Living in Translation

Polish Writers in America


Volume Editor:
Living in Translation: Polish Writers in America discusses the interaction of Polish and American culture, the transfer of the Central European experience abroad and the acculturation of major representatives of Polish literature to the United States. Contributions written by American specialists in Polish Studies tell the story of contemporary Polish expatriates who recently lived or are currently living in the U.S. These authors include directors/screen writers Roman Polanski and Agnieszka Holland, the Nobel Prize laureate poet Czeslaw Milosz, theatre critic Jan Kott, prose writer Jerzy Kosinski, essayist Eva Hoffman, and poet/translator Stanislaw Baranczak. Living in Translation presents these and other writers in terms of the duality of their profiles resulting from their engagement in two different cultures. It documents problems encountered by those who became expatriates in response to a totalitarian system they had left behind. And it revises and updates the image of the Polish exile authors, refocusing it along the lines of culture transfer, border straddling, and benefits resulting from a transcultural existence.

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Halina Stephan is Professor of Russian and Polish Literature and Director of the Center for Slavic and East European Studies at Ohio State University. She is an author of books LEF and the Left Front of the Arts (1981), Mrożek (1996), Transcending the Absurd: Prose and Drama of Slawomir Mrozek, (1997), and an edited volume Zycie w przekladzie (2001). Her articles focus on Russian avant-garde literature, Russian science fiction, Polish drama and émigré literature.
"…an invaluable contribution to Polish literary studies…" - in: Slavic and East European Journal, Vol. 49, No. 4 (2005)
"…a valuable source….a highly recommended addition to the reading lists for courses on Central and Eastern European culture." - in: The Modern Language Review, Vol. 100.3 (2005), pp. 855-6
"Living in Translation is a flawlessly edited volume of fine scholarship. It is a very informative book…" - in: Slavic Review, Vol. 63, No. 4 (Winter 2004)
"…this is a valuable book which deserves to be widely studied." - in: SEER, 82.3 (2004), pp. 732-4
Halina STEPHAN: “Introduction: The Last Exiles”
Beth HOLMGREN: “America, America: Scouting the Routes of Translation”
Part I. Poets as Cultural Mediators
Bogdana CARPENTER: “The Gift Returned: Czesław Miłosz and American Poetry”
Clare CAVANAGH: “Setting the Handbrake: Barańczak’s Poetics of Displacement”
Frank KUJAWINSKI and Tomasz TABAKO: “A Field Guide to Tymoteusz Karpowicz”
Regina GROL: “Eroticism and Exile: Anna Frajlich's Poetry”
Part II. Americanization of Prose Writers
Thomas GLADSKY: “Jerzy Kosinski: A Polish Immigrant”
Ewa M. THOMPSON: “Leopold Tyrmand, Peripheral Subordination and the American Conservative Movement”
Roman KOROPECKYI: “Marek Hłasko’ s Letters from America”
Anna FRAJLICH: “Henryk Grynberg: The Quest for Artistic and Non-Artistic Truth”
Madeline LEVINE: “Eva Hoffman: Forging a Postmodern Identity”
Part III. The Stage as Virtual Homeland
Allen J. KUHARSKI: “Arden and Absolute Milan: Jan Kort in Exile”
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