Boleslaw Prus

Prus, Bolesław

 

(pen name of Aleksander Głowacki). Born Aug. 20, 1847, in Hrubieszów, near Lublin; died May 19, 1912, in Warsaw. Polish writer.

The son of an impoverished nobleman, Prus took part in the Polish Uprising of 1863–64, was wounded, and spent several months in prison. From 1866 to 1868 he was enrolled in the physics and mathematics department at the Main School (Szkoła Główna) in Warsaw. Prus’ works began to appear in print in 1872. He contributed to various Warsaw newspapers from 1874 to 1903; in 1882–83 he edited the magazine Nowiny, where he published publicistic articles. As a democrat Prus was influenced by Warsaw positivism, the young Polish bourgeoisie’s sociopolitical program. His literary criticism strengthened the realistic conception of art in Polish criticism. Prus had a high opinion of Russian literature, especially the works of L. N. Tolstoy.

Prus’ first short stories were purely humorous, but as early as the mid-1870’s he was raising major social issues in such stories as “The Palace and the Hovel.” In the 1880’s he wrote many short stories on social themes, of which the best known are “Michałko” (1880), “Anielka” (1880), and “Antek” (1881). Prus became famous for his short stories about children (“An Orphan’s Lot,” 1876). Among his most popular works were the novellas The Return Wave (1880) and The Outpost (1885; Russian translation, 1887).

In The Doll (1887–89), Prus created a new kind of social and psychological novel (a film based on the novel was made in 1968). A panorama of life in Warsaw and the provinces is presented in the novel The Emancipationists (1891–93; Russian translation, 1900). Prus is also noted for his historical novel The Pharaoh (1895–96; Russian translation, 1897), from which a film was made in 1966. The novel The Children (1908; Russian translation, 1909) deals with the Revolution of 1905–07, whose significance Prus did not grasp. The unfinished novel Changes (1911), in which one of the main characters is a Russian socialist student, attests to Prus’ interest in the progressive views of his time. His works have been translated into many European languages.

WORKS

Pisma, vols. 1–29. Warsaw, 1948–52.
Kroniki, vols. 1–20. Warsaw, 1953–70.
Listy. Warsaw, 1959.
In Russian translation:
Polnoe sobr. soch, vols. 1–5. Kiev-Kharkov, 1899–1900.

REFERENCES

Tsybenko, E. Z. “Bolesław Prus.” In Istoriia pol’skoi literatury, vol. 1. Moscow, 1968.
Verbyts’kyi, P. P. B. Prus: Tvorchist’. Kharkov, 1967.
Szweykowski, Z. Twórczość Bolesław a Prusa, 2nd ed. Warsaw, 1972.
Kulczycka-Saloni, J. Bolesław Prus, 3rd ed. Warsaw, 1967.

E. Z. TSYBENKO

References in periodicals archive ?
29) Indeed Konopnicka and Orzeszkowa were revered as national treasures comparable to their male contemporaries Boleslaw Prus and Henryk Sienkiewicz.
In Poland, as elsewhere, the debate over the role of women in "modern" society was inititally dominated by male intellectuals, particularly by the leading lights of liberal Warsaw "positivitism" such as Aleksander Swietochowski and Boleslaw Prus.
Boleslaw Prus in Pultusk16) Municipality Ojrzen17) The Agricultural Advisory Centre in BrwinEw regional offices18) Silesian Agricultural Advisory Centre in Czestochowa19) Provincial Emergency service station and Sanitary Transport MEDITRANS SPZOZ20) Municipality Rzasnik21) Department of Public Utilities in Rzasniku22) Specialized Regional Hospital in CiechanEw23) Municipality CiechanEw.
Construction of the new headquarters of the District Police Miechowie Street Boleslaw Prus 3 consisting of the preparation: