NEW ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF ADAM MICKIEWICZ’S “PAN TADEUSZ” BY BILL JOHNSTON
The national epic of Poland and touchstone of modern European literature, now in a fresh translation by award-winning translator Bill Johnston.
A towering achievement in European literature, “Pan Tadeusz” is the central work of the Polish literary canon, heralded for its lovingly detailed recreation of a bygone world. The traditions of the Polish gentry and the social and natural landscape of the Lithuanian countryside are captured in verse of astounding beauty, simplicity, and power. Bill Johnston’s translation of this seminal text allows English-language readers to experience the richness, humor, and narrative energy of the original.
The book is available in the Pan Tadeusz Museum bookstore!
In a panoramic view of early 19th century Polish society, “Pan Tadeusz” interlaces various narrative threads, from the homecoming of the eponymous Pan Tadeusz from his studies in the city, to a feud between local families over ownership of a ruined castle, to clandestine preparations for Polish participation in Napoleon’s anticipated invasion of Russia, to the mystery of Father Robak (“Worm”), a monk whose involvement in all the stories seems to tie them together.
The national epic of Poland and of the larger Lithuanian region, “Pan Tadeusz” has become ingrained in the Polish literary consciousness. Bill Johnston’s translation of this seminal text allows English-language readers to experience the richness, humor, and narrative energy of the original.
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Bill Johnston is Professor of Comparative Literature at Indiana University. His translations include Witold Gombrowicz’s Bacacay; Magdalena Tulli’s Dreams and Stones, Moving Parts, Flaw, and In Red; Jerzy Pilch’s His Current Woman and The Mighty Angel; Stefan Żeromski’s The Faithful River; and Fado and Dukla by Andrzej Stasiuk. In 1999 he received a National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship for Translation. In 2008 he won the inaugural Found in Translation Award for Tadeusz Rozewicz’s new poems, and in 2012 he was awarded the PEN Translation Prize and Three Percent’s Best Translated Book Award for Myśliwski’s Stone Upon Stone.