Events: Show


Encounters with Polish Literature S3E3: Leopold Tyrmand with Benjamin Paloff | Discussion

Advertising organisation

Polish Cultural Institute New York


Literary studies Other


Literary history Literary translation


Hooligans and bikiniarzy are the heroes of Leopold Tyrmand's 1954 novel of Warsaw, Evil (Zły published in English as The Man with the White Eyes), which is the main subject of the latest episode of "Encounters with Polish Literature" with my guest, Prof. Benjamin Paloff (UMich). Tyrmand also played a major role in introducing jazz to Poland, and there is a new film out in Poland based on his novel Filip, inspired by his experience working on false papers as a waiter in Nazi Germany.

Topics that we touch on include Tyrmand's life mostly before he emigrated to the U.S., Tyrmand's language in Zły, where the novel fits in the context of the post-Stalin Thaw, bikiniarstwo as youth culture, the novel's relation to other novels of Warsaw such as Prus' Lalka and Masłowska's Paw Królowej, what is missing from the abridged 1959 translation (including one of the omitted passages), and Tyrmand's importance in the history of jazz in Poland.Introduction, bibliography, discography, and video link at:

Or go directly to the video, which includes actual footage of bikiniarzy from a Communist propaganda film, subtitled exclusively for this presentation at:

Further details

David A. Goldfarb
Pol-Int team

Privacy policy

Pol-Int uses cookies to ensure our website works properly (required cookies). We also ask for your permission to use cookies for analytical purposes (statistical cookies). You can manage or revise your cookie settings at any time.