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Orwell – Polish Samizdat

W hołdzie Katalonii [Homage to Catalonia].

[Kraków]: Oficyna Literacka, 1985. Octavo (14.5 × 10.5 cm). Original printed wrappers; 245 pp. of offset-printed reduced typescript to rectos and versos. Very good.

First edition of this first Polish translation of Orwell’s famous account of the Spanish Civil War, originally published in 1938. Written from the perspective of an anti-Stalinist socialist activist, the work was banned in Communist Poland for its criticism of the Soviet activities in Spain. Orwell’s writing was especially popular in Polish unofficial press, due to the numerous sympathetic articles he wrote during and after WWII about Poland and especially the plight of the Polish refugees settling in post-war Britain. His statements of solidarity were much appreciated and discussed in Polish emigre circles, resulting in numerous translations published in Britain and smuggled into Poland for underground printing and distribution. This copy was released by the underground publishing house Oficyna Literacka. Founded in 1982, the Krakow-based publishing house printed pocket sized books, focusing on literature and poetry. Nothing is known about the translator, Lesław Kuzaj, possibly a pseudonym used by the translator due to the legal grey zone of unofficial publishing in Communist Poland.

As of August 2022, KVK, OCLC show this volume at five libraries worldwide (one in North America).

Book ID: 52313

Price: $450.00