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BOOKS Books and Periodicals Received

April 2009

Volume XXIX, No. 2

Listy, by Henryk Sienkiewicz, Part 3 (in four volumes), edited with an introduction and notes by Maria Bokszczanin. Warsaw: Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy and Instytut Ksiąžki, 2007. 595, 507, and 683 pages. Illustrations. ISBN 978-83-06-03066-2. Hardcover. In Polish.

In his lifetime Henryk Sienkiewicz wrote about 150,000 letters to some 450 recipients. Maria Bokszczanin’s magnificent edition of his correspondence (Part 1 was published in 1977, Part 2 in 1996), culminates in Part 3 that contains about 800 communications to 180 addressees, written between 1876 and 1916. This is confusing; one wishes the editors numbered their volumes in a way that reflects familiarity with world editorial practices. The present collection constitutes an integral part of Sienkiewicz‘s art and throws new light on him as a man, writer, and public figure, as well as telling us a great deal about his times. Many of these letters appear in print for the first time. The letters in volume 3 (that itself consists of two volumes) are addressed to writers, such as Maria Konopnicka, J. I. Kraszewski, and Romain Rolland; artists such as Ignacy Paderewski and Henryk Siemiradzki; translators such as Bronisław Kozakiewicz in France and Alfred Jensen in Sweden; scholars such as Jan Aleksander Kałowicz, Bronław Morawski, and Karol Potkański; journalists and publishers such as Adam Krechowiecki of Gazeta Lwowska and Edward Leo of Gazeta Polska; actors and directors such as Józef Kotarbiński and Józef Mikulski; politicians such as Gabriel Narutowicz and Eustachy Sanguszko; and friends and doctors (Sienkiewicz often complained about his health). A separate category is formed by his personal letters to his youthful love Maria Kellerówna, and Maria Radziejowska, his late object of affection.

This collection is meticulously researched and supported by an elaborate editorial apparatus. Preceded by an introduction and followed by the editor’s note, Part 3 contains biographies of the addressees, exhaustive footnotes, illustrations, and indices. As is the case with the two previous parts, these letters show Sienkiewicz as a true patriot and consummate artist. Parts 4 and 5 are forthcoming. (MJM)

The Coming Spring, by Stefan Žeromski. Translated by Bill Johnston. Budapest-New York: Central Europeaqn University Press (, 2007. xiii + 413 pages. ISBN 978-9637326899. Paper.

A magnificent first translation of Žeromski’s masterpiece Przedwiośnie. Those who saw the movie will surely want to buy this book. A review to follow.

Wasyl Haniewicz, Tragedia Syberyjskiego Białegostoku (The Tragedy of the Siberian Biłystok). Pelplin: Bernardinum, 2008. 232 pages. Available from Księgarnia Ludzi Myślących. Price: 29.90 ZŁ plus postage. In Polish.

Polish deportees of late nineteenth century established a village in Siberia. Virtually all males from that village were shot on NKVD orders in the 1930s.


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