(Title in Polish - 'Trzeba widziec, zeby plakac...' Stanowisko krytyki polskiej przelomu XIX I XX wieku wobec nowatorstwa twórczosci Maurice'a Maeterlincka'). The article presents the views of Polish literary critics at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries regarding the work of one of the great theatre reform initiators, Maurice Maeterlinck. His influence not only on Polish literature but also on fine arts (on Wyspianski and Malczewski, to mention just these two) turned out to be quite extensive. Yet Polish literary critics of the period did not fully understand the complexities that made the Belgian poet's thought difficult to interpret, and they could not appreciate the originality of his ideas. They responded to them vigorously but not so much with enthusiasm as with sharp criticism and contempt that only bears testimony to their own ignorance. Maeterlinck found just one worthy champion of his ideas, Zenon Przesmycki 'Miriam' who not only discovered his talent but also understood the genius of the symbolist poet from Ghent; it is symptomatic that his edition of the young Belgian's book of poetry has been the only one in Poland.
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