Being There (novel)

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Being There
First edition
AuthorJerzy Kosinski
PublisherHarcourt Brace
Publication date
Preceded bySteps 
Followed byThe Devil Tree 

Being There is a satirical novel by the Polish-born writer Jerzy Kosinski, first published in 1970.[1] Set in America, the story concerns Chance, a simple gardener who unwittingly becomes a much sought-after political pundit and commentator on the vagaries of the modern world.

A film based on the book was made in 1979; Kosinski co-wrote the film's screenplay with Robert C. Jones.


When Jerzy Kosinski published Being There – wrote historian Monika Adamczyk-Garbowska – "most Polish critics immediately recognized [his book] as a version of Kariera Nikodema Dyzmy (Nikodem Dyzma's Career) by Tadeusz Dolega-Mostowicz, a very popular novel from the interwar period, and Kosinski was again accused of plagiarism".[2]

The authorship controversy was a repetition of an earlier case, concerning Kosinski's first novel, The Painted Bird, published in 1965, which was accused of being plagiarized from a book published in the Second Polish Republic by the Polish ethnographer Henryk Biegeleisen.[2]


  1. ^, copy-paste excerpts from: 1971 and 1973 periodicals including Times Supplement (1971), Chicago Review (1973), Harper's (1973), Critique (1973), Hudson Review (1973), and Books and Bookmen (1973). Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Adamczyk-Grabowska, Monika (2001). "The Role of Polish Language and Literature". In Wolitz, Seth L. (ed.). The Hidden Isaac Bashevis Singer. University of Texas Press. p. 137. ISBN 029279147X.

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