Where Are We in Europe? Two Literary Maps of the Continent in Renaissance Epic Poetry (Luís Vaz de Camões and Maciej Stryjkowski)
In my paper I discuss two representations of Europe in epic poems by Maciej Stryjkowski and Luís Vaz de Camões. Both poets lived at opposite ends of the continent but they both attempted to respond to the cartographic revolution they witnessed. The increasing importance of maps caused several problems. Stryjkowski and Camões were also witnesses of political troubles in their own countries. One of the most important tasks was placing their own country (and nation) on the map of Europe and the world. This raised questions of symbolic and real hierarchy in cartographic representations, national pride and its cartographical identity. Poets who produced their own ‘self-made maps’ dealt with this problem in different ways, and this paper focuses on these poetic practices. Two of them are cartographical imitations and use rhetorical figures to translate a chart into a poetic map.