Alexandra Ziółkowska-Boehm: Elegance and awareness are the foundations …

PAP writer Alexandra Ziółkowska-Boehm, patron of the Melkior Vankovich archive, who is a guest at the Warsaw Book Fair, says that one of the most important principles of a writer, I think, is to be gentle and careful in dealing with heroes and stories.

Polish Press Agency: You have lived and worked in the United States for more than thirty years. Your books are published in Poland and abroad. You are always eager to participate in May meetings with readers. What is the situation at the Warsaw Book Fair in 2022?

Alexandra Ziółkowska-Boehm: This is an arrival after a 2.5-year break. I longed for regular visits to Poland, meetings with authors, and the literary life of Warsaw, Krakow, and Lodz in connection with the books published here. On the one hand, I feel the joy of participating in events such as the Warsaw Book Fair, it seems that life goes on, but it is difficult to dispel the idea that there is a pandemic and war in Ukraine. changed the world so dramatically.

PAP: Olga Tokarcuk said in a recent interview: “We have entered a state of war. You think differently, more black and white, to be more precise […] then there is fear. ” How do you feel about what is happening in America, Ukraine and Poland?

Alexandra Ziółkowska-Boehm: The American media has never had so much information about Ukraine, Poland and Europe. Many hours a day, dramas of individuals, mothers, children, and families are shown. It was impossible to tear himself away from the tragic images. I looked and listened. Finally, I decided to limit my coverage of the war and the tragedy of the refugees. I returned to work, to writing.

PAP: You recently published a book about Melchior Wańkowicz in the United States. You have been trying to get Bitwy o Monte Cassino published in English in the United States for some time.

Alexandra Ziółkowska-Boehm: Lechington Books, Melchior Wańkowicz. Polish Writer of Words ”. The book had two editions. It is available not only in the United States and Canada, but also in many research libraries in New Zealand, Australia, Ecuador, Colombia, Hawaii, Mexico, Germany and Italy.

PAP: How was it released?

Alexandra Ziółkowska-Boehm: When I was offered a book about a famous Polish writer, the author of books like “Bitwa o Monte Cassino”, “Herb na crater”, “Szczenięcych lat”, the American publisher thought for a long time. Wańkowicz was not known in the United States, and none of his books were published there. I wrote that Wańkowicz was valuable, popular, and loved by readers – both for the subject of the books and for his colorful, beautiful personality. In this letter, I called him “Polish Hemingway.” The term appealed to me. The publisher asked me to use it in the book. I did it too. As an example of Wańkowicz’s writing, the book opens with a translation of a fragment from The Battle of Monte Casino, in which the author remembers the soldiers of many nations who took part in this battle.

PAP: Who did the translation?

Aleksandra Ziółkowska-Boehm: Translator prof. Charles S. Kraszewski. His grandparents were immigrants from Poland, and his father and uncle were members of the US Army during World War II. The professor is also a poet, a specialist in the work of TS Eliot, the author of essay books, including. About Zbigniew Herbert. For many years he also translated Polish, Czech and Slovak poems into English. He is the author of the English translation of Adam Mickiewicz’s Dziady. Bitwa o Monte Cassino is a comprehensive book that requires great erudition, historical knowledge, the secrets of the interview, as well as sensitivity to the Vańkowicz language.

The translation was funded by the Polish Army Veterans Association (SWAP), the world’s oldest independent organization of former Polish soldiers, which has been operating since 1921. The headquarters are located in New York, Manhattan, at the Polish Veterans House. The translation is ready. There were many editions of The Battle of Monte Casino; The last edition was published in 2009 by Norman Davies Prószyński i Co. Published by Melchior Wańkowicz as part of a 16-volume series of all his works. I hope that there will be an American publication soon.

PAP: There is a force that draws readers to the works of Melchior Wańkowicz. A new edition of Na tropach Smętka, one of the most famous and well-known works of the author, has just been published and presented at the fair.

Alexandra Ziółkowska-Boehm: The publisher is Księży Młyn Publishing House in Lodz. The book came out with my introduction, he edited, subtitled, and then added Grzegorz Nowak. The success of Na tropach Smętek was great. Before the war, the book had six editions in four years. The first two were in 1936; In 1939, the last pre-war edition was taken out of the Bydgoszcz printing press by the Germans. Published several times in Poland after the war; they were shortened and longer versions. And here again attracts the attention of readers.

PAP: Your book has an introduction. Your solemn and creative work for the writer, whose archive was entrusted to you years ago, continues. It is not uncommon for a writer to do so much work for a writer.

Alexandra Ziółkowska-Boehm: It happens at the same time: I’m working on Wańkowicz’s archives and my own books. On Sunday, at the fair, I will meet with my readers again at the stand of the Polish Writers’ Association, and we will probably talk about my recently published book by Bellona Publishing House: The Delicatesses of Writers.

PAP: In many of your books, you present the dramatic fate of Poles during and after the war, in exile, and protect personal personal biographies that are inextricably linked to historical events. “Writers’ Delicatessen” is about the writer’s workshop.

Alexandra Ziółkowska-Boehm: My goal was not only to convey how important writing is to me, but also to convey my observations, emotions, feelings, and facts, as well as the principles that guide me as I write. One of the most important principles of a writer, in my opinion, is subtlety and attention to his characters and stories.

PAP: During your stay in Poland, you received two awards: a VIP graduate of the University of Lodz and the second prize at fairs: a prominent pole in the United States in the category of culture, awarded by Teraz Polska, to create a positive image of Poles living abroad and show their achievements.

Alexandra Ziółkowska-Boehm: I am impressed and proud; Such signals, which you remember when you live far from your country, are very important. I am looking forward to meeting with readers on Sunday.

Interviewer Anna Bernat (PAP)

Alexandra Ziółkowska-Boehm, a doctor of humanities from the University of Warsaw, is a Polish writer living in the United States since 1990. The themes of his books are the fate of Poland against the background of the war, the work and life of the American Melchior Wańkowicz. The Indians (his uncle was the sculptor Korczak Ziółkowski, who was carved into the rocks in South Dakota with a statue of an Indian chief, Crazy Horse, Ingrid Bergman, and cats.

Including a retiree. Fulbright Foundation, Kościuszko Foundation, Delaware Arts Department Award for Literature-Creative Non-Fiction; He has also been awarded the Red Cross, the Witness of History Award, and the Literary Prize of the London Association of Polish Writers Abroad. Awarded by the Polish Army Veterans Association in America, Ignasi Paderewski received the medal.

Author: Anna Bernat

abe / skp /

Leave a Comment