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Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446  
25 Jan 2009 /  #1
I understand that books by Paulo Coelho and William Wharton are quite popular amongst Polish young people, esp. secondary-school and university students. What is it about their books -- topics, attitude, style, message, etc. -- that strikes a respondent chord amongst younger Poles today? I recall Wharton once saying that Poland ranks amongst his largest fan bases. Are those authors also popular in other countries?
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
25 Jan 2009 /  #2
Maybe, but not from what I've seen. I have a lesson, which I've done 4 times now, where they have to describe the name on the card. If one student in a group doesn't know, I pass it onto another and the student who formerly had the card isn't allowed to guess for obvious reasons.

NOBODY, out of 20 students or so, has even heard of him. Don't take that as representative but it may tell a story. I also had to Google him.

Oh, my fiancee knows him (and Coehlo). Chalk up one to the tally ;)
mafketis 34 | 11,892  
25 Jan 2009 /  #3
I think Wharton was very big in Poland the 80's through a lot of the 90's, I don't think he's so big now though.

Coelho is still big AFAIK, though I'm not sure if his constituency is the university crowd. From a live call-in show a few years ago it seemed like more a new-agey than a student crowd.
ladykangaroo - | 165  
25 Jan 2009 /  #4
Coelho's (and Wharton's as well) books are generally considered a good thing to read while you are waiting for your doctor / dentist appointment. Easy, simple, the appropriate Polish word would be "Ĺ‚opatologiczne" - extremely unpretentious. If I tried to compare that to anything it would be Barbara Cartland / Danielle Steel, Robert Ludlum or Graham Masterton - everyone read that on some stage but no one is going to admit this.

Coelho's Alchemist used to be one of the compulsory books read by high schoool pupils in Poland. Shame.
Switezianka - | 463  
26 Jan 2009 /  #5
WTF?! Can't be true. I finished high school not so long ago and never heard of such a thing. Contemporary lit. is very limited in the curriculum and it comprises mostly of Polish books.

as a part of the Polish 'student crowd', I agree - Coelho is not too popular among us. Reading Coelho is considered, well... not too prestigious.

The last time one of my mates praised Coelho was in gimnazjum (junior high, age 13-15).
ladykangaroo - | 165  
26 Jan 2009 /  #6
WTF?! Can't be true. I finished high school not so long ago and never heard of such a thing.
The last time one of my mates praised Coelho was in gimnazjum

My mistake. It's not high school, it's gimnazjum. I keep thinking my sisters are older than they actually are :)
Switezianka - | 463  
26 Jan 2009 /  #7
I haven't read it, but judging on what I heard about it, that's rather a shame...

And What?! Lord of the Flies in gimnazjum?! Maybe it's about kids, but rather not for kids. Who the hell made that list?
ladykangaroo - | 165  
26 Jan 2009 /  #8
I read it. I read everything, including shampoo labels in bathroom and jam labels in kitchen :D I think it might be quite good for 13-year-olds - simple, not too long (60-90 minutes of reading? I wouldn't say it's much longer), positive (which is interesting having in mind all the gloomy 19th century Polish novels read in school). And it's one of the books kids really like (beside Harry Potter and Eragorn of course).

As far as the lists are considered there are so many of them that almost every teacher can choose something to his taste. All the changes (so called "reforms") messsed with the eductaional system so badly that no one knows what should be taught and if there is any standard at all. All the hope lies with the teachers...
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
2 Oct 2009 /  #9
I need to hunt down some works by these authors but I have some reading for the moment. Alex Kava and Marcin Bruczkowski should keep me entertained over the weekend.

Have any Poles here read Birdy (Ptasiek)? It's a critically-acclaimed book.
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,441  
2 Oct 2009 /  #10
yes, the book is amazing, so it the movie, one of my favs:). This reminds me, I need to see it again. Good call Mr S;)

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