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Tomasz Łubieński is dead. The prose writer, playwright and essayist was 85 years old

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Tomasz Łubieński, a prose writer, playwright, essayist, translator, author of several theater plays and books such as “To Fight or Not to Fight”, “Everything in the Family” and “Turnus”, has died. He was 85 years old.

Information about Tomasz Łubieński's death was confirmed by the Book Institute. A prose writer, playwright, essayist, translator, and long-time editor-in-chief of the monthly “Nowe Książki” died less than a month before his 86th birthday. “He was a great man,” wrote journalist Wojciech Szot in a post dedicated to Łubieński on social media.

Tomasz Łubieński is dead

Tomasz Łubieński was born on April 18, 1938 in Warsaw. The Łubieńskis spent the time of World War II near Dębica. After the war, the future writer graduated from the Secondary School of the Society of Friends of Children No. 1. Bolesław Limanowski in Warsaw. He studied history and Polish studies at the University of Warsaw, and during his studies he published in “Twórczość” and “Współczesność”.

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The writer presented the atmosphere of his aristocratic family, among others: in the drama “The Last”. “I grew up in such an atmosphere and scenery, but I am a democrat by conviction. I once met an uncle who spent many years in southern Africa. He greeted me with these words: 'I welcome you as a representative of our family, whom communism saved from degeneration. What would you do? Without it? You would be a lord, or maybe a dowry hunter, you would hunt… And so you graduated, you work. He congratulated me very much and I stick to it in my life,” Łubieński said a few years ago in a conversation with Iwona Smolka.

Tomasz Łubieński – literary debut

Łubieński's literary debut was the one-act play “Gra” published in 1959 in “Dialog”, his first prose book was the volume of short stories “Exercises”, published in 1962. At the beginning of his career, Łubieński devoted more attention to playwriting. He is the author of several plays, some of which have been staged, including: “Zegary” (Stary Teatr w Krakowie, 1970), “Koczowisko” (Polish Theater in Wrocław, 1979), “Śmierć komandora” (Polish Theater in Wrocław, 1984) and “Ostatni” (National Theater in Warsaw, 2003).

In the 1970s, Łubieński worked in the “Kultura” week. From 1978, he published in the magazine “Res Publica”, of which he was a co-founder (first published outside censorship in the second publishing circuit, and from 1987 officially). In 1978, Łubieński's most famous book was published – a volume of essays “To fight or not to fight”, devoted to reflections on the meaning of Polish national uprisings in the 18th and 19th centuries. This book opens a series of works by Łubieński, in which the author asks questions about the shape of Polish historical memory and the model of Polish patriotism.

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In the book “Neither triumph nor demise”, published in 2004, Łubieński argues with the myth of the Warsaw Uprising – he shows the mistakes of the Home Army command, as well as the price that Warsaw paid for the uprising. In his 2009 book “1939. It started in September”, Łubieński asks questions about whether the Polish state was prepared for war in 1939 and what the myth of Polish September is.

Tomasz Łubieński: books, magazines, translations

In the 1980s, Łubieński published in emigration magazines “Aneks” and “Zeszyty Literackie”. From 1989 to 1992, he was a member of the editorial board of “Tygodnik Solidarność” and an activist of the “Wspólota Polska Association”. In the 1980s, biographical books by Łubieński were published about Mierosławski (“Czerwonobialy”, 1983), Norwid (“Norwid returns to Paris”, 1989) and Mickiewicz (“M jak Mickiewicz” 1999).

Tomasz Łubieński published a volume of poems “The Absent Ones Are Right” (1996), translated fragments of Dante's “Divine Comedy”, and published prose books – “Everything in the Family” (2004) and “Turnus” (2012). The writer belonged to the editorial team of the monthly “Teatr” and was the editor-in-chief of the monthly “Nowe Książki”. From 2001, together with Kazimiera Szczuka and Witold Bereś, and then with Kinga Dunin and Paweł Dunin-Wąsowicz, he hosted the cultural magazine “Good Books” on TVP 1. The writer was a member of the Polish Writers' Association (1972-1983), the Polish Writers' Association (since 1989), and the Polish PEN Club (since 1979). In 2006, President Lech Kaczyński awarded Tomasz Łubieński with the Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta.

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Main photo source: MICHAL DYJUK/East News

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