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Literary activity after the war
Julia Hartwig Poet
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In Lublin, I've already talked about those… about it being an interesting cultural hub, but there was also… young writers could also be included in that. Among others at that time Jacek Bocheński was in Lublin, Anna Kamieńska and I, as well as writers who'd arrived with the First Army, including Putrament and Ważyk. They wasted no time in creating a post-war union of writers and we… straight away… we were easy prey and besides, we were curious to know what was going on. This is very complicated, on the one hand, you hate all of this while on the other, there's something happening, finally something's happening and perhaps something, something good will come of it; there have been many illusions throughout our history. They invited us to participate in the writers' union as candidates. For many years, there was a system in the writers' union that first of all, candidates were accepted, there were youth groups, yes, the lives of these young writers was very varied then. That was when my first public literary activity started, in a way that is generally understood, namely, those were my first poems which I published in Odra. Pardon me, it wasn't in OdraOdra didn't yet exist.

W Lublinie, mówiłam o tym... że był on takim ciekawym ośrodkiem kultury, ale także... była tam... można by do tego zaliczyć taką młodzież literacką, między innymi był tam... był w tym czasie w Lublinie Jacek Bocheński, Anna Kamieńska i ja, i pisarze, którzy przyszli z 1. Armią, a wśród nich był Putrament i Ważyk. Od razu zakrzątnęli się, żeby stworzyć no taki powojenny związek literatów i nas od razu... byliśmy taką łatwą żertwą, a zresztą byliśmy ciekawi tego wszystkiego, co się dzieje. To jest taki bardzo skomplikowany... z jednej strony się tego nienawidzi, a z drugiej coś się dzieje, nareszcie coś się dzieje i może coś... coś z tego wyniknie dobrego; no złudzeń było wiele... wiele było w naszej historii. Otóż oni właśnie nas zaprosili do uczestniczenia w związku literatów jako kandydaci. To było przez wiele lat – był taki system w związku literatów, że najpierw byli przyjmowani kandydaci, były koła młodych, tak to życie takich młodych... młodych pisarzy było bardzo urozmaicone wtedy. Więc wtedy właściwie rozpoczęła się jak gdyby moja taka pierwsza działalność literacka publiczna, taka w sensie takim jak to jest powszechnie przyjęte, mianowicie to były pierwsze moje wiersze, które drukowałam w „Odrze”, przepraszam nie w „Odrze”, „Odry”, „Odry” jeszcze nie było.

Born to a Polish father and a Russian mother, Julia Hartwig (1921-2017) was a Polish poet, essayist, translator and author of children's books. She studied at the University of Warsaw, the Catholic University in Lublin and the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. Czesław Miłosz called her 'the grande dame of Polish poetry'. Julia Hartwig was one of the few poets in Poland who made masterly use of poetic prose. She translated poems by Apollinaire, Rimbaud, Max Jacob, Cendrars and Supervielle, and published monographs on Apollinaire and Gerard de Nerval. She also translated from English, and published a large anthology of American poetry which she co-edited in 1992 with her late husband, the poet Artur Międzyrzecki.

Listeners: Andrzej Wolski

Film director and documentary maker, Andrzej Wolski has made around 40 films since 1982 for French television, the BBC, TVP and other TV networks. He specializes in portraits and in historical films. Films that he has directed or written the screenplay for include Kultura, which he co-directed with Agnieszka Holland, and KOR which presents the history of the Worker’s Defence Committee as told by its members. Andrzej Wolski has received many awards for his work, including the UNESCO Grand Prix at the Festival du Film d’Art.

Tags: Lublin, Odra, First Army, Jacek Bocheński, Anna Kamieńska, Jerzy Putrament, Adam Ważyk

Duration: 1 minute, 41 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2010

Date story went live: 10 May 2011