The author compares two 'Young Poland' novellas, Stefan Zeromski's 'Silaczka' (Strongwoman), publ. 1891 and Tadeusz Micinski's 'Nauczycielka' (The Teacher), publ.1896, and revised in 1911. Both versions of the latter are included in the comparison, which juxtaposes the distinctly polarized portraits of the two main women characters. The article reconstructs Micinski's polemical strategies aimed at debunking the unequivocal social commitment and moral idealism of Zeromski's heroine. An additional insight into the character of the idealistic 'strongwoman' can be gained from the entries in Joasia Podborska's diary (in Zeromski's novel 'Homeless People'); however, the inclusion of that source complicates the intertextual relations between the two principal texts.
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