Das Imperium und der Garten
Die metapoetische Rolle der Panegyrik in Stanisław Trembeckis ‚Sofijówka‘ (1806)
Pages 97 - 121
The Empire and the Garden. The Metapoetic Role of Panegyric in Stanisław Trembecki’s ‘Sofijówka’ (1806)
Stanisław Trembecki’s garden poem ‘Sofijówka’ (1804/06) contains extensive passages dedicated to the praise of the Russian emperors Catherine II and Alexander I.
An important component for these panegyrics is a myth that has been closely linked to the Empire since Virgil, namely the Golden Age (aetas aurea) which was supposed to be (re-)established in a period of universal and long- lasting peace guaranteed by the hegemon (pax Augusta). The myth of the Golden Age connects the ‘Empire text’ with the ‘Garden text’ of the eighteenth century, which is based on the idea that the garden restores the corrupt and fallen Nature to its once paradisiacal state.
In this perspective the panegyric passages in ‘Sofijówka’ acquire a metapoetic function: on the one hand, the panegyric genre presupposes an extra-textual reference (the Ruler, the Empire) on the other hand, the poem produces with the topos of ‘locus amoenus’ an equivalent to the Imperial peace, thus first and foremost constituting the (political) reality that the text claims merely to represent.