Gustaw Herling-Grudziński

#
  • fot. Ela Lempp

Born in Kielce in 1919, Herling-Grudziński died on 5 July 2000 in Italy. He made his debut in the inter-war period as a literary critic. During the war, he was arrested and confined in the Gulag in the Arctic, before leaving Russia in General Anders' army and fighting at Monte Cassino. In 1947, he was co-founded and was one of the original editors of Kultura, then published in Rome. When the magazine moved to Paris, he went to London before returning to Italy, where he lived since 1952. He won the Kultura (1958), Jurzykowski (1964), Koscielski (1966) and Wiadomosci (1981) prizes, as well as the Italian Premio Viareggio, the international Prix Gutenburg, and the French PEN-Club Award. He was one of the outstanding Polish writers of the twentieth century. The subject of his writings is the human opposition to various forms of nothingness (totalitarianism, religious doubt, the feeling of existential solitude, and the instrumentalization of life). His work includes literary criticism, prose, essays and original mixed forms. His critical works reflect his interest in Russian literature, the European classics, and painting. The erudition of his written sketches on art shows that for Herling, culture is a metaphysical manifestation of human uncertainty, as well as the most capacious of the symbolic languages serving sensual perception. As a writer, Herling was reborn by the force of his Gulag experiences, which he recorded and transformed in Inny swiat (Another World), 1951, one of the first and best works on the subject in world literature. The book is a credible documentary description of living conditions in the Soviet camps, and at the same time, a story about the essence of totalitarianism, the borders of humanity, the unfathomable depths to which man can fall, and the human strength through which dignity can overcome any fate. In his stories, Herling traces the "individual fate" that mark each person's private road toward reconciliation with death. The literary specifics of his works, which might be called metaphysical crime stories, are determined by his renewal of the forms of the nineteenth-century tale, as in Poe, Melville and James. "Original traditionalism" also characterizes his Journal Written at Night, a work begun in 1971 containing classical journal entries next to essays on art, political commentaries, and works of fiction. 

Bibliography

  • Inny Świat, Paryż: Instytut Literacki, 1951.
  • Żywi i umarli, Lublin: Fis, 1991.
  • Wieża i inne opowiadania, Poznań: W drodze, 1988.
  • Opowiadania zebrane, Poznań: W drodze, 1990.
  • Godzina cieni, Kraków: Znak, 1991.
  • Sześć medalionów i srebrna szkatułka, Warszawa: Czytelnik, 1994.
  • Inny Świat, Warszawa: Czytelnik, 1995. wznow. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie, 2007, 2011.
  • Dziennik pisany nocą 1973-79, Warszawa: Czytelnik, 1995.
  • Portret wenecki, Lublin: Wyd. UMCS, 1995.
  • Błogosławiona święta, Wyd. UMCS, 1996.
  • Dziennik pisany nocą 1980-83, Warszawa: Czytelnik, 1996.
  • Dziennik pisany nocą 1984-88, Warszawa: Czytelnik, 1996.
  • Dziennik pisany nocą 1989-92, Warszawa: Czytelnik, 1997.
  • Don Ildebrando, Warszawa: Presspublica, 1997.
  • Gorący oddech pustyni, Warszawa: Czytelnik, 1997.
  • Rozmowy w Dragonei, Warszawa: Szpak, 1997.
  • Dziennik pisany nocą 1993-96, Warszawa: Czytelnik, 1998.
  • Biała noc miłości Warszawa: Czytelnik, 1999.
  • Dziennik pisany nocą 1997-1999, Warszawa: Czytelnik, 2000.
  • Podzwonne dla dzwonnika, Warszawa: Czytelnik, 2000.
  • Najkrótszy przewodnik po sobie samym, Kraków: WL, 2000.
  • Wędrowiec cmentarny, Kraków: WL, 2006.
  • Wiek biblijny i śmierć, Kraków: WL, 2007.
  • Recenzje, szkice, rozprawy literackie 1935-1946, Kraków: WL, 2010.

Translations:

Bulgarian:

  • Drug svjat [Inny świat], trans. Desislava Nedjalkowa, Publishing Atelier AB, 2001.

Czech:

  • Jiný svět [Inny świat], tłum. Helena Stachová, Praha: Institut pro středoevropskou kulturu a politiku, 1994
  • Denik psany v noci: 1989-1992 [Dziennik pisany nocą], trans. Helena Stachová, Martin Svehlik, Praha: Torst, 1995.
  • Ostrov a jine prózy [Skrzydła ołtarza, Drugie przyjscie], trans. Helena Stachová, Praha: Mlada Fronta, 2000.
  • Benátský portrét a jiné prózy, tans. Helena Stachová, Praha: Academia, 2004.
  • Stránky z Deníku psaného v noci, trans. Helena Stachová, Praha: Naklad. F. Kafky, 2005. 

English:

  • A world apart, trans. Joseph Marek, London: Heinemann [1951]; New York: Arbor House, 1986, c1951; Westport, Conn., Greenwood Press [1974]
  • The island (trzy opowiadania), trans. Ronald Strom, New York: Viking, 1993.
  • Volcano and Miracle [wybór z: Dziennik pisany nocą], trans. Ronald Strom, New York: Viking, 1996.
  • The Noonday Cemetery and Other Stories [Cmentarz Poludnia i inne utwory], trans. Bill Johnston, New Directions, New York 2003

French:

  • Un monde à part [Inny świat], trans. Wiliam Desmond, Paris: Denoël, 1985, 1992; Paris: Gallimard, 1995.
  • Journal écrit la nuit [Dziennik pisany nocą 1973-1979], trans. Thérèse Douchy, Paris: Gallimard, 1989.
  • L'lle et autres récits, trans. Thérèse Douchy, Paris: Gallimard, 1992.
  • Le Portrait vénitien et autres récits, [Portret wenecki], trans. Thérèse Douchy, Paris: Gallimard, 1995.
  • Les perles de Vermeer: journal écrit la nuit 1986–1992 [Dziennik pisany nocą], trans. Thérèse Douchy, Paris: Seuil, 1999
  • Variations sur les ténèbres: nouvelles, trans. Thérèse Douchy, Paris: Seuil, 1999
  • Nuits blanches d'amour [Biała noc miłości], trans. Thérèse Douchy, Paris: Seuil, 2001.

German:

  • Welt ohne Erbarmen, Köln: Verlag für Politik und Wirtschaft, 1953.
  • Der Turm und die Insel (dwa opowiadania), Köln: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 1966.
  • Die Insel [Wyspa], trans. Maryla Reifenberg, Munchen: Hanser, 1994.
  • Venezianisches Porträt [Portret wenecki], (Erzählungen). München: Hanser 1996.
  • Tagebuch bei Nacht geschrieben [Dziennik pisany nocą], trans. Nina Kozlowski, München: Hanser 2000.
  • Welt ohne Erbarmen [Inny świat], trans. Nina Kozlowski, München/Vien: Carl Hanser 2000; Frankfurt am Main: Büchergilde Gutenberg 2001; München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag 2004.
  • Die Insel [Skrzydła ołtarza], trans. Maryla Reifenberg, München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag 2004 

Hungarian:

  • A második eljövetel. Válogatott esszék és elbeszélések [Drugie przyjście. Wybór esejów i opowiadań], Budapest: Orpheusz, 1998.
  • A sivatag forró lehelete [Gorący oddech pustyni], trans. Körtvélyessy Klára, Mihályi Zsuzsa, Pálfalvi Lojos, Budapest: Nagy Vilag, 2004.
  • Más világ [Inny świat], trans. Körtvélyessy Klára, Budapest: Nagyvilag 2004

Italian:

  • Gli spettri della rivoluzione ed altri saggi, [Widma rewolucji] Firenze: Ponte alle Grazie, 1994.
  • Le perle di Vermeer [Perly Vermeera], Roma: Fazi Editore, 1998.
  • La bianca notte dell’amore [Biała noc miłości], Ancora del Mare, 2004.

Macedonian:

  • Bela nok na ljubovta [Biała noc miłości], trans. Lidija Tanusevska, Skopje: Ili-ili, 2006

Russian:

  • Gorjačee dychanie pustyni, Belaja noč' ljubvi [Gorący oddech pustyni, Biała noc miłości], trans. Irina Adelgejm, Moskva: MIK, 2000.

Serbian:

  • Bela noc ljubavi [Biała noc miłości], trans. Biserka Rajčić, Beograd: B. Kukic, 2004.

Slovak:

  • Biela noc lásky [Biała noc miłości], Bratislava: Slovart, cop. 2001.

Slovenian:

  • Drug svet [Inny świat], trans. Jana Unuk, Lubljana: Modrijan, 2013

Spanish:

  • Variaciones sobre las tinieblas, Madrid: Metáfora, [2003]. 
  • Un mundo aparte [Inny świat], trans. Anna Orzeszek, Francisco Javier Villaverde Gonzalez, Barcelona: Libros del Asteroide, 2012

Ukrainian:

  • Іиший Світ [Inny świat], trans. Oles Gerasim, Knigi XXI, 2010