Stanisław Barańczak


Stanisław Barańczak

Stanisław Barańczak (born November 13, 1946, Poznań, Poland) is a poet, translator, literary critic, essayist, scholar, editor and lecturer.

Life and career

Barańczak studied Polish at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, where he became a lecturer and earned his Ph.D. He broke into print as a poet and critic in 1965. Barańczak was on the staff of the Poznań magazine "Nurt" from 1967-1971. After the political events of June 1976, he became a co-founder of the Workers' Defence Committee (KOR) and of the clandestine quarterly "Zapis". He has lectured on Polish literature at Harvard University since 1981 and was editor of "The Polish Review" from 1986 to 1990. He was a co-founder of the Paris "Zeszyty Literackie" in 1983, and is a regular contributor to the periodical "Teksty Drugie". He's a brother of the popular novelist Małgorzata Musierowicz.

He is a leading poet in the "New Wave" and one of the outstanding Polish writers to begin his career in the communist period, combining literary work with scholarship and politics. He is the most prominent translator in recent years of English poetry into Polish and of Polish poetry into English.

His Polish is permeated with the language of the poets he feels closest to - Emily Dickinson, John Donne and Robert Frost - and whose work he has made popular in Poland.

Barańczak's own poetry is dominated by three concerns: the ethical, the political, and the literary. His language is extraordinarily supple. His choice of subjects testifies to his community engagement; his language is always amazingly fluent. It may seem paradoxical that Baranczak began as a poetic critic of language and the social order but has achieved his greatest success as a late-twentieth-century Parnassist, a virtuoso of poetic form.

His most recent book, CHIRURGICZNA PRECYZJA / SURGICAL PRECISION, won the 1999 Nike Award.

elect bibliography

Poetry

*"Korekta twarzy (Facial Corrections)", Poznan: Wydawnictwo Poznanskie, 1969.
*"Jednym tchem (Without Stopping For Breath)", Warsaw: Orientacja, 1969.
*"Dziennik poranny (Morning Journal)", Poznan: Wydawnictwo Poznanskie, 1969.
*"Sztuczne oddychanie (Artificial Respiration)", London: Aneks, 1969.
*"Ja wiem, że to niesłuszne (I Know It's Not Right)", Paris: Instytut Literacki, 1969.
*"Tryptyk z betonu, zmęczenia i śniegu (Triptych with Concrete, Fatigue and Snow)", Cracow: KOS, 1980.
*"Atlantyda i inne wiersze z lat 1981-1985 (Atlantis and Other Poems)", London: Puls, 1969.
*"Widokówka z tego świata (A Postcard From This World)", Paris: Zeszyty Literackie, 1969.
*"159 wierszy 1968-88 (159 Poems)", Cracow: Znak, 1969.
*"Podróż zimowa (Journey In Winter)", Poznan: a5, 1969.
*"Zimy i podroże (Winter And Journeys)", Cracow: WL, 1969.
*"Chirurgiczna precyzja (Surgical Precision)", Cracow: a5, 1969.

Light verse

*"Pegaz zdębiał. Poezja nonsensu a życie codzienne: Wprowadzenie w prywatną teorię gatunków" ("Pegasus fell dumb. Nonsense poetry and everyday life: introduction to a private theory of genres"), Puls, London 1995.
*"Biografioły: Poczet 56 jednostek sławnych, sławetnych i osławionych" ("Biographies 56 celebrated, famous or notorious individuals"), Poznan: a5, 1991.
* "Zwierzęca zajadłość: z zapisków zniechęconego zoologa" ("Animal ferocity: notes of a discouraged zoologist"), a5, Poznań, 1991.
* "Bóg, trąba i ojczyzna. Słoń a sprawa polska oczami poetów od Reja do Rymkiewicza" ("God, trunk and country: the elephant and the Polish affair, as seen by poets from Rej to Rymkiewicz"), Znak, Kraków, 1995.

Literary criticism

*"Ironia i harmonia" ("Irony and harmony"), Warsaw: Czytelnik, 1973.
* "Język poetycki Mirona Białoszewskiego" ("Miron Białoszewski's poetic language"), Ossolineum, Wrocław, 1974.
*"Etyka i poetyka" ("Ethics and Poetics"), Instytut Literacki, Paris, 1979.
*"Książki najgorsze 1975-1980" ("The worst books"), KOS, Kraków, 1981.
* "Uciekinier z Utopii. O poezji Zbigniewa Herberta" ("Fugitive from Utopia. On the poetry of Zbigniew Herbert") Polonia, London 1984.
*"Tablica z Macondo. Osiemnaście prób wytłumaczenia, po co i dlaczego się pisze" ("A license plate from Macondo: eighteen attempts at explaining why one writes"), Aneks, London 1990.
* "Ocalone w tłumaczeniu. Szkice o warsztacie tłumaczenia poezji" ("Saved in translation: sketches on the craft of translating poetry"), a5, Poznań, 1992.
* "Poezja i duch uogólnienia. Wybór esejów 1970-1995" ("Poetry and the spirit of generalisation: selected essays 1970-1995"), Znak, Kraków, 1996.

Translations

*into English: THE WEIGHT OF THE BODY: SELECTED POEMS, Chicago: Another Chicago Press/TriQuarterly, 1989. A FUGITIVE FROM UTOPIA: THE POETRY OF ZBIGNIEW HERBERT, Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1987. Jan Kochanowski, "Laments" (with Seamus Heaney), 1995.
*into German (anthologies): PANORAMA DER POLNISCHEN LITERATUR DES 20. JAHRHUNDERTS, Zürich: Ammann, 1997. POLNISCHE LYRIK AUS 100 JAHREN, Gifkendorf: Merlin, 1997.

External links

* [http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~slavic/people/faculty_pages/Stanislaw%20Baranczak.htm Barańczak's profile at the Harvard University Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures website] .


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