This fresh reading of Stanisław Trembecki's (1737-1812) 'Sofiówka' (Sophie's Garden) (1806) tries to solve the problem of the poem's alleged inconsistencies by interpreting it in light of the Epicurean doctrine. The authoress argues that Epicureanism not only holds the key to a comprehensive appreciation of the poem but also enables us to make better sense of its most controversial passages, ie. the encomium of Count Stanislaw Szczesny Potocki, and the Russian monarchs Catherine II and Alexander I. The Epicurean approach also helps to illuminate the significance of some passages that have been ignored by the critics, eg. the narrator's voyage in Charon's boat or his stay on the island of Anti-Circe. Moreover, the present analysis focuses on the existential dilemmas of the main character, who tries in vain to defend himself against the fear of death and the despair brought about by the thoughts of the inexorable laws of determinism.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.