19th Century Literature (Polish)

alexandra.bolintineanu at utoronto.ca alexandra.bolintineanu at utoronto.ca
Thu Aug 16 22:12:24 EDT 2001


Thank you so much for the recommendation, Ania--I got my hands on With
Firre and Sword at the beginning of the week and have been devouring it
ever since.  Now I'm done and I may be social once more. :)  It really is
a story to suck one in for days (though I would not recommend it to anyone
strongly affected by long and frequent descriptions of carnage), with the
same assembly of quirky characters and fast-paced plot as The Three
Musketeers, though a *lot* grimmer.  The reason I'm mentioning it on the
list, though, is that Prince Yeremi ("Yarema!") is a dead ringer for
Navis--a slight, pale, dark-haired aristocrat, with the same cool
presence of mind, efficiency, and ruthlessness, kind to his friends and
terrible to his enemies, and fighting in a civil war.

Alexandra

On Fri, 3 Aug 2001, Anna Skarzynska wrote:

> The aforementioned Sienkiewicz has been translated, but I don't know how
> well and whether it's available in the UK. I did find some on amazon.com
> (the American amazon), my favourite is The Trilogy which comprises 3 sets of
> novels and chronicles a) the cossack/Ukrainian rebellion and wars (With Fire
> and Sword), b) the Swedish wars (The Deluge) and c) the Turkish wars (Pan
> Michael), all set in the XVII cent. They are hopelessly Polish-biased but
> they were written when Poland no longer existed (120+ years of official
> non-existence, after once upon the time being one of the most powerful
> countries in Europe, with territories stretching from the Baltic to the
> Black Sea). His purpose was to "strenghten [Polish] hearts", so he took
> liberties with history. But they are cracking yarns and much beloved of the
> Polish people. One of Amazon's customer reviewers, an American, wrote rather
> touchingly "I'll never make a Polish joke again". All the above have been
> filmed, directed by Jerzy Hoffman.
> 
> Anyway, I can't think of many others, but Bruno Schulz has been translated,
> although strictly speaking he was a Polish Jew. He wrote in Polish, though.
> 
> Hope this is of some use,
> Ania
> 
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