…/2obK8Px …/2oc9Sgh …/Cnd5BQGqHOs/ …/Cni-qGdKx7c/ …/pfbid0371a8RYwz8DvA6sXYTGZbgWjFCUibeGecYd8tB61F44tj596wG5rN5XFFRdGyGsWgl …/pfbid02yuXKQbFcudxRx9EFHn6WgXnZ6RskxnLYFunQKZVfbeqWpREUunHk6DsywB52UYmBl …/1614881147401506816 …/1615597468283977729 …/Juliusz_Konstanty_Ordon …/Redoubt
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Paper: Watercolor Paper
Type: abstract single-sheet, architecture, wet-folding (implies: abstract, figurative, geometric, single-sheet)
Author: Michał Kosmulski
Colors: white
In albums: Inspired by Literature

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Images are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

This design was inspired by the Polish poem Reduta Ordona (Ordon’s Redoubt) by Adam Mickiewicz, loosely based on events of the 1831 Russian assault on Warsaw.

J. K. Ordon is the commander of a redoubt which becomes overrun by an overwhelming force. Despite courageous fight, defenders are not able to prevent the redoubt’s fall. At the last moment, Ordon rushes into the dungeon and blows up the gunpowder stored there, obliterating the redoubt along with both defenders and attackers. The narrator’s commentary states that “an act of destruction performed for a good cause is sacred just as an act of creation”.

What makes the poem especially interesting, apart from being a piece of good poetry, is that it made a mythos, quoted in a number of other works, despite being based on real events only very loosely. In particular, the main premise of Ordon blowing up the redoubt is simply not true. There was indeed an explosion at the redoubt, but its source is not certain. It was not initiated by Ordon, who survived the siege and later even tried to clarify things himself, but his story lost to the mythos whose hero he had become. On the other hand, the mythos provided inspiration and persistence in face of adversity to several generations. There had indeed been an explosion, not triggered by Ordon, but possibly by another defender (but possibly just by accident). While not true in the sense of accurately describing what happened, the poem is true in the sense of describing what the author believed should have happened. Food for thought.

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