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Havel in Polish

Kuszenie. Sztuka w dziesieciu obrazach; Largo Desolato. Sztuka w siedmiu obrazach [Temptation. A play in ten acts; Largo Desolato. A play in seven acts].

Warsaw: Niezależna Oficyna Wydawnicza, 1987. Octavo (20 × 14.4 cm). Original pictorial wrappers; 48 and 57 pp. Cover design by Studio Z. Printed dos-à-dos. About very good.

Attractive samizdat, printed dos-à-dos, containing the first Polish translations of Havel’s two plays “Largo Desolato”(1984) and “Pokoušení”(1985). By the mid 1980s Václav Havel (1936-2011) was famous as both a dissident and a playwright, with his plays well known in the West and semi-clandestinely published by underground publishers in Communist Poland. The semi-autobiographical “Largo Desolato” and the Faustian bargain of “Pokoušení” both grapple with the problem of creativity under politically oppressive totalitarian regimes. This first Polish translation of the plays was published by NOWa, one of the largest underground independent publishers that were not run or regulated by the state and were not subject to state censorship. By the late 1970s, NOWa employed close to 200 workers and was able to compete with state publishers in quality and to attract famous contemporary Polish authors as well as serve as the main source of translated “politically sensitive” fiction in Communist Poland. The translation was done by the publisher and literary scholar Andrzej Jagodzinski who translated many works by Václav Havel as well as Milan Kundera and Bohumil Hrabal among others.

As of May 2020, KVK and OCLC show three copies in North America.

Book ID: 50760

Price: $250.00