Zofia Nałkowska

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Zofia Nałkowska
Zofia Nałkowska
Born (1884-11-10)10 November 1884
Warsaw
Died 17 December 1954(1954-12-17) (aged 70)
Warsaw
Nationality Polish
Notable works Granica (The Frontier)
Medaliony (Medallions)

Zofia Nałkowska (Warsaw, Congress Poland, 10 November 1884 – 17 December 1954, Warsaw) was a renowned Polish prose writer, dramatist, and prolific essayist. She served as the executive member of the prestigious Polish Academy of Literature (1933–1939) during the interwar period.

Nałkowska was born into a family of intellectuals dedicated to issues of social justice, and studied at the clandestine Flying University under the Russian partition. Upon Poland's return to independence she became one of the country's most distinguished feminist writers of novels, novellas and stage-plays characterized by socio-realism and psychological depth.

Literary output[edit]

Nałkowska's first literary success was the Romans Teresy Hennert (The love-affair of Teresa Hennert, 1923) followed by a slew of popular novels. She is best known for her books Granica (The Frontier, 1935), the Węzły życia (Bonds of Life, 1948) and Medaliony (Medallions, 1947).

In her writing, Nałkowska boldly tackled difficult and controversial subjects,[1] professing in her 1932 article "Organizacja erotyzmu" (Structure of Eroticism) published in the Wiadomości Literackie magazine – the premier literary periodical in Poland at the time – that:

...a rational, nay, intellectual approach to eroticism must be encouraged and strengthened, to allow for a consideration of eroticism in conjunction with other aspects of the life of the human community. Eroticism is not a private matter of the individual. It has its ramifications within all domains of human life and it is not possible to separate it from them by way of contemptuous disparagement in the name of morality, discretion, or yet by a demotion on the hierarchy of subjects worthy of intellectual attention: it cannot be isolated by prudery or relegated to science for its purely biological dimension."[2]

Graves of Julian Tuwim (left) and Zofia Nałkowska (right) adorned with dark bronze bust, in Powązki Cemetery, Warsaw

Novels[edit]

  • Kobiety (Women, 1906), translated by Michael Henry Dziewicki, 1920
  • Książę (The Prince, 1907)
  • Rówieśnice (Contemporaries, 1909)
  • Narcyza (1911)
  • Noc podniebna (Heavenly night, novella, 1911)
  • Węże i róże (Snakes and roses, 1914)
  • Hrabia Emil (Count Emil, 1920)
  • Na torfowiskach (At the bogs, 1922)
  • Romans Teresy Hennert (Romanse of Teresa Hennert, 1923)
  • Dom nad łąkami (House upon the meadows, autobiography, 1925)
  • Choucas (1927), translated by Ursula Phillips, 2014
  • Niedobra miłość (Bad love, 1928)
  • Granica (The Frontier, 1935)
  • Niecierpliwi (Anxious,1938)
  • Węzły życia (Living ties, 1948)
  • Mój ojciec (My father, 1953)

Stage plays[edit]

  • Dom kobiet (1930)
  • Dzień jego powrotu (1931)
  • Renata Słuczańska (1935)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stanisława Dudzianka. "Oblicza polskiego feminizmu (Faces of Polish feminism)" (in Polish). Deon.pl. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  2. ^ Zofia Nałkowska, "Organizacja erotyzmu", Wiadomości Literackie, vol. 9, No. 25 (442), 19 June 1932, p. 7. Quote in Polish: należy wymóc na sobie stosunek do zagadnień erotyzmu właśnie intelektualny, rozumowy, pozwalający je rozważać w splocie i wzajemnej zależności z innemi dziedzinami życia zbiorowego. Erotyzm nie jest prywatną sprawą człowieka. Wysyła on swe rozgałęzienia do wszystkich tych dziedzin i nie da się ani w imię wzgardliwego lekceważenia, ani moralności, ani dyskrecji, ani nawet w imię hierarchji tematów, godnych intelektualisty, od życia społecznego odciąć, nie da się w niem wstydliwie izolować i do swego zakresy ściśle biologicznego ograniczyć. (source)