Aleksander Wat was the pen name of Aleksander Chwat 1 May — 29 July , a Polish poet, writer, art theoretician, memorist, and one of the precursors of the Polish futurism movement in the early s, considered to be one of the more important Polish writers of the mid 20th century. Aleksander Chwat was born on 1 May in Warsaw , at that time under Russian rule, into a well-established and prosperous Jewish family. After a brief service with the Polish Army he graduated from the Faculty of Philology of the Warsaw University , where he studied philosophy , psychology and logic. In he followed up with a volume of short stories, Lucifer unemployed Bezrobotny Lucyfer in Polish.

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Aleksander Wat born Chwat studied philosophy and psychology at the University of Warsaw. As a young poet, Wat cofounded the Polish futurist movement and participated in the drafting of its manifestos. He also coedited avant-garde literary journals and expressed his pro-Communist sympathies in the left-wing press. Seriously ill, Wat traveled several times for treatment to France, where he eventually settled in Wat underwent a radical evolution that led from futurism, Dadaism, and surrealism with catastrophic overtones to mature lyrics expressing the existential experience of illness and suffering rooted in Mediterranean and biblical traditions.

Born into a rabbinic family, Wat abandoned Jewish tradition in his youth. War experiences were one of the reasons behind his decision to be baptized in , but he never became a practicing Christian. With time, he increasingly stressed his double Polish—Jewish identity.

Eugenia Prokop-Janiec. Portrait of a Man Aleksander Wat. Aleksander Rafalowski, Oil on canvas. Suggested Reading Author Translation. All Rights Reserved.


Aleksander Wat

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Aleksander Wat

Aleksander Wat was a poet, translator, critic, and co-founder of the Polish Futurism movement. Born Aleksander Chwat in Warsaw into an assimilated Jewish family which had interests in Polish literature and drama. After a brief service with the Polish Army he graduated from the Faculty of Philology of the Warsaw University, where he studied philosophy, psychology, and logic. In he was among the young poets to proclaim the advent of new, futuristic poetry. Until he was one of the main journalists of the Marxist Tygodnik literacki. Until the outbreak of World War II he was also the literary director of Gebethner i Wolff, the biggest and the most renown Polish printing house of the time. Set free in , he was allowed to return to Poland.


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