Archive for August 6th, 2011

Julia Hartwig on the Bibliothèque Nationale, postwar Paris, and Long Island

Saturday, August 6th, 2011
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Hey, this is cool!  After we posted on Julia Hartwig‘s upcoming 90th birthday, a reader tipped us off to Web of Stories, which has some video clips of the poet (Czesław Miłosz called her “the Grande Dame of Polish poetry”).

So here I am, on a Saturday night, listening to Julia talk about her life again, from her downtown Warsaw apartment.

Here’s one where she’s recounting her years in Paris, and her time studying at the Bibliothèque Nationale while she was writing her monograph on Guillaume Apollinaire.  This clip recounts the young scholar trying to get access to some of Apollinaire’s racier writings in the library:

The hostile reception she met in postwar Paris with her brother Walenty Hartwig, who went on to become a renowned endocrinologist:

And finally, on her idyllic life on Long Island, far away from Communist Poland:

There’s more – about wartime Warsaw, cultural Poland, Solidarity and martial law, and the vicissitudes of life under communism. It’s really an excellent series of video clips – well done, Web of Stories! Just put the name Julia Hartwig into the search, and about 50 clips come up.

And oh, of course they’re subtitled in English.