Jerzy Andrzejewski

Jerzy Andrzejewski
Jerzy Andrzejewski

Jerzy Andrzejewski in 1949
Born 19 August 1909(1909-08-19)
Warsaw, Kingdom of Poland
Died April 19, 1983(1983-04-19) (aged 73)
Cause of death heart attack
Nationality Polish
Known for Ashes and Diamonds
Grave of Jerzy Andrzejewski at Powązki Cemetery in Warsaw.

Jerzy Andrzejewski (Polish pronunciation: [ˈjɛʐɨ andʐɛˈjɛfskʲi]; 19 August 1909, Warsaw, Congress Poland – 19 April 1983, Warsaw) was a prolific Polish author. His novels, Ashes and Diamonds (about the immediate post-war situation in Poland), and Holy Week (dealing with the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising), have been made into film adaptations by the Oscar-winning Polish director Andrzej Wajda. Holy Week and Ashes and Diamonds have both been translated into English.[1]

Andrzejewski studied philology at the University of Warsaw in the Second Polish Republic. In 1932 he debuted in ABC Magazine with his first short story entitled Wobec czyjegoś życia. In 1936 he published a full collection of short stories called Drogi nieuniknione, in Biblioteka "Prosto z mostu", and soon received broad recognition for his new novel Ład serca from 1938. Immediately after World War II, Andrzejewski published the volume Night (Noc, 1945) and his most famous novel so far, the Ashes and Diamonds (Popiół i diament, 1948). Having joined the communist party in 1950, he left the party after the 1956 October Revolution.[2] In 1976 he was one of the founding members of the intellectual opposition group KOR (Workers' Defence Committee). Later, Andrzejewski was a strong supporter of Poland's anti-Communist Solidarity movement. He is "Alpha" in Czesław Miłosz's renowned book The Captive Mind.[1]

Although he was frequently considered to be a front-runner for the Nobel Prize for Literature, it was never awarded to him. He reportedly suffered from alcoholism which during his later years may have hindered his literary output.[2] Andrzejewski, who was gay in spite of having a family,[3] died of a heart attack in Warsaw in 1983. On September 23, 2006, he was posthumously awarded the Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta by the Polish President Lech Kaczynski.

List of works

  • Unavoidable Roads (Drogi nieuniknione, 1936), a collection of short stories
  • Mode of the Heart (Ład serca, 1938), first novel, winner of the Polish Academy of Literature award
  • Night (Noc, 1945) featuring Holy Week
  • Ashes and Diamonds (Popiół i diament, 1948),[4] film version won Critics' Prize at 1959 Venice Film Festival
  • The Inquisitors (Ciemności kryją ziemię, 1957, tr. 1960)
  • An Effective War (Wojna skuteczna, czyli Opis bitew i potyczek z Zadufkami, 1953), stalinist feel-good story
  • The Gates of Paradise (Bramy raju, 1960), novel notable for being written almost without punctuation, in two sentences
  • A Sitter for a Satyr (Idzie skacząc po górach, 1963) published in the United Kingdom as He Cometh Leaping upon the Mountain

(and others)


  1. ^ a b Petri Liukkonen (author) & Ari Pesonen, Jerzy Andrzejewski (1909-1983), Kuusankosken kaupunginkirjasto, 2008.
  2. ^ a b Oscar E. Swan, Holy Week: a novel of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising By Jerzy Andrzejewski, with biographical notes, and photographs. Ohio University Press, 2007. ISBN 0821417150
  3. ^ Stanley, John D. (2004). "Warsaw". Retrieved 19 March 2011. 
  4. ^ Polish literature in English translation. 20th century Polish literature, at

External links

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