A b s t r a k t
In the article, I focus on the comparative approach to the images of nature in literature at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. I analyse H.D. Thoreau’s Walden, or life in the woods and Stanisław Witkiewicz’s Na przełęczy [On the mountain pass]. The starting point for examining the origins of nature writing is a close reading of Henry David Thoreau’s essay, which marks the beginning of ecocriticism: it combines an activist and revisionist approach towards the relationship between human and more-than-human nature. Although nature writing has not developed as a distinct tradition in Polish literary studies, in my analysis I demonstrate that Stanisław Witkiewicz’s Na Przełęczy (1891) is essentially an example of this genre, as discussed by Lawrence Buell in reference to H.D. Thoreau’s essay.