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Nesting Time

P.N. Furbank, 26 January 1995

The Manuscript Found in Saragossa 
by Jan Potocki, translated by Ian MacLean.
Viking, 631 pp., £16, January 1995, 0 670 83428 9
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... in Saragossa is a great literary, as well as a great bibliographical, curiosity. Its author, Count Jan Potocki, who was born in 1761, belonged to one of the small handful of landowning families – the Potockis, Radziwills, Branickis, Czartoryskis and Sapiehas – who for centuries ran Poland. Frequently intermarrying, they cornered all the hereditary ...

The European (Re)discovery of the Shamans

Carlo Ginzburg, 28 January 1993

... passed unnoticed. At the end of the 18th century, another no less extraordinary character, Count Jan Potocki – the author of Manuscript found at Saragossa, the novel which an abridged version edited by Roger Caillois made famous the world over – arrived independently at similar conclusions. In a splendid book which appeared in St Petersburg in ...

Foreigners are fiends!

Neal Ascherson: Poland’s Golden Freedom, 12 May 2022

The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, 1733-95: Light and Flame 
by Richard Butterwick.
Yale, 482 pp., £30, November 2020, 978 0 300 25220 0
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... Russia. The Potockis, less cohesive, courted French support. The grand hetman (army commander) Jan Klemens Branicki talked about ‘republican liberties’ but thirsted for power.Catherine became empress of Russia in 1762. Two years later, her former lover Stanisław August Poniatowski was elected king in Warsaw. He was an intelligent, well-travelled man ...

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