Adam Ważyk Biography


(Literary Essentials: Great Poems of the World)

Adam Ważyk was born into a middle-class family of Jewish descent. After having been graduated from a Warsaw high school in 1924, he began to study mathematics at Warsaw University but soon found himself engrossed in the vigorous literary life of the 1920’s. He made his literary debut very early by publishing a poem in the monthly Skamander in 1922. He entered into closer contact, however, not with the influential and popular poetic group called Skamander but with its opponents, who formed various avant-garde groups. Ważyk associated first with the Futurists (he was a coeditor of their publication, Almanach Nowej Sztuki) and later with the so-called Cracow Vanguard. His own position within those groups remained rather individual, however, and not fully consistent with their programs. In his two books of poems published in 1924 and 1926, he appeared as a Polish adherent to French cubism and Surrealism. In the 1930’s, he stopped writing poetry altogether and shifted to fiction, the most interesting example of which was his autobiographical novel Mity rodzinne (1938).

The outbreak of World War II prompted a dramatic change both in Ważyk’s life and in his art. In September, 1939, he arrived with other refugees at the city of Lvov, which soon fell prey to the Soviet invasion. Ważyk joined those Polish intellectuals who decided to collaborate with Soviet authorities. In the early 1940’s, he lived in Saratov and Kuibyshev,...

(The entire section is 524 words.)