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Polish Samizdat of Orwell's Essays

Eseje [Essays]. Samizdat edition.

[Warsaw?]: Oficyna WE, 1983. Octavo (20.5 × 15 cm). Original xeroxed decorative staple-stitched wrappers; 48 pp. Partially unopened and uncut. Very good.

A selection of three essays by George Orwell (1903-1950), translated by Teresa (Rena) Jelenska (1892-1969) the first translators of George Orwell into Polish. A writer and journalist, Jelenska met Orwell in London during WWII while writing for Dziennik Polski, the newspaper of the Polish government in exile. Her Polish translation of “The Animal Farm” was published in 1947 in London. Jelenska and Orwell continued to correspond until the end of his life, with Orwell referring to her in his letters as his “authorized translator”. His letters also approve this selection of essays by Jelenska to be published in London which include “The Prevention of Literature” (1946), “The Lion and the Unicorn” (1941) and “Raffles and Miss Blandish” (1944). The essays call for a socialist revolution in England, while also warning against the Soviet-style dictatorship. The essays are especially sympathetic to the plight of Poland during and after WWII. This translation was re-printed by the semi-underground publishing house Oficyna WE (NOWA), one of the largest underground publishing houses in Poland. The haunting wrapper design alluding to post-war destruction is not credited (possibly by the famous cartoon artist Andrzej Krauze, who worked for NOWA at the time).

As of February 2021, KVK and OCLC show only one copy of this edition, at Cornell.

Book ID: 51221

Price: $250.00