(real surname, Żeleński; pseudonym, Boy). Born Dec. 21, 1874, in Warsaw; died July 4, 1941, in L’vov. Polish writer, publicist, critic, and translator.
Boy began his literary activity in the Young Poland group as one of the founders of the Little Green Balloon Cabaret (1905) in Kraków and as the author of satirical couplets in which he ridiculed petit bourgeois crassness, hypocrisy, and decadent posturing. Boy’s theater reviews amounted to more than ten volumes. The publication entitled Boy’s Library (approximately 100 volumes), consisting of Boy’s translations of French classics, was a contribution to Polish culture. As a journalist Boy unmasked the conservatives and advocates of the church; he argued against outmoded moral norms and was for a secular, rationalist philosophy. In his works on A. Mickiewicz, A. Fredro, and others, Boy carried on a polemic against academic literary scholarship; he tended more toward social analysis. Boy was the author of memoirs about the period of Young Poland and the biographical novella Marysieńka Sobieska (1937). In 1939 and 1941 he was a professor at the university of L’vov, and he joined the Union of Soviet Writers. When L’vov was captured by Hitler’s armies, Boy was shot.
WORKSPisma, vols. 1–24. Warsaw, 1956–66.
REFERENCESStakheev, B. F. “Tadeush Zhelen’skii-Boi.” In Istoriia pol’skoi literatury. Moscow, 1969.
Stawar, A. Tadeusz Żeleński (Boy). Warsaw, 1958.
Winklowa, B. Tadeusz Żeleński (Boy). Twórczość i życie. Warsaw, 1967. (Contains a bibliography of Boy-Żeleński’s works.)
B. F. STAKHEEV