Writer and editor. Author of the Lublin crime series about the police officer Maciejewski.
I was born in 1972, which isn’t very important, the fact that I was born in Lublin turned out to be more important. For a long time I felt that my relation with this town was toxic, until I realized that I was actually experiencing complicated love. A camel and a desert have a similar connection. The camel knows that this isn’t a particularly great place, but the animal feels worse elsewhere. You just need to watch “Duże zwierzę” (“Large Animal”) by Jerzy Stuhr – wrote Marcin Wroński about himself.
He studied Polish studies at the Catholic University of Lublin. In the mid-80s he discovered speculative fiction and decided to become a writer. In the 90s he was involved with the Polish alternative literary circuit, he published works amongst other in the zines “Lampa i Iskra Boża”, “Mała Ulicznica” and “Brytan OD NOWA”. He debuted with the collection of stories “Udo Pani Nocy” (“Mrs Night’s Thigh”; 1992). Two years later his bibulous adventure micro-novel "Obsesyjny motyw babiego lata" ("The Obsessive Motif of Gossamer”) appeared. In this book the author creates a vision in a manner which is similar the way a spider weaves a web. In this vision the Zaporozkije brand of cigarettes conquers America. This period of Wroński’s literary activity has been analysed, amongst others, by Przemysław Czpliński, Paweł Dunin-Wąsowicz and Wojciech Kajtoch. Wroński also created songs and sketches for the cabaret “Osoby o Nieustalonej Tożsamości” (“Unidentified Persons”) which he ran. He was also a radio journalist (Radio TOP, Lublin), a teacher, and writer and editor of children’s books.
In 2007 he published the first crime novel about the police officer Maciejewski, "Morderstwo pod cenzurą” ("Murder under Censorship”), which was nominated for the 2007 High Calibre Award. "Kino Venus” ("Cinema Venus”), the second crime novel about Maciejewski, appeared a year later. This book was nominated for the 2008 High Calibre Award. Wroński also published the ecclesiastical thriller "Officium Secretum. Pies Pański” ("Officium Secretum. The Lord’s Dog”), which was nominated for the 2010 High Calibre Award.
In 2009 Wroński received the title "Bene Meritus Terrae Lublinensi" ("Person of Merit of the Land of Lublin”) for his literary input in promoting and building the image of Lublin.
Marcin Wroński: a normal person isn’t interested all that much in history, but thanks to the plot, which captures one’s attention, one might learn something about Lublin, about the atmosphere of this town. (…) Thanks to these books Lublin and the Lublin pop-cultural signs such as the criminal Kośminek, the petit-bourgeois Dziesiąta, the elegant “Europa”, the shabby “Wykwintna” and the Criminal Investigation Department of the 1st Precinct Police Station become icons in the minds of readers. (…) for most readers that aren’t from Lublin these are just crime stories, but for most readers from Lublin these books are historical novels. Here people don’t inquire about police officer Maciejewski’s character or about the details of the investigation. Here people want to know whether this building actually looked as I described it and whether it actually stood in the corner of this or that street. To them these are local novels which perform entertainment and promotional functions thanks to being “killer reads” – stated Marcin Wroński in an interview entitled “Spryt pasożyta” (“The Cleverness of a Parasite”) which was published by the magazine Opornik (2009; no. 3 (41)).
In February 2011 just after the first two parts of the series about police officer Maciejewski were reissued, the third part of the series “A na imię jej będzie Aniela” (“And Her Name Will Be Aniela”) appeared. In 2012 the fourth part entitled “Skrzydlata trumna” (“The Winged Coffin”) was put out and in 2013 the fifth part, “Pogrom w przyszły wtorek” (“Pogrom on the Next Tuesday”) was published.
Commissioner Maciejewski is a series of retro Lublin crime stories, but this is also the average pre-war Poland, which is neither the capital nor the frontier. In this series I play with history and with criminal plots, but personally I’m looking for a pretext to search in the past and uncover my own roots. I’m searching for this Polish-Jewish city, which I didn’t have the opportunity to see and thanks to my writing about this city I find equally fascinated readers, historians and amateur researchers… It is they who convince me that it’s worth keeping writing, so I write, because I know I have people to write for – Marcin Wroński.
In March 2012 he went to Chartres for a residency in the framework of the project Citybooks. He brought the French his most famous literary character – police officer Zygmunt “Zyga” Maciejewski.
In every book Wroński adds a new element to the portrayal of the interwar period. In “Skrzydlata trumna” he enriched the portrayal chiefly with the history of the aeronautical industry. The author of “Kino Venus” created an original hero, who – what’s important – isn’t frozen in one pose. And finally, hardly anybody can turn a phrase like Wroński. His books are linguistically refined, which sadly isn’t the norm in crime novels – stated Robert Ostaszewski of the weekly “Polityka”.
In December 2014 the seventh book about officer Maciejewski entitled Kwestia krwi / Question of Blood premiered, and in June 2016 the eighth one, Portret wisielca / Portrait of a Hangman came out.
- "Udo Pani Nocy i inne opowiadania" ("Mrs Night’s Thigh and Other Stories"), Lublin 1992;
- "Dni miodnego lata" ("Days of the Honey Summer”), published in the periodical "Mała Ulicznica" 1993 no. 7 (short story);
- "Obsesyjny motyw babiego lata" ("The Obsessive Motif of Gossamer”), Lublin, published by: PoliART Studio, 1994 ( novel);
- "Nocna zmiana" ("Night Shift”), published in the periodical "Mała Ulicznica" 1994 no. 8 (short story);
- "Pasja według Marcina" ("St Martin Passion"), published in the periodical "Mała Ulicznica" 1994 no. 9 (drama);
- "Parasolnikow" ("Parasolnikov”), published in the periodical "Lampa i Iskra Boża" 1994 no. 7 (12) (short story);
- "Baedecker lubelski" ("Lublin Guidebook” from "Opowieści do trolejbusu" - "Tales for the Trolleybus”), published in the periodical "Mała Ulicznica" 1995 no. 10 (short story);
- "Rozmowy z Pierrotem" ("Conversations with Pierrot”), published in the periodical "Mała Ulicznica" 1995 no. 10 (cabaret dialogues);
- "Młot na Prometeusze, czyli o szukaniu Diabła" ("A Hammer for Prometheuses, or About the Search for the Devil”), published in the periodical "Brytan od Nowa" 1995 no. 17 (essay);
- "Nadzwyczajna głębia uczuć" ("Unusual Depth of Feelings” from "Opowieści do trolejbusu" - "Tales for the Trolleybus”), published in the periodical "Lampa i Iskra Boża" 1996 no. 10 (15). (short story);
- "Życie literackie Józefa Czechowicza. Na marginesie wiersza 'We czterech'", ("The Literary Life of Józef Czechowicz. On the Margin of the Poem ‘The Four of Us’”) "Annals of Arts" volume XLVIII, fascicle 1 - 2000, (article about the Lublin literary life in the interwar period);
- "Kosmos" ("Cosmos”) [from the series:] "Glob - odkrywanie świata" ("The Globe – Discovering the World”), Lublin, published by: Wydawnictwo Paweł Skokowski, 2001 (popular-scientific book for the youth; adaptation after Pierre Bon’s text);
- "Księga kosmosu" ("The Book of the Cosmos”), Lublin, published by: Wydawnictwo Paweł Skokowski, 2001 (popular scientific book for children; adaptation of the French original by Émilie Beaumont and Marie-Renée Pimont);
- "Siedemdziesiąt, osiemdziesiąt, dziewięćdziesiąt..." ("Seventy, Eighty, Ninety…"), published in the periodical "Ulica Wszystkich Świętych. Miesięcznik Mail Artu" 2003 no. 9 (47), (short story);
- "Marlo zwany Wężem" ("Marlo called Snake”), published in the periodical "Fahrenheit" 2004 no. XXXVIII (short story);
- "Co na ziemi, to na niebie...", ("What’s on Earth Is Also in the Sky…”), published in the internet magazine "Esensja" 2004 no. 6 (XXXVIII), (short story);
- "Wąż Marlo" ("The Snake Marlo”), volume I, Lublin, published by: Fabryka Słów, 2006 (novel);
- "Niewiele brakowało" ("That Was Close”) [in:] "Tempus fugit" (anthology), volume I, Lublin, published by: Fabryka Słów, 2006 (short story);
- "Smutek przestrzeni" ("The Sadness of Space”; a space-operatic aria), published in the periodical "Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror" 2007 no. 20 (short story);
- "Piękne jesteście, przyjaciółki moje" ("My Friends, You Are Beautiful”) [in:] "A.D. XIII" (anthology), volume I, Lublin, published by: Fabryka Słów, 2007 (short story);
- "Komisarz Maciejewski. Morderstwo pod cenzurą" ("Police Officer Maciejewski. Murder under Censorship”), Lublin, published by: Red Horse, 2007 (crime novel);
- "Komisarz Maciejewski. Kino Venus" ("Police Officer Maciejewski. Cinema Venus”, Lublin, published by: Red Horse, 2008 (crime novel);
- "90 lat Rządu Ludowego" ("90 Years of the People’s Government”; scenario of a street spectacle), published by: Ośrodek Brama Grodzka - Teatr NN and Akademia Obywatelska, Lublin, 6 IX 2008;
- "Lubelski tygiel" ("Lublin Melting Pot”), published in the periodical "Gazeta Petersburska" 2008 no. 8 (99), (historical essay);
- "Lubelska wojna pomnikowa" ("The Lublin Monumental War”), published in the periodical "Gazeta Petersburska" 2008-2009 no. 1 (101), (historical essay);
- "Officium Secretum. Pies Pański" ("Officium Secretum. The Lord’s Dog”), Warsaw, published by: Wydawnictwo W.A.B., 2010 (novel, political-theological thriller)
- "Morderstwo pod cenzurą" ("Murder under Censorship”), 2nd edition, Warsaw, published by: Wydawnictwo W.A.B., 2010 (crime novel);
- "Pasterka i kominiarczyk na motywach baśni H.Ch. Andersena" ("A Christmas Night Mass and a Chimney Sweeper’s Helper after a Fairy Tale by H. Ch. Andersen”), H.Ch. Andersen Theatre in Lublin, premiere: 27 XI 2010. (a spectacle for children directed by Daniel Arbaczewski);
- "Kino Venus" ("Cinema Venus”), 2nd edition, Warsaw, published by: Wydawnictwo W.A.B., 2011 (crime novel);
- "A na imię jej będzie Aniela" ("And Her Name Will Be Aniela”), Warsaw, published by: Wydawnictwo W.A.B., 2011 (crime novel);
- "Skrzydlata trumna" ("The Winged Coffin”), Warsaw, published by: Wydawnictwo W.A.B., 2012 (crime novel);
- "Do widzenia, przyjacielu" (" Goodbye Firend”) [in:] " Autor przychodzi wieczorem. Antologia jubileuszowa na 20-lecie Wydawnictwa W.A.B.” ("The Author Comes in the Evening. Jubilee Anthology Issued on Occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the W.A.B. Publishing House”), Warsaw, published by: Wydawnictwo W.A.B., 2012. (short story).
- "Pogrom w przyszły wtorek" ("Pogrom on the Next Tuesday”), Warsaw, published by: Wydawnictwo W.A.B., 2013
- "Komisarz Maciejewski VII. Kwestja krwi" (Police Officer Maciejewski. The Question of Blood) Warsaw, W.A.B. Publishing, 2014.
- "Portret wisielca" (Portrait of a Hangman), Warsaw, W.A.B. Publishing, 2016.
Lucyna Szura, March 2012; updated by NMR, December 2016.
Translated by: Marek Kępa