society (TNW). Gostomski made his debut as a literary critic in 1886, publishing his study entitled Pierwsza część Fausta. He was also the author of the following studies: Żywot człowieka poczciwego M. Reja z Nagłowic oraz Arcydzieło komedii polskiej. In his literary activities he took up the subject of Adam Mickiewicz’s biography and output. In 1890-1894 he published a number of works connected with that poet’s literary production. Most important among them were the following essays: Psychologiczna geneza Pana Tadeusza oraz Arcydzieło poezji polskiej, A. Mickiewicza ‘Pan Tadeusz’. In his writings, Gostomski represented the standpoint typical of Polish literary criticism of the late 19th century, which, disappointed in a large measure with the positivist program, was seeking a solution in a revival of religiousness and in national mysticism. Around the year 1905, Gostomski took an interest in social problems as reflected in literature. His views on that subject were expressed in his pamphlet called Ponad stronnictwami, issued in Warsaw in 1907, in which he engaged into polemics with the program theses of National Democracy while supporting, at the same time, the attitude of social solidarism and ‘all-Polishness’, which made him join the National Democracy towards the end of his life in spite of all the objections regarding its program. The following works also testify to his interest in the social questions: Z głębi duszy polskiej. Wspomnienie o śp. Stefanie Kozłowskim (Kraków, 1908), and Problemat pracy polskiej (‘Sfinks’, 1911). As a publicist, he published in the columns of various magazines, including the Kraków ‘Czas’, ‘Przegląd Narodowy’, ‘Kurier Warszawski’, and ‘Gazeta Warszawska’. He died in Vienna on the 30th of January 1915.


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