Lithuanians Vote Best Polish Book of All Times
Wiesław Myśliwski’s A Treatise on Shelling Beans was chosen the best Polish book of all times in Lithuania according to an online vote that was organized by the Lithuanian Association of Literary Translators and the Polish Institute in Vilnius.
Myśliwski's Traktat o łuskaniu fasoli / A Treatise on Shelling Beans, translated by Kazys Uscila, is a novel that medidates on the role of destiny and chance in human lives. In addition to Myśliwski's novel, Czesław Miłosz’s The Issa Valley, translated by A. Kalėda was voted the second place, while Henryk Sienkiewicz’s Quo Vadis translated by V. Visockas came third. The results were announced in the Wróblewski Library of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences in Vilnius on December 5th, 2013.
Of all the translated books totaling over 500, the experts chose the 24 most valuable items and Lithuanian fans of Polish literature voted for the most widely read. The list includes other works by Czesław Miłosz, Bolesław Prus, Henryk Sienkiewicz, Witold Gombrowicz, Zbigniew Herbert, Wisława Szymborska, Tadeusz Konwicki, Stanisław Lem, Jack Dehnel.
Observing the history of Polish literature’s place in Lithuanian culture, it turns out that the tradition of Polish translations into Lithuanian is over a 100 years old. The first translation into the Lithuanian language, made in 1901 by Vincas Kalnietis and Jonas Jablonski, was Eliza Orzeszkowa’s book, Marny adwokat.
In February 2013, the Lithuanian Association of Literary Translators and the Polish Institute in Vilnius proclaimed 2013 as the Year of Polish Literature in Lithuania. The initiative comprised new publications on Polish literature and a number of events promoting literary translations from Polish into Lithuanian. According to the project coordinator and translator of Polish literature into Lithuanian Irena Aleksaite, the initiative has been successful in contributing to increased knowledge of literature and culture in Lithuania. Additionally, the Lithuanian journal Literature ir menas (Literature and Art) issued four supplements devoted to Polish literature and writing Krantai (edges) Polish literature and culture devoted an entire issue.
The Year of Polish Literature has been precursory to the series of annual celebrations of translated literature from various countries, organized by the Lithuanian Association of Literary Translators. Year 2014 will be devoted to Hungarian literature - its programme will commence at the International Fair in Vilnius, which is to take place early next year.
Edited by E.M., 19/12/2013