The Berry Maids led me to a clearing deep in the forest and told me all those impossible stories. Made up stories, stories spun out of thin air, bits of gossip, fibs, claptrap, chuckles of stories. These were kinds of false attributions, fake facts, slander. One should not wonder about it all too much, and it definitely impugns someone’s good name.

2019 saw the death of Ann Snitow, an American theoretician and feminist activist; the media passed on this piece of information, and as a result, I read an essay on her body of work on the Internet (I remember that the concept of “stickiness” that was used stuck in my mind in particular). Afterwards I bought a used copy of the translation of The Feminism of Uncertainty: Gender Diary on OLX (a Polish “Craiglist”). It is a collection of Snitow’s texts, unavailable in regular bookshops, and published the year before, a summary of almost half a century of her work. And there, in turn, I read a 2004 essay entitled Who are Polish Feminists? (Sławka). Thanks to it I learned about Sławomira Walczewska (the eponymous “Sławka”) and I bought her 1999 book Damy, rycerze i feministki (Ladies, Knights and Feminists), the first Polish publication to describe the history of the Polish emancipatory movement and its discourse.

One of the stories Snitow describes is the tale of a then fourteen-year-old Sławka Walczewska, who, in 1974, wrote a letter to one of the main theoreticians of American feminism – Kate Millet. Sławka first heard the word “feminism” in a mocking article by a famous Polish journalist, Daniel Passent, who described a New York feminist demonstration where Millet was speaking. In his article, Passent makes fun of the feminist movement and of Kate Millet, who postulates that women, Black people and workers should unite (“Ha, ha, a parody of ‘workers unite’. How ridiculous, how childish”1). Walczewska decides to write to the woman whom the journalist has ridiculed. She writes a letter knowing barely any English, unsure if it will get past the censors, not knowing the right address, and, in the end, she sends it simply to Radcliffe College, a name that appears in the article. Due to her lack of linguistic skill, she is only able to convey “her greetings, and her wish to know something more”2.

Sławka’s letter reaches Radcliffe College, and the person who opens it makes a decision not to ignore the request and writes back, sending the girl several feminist brochures, leaflets and catalogs, including a book entitled The New Woman’s Survival Sourcebook: Another Women-Made Book from Knopf, a catalog containing the addresses of feminist groups and places, institutions, clinics, bookstores, magazines.

“Slavka points out an article called ‘Feminist Fiction’. I wondered about this – what could this mean? The word ‘feminist’ with the word ‘fiction’. My English dictionary didn’t help. In fact, with my English, I couldn't understand any of it”3.

The New Woman’s Survival Sourcebook was assembled in just five months in 1975 by Kirsten Grimstad and Susan Rennie. The first part appeared in 1973 with the title The New Woman’s Survival Catalog. “Styled as a sales catalogue, The New Woman’s Survival Catalog comprises listings and organizational descriptions, articles, and extensive illustrations. […] [It is a nod] to Stewart Brand’s influential Whole Earth Catalog (1968–1971), mapping a vast network of feminist alternative cultural activity in the 1970s.”

The Whole Earth Catalog was once compared by Steve Jobs to Google search. One of its creators said: “Stewart Brand came to me because he heard that I read catalogs. He said: I want to make this thing called a ‘whole Earth’ catalog so that anyone on Earth can pick up a telephone and find out the complete information on anything. [...] That’s my goal”4.

Walczewska lends me this catalogue, sent in 1975 from the USA, for the period of my work. I have it by my side on my desk while I write this text, it has been near me for two months, but somehow I deliberately delay reading it, and I still haven’t done so. I only leafed through it once, randomly stopping at particular paragraphs, and I checked in the table of contents where the subchapter on lesbian feminism begins. According to the table of contents, there should be two pages on that, but oddly, there remains only the first one, and the other is missing from this old, damaged book.

Snitow has been visiting Poland regularly since the 1990s, co-creating a movement promoting solidarity amongst women from the West and East – the Network of East-West Women. She writes: “We are sitting in the apartment where Slawka and Beata moved when Slawka left home. It’s an attic they renovated in a house built at the turn of the century for a new kind of person: unmarried middle class women with jobs who did not want to live at home”. And then Snitow continues: “I say to myself at this point: of course feminism is indigenous: all European countries have a nineteenth-century women’s movement. Slawka’s feminism comes from the soil right here beneath this house, and I am really a visitor, without influence or interference – what a relief”5.

I check the original English version of this sentence on the Internet, wondering how it sounded without the translator’s interpretation, in which the Polish uses the word “local”. The word “indigenous” has no perfect counterpart in the Polish language, locality is deeply geographically marked, it draws boundaries and insinuates peripherality, a distance from that which is global. According to the author’s ideas, this would be, perhaps, more a local-familial feminism, a native, autochthonous, aboriginal feminism.

When Snitow writes about “the soil right here beneath this house”, she obviously creates a metaphor for cultural territory creating its own particular branch of feminism, but, on the other hand, she writes about a specific place – the building in which Walczewska lived with her then partner, that is, in the attic of the Building Society of Women Post Office Clerks in Krakow.

The Society of Women Post Office Clerks in Galicia was created in 1903 and during the first 20 years of its existence, it built two houses for single, unmarried women clerks who, if they decided to work, were deprived of the opportunity to start a family. “Both in the Habsburg Monarchy and in Prussian Germany, women post office clerks were forbidden from marrying. If a clerk got married, she had to give up her job. Unmarried working women, on the one hand pursued by the damnation of being a spinster or a fallen woman, and on the other – sentenced to isolation, loneliness and lack of care in their old age, created houses for women. Such houses existed, for instance, in Berlin, Wrocław, Prague, Zurich and Krakow. They still exist in the latter three cities”6 – Sławomira Walczewska wrote in 1999. And in 2020, during our conversation, she adds that now only two of those remain: in Zurich and in Krakow.

Maria Konopnicka was born in 1842, she wrote short poems, narrative poetry, short stories, fables, critical sketches, she left behind a plethora of letters. At the age of twenty, she married an impoverished aristocrat and moved to the countryside in order to run a house. Over the following years, she gave birth to eight children; six survived. After 14 years of marriage she decided to leave her husband, moved to Warsaw and began to earn a living by teaching and translating literature. “Konopnicka couldn’t [...] stand the limitations her husband imposed on her. She didn’t want to be dependent on him financially and she did not like the role of a housewife. Years later she would confide that she was married to “a wasted rake and a man no longer young”, who took advantage of her childish docility. Jarosław, in turn, did not like his wife’s literary interests, and her literary debut took place while they were still married”7.

Konopnicka was the author of Rota (The Oath), a patriotic song that found a lasting place in the Polish national mindset and which was the main competition for Dąbrowski’s Mazurka to become the official national anthem. Lena Magnone, who researched Konopnicka’s body of work, wrote in 2011: “For the last hundred years, Konopnicka has practically not been read – she has been used”8.

Konopnicka was also the author of various short stories and fables on which were brought up several generations of Polish children; in 1903 she published another poetic fable – Na Jagody!: Książeczka leśna (Picking Blueberries: A Little Book of the Forest). My grandma would read this story to me when I couldn’t yet read myself; I would leaf through the drawings in the book endlessly. Only boys can have such adventures, so Konopnicka makes Janek (“Johnny”) a her protagonist, who will leave the human world to dive into the forest kingdom. On his way, Janek meets a family of blueberry boys, who will become his guides in the forest kingdom and will lead him deeper still into the forest. Together they reach a place where there live, in their separatist female world, the Berry Maids.

They look – the maids sit in a circle
(Bindweed entwining over them).
Each in a white dress,
Each with a red hat,
Each has golden plaits,
Each with needle-work in her hand
And works, dilligently, on the same thing,
As their Madam Overseer.
The boys bow energetically,
Eyes to the left, noses to the right,
As is proper for the honour
Of youth raised in the forest.
And the eldest bravely says,
“Let me introduce you,
This is our guest, little Janek,
These are the five Berry Maids.”
And from one word to another,
A conversation started!
About how the Maids are orphans,
In the care of their aunt,
Madame Berry;
What news there is in the forest
How the finch quarrels with his wife,
How the hawk was hanged,
For he stole the thrushes’ young;
How the hoopoe gets up to mischief,
How the moon shines at night,
With its golden ray of light,
Turning the Maids’ hair gold;
How they bathe in drops of dew,
How their green stockings
Are spun on pine needles,
How ladybirds don’t know fashion,
And keep wearing dotted dresses,
How one Maid’s named Basia,
A second - Julka, a third – Kasia,
A fourth is Zosia, a fifth – Hania […]9.

Reading this as an adult, I wonder why Konopnicka had to hang the hawk? Why does this lone act of violence happen in this forest land? Human laws superimposed on nature’s laws, the forest kingdom reminding us that a boundary cannot be crossed. A threat to children must end with punishment; after all, children cannot keep being stolen.

Why hang hawks in a country that venerates eagles?

I read: “For a long time it was considered a pest by hunters, pigeon breeders and farmers. Mass culture also had a negative impact on its numbers. During the period of the People’s Republic of Poland, in animated features such as Przygod kilka wróbla Ćwirka (A few adventures of Tweet the Sparrow), it was demonized, with the show’s creators depicting it as a cruel, crafty villain, living to harm its usually weakened and defenseless victims. This opinion was transferred to the countryside community, where it was ascribed the worst possible features, and blamed for considerable losses of farm birds and wild game. There are known cases when countryfolk would look for hawk nests in forests and then destroy the eggs found in them, kill the chicks and even adult birds trying to protect their young”10.

Perhaps, then, this isn’t about children, but about the economy, maybe this is about jealousy, loot, food, sacrifice. Perhaps this vision of a forest kingdom also requires an Other? One that would come at night, destroy the family, pick the young out of the nest and eat them.

The two kindred spirits meet in about 1886 and from then, until Konopnicka’s death, they are practically inseparable. Maria Dulębianka is a painter, younger than the Konopnicka by about 19 years. Konopnicka calls her “Piotrek” (“Little Pete”) or “Pietrek with worn-out elbows”. In a letter to her children, describing a crowd that almost trampled her when she was alighting a ship, she notes: “Pietrek was pale and brave, he feared nothing, just defended me”11.

In 1902, the Lviv committee organizing the 25th anniversary of Konopnicka’s literary work decides to give her a jubilee “national gift” – to buy her a house together with a plot of land; they chose a manor house in Żarnowiec. Together with Dulębianka, she moved there the following year. “In letters to her children, the author of Rota did not explain or comment on [ Dulębianka’s] showing up, at some point she simply introduced “Miss Maria” in her descriptions. At first, she still emphasized: “we took 2 rooms, one for me, the other for Dulębianka” (14 VIII 1894), but in time, the presence of her companion was only evidenced by the plural form: we have, we decided, we visited, we are leaving”12.

When the poet died seven years later, her daughter forbade Dulębianka to continue living in Żarnowiec. It is said they never accepted the relationship between their mother and Maria – “Zofia and Laura were put off by the nonchalant manners of Miss Dulęba and the touch of scandal that had to accompany such a persona in such a time, in such a country. She ran in the elections to the Diet of Galicia. She made long and radical speeches. She left her armchair if she disagreed with something. She threatened people with her umbrella. She also painted. Quite well. Quite interestingly”13. When Dulębianka died, in accordance with Konopnicka’s last will, she was buried in Konopnicka’s grave at the Lychakiv Cemetery in Lviv. However, after just eight years, the sight of a grave shared by a couple of women started to irk, the memory of the poet’s last will faded, and Dulębianka’s body was transferred to the Cemetery of the Defenders of Lwów (the Eaglets’ Cemetery).

The official promotional film at the Maria Konopnicka Museum in Żarnowiec describes this relationship, between the two women, by means of a single sentence: “The Museum in Żarnowiec is in possession of the largest collection of Maria Dulębianka’s paintings in Poland; Dulębianka was a painter living and creating at the turn of the 19th and 20th century. It is worth mentioning here that in the years 1903–1910 the artist lived in the manor house together with Konopnicka”14. And Poland’s main web portal dedicated to the history of Polish culture mentions, grudgingly: “Gender and queer studies scholars claim that for twenty years, the artists were life partners”15.

I dream at night of the Berry Maids, they stick to me, remind me of the bitter and sour taste of lingonberries gathered in the forest, smelling of the forest floor, the cowberries, the partridgeberries.

- We shall now swim further,
Where the land is full of berries -
Say the small princelings -
In the name of the Father, the Holy Spirit, the Son. […]
And then – Whoa! - they shout together
And halt their nimble horses.
They look – the Maids are sat in a circle
(Bindweed entwining over them.)16.

I have a memory in my head, a piece of information I once read in a mini-brochure on Polish manor houses and palaces of the nobility, which stood on the shelf in my mother’s house. For important celebrations that took place outside (probably weddings), impoverished nobility would cover the damaged walls with spruce branches, so as to at least temporarily cover the dilapidated building. The worn manor houses would be transformed into bristly green hybrids, only to return to their flat daily life after a few weeks.

“At the end of the spruce avenue, leading up to the White Gate, where the White Lady would emerge from under the bridge and ring the bells at midnight so that all the crows would wake in the spruces (later people would say that it was Konopnicka piggybacking on Dulębianka’s shoulders, that they would cover themselves with a sheet, they had a bell hanging up on an oak tree, and they would ring it, not really to keep up the fable, but more to scare away admirers of the manor’s flowers and vegetables)”17.

Walczewska writes: “On the subject of the relationship between Maria Konopnicka and Maria Dulębianka, a painter and a female suffrage activist, one can also only make conjectures. […] Maria Rodziewiczówna and Helena Weychert, Helena Witkowska and Marcelina Kulikowska, Maria Szeliga and Melania Rajchmanowa, Kazimiera Bujwidowa and Maria Turzyma – these are just some of the examples of female couples connected by the ties of friendship, collaboration or love. It is extremely difficult to examine whether there exist texts by those and other women pertaining to their relationships with women. The trail leads through the refined chuckle of those who possess an extraordinary curiousness concerning the private life of any two famous women. There is silence surrounding the putative lesbian relationships. Even those women whose main work tool is the word remain silent”18.

Konopnicka herself remains silent; in one of her letters, she admits: “Even to my nearest and dearest I write in such a way that Mr. Gendarme could read it if he felt inclined to”19.

Few are let by the forest
Into its secret depths,
Where its wonders hide,
A fairytale world – and yet real!
One has to wait a while,
For the wind to calm down,
For moss to smooth the paths,
For the woodpecker to lead us,
For the owls to sleep in their hollows,
For the wood’s grandfather to take a nap,
For the heathers to weave a carpet.
And then – anything can happen!
Come, children! Let’s go into the thick forest!20

In her diaries, activist Romana Pachucka wrote a passage that was not printed when they came to be published: “At that time, I knew three female couples: inseparable friends: I Paulina Kuczalska-Reinschmit and Józefa Bojanowska, II Maria Konopnicka and Maria Dulębianka, III Helena Weychert and Maria Rodziewiczówna. In each of these pairs, one would masculinize herself outwardly”21.

The writer Maria Rodziewiczówna was born at an estate near Grodno in 1864; her parents were exiled to Siberia for helping rebels in the January Uprising (1863-64), and when they managed to come back, as a result of an amnesty, they moved together to an inherited estate, Hruszowa, in Polesia. At 17, Rodziewiczówna paid off her sister and brother and began to run the household on her own; she cut her hair and, in a short skirt and men’s jacket, she took care of managing the estate. She began to write short stories and novels which quickly become popular; she published her first texts under the male pen name “Mario”. The books started to be a source of income, so she wrote fast and a copiously. She never married.

“It is difficult to establish a precise date for when the first woman moved in with Rodziewiczówna, but it is known that it was Helena Weychert, with whom she worked in the Society of Women Land Owners [...] Pachucka characterized Weychert thusly: ‘Most similar to the male kind, not only due to her clothing, but also due to her boyish body, which she additionally emphasized with a masculine haircut, with only a small fringe over her forehead, an English suit, a white vest, a high white collar and a long tie’.

Weychert lived in Hruszowa for several years. Then she moved to Warsaw; there, together with Rodziewiczówna, she bought an apartment on Bracka Street, and together they also purchased a small estate near Falenica, called Wyraj. It is not known what caused the move, perhaps the enterprising Weychert was not very fond of the atmosphere of the Borderland wilderness [...]. Despite this, Maria and Helena stayed in touch until the end of their lives, although in 1919 Weychert’s place at the writer’s estate was taken by another woman, introduced as a distant relative – Jadwiga Skirmunttówna”22.

“The decision to live together was made after several years of close acquaintance. Skirmunttówna wrote about it as follows: ‘And thus our life together, a lovely life in Hruszowa, started. Rodziewiczówna and I decided that the project of creating a separate place for me no longer made any sense; these were post-war times, with no safety, we have lived together through so many difficult moments, we feel good together, so her house should be my house. And that was the end of it. I never regretted it – and our Wahlversandtschaft [sic]] never gave me a moment of disappointment’”23.

The German word Wahlverwandtschaften means elective affinities, or spiritual affinities, and it is also the title of Goethe’s third novel from 1809. And then I read: “Ever since, the novel has been dogged by the controversy over whether Goethe’s nation of ‘Wahlverwandtschaft’ is more about ‘Wahl’ (the choice to respect’s marriage vows’s despite one’s contrary inclinations) or about ‘Verwandtschaften’ (affinities which have no respect for social conventions)”24.

“In time, a division emerged in Rodziewiczówna’s life: she spent the three winter months with Helena Weychert in Warsaw, and the remaining time in Hruszowa with Jadwiga Skirmunttówna”25.

The issue of the writer’s appearance was so awkward for scholars that even attempts at studying her body of literary work were made difficult by it. Tomasik describes how the author of the only biography on her avoids showing Rodziewiczówna’s appearance: “In the first edition of Głuszenia’s biography there are thirty four pictures, among them several houses, a plethora of landscapes, cottage interiors, even a picture of ‘playing a tuba’. There is one (!) portrait of the book’s heroine, in addition there are several reproductions of documents and group pictures, in which, due to their size and quality, the author of Wrzos (The Heather) is poorly visible. A still more amusing situation occurred when the second edition of the book was published. The cover bore a drawing based on the most famous picture of Rodziewiczówna. Her clothing was the only thing substituted – instead of a tie, a shirt and a dress jacket, a patterned dress was drawn; her hair was lengthened”26.

In 1920, Rodziewiczówna wrote Lato leśnych ludzi (The Summer of the Forest People), a novel inspired by the spirit of scouting and which praises the power and beauty of nature. Only boys could have such adventures, so three male friends became the protagonists of her book. “The lack of any deeper interest in the life story of the author of The Summer of the Forest People is made still more astounding as all scholars analyzing her work, both apologists and opponents, agree on one thing: the key to understanding the attitudes of the protagonists and their opinions lies precisely in the writer’s life story”27.

The Polish word “skauting” itself derives from general Robert Baden-Powell’s book Scouting for Boys from 1908 and it was translated into Polish as “harcerstwo” for the second Polish edition in 1912. However, Harce młodzieży polskiej (literally “Prancing of the Polish Youth”) is not a translation, but a gloss to make the original idea more “Polish,” including in its ideological layer. As the authors say, “Still, we needed to […] base [it] on our native examples from history and the present times, point out native ideals, sometimes quite significantly different from the British ones. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine a more unpleasant image than an organization of patriotic youth contaminated by Anglomania”28.

“There were three of them then.

The eldest, chosen to be their leader and commander, was crafty, […] fast in carrying out his intentions, scientifically familiar and acquainted with nature. He had a lot of land, and as part of this land, there was marshland and forests. […] There, in the depths of these secret lands, hidden as a nest, one spring there came to be a lonely cottage. […] Wild vines and roses covered the walls, the cottage melted, growing into the forest that closely surrounded it. The Forest People called it their vyraj, their paradise.

Over his lifetime, the leader lost his nearest kin and had no family. Yet, his house was filled with godly inhabitants, who were governed and taken care of by his companion, whom he had brought up for himself and made in his spirit. In the particular forest dialect he bore the nickname of Wolverine, and the other was called Panther. The youngest of three, Panther was completely composed of steely muscles, pliant, and agile, he also had the rapacity and wildness of his namesake. He knew nature from having co-existed with it, he understood the forest and the water, and the field, and his soul was thoroughly forest-like.

And then those two were joined by a third, who came to be called Crane. He managed to keep the purest soul in life. He was the personification of goodness, gentleness, and inner sunny weather. He found joy in forest life as only youth can find. [...] And those three lived, complementing each other, constant summer settlers in the wilderness, creators of this primeval existence, they became one with the primeval forest, they lived within it like all creation that came there with the spring for vyraj, and left in the autumn”29.

In December last year I went to conduct some workshops in Katowice. The market square was filled with three-dimensional Christmas scenes, each of them moving, singing songs, glimmering with light and playing on a never-ending loop. There were also a few motionless mangers, one of which had been woven traditionally out of straw, with a woven Madonna, and around her all those people, animals, horses and sheep in the shades of late August, with the harvest and bales of pressed straw. For such folk weaving, one uses dried ears of grain, long and hard, preferably rye or oat, and bunches are wrapped together with jute string. I decided to learn to weave, starting with how animals are woven, but using dried meadow plants for my work: mixed species, more fragile, greenish (less monoculture, more weeds). And then the pandemic began, so I created a temporary workroom-cum-shed in my apartment, I bought 25 kilos of straw perfect for rabbits (a mix of grasses, from a dried meadow without pesticides), and for two months of self-isolation straw was everywhere, the entire apartment smelled of hay, and I wove my dried straw totems.

“In 1872 Narcyza Żmichowska wrote that in the times of the Enthusiasts [the first Polish group of feminists, active 1830-1850 – ed.], when forced marriage was criticized, nobody thought about an alternative to marriage. Such an alternative could then only lie in ‘corruption’, ‘and after all, we are not sanfedisti or nihilists’ [Żmichowska 1876]. However, for the criticism of marriage to be sufficiently deep and convincing, it needed yet another dimension. What was needed was a positive alternative to marriage, the possibility to think of – and to have – relationships that would be free from the disadvantages of marriage. A free relationship between a woman and a man, not tied by marriage, was one such alternative. […] Another would lie in marriage free from – a man”30.

Żmichowska was born in 1819 in Podlasie, into a house of indigent nobility; she first ended up at a finishing school in Warsaw, whose aim was to educate good wives and diligent housewives, and afterwards she went to the famous School for Governesses – the highest possible form of education for women in that period. She finished her education at 16, and from then on, she worked as a teacher in houses of landed gentry and nobility, and she began to write and at 27, she wrote her most famous novel, Poganka (The Pagan – literally: The Female Pagan).

However, today she is mostly remembered not due to her body of work, but because she was the founder of the first feminist group of women on Polish territory – whom Żmichowska called The (Women) Enthusiasts or The (Women) Cheerers. “They belonged to the first generation of emancipated Polish women, who consciously chose a lonely and independent life, and who took on citizen’s duties equal with men’s”31.

Among the Enthusiasts “exalted, frequently passionate friendships were kindled between women”32, writes Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński, whose mother Wanda (Grabowska) Żeleńska was one of the Enthusiasts. The Cheerers wrote hundreds of letters to each other, frequently group letters, not written to a single person. “While addressed to one recipient, they were intended for all those spending time in that person’s vicinity, and fragments transcribed from one letter were sent on to other people, confirming the formula of community that appeared so frequently in Żmichowska’s correspondence: ‘we all’”33. The letters were written in a tone, as one Żmichowska scholar put it, of ‘friendship-love’34: “I kiss your bright blue-grey eyes and remember to tell Tekla, please do, that I also kiss her black hair...”35

“‘Sistering’ – to use Żmichowska’s expression – is considered to be the most perfect expression of one’s affections. At a certain point in the Enthusiasts’ heyday, this society resembles a kind of a hive in which Gabryella [Żmichowska’s nickname – ed.] is the queen bee”36. “For you will love your friends so much that there is no love left for your husbands”37, said a husband of an Enthusiast about the group.

Her novels were also created under the influence of the women she met – in his introduction to the first (as a book) publication of her novel, Boy-Żeleński shows how Żmichowska’s most famous text, The Pagan, was written due to a broken heart after her relationship with Paulina Zbyszewska ended. In the book, Zbyszewska is transformed into the eponymous “Pagan”, and Żmichowska herself becomes Benjamin (after all, only boys can have such adventures).

Zbyszewska was “a daughter of a very wealthy landowner, talented, educated, musical. She knew the whole of Europe, she had listened to Michelet’s lectures in Paris, and to Hegel’s in Berlin. She spoke several languages fluently. […] An aristocrat in fancy and whim, she was a democrat in conviction. […] Into her beautiful little hands fell a young teacher-cum-poet who had already enjoyed some fame under the alias of Gabryella, a devotee of ‘sistering’ as the highest form of feelings. She was twenty five then. They met, they liked each other, and the excellent maiden took the poor teacher with herself to her place in the countryside, to Kurów”38.