Boleslaw Prus

Biografie şi Bibliografie

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Bolesław Prus (Hrubieszów, 20 August 1847 – 19 May 1912, Warsaw), whose actual name was Aleksander Głowacki, was the foremost figure in Polish literature of the late 19th century, and a distinctive voice in world literature. He adopted the pen name  "Prus" from his family coat-of-arms.

An indelible mark was left on Prus by his experiences as a 15-year-old soldier in the Polish 1863 Uprising against Imperial Russia, in which he suffered severe injuries and imprisonment. These early experiences may have precipitated the panic disorder and agoraphobia that were to dog him through life. (This was the same uprising whose preparations impinged tragically on the family of Prus' compatriot and fellow future novelist Joseph Conrad.)

In 1872 at age 25, in Warsaw, Prus settled into a 40-year journalistic career that focused on science, technology, education, and economic and cultural development—enterprises which retain a universal importance today and which were vital to the survival of a country that had, in the 18th century, been partitioned among three empires.

As a sideline, in an effort to appeal to readers' aesthetic sensibilities, Prus wrote short stories. Achieving success with these, he went on to employ a broader canvas: between 1886 and 1895, he completed four major novels on "great questions of our age."

Of Prus' novels, two are perennial favorites. The Doll depicts the romantic infatuation of a businessman and man of action who is frustrated by his country's backwardness. Pharaoh, Prus' only historical novel, is a study of political power and of the fates of nations, set in ancient Egypt at the fall of the 20th Dynasty and New Kingdom.

Works

Novels

    * Souls in Bondage (Dusze w niewoli, written 1876, serialized 1877)
    * Fame (Sława, begun 1885, never finished)
    * The Outpost (Placówka, 1885–86)
    * The Doll (Lalka, 1887–89)
    * The New Woman (Emancypantki, 1890–93)
    * Pharaoh (Faraon, written 1894–95; serialized 1895–96)
    * Children (Dzieci, 1908; approximately the first nine chapters had originally appeared, in a somewhat different form, in 1907 as Dawn [Świt])
    * Changes (Przemiany, begun 1911–12; unfinished)

Stories

    * "The Old Lady's Troubles" ("Kłopoty babuni," 1874)
    * "The Palace and the Hovel" ("Pałac i rudera," 1875)
    * "The Ball Gown" ("Sukienka balowa," 1876)
    * "An Orphan's Lot" ("Sieroca dola," 1876)
    * "Eddy's Adventures" ("Przygody Edzia," 1876)
    * "Damned Luck" ("Przeklęte szczęście," 1876)
    * "The Old Lady's Casket" ("Szkatułka babki," 1878)
    * "Stan's Adventure" ("Przygoda Stasia," 1879)
    * "New Year" ("Nowy rok," 1880)
    * "The Returning Wave" ("Powracająca fala," 1880)
    * "Michałko" (1880)
    * "Antek" (1880)
    * "The Convert" ("Nawrócony," 1880)
    * "The Barrel Organ" ("Katarynka," 1880)
    * "One of Many" ("Jeden z wielu," 1882)
    * "The Waistcoat" ("Kamizelka," 1882)
    * "Him" ("On," 1882)
    * "Fading Voices" ("Milknące głosy," 1883)
    * "Sins of Childhood" ("Grzechy dzieciństwa," 1883)
    * "Mold of the Earth" ("Pleśń świata," 1884—a striking micro-story that portrays human history as an unending series of conflicts among mindless,     blind colonies of molds)
    * "The Living Telegraph" ("Żywy telegraf," 1884)
    * "Orestes and Pylades" ("Orestes i Pylades," 1884)
    * "Loves—Loves Not?..." ("Kocha—nie kocha?..." 1884)
    * "The Mirror" ("Zwierciadło," 1884)
    * "On Vacation" ("Na wakacjach," 1884)
    * "An Old Tale" ("Stara bajka," 1884)
    * "In the Light of the Moon" ("Przy księżycu," 1884)
    * "The Mistake" ("Omyłka," 1884)
    * "Mr. Dutkowski and His Farm" ("Pan Dutkowski i jego folwark," 1884)
    * "Musical Echoes" ("Echa muzyczne," 1884)
    * "In the Mountains" ("W górach," 1885)
    * "Shades" ("Ciene," 1885—an evocative meditation on existential themes)
    * "Anielka" (1885)
    * "A Strange Story" ("Dziwna historia," 1887)
    * "A Legend of Old Egypt" ("Z legend dawnego Egiptu," 1888—Prus' first piece of historical fiction; a stunning debut, and a preliminary sketch for     his only historical novel, Pharaoh, which would be written in 1894–95)
    * "The Dream" ("Sen," 1890)
    * "Lives of Saints" ("Z żywotów świętych," 1891–92)
    * "Reconciled" ("Pojednani," 1892)
    * "A Composition by Little Frank: About Mercy" ("Z wypracowań małego Frania. O miłosierdziu," 1898)
    * "The Doctor's Story" ("Opowiadanie lekarza," 1902)
    * "Memoirs of a Cyclist" ("Ze wspomnień cyklisty," 1903)
    * "Revenge" ("Zemsta," 1908)
    * "Phantoms" ("Widziadła," 1911, first published 1936)

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