Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Iwaszkiewicz, Jarosław


Born Feb. 20, 1894, in the village of Kal’nik, present-day Vinnitsa Oblast. Polish writer.

Iwaszkiewicz studied in the law faculty of the University of Kiev and at a conservatory (1912–18), completing his education in Warsaw (from 1918). He began writing poetry in 1915. His poetry of the 1920’s and 1930’s was contemplative and intimate, and his prose of that period showed a predilection for fairy-tale and exotic imagery, as in the novella Zenobia of Palmyra (1920). Elements of realism were more evident in the novels The Moon Rises (1925) and The Men’s Plot (1930), becoming even more pronounced in his short stories and his historical novel The Red Shields (1934). The war against fascism gave strong impetus to his development as a realist writer, as exemplified in the book of short stories The Old Brickyard (1946).

Iwaszkiewicz’s works after 1945 were distinguished by a humanistic affirmation of life, and his poetry was inspired by political and civic themes. He has written many novellas, short stories, poems, plays, and memoirs, as well as monographs on Chopin and J.S. Bach. His novel Fame and Glory (vols. 1–3, 1956–62; Russian translation, 1965), recreating the history of Poland in the 20th century, has been widely acclaimed. Iwaszkiewicz has translated works by Shakespeare, H.C. Andersen, C. Goldoni, L.N. Tolstoy, A.P. Chekhov, and P. Neruda.

Iwaszkiewicz served as chairman of the Union of Writers of the Polish People’s Republic from 1945 to 1949 and has again occupied this post since 1959. He has been editor of the journal Twórczosc since 1955. Iwaszkiewicz was awarded the State Prize of the Polish People’s Republic in 1952, 1954, and 1963 and the International Lenin Prize for Strengthening Peace Among Nations in 1970.


Dzieta, vols. 1–10. Warsaw, 1958–59.
Książka moich wspomnień, 2nd ed. Kraków, 1968.
In Russian translation:
Rasskazy. Moscow, 1958.
Shopen. Moscow, 1963.
Izbr. proizv. Introduction by K. Paustovskii. Moscow, 1964.


Matushevskii, R. “Pisatel’ Narodnoi Pol’shi.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1964, no. 2.
Rogoziński, J. J. Iwaszkiewicz. Warsaw, 1968.
Przybylski, R. Eros i Tanatos: Proza J. Iwaszkiewicza 1916–1938. Warsaw, 1970.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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