The Saga of Many Patient Foot Soldiers: Józef Wittlin’s Salt of the Earth, by Alice-Catherine Carls

Book Reviews Alice-Catherine Carls My association with the work of Józef Wittlin started when Professor Anna Frajlich invited me to write a paper about Wittlin’s association with France for her 1996 Józef Wittlin conference at Columbia University. I jumped at the chance to travel to Maisons-Laffitte, north of Paris, France, where the bulk of Wittlin’s correspondence with Jerzy Giedroyc was preserved. There, I began my acquaintance with Wittlin through his second, postwar literary career. At the conference, I met and was warmly welcomed by Elizabeth Wittlin Lipton, the writer’s daughter. Anyone who has met her will tell you that it is nearly impossible not to become her friend. Her energy and dedication are infectious. She introduced me to the unfinished odyssey of her father’s Sól ziemi. While revising my conference paper for publication in the conference’s proceedings,[i] I sought a French publisher for the novel. Noir sur Blanc was interested. My translation appeared in 2000, and it is still seen on the shelves of the Polish bookstore owned by the publishing conglomerate Libella on Boulevard St. Germain in Paris.[ii] The 1996 Columbia conference and my translation, which was the first French translation of the novel since the war years, began to take Wittlin out of his “literary purgatory.” Józef Wittlin was born in 1896 in Lviv, where he grew up. After enrolling in the Polish Legion in August 1914, he joined the... Continue reading at 'World Literature Today'

[ World Literature Today | 2019-11-05 14:04:18 UTC ]
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