Romanticism, Spam and the Struggle for Air. 1989–2009 Polish Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature After 20 Years of Freedom

The line between knowledge and superstition is a fine one. My impression is that fantasts are often slightly undereducated. They are unaware of the achievements of contemporary prose and the fact that certain kinds of narratives have now been deemed obsolete, and certain themes not susceptible to capture in the language of the present day. That unseen impossibility makes them similar to the uneducated Albert Einstein, who was also unaware that the science of his time was full of superstitions.
By virtue of such ignorance and obsolescence, fantasy and science fiction edge into taboo subject matter. What is worse, this state of ignorance keeps it from grasping its own inferiority, pushing it towards ambition, rapacity and rebellion. That gives them a particular affinity with the Romantics and the Positivists, who before they became canonical assigned reading, were young, rapacious disruptors. And fantasts are, in my view, people who for the most part liked the works they were assigned in school. They had not yet acquired literary prejudices, and were in fact fascinated by Mickiewicz’s political involvement, Słowacki’s phantasms, Krasiński’s sociological reflection, the science fiction elements in Prus, and Sienkiewicza’s historical adventure tales. They remained faithful to the tradition against which later Polish literature rebelled.