A Fugitive from Utopia (Magill's Literary Annual 1988)
This study of the poetry of Zbigniew Herbert is a major step in exposing the English-speaking reader to one of the most important contemporary European poets. In the United States and England, Herbert’s reputation has been growing since 1968, when Czesaw Miosz, the winner of the 1980 Nobel Prize in Literature, and Peter Dale Scott published their translations of Herbert’s poems, Selected Poems. Since then, as Herbert’s oeuvre of both poetry and prose has continued to grow, new translations and critical articles have appeared in English in diverse journals. This book-length study is the work of the Polish poet, critic, and translator Stanisaw Baraczak, Alfred Jurzykowski Professor of Polish Language and Literature at Harvard University. Baraczak describes the present volume as a “slightly abbreviated version” of a study published in Polish in 1984.
English-speaking readers have been able to appreciate Herbert by reading among the numerous translations of his works in print, but a critical study like Baraczak’s performs a special function. Previously, information about Herbert and his work was hard to find, scattered in articles, interviews, or reviews in a bewildering variety of literary publications, languages, and countries. Baraczak’s study, together with the bibliography and notes, gathers this information together for the first time. Students and critics who want to write about Herbert will turn to this book as an indispensable...
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