Andrzej Szczypiorski

  • fot. Ela Lempp

Born in Warsaw in 1924, Szczypiorski was a journalist and novelist. He took part in the Warsaw Uprising and was imprisoned after the fall of the Uprising in Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. He began working as a journalist in 1946. Since the appearance of his first collection of stories in 1955, he had published more than 20 volumes of novels, reportage, newspaper columns, essays and sketches. Szczypiorski aligned himself with the democratic opposition in the late 1970s, being interned during Martial Law (1981-1982) and then, in 1989, being elected Senator (holding office until 1991). After resigning from an active political role, he became one of the country's most highly respected columnists, as well as a moral and intellectual authority. He died on 16 May 2000. Szczypiorski's novels, like his newspaper columns, are predominated by two issues: contemporary Polish-German relations and the moral and political conflicts of recent decades. He has made his mark as a mediator engaged in improving relations among the Polish, German, and Jewish peoples. He won enormous renown for his novel Poczatek (The Beginning, known in Germany and elsewhere as The Beautiful Mrs. Seidenman), in which he depicted the different attitudes of Poles, Jews and Germans during the Nazi Occupation. This novel became a great success above all - but not only - in the German-speaking countries (winning the Austrian State Prize for European Literature as well as the Nelly Sachs Prize). Szczypiorski saw literature as "a kind of mission... entrusted to writers by society". Szczypiorski tried to remain true to this calling in both his fiction and his autobiographical writing, like From the Martial Law Notebook, published in London in 1983. The first edition of The Beautiful Mrs. Seidenman, which came out in Paris in 1986, was an immediate success. It was followed by Night, Day and Night, a fascinating study of the mechanism of political provocation. Next came the convincing psychological portrait Self-Portrait with Woman (1994), and collections of stories including American Whiskey, which won the German Catholic Art and Culture Award. Polish literary critics paid the most attention to the parable-as-novel A Mass for Arras (1971), which recounted authentic fifteenth-century historical events (plague, famine, and the persecution of Jews and heretics). Szczypiorski sat down to write this novel in the autumn of 1968, in response to the dramatic and shameful events of the preceding spring - the anti-Semitic campaign and attacks on intellectuals orchestrated by the communist authorities. The issues concealed "between the lines" were perfectly clear to the first Polish readers, and A Mass for Arras was regarded as an important commentary on current events by a writer with moral concerns.


  • Za murami Sodomy, Warszawa: Czytelnik, 1963.
  • Msza za miasto Arras, Warszawa: Czytelnik, 1971.
  • I ominęli Emaus, Warszawa: Czytelnik, 1974.
  • Z notatnika stanu wojennego, Londyn: Polonia, 1983.
  • Początek, Paryż: Instytut Literacki, 1986.
  • Amerykańska whisky i inne opowiadania, Poznań: Kantor Wydawniczy SAWW, 1990.
  • Noc, dzień i noc, Poznań: Kantor Wydawniczy SAWW, 1991.
  • Autoportret z kobietą, Poznań: Kantor Wydawniczy SAWW, 1994.
  • Grzechy, cnoty pragnienia, Poznań: Sens, 1997.
  • Trzy krótkie opowiadania, Poznań: Sens, 1999.
  • Gra z ogniem, Poznań: Sens, 1999.



  • Liturgija za grad Aras [Msza za miasto Arras], trans. Galja Belinska, Sofia: Paragos 2005.


  • Pocatek [Początek], Praha: Mlada Fronta, 1993.
  • Mše za město Arras [Msza za miasto Arras], Praha: Aurora, 1998.


  • Natt, dag og atter nat [Noc, dzień i noc], Kopenhaga: Hekla, 1993.
  • En messe for byen Arras [Msza za miasto Arras], Kopenhaga: Hekla, 1990.
  • Den smukke fru Seidenman [Początek], Kopenhaga: Hekla, 1989.
  • Selvportraet med kvinde [Autoportret z kobietą], Kopenhaga: Hekla, 1996.


  • De mooire mevrouv Seidenman [Początek], Haga: Amber, 1988.
  • Een mis voor de stad Atrecht [Msza za miasto Arras], Haga: Amber, 1989.
  • Amerikaanske whiskey [Amerykańska whisky], Haga: Amber, 1992.
  • Zelfportret met vrouv [Autoportret z kobietą], Amsterdam: Wereldbibliothek, 1995.


  • A mass for Arras [Msza za miasto Arras], London: Weidenfeld " Nicolson, 1993; New York: Grove Press, 1993.
  • The beautiful Mrs.Seidenman [Początek], New York: Grove Press, 1990; New York: Abacus, 1992; New York: Random House, 1992; London: Weidenfeld " Nickolson, 1989; London: Orion Books, 1996.
  • Selfportrait with woman [Autoportret z kobietą], trans. Bill Johnston, New York: Grove Press, 1995.
  • The shadow catcher [Złowić cień], trans. Bill Johnston, New York: Grove Press, 1997.


  • Minnevik [Czas przeszły], Tallinn: Loomingu Kirjastus, 1995.


  • Alku [Początek], Helsinki: Tami, 1994.


  • Messe pour la ville d'Arras [Msza za miasto Arras], L'Age d'Homme, 1987.
  • La Jolie Madame Seidenman [Początek], , Paris: Éditons de Fallois, 1988.
  • Whiskey améacute;ricain [Amerykańska whisky], Paris: Éditons de Fallois, 1995.
  • Nuit, jour et nuit [Noc, dzień i noc], Paris: Liana Levi, 1994.
  • Autoportrait avec femme [Autoportret z kobietą], Paris: Liana Levi, 1996.


  • Amerikanischer Whiskey [Amerykańska whisky], Zürich: Diogenes, 1989.
  • Eine Messe für die Stadt Arras [Msza za miasto Arras], Berlin: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 1979.
  • Nacht, Tad und Nacht [Noc, dzień i noc], Zürich: Diogenes, 1991.
  • Notitzen zum Stand der Dinge [Z notatnika stanu wojennego], Zürich: Diogenes, 1990.
  • Den Schatten fangen [Złowić cień], Zürich: Diogenes Zürich: Diogenes, 1993.
  • Die schöne Frau Seidenman [Początek], Zürich: Diogenes, 1988.
  • Selbstporträt mit Frau [Autoportret z kobietą], Zürich: Diogenes, 1994.
  • Der Teufel im Graben [I ominęli Emaus], Zürich: Diogenes, 1993.


  • Msza za miasto Arras, Tel Aviv: Zmora Bitan, 1987.
  • Początek, Tel Aviv: Zmora Bitan, 1991.
  • Amerykańska whisky, Tel Aviv: Zmora Bitan, 1993.


  • A szep Seidemane [Początek], Budapest: Magveto Konyvkiado, 1991.


  • Messa per la citta di Arras [Msza za miasto Arras], Roma: Edizioni e/o, 1983.
  • La bella Signora Seidenman [Początek], trans. Pietro Marchesani. Milano: Adelphi, 1988, 2000.
  • Notte, giorno e notte [Noc, dzień i noc], Milano: Adelphi, 1996.


  • Daila seidenmanes kundze [Początek], trans. Irena Birzvalka, Apgads 2006.


  • En messe for byen Arras [Msza za miasto Arras], Oslo: Cappelen, 1991.
  • De gikk forbi Emmaus [I ominęli Emaus], Oslo: Cappelen, 1995.
  • Begynneisen [Początek], Oslo: Cappelen, 1990.


  • A bela senhora Seidenman [Początek], Lisboa: Presenca, 1991.


  • Naczało [Początek], trans. L. Wychowa, Moscow: Tekst 2008.


  • Zacatek [Początek], Maribor: Gibraltar, 1996.


  • La bella senora Seidenman, Barcelona: Circe, 1990.
  • Una misa por mia ciudad de Arras [Msza za miasto Arras], Barcelona: Circe, 1991.


  • Den vackra fru Seidenman [Początek], Stockholm: Alba, 1990.
  • Natt, dag och natt [Noc, dzień i noc], Stockholm: Alba, 1993.