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Józef Wittlin

WITTLIN, JÓZEF (1896–1976), Polish poet, author, and translator. Born in Dmytrów, Galicia, Wittlin was raised in Lvov and served in the Austro-Hungarian army during World War I. From 1919 onward he was connected with the Polish expressionist group centered in the periodicals Zdrój and Skamander and in 1927 moved from Lvov to Warsaw. An outstanding exponent of Polish expressionism, Wittlin first achieved fame with his verse collection Hymny (1920), which resembled German expressionist writing. His two other major works were a modern Polish translation of Homer's Odyssey (1924) and the novel Sól ziemi (1936; The Salt of the Earth, 1939?). A prolific writer, he also published many stories, sketches, and essays, as well as various translations of foreign classics, from the Sumerian Gilgamesh Epic (1922) to Hasek's The Good Soldier Schweik (1931). Wittlin made his mark as the leading pacifist writer in Poland between the world wars. After fleeing to France and Portugal, he emigrated to the U.S. in 1941 and settled in New York, where he became a coeditor of the Polish émigré weekly Tygodnik Polski.


Słownik wspołczesnych pisarzy polskich, 3 (1964), 512–7; N. Wallis, in: Pologne littéraire 6 (1931), 58.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.