Polish Literature Club: “The Doll”

Polish Literature Club: “The Doll”

This local club is for readers who would like to discuss Polish literature in English.

The book for the meeting is The Doll / Lalka by Bolesław Prus, first published in 1877-79. This work is regarded as the greatest Polish realistic novel, painting a great panorama of the Polish society of the time. Some, including Nobel prize winner Czesław Miłosz regarded it as the best Polish novel. Ostensibly a love story of a self-made rich merchant Stanisław Wokulski’s attempt to gain the hand of an (impoverished) aristocrat, Izabela Łęcka, the book employs modern techniques of parallel narratives & reports from current events and uses cast of auxiliary characters from different walks of life to give a vivid portrait of Polish society in transition and under pressure to maintain its cultural identity.

Boleslaw Prus was the pen name of Aleksander Głowacki (1847-1912) who was the most prominent representative of positivism, both in the Polish literature and in the society at large. As a literary movement coming after romanticism, it stressed realism in themes and presentation and was depicting all classes and minorities of the contemporary Polish society and its changes. As a social movement and a new program for the nation after the calamity of the lost January Uprising (1863-1864), positivism propagated science, economic development of Polish lands, education of peasants and the poor as means of their betterment and patriotic upbringing as well as strengthening of the society, assimilation of national minorities and emancipation of women.

Being a classic of Polish literature, the novel was adapted both for the big screen, in 1968 as The Doll / Lalka directed by Wojciech Has, and as a 9-episode TV series under the same title in 1977, directed by Ryszard Ber.

More: NY Review Books on The Dollmore about the book

Please contact Paulina for the Zoom invite or more info.


Starts On

January 29, 2021 - 7:00 pm

Ends On

8:30 pm

Event Tags

Book, History