Popular Literature vs Social Problems.
The Example of Tadeusz Dołęga-Mostowicz
The subject of social problems in popular culture and literature is not very widely discussed by contemporary Polish researchers. It has been treated for along time as one of the symptoms of the past political system. Western researchers have a different view of the phenomenon of socials aspects in popular culture; they write about the links between crime, poverty, homelessness, unemployment and the texts of popular culture that are akind of mirror reflecting thereal world. Sociology and psychology are the disciplines that support the researches in literature, i.e.: K. Sternheimer, Connecting Social Problems and Popular Culture: Why Media Is Not the Answer, Westview, 2013, p. 3. „Sociology of Crime, Law and Deviance” series, vol. 14 — Popular Culture, Crime and Social Control, red. M. Deflem, Greenwich (Connecticut) 2010.
Marginal Conventions: Popular Culture, Mass Media, and Social Deviance, ed. by Clinton Sanders, Bowling Green (Ohio) 1990.
Polish researchers writing about the novels by Tadeusz Dołęga-Mostowicz often notice — even if they do not concentrate on this subject — that characters in these novels are deeply immersed in their social environment. The characters created by Mostowicz do not exist in isolation, without their social background. What the writer is most interested in is the social change in the life of a character. The change should be understood as both promotion and degradation. A character in the way between the different worlds is very characteristic of Dołęga-Mostowicz.
The writer’s opinion about the Polish social phenomena is negative and pessimistic: high and low classes live in different, closed worlds. Their borders are carefully protected against the incomers from lower worlds because there is not enough room for everyone. Hence the tragic tone of the stories by Mostowicz.
Another problem in the novels by the author of Profesor Wilczur are the results of a social change. Mostowicz shows that the promotion is not for the honest and well educated; the promotion happens to those who are brutal and who find naïve people around themselves.
The opinion of Józef Rurawski that Mostowicz let his readers believe in the moral order seems to be asimplification; the key of social aspects proves that Nikodem Dyzma, anobody, wins and Dr Murek, a lawyer, loses.
Interesting features of Mostowicz’s poetics are the methods of describing Warsaw as an organism and of differentiating the languages of characters belonging to different social classes.