Zeromski, Stefan

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Żeromski, Stefan

(stĕ`fän zhĕrôm`skē), 1864–1925, Polish writer. Family tragedies and emotional troubles contributed to the pessimistic strain evident in his revolutionary idealism. Among his novels are The Homeless People (1900), which won a national prize, Ashes (1904, tr. 1928), which dealt with cynicism and brutality in the Napoleonic era, and Faithful River (1912, tr. 1943). Most of his works are intensely nationalistic. Much of Żeromski's life was spent in exile.

Żeromski, Stefan

 

Born Oct. 14, 1864, in Strawczyn, now Kielce Wojewodztwo; died Nov. 20, 1925, in Warsaw. Polish writer. Son of an impoverished nobleman.

Żeromski’s early works continue the tradition of Polish critical realism. His first short story collections, Stories (1895) and Carrion-crows Will Tear Us Apart (1895), his novellas The Labors of Sisyphus (1897) and The Ray (1897), and his collection Prose Works (1898), depict the social conflicts in the Polish countryside and the contemporary and past national liberation struggle. In his novel Homeless People (1900) and in the trilogy The Struggle With Satan (1916–19), reflecting the Polish intelligentsia’s search for an ideology, Żeromski created the hero that was to characterize his later writings, the rebel and social experimenter. The novels Ashes (1902–03), The Beauty of Life (1912), andFaithful River (1912) and the historical play Sułkowski (1910) portrayed the Polish national liberation struggle of the 19th century. In his journalistic writings of 1905–07, Żeromski supported the revolutionary movement. The defeat of the revolution led him to utopianism and pessimism, as in the novel The Story of a Sin (1980; Russian translation, 1909) and the play Rosa (1909). The novel On the Eve of Spring (1924; Russian translation, 1925), in which “independent” bourgeois Poland was sharply criticized, reflects Żeromski’s disenchantment with Utopian ideals and his rapprochement with the revolutionary movement.

WORKS

Pisma, vols. 1–23, 26. Warsaw, 1947–56.
Dzieła, vols. 1–25, Warsaw, 1956–63.
Dzienniki, vols. 1–7, 2d ed. Warsaw, 1963–70.
In Russian translation:
Izbr. soch., vols. 1–4. Moscow, 1957–58.

REFERENCES

Vitt, V. V. Stefan Żhemmskii. Moscow, 1961.
Hutnikiewicz, A. Stefan Żeromski, 5th ed. Warsaw, 1967.
S. Żeromski: Kalendarz vcia i twórczośći. Kraków, 1961.

V. A. KHOREV