Jan Błoński

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Jan Błoński
Jan Błoński - Biedni Polacy (cover).jpg
Front cover of Biedni Polacy patrzą na getto (the Misfortunate Poles look at the Ghetto) by Jan Błoński, ISBN 978-83-08-042-01-4
Born(1931-01-15)15 January 1931
Warsaw, Poland
Died10 February 2009(2009-02-10) (aged 78)
OccupationWriter, academic

Jan Błoński (15 January 1931 – 10 February 2009) was a Polish historian, literary critic, publicist and translator. He was a leading representative of the Kraków school of literary criticism, which wielded significant influence in postwar Poland.

Professor of the Jagiellonian University, Błoński was habilitated there for the work entitled Mikołaj Sęp Szarzyński and the beginnings of the Polish Baroque. He was the literary editor for the publication of Witold Gombrowicz's collected works in 1986–88 through Wydawnictwo Literackie. He was also the Fellow of Collegium Invisibile. In 1996–2001 he served as juror for the Nike Literary Award. In November 1995 he was awarded the Kraków Book of the Month Award for the collected works of Sławomir Mrożek, his long-time friend from the Stalinist period.[1]


Jan Błoński was born in Warsaw in 1931. During the occupation of Poland by Nazi Germany, Błoński witnessed the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942; a Jewish boy who had escaped ran into him on the street, but he didn't help.[2] This episode of passive complicity will breed a deep sense of guilt for years and inspire "Biedni Polacy patrzą na getto" (the Poor Poles look at the Ghetto; 1987), which remains among his most renowned publications.[2] Błoński finished his studies in Polonistics at the Jagiellonian University in 1952 during the Stalinist era in Poland.[2]

Błoński obtained a position with the Institute of Literary Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences in 1959–62 (after the Polish October). From 1970 he was employed at the Jagiellonian University. He was a vice-rector for didactic affairs (1981–84), director of the Institute of Polish Studies (1988–91), director of the Department of the Theatre (1977–1980) and the Department of the 20th Century Polish Literature (1995–97). As professor, he also lectured Polish literature at the University of Sorbonne, the University of Clermont-Ferrand and the Paris University IV. He died on 10 February 2009 in Kraków.[2]


  1. ^ "List of Fellows". Collegium Invisible ci.edu.pl, Warsaw. Archived from the original on 7 May 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d Jerzy Jarzębski (2009). "Prof. Jan Błoński" (PDF). In memoriam. First published in Gazeta Wyborcza 38/2009. Jagiellonian University. pp. 14–16. Retrieved March 6, 2013 – via direct download 1.03 MB.

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