Biography

Biografia
Biography
ΒΙΟΓΡΑΦΙΑ
БИОГРАФИЯ
БІОГРАФІЯ

Stanislaw Srokowski, poet, novelist, playwright, literary critic, translator, and publicist was born in Tarnopol Province - the eastern borderland of Poland. In 1945 his parents, both farmers, were exiled from their land and settled in Szczecin Province (north of Poland). His primary education Srokowski completed in Mieszkowice; secondary in Dębno Lubuskie. He graduated from Opole Pedagogical University. Between the years 1960-1968 he worked as a teacher in Legnica. During the March 1968 events Srokowski protested against the policy of the communist party together with the young. The consequences were severe: he was persecuted by the Polish communist secret police, known as the SB, and dismissed from the school. In 1968 Srokowski moved to Wroclaw, where he has been living, where he worked and engaged in public life, e.g. as the head of the Senior's Club. Between the years 1970-1981 he worked as a journalist for the daily magazine Wiadomosci. After the martial law was proclaimed, he got expelled from work and remained unemployed for the next two years. He was forced in exile in Lubin copper basin in 1983. He returned six years later. The following year he started lecturing at the Wroclaw University, where he was employed until 1993. Srokowski was a many year member of the Polish Association of Literary Authors (ZLP) and the Polish Authors' Association ZAIKS. After the martial law had been lifted and the ZLP pronounced defunct, Srokowski retired from any organizations assembling literary authors. He is currently a member of the Association of Polish Translators and Interpreters (STP).

He actively engaged in the revival of morality, social and political culture in Poland. He was a founder of "Solidarity" in Wiadomosci and a long time advisor of the Provincial Board of the Independent and Self-Governing Trade Union (NSZZ) "Solidarity" of Individual Farmers in Wroclaw and a spokesman of "Solidarity" of Individual Farmers. After the abolishment of the martial law, he cooperated with the secret organizations of "Fighting Solidarity".

BODY OF WORK

Stanislaw Srokowski wrote nearly 40 books for adults, teenagers and children. He is the author of poetry collections: "Birds of Night, Birds of Love", "Certificate of Birth", "The Realm of Stillness", "Acts", "You", "Eating", "Love and Death"; novels: "Fear", "Love and Madness", "The Ghosts of Childhood", "The Repatriates", "Beelzebub's Dream", "The Time of the Devil", "Butterfly in Flames", "Little Bugs"; books for teenagers and children: "Greek Myths", "The Adventures of Odysseus", "The Troyan War", "The Adventures of Heracles", "Aesop's Fables", "The Amazing Adventures of the Nose of Patrick Prose"; plays: "Doors", "Banned Scenes", radio plays and screenplays. He translates from the Greek, Ukrainian and Russian language. His poetry and prose was translated in the USA, Japan and India, as well as into European languages, including Esperanto. He is a winner of numerous national and international literary prizes and awards.

REVIEWS

"COME TO CRY"
(novel)
The novel by Stanislaw Srokowski (...) is like Beckett's "Waiting for Godot", except that it is set in the reality of Polish peasants. The characters are waiting for signals from their sons like Beckett's protagonists are waiting for Godot. It is a very interesting and original work.
Michal Glowiński, literary theorist and critic, novelist

The novel by Srokowski gains a universal dimension; becomes an existential treatise on human condition.
Jaroslaw Haak, literary critic

Srokowski writes a pure prose. The emerging world is a universe of its own and a peephole into what is the most remote, ultimate, almost metaphysical.
Marek Jodlowski, poet, literary critic

Srokowski speaks for those who are deprived of any chances.
Krzysztof Nowicki, poet, literary critic

Finally, a new phenomenal book.
Henryk Worcell, novelist

"BEELZEBUB'S DREAM"
(novel)
It is a satirical and grotesque work; a milieu satire and a humorous lampoon of poses, coteries, animosities, inner arrangements, false pretence, attitudes and mentality of local big fish.
Janusz Termer, litrary critic

"THE GHOSTS OF CHILDHOOD"
(novel)
Srokowski found a unique and idiosyncratic way to depict a nightmare of human suffering: of a Polish, Jewish and Ukrainian child. The work echoes "One Hundred Years of Solitude" and "The Tin Drum". This is a very original and learned novel; the best and the most interesting book in the author's literary career.
Janusz Termer

Since Leopold Buczkowski's dilogy "Black Torrent" and "The Doric Cloister" the Polish literature has lacked an equally poignant vision of those dramatic experiences. It is an exceptionally artistically evocative and important book, the value of which is comparable to the finest literary achievements.
Waclaw Sadkowski, literary critic

"THE REPATRIATES"
(novel)
The moment he emerged, Srokowski displayed a fully developed, original talent, instantly gaining the praise of critics and the audience. "The Repatriates" (...) has been acknowledged as the book of the year.
Waldemar Smaszcz, literary critic

The parting with the deceased world saturates the microcosm of "The Repatriates" (...) The lament of the characters (...) is in itself one of the most beautiful threnodies ever to be found in the Polish literature.
Tomasz Milkowski, literary critic

It is a metaphor of human fate and an alarming literary vision of a drama experienced by a community made to give up everything they owned.
Leszek Bugajski, literary critic

This is a prose which brings back the echoes of Grass and Marquez.
Polityka

"The Repatriates", a contemporary epos, (...) is a record of critical events in the history of a nation (...) It reminds me of "The Peasants" by Reymont.
Stanislaw Stanik, literary critic

Srokowski (...) explores boldly, even uncompromisingly, the issues that fascinate him. To his credit, he accentuates his artistic profile. Historians and sociologists (...) will find an inestimable material in this novel (...), they should study this prose attentively and humbly (...) Srokowski represents the avant-garde approach towards this difficult, distressing but necessary pursuit (revaluation of the burden of time in the general consciousness).
Wacław Sadkowski

"FEAR"
(novel)
"Fear" is an unusual novel in the contemporary literature.
Tadeusz J. Zólcinski, literary critic

Srokowski studies an exceptionally important issue which has so far been the object of cognitive pursuits of psychologists, sociologists of culture or which displayed sudden relevance in past eminent works studied by our contemporaries. Today, this theme is explored in works of modern novelists.
Michal Boni, literary critic

This novel is a peculiar anatomy of love (...) It brings echoes of Antonioni, of the great precision of psychological reasoning. It also treats about the psychology of the act of creation - one of the most beautiful adventures created by a man.
Jaroslaw Haak

"Fear" is a work that is (...) effective, reads well and fast. This is a true love novel and will surely be a success.
Michal Glowiński

"LITTLE BUGS"
(novel)
The novel (...) is altogether unconventional; it has an anti-plot (...) The author treats the language - according to the avant-garde imperative - as one of the novel's themes, or even as one of its characters. He plays with it (...) introduces radical consequences derived from Gombrowicz and Witkacy so as to filter them through Joyce-like ideas (...) By these means, Srokowski reflects artistic orientations of the contemporary world prose (...) With this novel, the author stands in one line with Parnicki or Buczkowski. The literary trend of experimenting with language has apparently gained a new follower.
Waclaw Sadkowski

Srokowski attempted to write a Novel Like No Other Novel. A novel that in some way is like the modern Book of all Books, a substitute for the Great Fiction in which the Wisdom of all Matter would manifest itself through literary disguise. He thus attempted to write the Great Epos of His People.
Anna Borowa, literary critic, publicist

"LOVE AND DEATH"
(poetry; premiere, 2005)
I read the collection of poems for the first time while on plane from Philadelphia to Providence and then again and again and again. Later on, I returned to individual poems and tried to plunge into the very essence of pain and love contained therein so as to grasp the author's inspirations and make friends with his soul. Dear readers, so many perfect poems will you come across in this collection, poems which will evoke pensiveness, reflections, philosophical considerations. They are all worth reading. I strongly encourage you to do so.
Walter Hoffman, poet, Literakcja, USA

The latest collection of poems by Srokowski is undoubtedly a distinguished one. In spite of a heavy load of themes and richness of references, readers will not stray from the artistic tracks. On the contrary, one of the main impressions is that our eyes open to that extraordinary expanse into which the lyrical subject - the keeper of the overpowering experiences - is leading us.
Artur Adamski, critic, publicist, Rubbikon

I am so thankful for "Love and Death". MAGNIFICENT! I pray to God to bless me with the skill to write like you do. This is magnificent, beginning with "To Mary, for all beauty she gave me" to:

"For twenty years of silence,
meadow, on which my verses
graze and drink from the spring
of pure death" (...) My CONGRATULATIONS!

(excerpt from a letter by Leszek Czuchajowski, an American scholar of Polish origin, poet and playwright)

Splendid. To tell the truth, long has it been since I last read equally excellent poetic book (...) Comparable to poems by Nowak, Grzesczak, Nowicki (...).
Krzysztof Gąsiorowski, poet, literary critic

When writing about himself, Srokowski places himself in mythology. Thus, writing about a contemporary man, Srokowski searches for his roots in the past and at the dawn of culture and civilization. Landscapes have changed. We may have slightly less exotic names. But our condition has not changed. Nor have our needs and fears. It is not a distressing book, though. On the bright side is Maria, the muse of the narrator-protagonist-poet; as is the light which makes life worth living. Maria builds harmony, brings peace, and shows a deeper sense of suffering.
Remigiusz Grzela, poet, Parnassus

Some of the "Love and Death" collection poems are very beautiful and remind me of "The Song of All Songs" verses. The hospital poems are excellent and exceptionally emotive, with Maria - the symbol of life reversing evil spells - interwoven between them. It is obviously the best (...) collection of poems; probably one of the best books.
Józef Baran, poet

"THE ACADEMY OF WRITING NURSERY RHYMES"
(magic fairy tale for children, Chicago, USA,
http://dsp.go.pl)

Readers' comments on the books from this series:

A fantastic book (...) funny (...) with amusing nursery rhymes (...); it talks about the impossible.
(a pupil in the 3rd grade of Elementary School in Brzeg Dolny)

The book contains universal messages; educates. The four year olds and the sensitive nine year olds will equally love it. I would recommend this book to be included in the school obligatory reading list.
Ewa Matysek-Bursztynowicz, teacher, librarian, Elementary School No. 6 in Brzeg Dolny

Children reacted with spontaneous laughter, were focused and listened attentively. They said the book reminded them of Harry Potter.

I can't wait to read the latest Patryk's adventures.
(Radoslaw Szumilas, a pupil in the 3rd grade of Elementary School No. 6 in Brzeg Dolny)

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