Authors: Stefan Żeromski

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Polish novelist

Author Works

Long Fiction:

Syzyfowe Prace, 1897

Ludzie bezdomni, 1900

Popioły, 1904 (Ashes, 1928)

Wierna rzeka, 1912 (The Faithful River, 1943)

Wiatr od morza, 1922

Przedwiośnie, 1925

Puszcza jodłowa, 1925

Short Fiction:

Rozdziobią nas kruki, wrony, 1895

Opowiadania, 1895

Utwory powieścowe, 1898


Róza, pr. 1909

Uciekła mi przepióreczka, pr. 1924


Stefan Żeromski (zheh-RAWM-skee) was born near Kielce in Russian Poland, November 1, 1864, of an impoverished noble family. Throughout his life he chafed under this czarist domination, and his short stories frequently take as their subject the resistance of Polish secret organizations. Żeromski was even more directly involved. In 1905, during the revolt against Russia, he was imprisoned; later he went into semi-voluntary exile in France and Austrian Galicia, where he remained until the end of World War I.{$I[AN]9810000006}{$I[A]{Zdot}eromski, Stefan[Zeromski, Stefan]}{$I[geo]POLAND;{Zdot}eromski, Stefan[Zeromski, Stefan]}{$I[tim]1864;{Zdot}eromski, Stefan[Zeromski, Stefan]}

Żeromski wrote plays and poetry, but his claim to greatness stems from his novels. Most famous of these is Ashes, which has been called the War and Peace of Poland. Although his great lyrical descriptive vein is not so evident in this work as it is in Wiatr od morza (the wind from the sea), Ashes possesses the scope and richness of characterization to make it an authentic masterpiece.

There is a dark pessimism to Żeromski’s writing that is characteristic of the Polish positivist school; perhaps it was this quality–as well as his extreme nationalism–that prevented him from winning the Nobel Prize in Literature. During his career he contributed many characters to the Polish national consciousness, and for that he was honored by his fellow Poles. He died in Warsaw on November 20, 1925.

BibliographyBorowy, W. “Żeromski.” Slavonic Review 14 (1936).Kuk, Zenon. “Depiction of Fictional Characters in War and Peace and Ashes.” The Polish Review 25, no. 2 (1980).Kuk, Zenon. “The Napoleonic Era in Tolstoy’s War and Peace and Żeromski’s Ashes: Realities and Legends.” University of Hartford Studies in Literature 11 (1979).Kuk, Zenon. “Tolstoy’s War and Peace and Żeromski’s Ashes as Historical Novels.” Folio: Essays on Foreign Languages and Literature 14 (December, 1982).Lechon, Jan. “Stefan Żeromski.” Harvard Slavic Studies 2 (1954).
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