Tadeusz Dołęga-Mostowicz on "Encounters with Polish Literature" S3E1

Patrice Dabrowski's picture

Dear Friends and Colleagues, 

Remember when Jerzy Kosiński was accused of plagiarizing his novel, Being There, from a Polish novel that had never been translated into English at the time? Well, that novel--The Career of Nicodemus Dyzma by Tadeusz Dołęga-Mostowicz--has finally been published in English by Northwestern University Press, and it is the topic of discussion for this month's episode of "Encounters with Polish Literature" with its translators, Ewa Małachowska-Pasek and Megan Thomas.

Mostowicz's satirical novel was published in 1932, one of the most creative eras in Polish fiction--the age of Witkacy, Gombrowicz, and Schulz--and in Poland it's been regarded as one of the wittiest and most popular novels of the twentieth century, yielding two films and a television series, and it proves to be surprisingly relevant today in our contemporary political environment.

We discuss that political relevance, the differences and similarities between Nicodemus Dyzma and Being There, and the particular challenges of translating Mostowicz's wordplay, the eponymous hero's malapropisms, and keeping it funny in English.

Find a brief introduction and bibliography with video embedded at:


or go directly to the video at:


Best regards,


David A. Goldfarb

Encounters with Polish Literature

Orchestrated: Ignatz Waghalter and the Negro Symphony Orchestra

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Categories: Podcast
Keywords: Podcast