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Polish authors, books & literature.

Des Essientes 7 | 1288
29 Apr 2011 #61
Tuyshegoun Lama

Yes this personage was especially fascinating. Ossendowski portays him as a sort of super-spy. I wonder if Beasts Men And Gods will be made into a film as Rawicz's book was. I don't know if there are any Kalmuk actors working in the film industry that would be up for the task, but it would be very interesting to see this Lama portrayed by one of the popular Asian action stars.

So much for the facts.

There is a biography of Baron Ungern Von Sternberg called The Bloody White Baron which portrays the Baron as a virulent Anti-Semite and so I was surprised by Ossendowski's claim that the Baron was well disposed towards Jews, but I ascribed it to his not having spent much time with Von Sternberg. Ossendowski surely wasn't trying to whitewash this bizzarre warlord in the rest of his account.

And thank you for the link to Don Croner's project, boletus. I am quite excited to learn more about the amazing super-Lama.
AdamKadmon 2 | 495
2 May 2011 #62 - Barszcz w kulturze starożytnej Grecji Jerzego Gota
boletus 30 | 1361
3 May 2011 #63
I just discovered the webpage which is devoted to Polish political prisoners in Ravensbruck concentration camp for women. [My great aunt, a teacher, was sent there in 1939. She survived and continued teaching until late 1970s.]

The owner of the webpage, Jarek Gajewski, translated several poems by Grażyna Chrostowska, one of the prisoners.

Grażyna Chrostowska was born on 21st October, 1921 in Lublin, in Poland. She was a member of the underground KOP (Komenda Obrońców Polski) organization during the Nazi Germany occupation of Poland. She was arrested by Gestapo in Lublin on 8th May, 1941. Together with her sister she was sent to the Ravensbrück Concentration Camp on 23rd September, 1941. On 18th April, 1942, Grażyna Chrostowska and her sister were executed by firing squad in the camp. 8 hours before her death, she wrote the poem titled "Inquietude" (Niepokój).


wildrover 98 | 4436
3 May 2011 #64
the amazing super-Lama.

oh... thats interesting...
Wroclaw 44 | 5366
3 May 2011 #66
When providing a link in Polish it is requested that you also provide a summary in English.

Otherwise it may end up in the bin.

Thank you.
AdamKadmon 2 | 495
3 May 2011 #67
Roman Gren The Shelter (pol. Schronisko)

It is about homelessness and the homeless. They came to France like many before them, driven by the hope of a better life. And they all came together in a shelter. Sissoko from Mali, whose close family were murdered in unexplained circumstances. Youmi from Senegal, who bought an apartment in one of the wealthiest quarters of Paris for a diamond. Monsieur Dembo; a minister in a Central African republic, who ran away from a diplomatic party which turned into a coup.

The book is available only in Polish.
boletus 30 | 1361
6 May 2011 #68
The General Langfitt Story

Polish Refugees Recount Their Experiences of Exile, Dispersal and Resettlement

By Maryon Allbrook and Helen Cattalini

ISBN 0 644 35781 9
First Published 1995
Available on line here:

From the introduction:
The General Langfitt Story combines excellently the extraordinary background account of a group of displaced persons, mainly women and children, from Poland who arrived in Australia in 1950, and their subsequent experience in Australia.

and from the chapter 1:
They were a part of the 1500 000 Poles who were deported to the Soviet Union in 1940 to work in remote labour camps. Around 30 000 of them later found 'freedom' in transit camps in India, British East Africa and Palestine. Their story of hardship and survival is a dramatic and remarkable one.
p3undone 8 | 1126
13 Aug 2012 #69
Ironside,have you read a book called the Alienist by Caleb Carr;I thought it was fantastic.Alienist was the term for a psychiatrist in the latter half of the1800s until the early 1900s not sure exactly when they changed it to psychiatrist.The story takes place in about 1880.when Theodore Roosevelt was the Police Commissioner of New York city during the Boss Tweed era.It's about a serial killer who is sought after by an Alienist who was commissioned by Roosevelt to try and capture him.It is fictional,but a very good read and not chewy.

Can someone suggest a good book by a Polish author that has a pretty good English version,with a limited loss to translation?Preferably fiction.
OP Ironside 51 | 12520
13 Aug 2012 #70
Ironside,have you read a book called the Alienist by Caleb Carr

I'm into Freedman "Lee" at the moment.

Can someone suggest a good book by a Polish author that has a pretty good English version,with a limited loss to translation?Preferably fiction.

Could that be S-F?

If not you could try to find English edition of the book:
p3undone 8 | 1126
13 Aug 2012 #71
Ironside,thank you.

Ironside,have you ever read the brothers Karamazov?
rygar - | 40
14 Aug 2012 #72
Jacek Dukaj

here's fragment of "Black Oceans" (amateur translation)

love this book, first-rate cyberpunk

pretty scary, when you hear that at today's market 80% of transactions does not involve humans. This book takes it one step further
Spike31 3 | 1706
29 Oct 2018 #73

Inspiring Polish authors and their works [translated into english]

A list of the most inspiring Polish authors that you would like to share but only those translated into english.


I'm a huge S. Lem fan so I'll start with "Solaris" [1961]

If you watched any of the two "Solaris" movies - forget about them. They're not even 10% as deep and interesting as the novel is.

Solaris in an ultimate take on a concept of first contact with an extraterrestrial life.

"Man has gone out to explore other worlds and other civilizations without having explored his own labyrinth of dark passages and secret chambers, and without finding what lies behind doorways that he himself has sealed."

Solaris novel Lem
noreenb 7 | 554
11 Nov 2018 #74
Stefan Grabiński - author of horror novels. Some of them were translated into English:ński
pawian 224 | 24573
31 Oct 2021 #75

Kmicic, Geralt, Dulski and other characters from Polish literature - curious facts

Felicjan Dulski is a character in Mrs Dulska`s Morality - a play by Gabriela Zapolska from early 20th century. Mrs Dulska is an bourgeois landlady who pays special attention to conventions and morals but in fact she is full of hypocrisy and pretencious appearances.

Her husband is completely dominated by his wife - he can`t even go out for walks as his doctor advised him but is made to stay at home and walk around the dining table. He says nothing in the whole play except one final outburst: All of you go to Hell!

pawian 224 | 24573
29 Nov 2021 #76
I had very positive intentions when I started a new thread about characters in Polish literature as our primary interest. Soon it was merged with another existing thread.

However, this thread started by our dear friend Ironside in 2010 was meant to discuss books and authors.

Let's have a discussion about books and authors - not only Polish but any you deem worthy.

It is obvious I am not going to develop my subject any further here coz it would be against Iron`s intentions. I wouldn`t like to hurt him, especially that he is absent right now.

Sorry, I have to give up.
pawian 224 | 24573
27 Jan 2023 #77
Let's have a discussion about books and authors - not only Polish but any you deem worthy.

OK, I changed my mind. Iron has a new account now so he won`t mind if we take part in his old thread.

Adam Mickiewicz, the greatest Polish poet, wrote the greatest Polish epic poem called Pan Tadeusz - Mr Tadeusz - in 1830s.

The poem consists of 12 books/parts/chapters. Mr Tadeusz is a young nobleman who courts and finally marries a country gentry girl - Zosia - Sophie. There is also a rich patriotic plot based on Polish resistance to Russian occupation in Lithuania.

A dozen or two years after the publication the 13th chapter surfaced. A very indecent one. Certainly not written by Mickiewicz - another famous Polish playwright is suspected - Aleksander Fredro.

The 13th Book of Pan Tadeusz - Adam Mickiewicz 's erotic travesty of Pan Tadeusz .
The piece is very professional, so it could have been written by one of the great poets. Its authorship is attributed to Aleksander Fredro, but it could also have been created in the 20th century. The poem is saturated with erotic obscenities and profanity . At the same time, it has a formal Mickiewicz style (thirteen syllables, Homeric comparisons , etc.). The poem is about Zosia and Tadeusz's wedding night.

28 Jan 2023 #78
y. The poem is saturated with erotic

Can you share some excerpts ? Or it will be against the rules?
pawian 224 | 24573
29 Jan 2023 #79
Or it will be against the rules?

Hmm, not sure. We are adults, after all, so why not?

Can we start with original Mickiewicz`s ant attack which contributed to a decent erotic scene in the epic poem??

Pan Tadeusz is watching Telimena, his attractive mature aunt in the forest :

When he glances around, he perceives: it's her!

Telimena, lonely, deep in thought,

From yesterday's figure and dress different,

In underwear, on stone, alone as stone;

Her face bent over her open hands,

Though you can't hear the sobs, you know she's drowning in tears.

Tadeusz's heart defended itself in vain:

He took pity, he felt that grief moved him,

Mute, he stared for a long time, hidden behind a tree,

At last he sighed and said to himself angrily:

"Stupid! what's her fault that I was wrong!"

So slowly he leaned his head towards her from behind the tree,

When suddenly Telimena jumps up from her seat,

He dashes right, left, jumps across the stream,

Crossed, with loose hair, pale,

She rushes into the forest, jumps, kneels, falls

And, unable to get up, she spins on the turf.

You can see from her movements what a terrible torment she is in;

She grabs her chest, neck, feet, knees.

Tadeusz jumped, thinking she was confused

Or she has a severe disease. But for a different reason

These movements came.

At the nearby birch

There was a giant anthill. Thrifty insects

wandered around on the grass, moving and black;

I don't know if it's out of necessity or preference

They particularly enjoyed visiting the Temple of Pondering;

From the capital's hill to the source's shores

They trodden the path by which they led his ranks.

Unfortunately, Telimena was sitting in the middle of the path;

Ants lured by the glow of white stockings,

They ran in, started tickling and biting thickly,

Telimena had to run away, shake off

Finally, sit on the grass and catch insects.

Tadeusz could not refuse her his help;

Cleansing her dress, down to his feet he descended,

By chance he brought his lips close to Telimena's temples -

In such a friendly demeanor, though they said nothing

About their wounded quarrels, after all they agreed;

And not knowing how long the conversation would last

If they hadn't been awakened by the bell from Soplicowo -

pawian 224 | 24573
9 Sep 2023 #80
Can you share some excerpts ?

Why not?

13th Book of Pan Tadeusz, the most interesting of all, written by the greatest comedy playwright - Aleksander Fredro.

Wedding night of Pan Tadeusz and Zosia

Pan Tadeusz entered first,
slamming the door behind him with trembling hands. Ah! alone at last.
Ah! Zosia, oh! Zosieńka, how uncomfortable I am.
Look how it sticks out here, look at my pants.
Zosia shed tears of sorrow and clutched her breast,
That she was a maiden never with a boy before,
she did not know indeed whether she should kiss
her husband, or cry, or hide under the ground.
So she stands and is silent, Tadeusz slowly
prepares her for the ceremony.


The rest is here:
Lyzko 42 | 9502
9 Sep 2023 #81
Jan Brzechwa's always been a favorite among Polish children:-)
pawian 224 | 24573
9 Sep 2023 #82
Many Polish Jewish authors were, are and will be. :):):)
Lenka 5 | 3534
9 Sep 2023 #83
I must say I never was a big Brzechwa fan. I prefer Tuwim.
pawian 224 | 24573
9 Sep 2023 #84
I never was a big Brzechwa fan.

Probably you weren`t exposed to Brzechwa works properly. :):) While we had a book with his kid poetry in our house and I loved reading it as a child.

How about his poems about animals in the zoo??? You must have heard them.
Lenka 5 | 3534
9 Sep 2023 #85
I know Brzechwa, doesn't mean I like him :)
pawian 224 | 24573
9 Sep 2023 #86
A few poems of Brzechwa translated by Walter Whipple on this site

among them, the most famous tongue twister in the Polish language. Of course, in the English translation, it loses a lof of twisting.

In the swamps of Thistleville,

A little cricket chirps at will;

Much renown has come to Thistle

Thanks to Mr. Cricket's whistle.

The ox inquired: "Now tell me, cricket,

Why do you chirp in the thicket?"

"I've been thus employed for ages -

That is how I earn my wages."

"And just what are your wages, then?"

"Why, every grove and every glen,

And all the swamps and all the rills,

The meadows, forests, bogs and hills,

All the booklets, lakes and springs -

I'm the owner of these things!"

The ox then pondered pensively,

"This sounds like quite the life for me."

So when he went back to the farm,

He stood and bellowed by the barn

In his gig booming bovine bass.

Meanwhile Matt approached the place,

Screaming loudly:"What's this fuss? -

Oh, it's my ox, you lazy cuss!"

"lazy, did I hear you say?

Why, I've been singing hard all day!"

"I'll show you I can 'bellow' too -

It's back out to the fields with you!"

The ox such grueling labor met,

That he was wet with beastly sweat.

After work: back to the thicket,

To get even with that cricket,

But he had just left Thistleville

To chirp in nearby Whistleville.

Lyzko 42 | 9502
10 Sep 2023 #87
I only mentioned Brzechwa in this case because he is credited at least with creating the ultimate Polish tongue twister, right?
Novichok 4 | 8037
10 Sep 2023 #88
A normal woman attacked by ants would scream and run.
pawian 224 | 24573
22 Feb 2024 #90

The excerpt below has been an inspiration to me for decades, since I read it as a child. Edmund Niziurski wrote books for young readers and one of them was The Book of Urchins.

Main characters: Karlik Rudniok, Wiktor, Stefek Gola and their dog Ciapa.

To make the story short, boys decide to explore a closed old mine. During their stay there, somebody blows up the barrier which separates the mine from an underground lake and water starts flooding the corridor they are walking. They turn back and run away from the lake.

Soon everyone realized that the danger was mortal, and doom was closer than they thought. The water was already up to their knees and pouring into shoes. It was getting harder to run. Their legs were numb from the cold, and sweat beaded on their foreheads. Deadly tired, they supported each other so as not to fall. Soon the water was up to their hips.

- I'm not going any further - Gola groaned. - We'll never get out.
- We'll get out! Do not be afraid! - Karlik panted. - Just a little bit more, Stefek.
Gola was shaking all over and his eyes were wide and mad with fear.
- And what if it is a blind tunnel?
- No, it's definitely not a blind tunnel - Rudniok repeated stubbornly.
Minutes of terror passed by. The water rose constantly, as if someone somewhere above was constantly pumping at the same pace. But it seems that the fate of the unfortunate victims would be resolved sooner than it seemed at first. Because suddenly a new wave came - the water level immediately increased by about ten centimeters and began to rise at a new, faster pace. Apparently, the deeper corridors were completely flooded and the entire mass collapsed onto the tunnel along which the boys were walking.

The impact was so strong that the boys fell face first into the water. Karlik dropped Ciapa. The dog went under the water, but immediately surfaced and began to move forward briskly, beating its paws. The boys also came to the conclusion that it is better to swim than to wade through chest-deep water. Often on hot July days they would run to the Faithful River and splash in the water, then lie down on their backs and the water would carry them downstream until their backs hit the shallows. Did any of them think then that they would have to swim under a huge rock cover, through an underground corridor, in the dark? and icy water, in a fierce fight for life?

Only one Gola continued walking with a lamp on his shoulder.
Finally the water rose so high that it was no more than twenty centimeters away from the ceiling. In some places the wave was already crashing against the ceiling.

They realized it was over...
Gola leaned against the wall and breathed heavily.
Karlik, noticing that the light was falling behind, looked back at him.



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