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Pan Tadeusz by Adam Mickiewicz
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Pan Tadeusz

Best Seller
Pan Tadeusz by Adam Mickiewicz
Sep 25, 2018 | ISBN 9781939810014

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  • Sep 25, 2018 | ISBN 9781939810014

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Winner of the 2019 ALTA National Translation Award in Poetry

“Bill Johnston, celebrated as a translator of landmark Polish literature, has crafted a wondrously eloquent and entertaining new version of Pan Tadeusz. Over 450 never-flagging pages, he converts Mickiewicz’s 13-syllable rhyming lines into iambic couplets deployed with stupendous skill, grace and agility. Nimble half-rhymes, lithe enjambment and mischievous wordplay channel all the story’s humour and exuberance, and banish any risk of jingling monotony . . . At last, English readers can grasp why Pan Tadeusz belongs with Byron’s Don Juan and Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin in a glorious farewell trio that marked the swansong of the verse epic in Europe.” — Boyd Tonkin, The Spectator

“Like stumbling across a lost city, forgotten for ages and now brought back to life, in all its glittering, self-sufficient glory… Pan Tadeusz is that rarest of things, a revolutionarily conservative poem, by which I mean a work whose effort to preserve the things that are most precious in a civilization ends up passing judgment not only on the present but also on the past…” – Josh Billings, The Los Angeles Review of Books

“I was amused and astonished by Johnston’s ability to channel the playfulness of Mickiewicz’s language throughout the text. … It’s Mickiewicz’s brilliant play with language that makes this poem an engrossing experience. An dthis is where Johnston’s ‘performance’ succeeds most definitively: in capturing the author’s wild fluctuations of register and brilliant associative riffs.” — Eric Fishman, ArtsFuse

“The book is marvelous, its language preserved as a thesaurus of phrases whose origin has been long forgotten, now constituting a shared national vocabulary. … A very good translation by Bill Johnston, uncluttered by archaisms, quick and energetic, full of humor and warmth, unobtrusively rhymed. It is a gift to English­language readers, revealing the depths of Lithuanian forests, squabbling warrior­barons, and flirting ladies in search of husbands. And the underlying despair of the author—an exile forever separated from home.” — Irena Grudzińska, Book Post

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