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Conrad´s Cracow
Conrad´s Cracow

Author(s): Stefan Zabierowski
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego
Keywords: Cracow; Joseph Conrad; Józef Hieronim Retinger; the Polish Question during WWI

Summary/Abstract: This article discusses Joseph Conrad’s links with Cracow, the historic capital of Poland and a major centre of Polish culture. Conrad fi rst came to Cracow in February 1869, accompanied by his father Apollo Korzeniowski, who — after several years of exile in northern Russia — had become gravely ill. Conrad visited the city a second time in the summer of 1914, having accepted an invitation from the young Polish politician Józef Hieronim Retinger, and (not without some diffi culty) eventually managed to get himself and his family safely back to Britain after the outbreak of World War I. Both of these sojourns in Cracow played an important role in Conrad’s life — and, one might say, in his creative work as a writer. One of the most vivid memories of his fi rst stay in Cracow was the hero’s funeral given to his father, who had been a victim of tsarist oppression. It was from Cracow that the young Conrad set out for France in order to take up a maritime career in Marseilles. During his second stay in Cracow (and Zakopane) Conrad made the acquaintance of many members of the Polish intellectual elite and took the decision to become actively involved in the cause of Polish independence.

  • Issue Year: 2012
  • Issue No: VII
  • Page Range: 7-49
  • Page Count: 43
  • Language: English