In ancient Roman literature, the Latin word silva rerum (a forest of things) designated a mixture of literary strategies and genres. (Pisarski 2010, p.3). From the 16th through the 18th century, the silva rerum or sylwa (polonized version) was revived in Poland as a multi-generational chronicle, a diary or memoir for the entire family, authored by members of the Polish nobility (szlachta), who recorded the family traditions, among other matters. Not originally intended for print (although there were a few exceptions), some of these books were also shown to honoured guests and close friends of the family, who were allowed to add their comments to them.
Some silvae rerum brought to light comments of many generations, and contained diverse information: an aggregation of loosely related pieces of narrative, diary-type entries on topical events interwoven with fragments of poetry, photos, cartoons, riddles, doodles, drawings, recipes, citations, memoirs, letters, political speeches, philosophical musings, copies of legal documents, gossip, jokes and anecdotes, fragments of religious poetry, financial and economic documents and information (household bills, price of grain, etc.), newspaper cutouts, birthdays, wedding dates and narratives, mournings, genealogical trees and advice (agricultural, medical, moral) for the descendants and others.
A silva rerum is a pêle-mêle, an open “book of everything on anything” (Pisarski 2010, p.5)
The idea of naming this domain “silvarerum.net” originated from Bohdan Pawlowicz‘s diaries, which bear the same name. The two families, Pawlowicz and Juzwiak that formed after him and their descendants, who are scattered all over the world, have now a digital platform to converge and chronicle anything they wish to record for themselves and/or future generations.
The blog posts are a trace of everyday moments and impressions, while the pages give more structured information about the families, which can be accessed through the navigation menu at the top. Individual member pages are linked from within the family pages. Sources and references are given whenever possible.
The chosen language is English because all can understand and communicate in it but nothing prevents anyone from posting in their local languages. This is a hypertext silva, therefore whenever appropriate and possible, links are provided to extend the meaning.
Disclaimer: The pages of this website are in permanent construction and they will change as more information is found and added.
Silva Rerum (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved July 8th, 2014, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silva_rerum
Sylwa (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved July 22nd, 2014, from http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sylwa
Pisarski, M. (2010). Polish II: Silva Rerum – “A Book of Everything on Anything” as a Cybertextual Experience. In Markku Eskelinen & Raine Koskimaa (Eds.), Cybertext Yearbook 2010. University of Jyväskylä.
Retrieved February 16 2023, from: https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/77571
pdf here: Polish_II__Silva_Rerum