Andrzej jagodziński poland publicist and translator of Czech literature

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Publicist and translator of Czech literature


Andrzej Sławomir Jagodziński was born in Włocławek, Poland. He studied Czech and Slovak language and literature at the Institute of Slavic Philology at Warsaw University. From 1976, he was linked with the Polish and Czechoslovak democratic opposition, and – among other things – he worked as an intermediary between opposition organizations in Poland and Charter 77. Between 1977 and 1989, he worked with the independent Polish press and samizdat publishers. During the 1980s, he collaborated with the Czechoslovak exile magazines Svědectví (Testimony, Paris), Rozmluvy (Discourse, London) and Obrys (Contour, Munich). Between 1984 and 1989, he served as the editor of the independent literary magazine Wezwanie. Between 1989 and 1996, he was an editor of the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, between 2007 and 2009 he edited the bimonthly Literatura na Świecie. Since 1978, he has translated the works of Kundera, Seifert, Kohout, Hrabal, Gruša, Mitana, Fischl and Škvorecký, and primarily the works of former president and his friend Václav Havel. In total, he has published over 30 titles of Czech literature. He is also the author of interviews with Czech exile writers Vyhnanci (Exiles/Banici) and editor of an anthology of banned Czech writers.


Mr Jagodziński received the Silver Medal of Jan Masaryk from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, the Václav Havel Memorial Medal, the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, the Silver Medal of the Polish Ministry of Culture (Gloria Artis), the Polish-Czechoslovak exile Jiří Lederer Award and the prize of the Polish underground Solidarity movement. His translation of Škvorecký's book Příběh inženýra lidských duší (The Engineer of Human Souls) received the prestigious Angelus literary prize, awarded each year by a jury to important Central European writers. In Wrocław, not only the translator, but also the author Josef Škvorecký himself, were recognized. This translation itself has its own history. Mr. Jagodziński began working on the novel, which he considers to be Škvorecký's magnum opus, in 1988. The year 1989 brought major changes not only in Poland, but with them new employment opportunities for the translator as well. Mr. Jagodziński’s translation was finally finished after a twenty-year break. At the Prague Book World fair and literary festival in 2011, he was the first to receive the Jiří Theiner Award for the dissemination and promotion of Czech literature abroad.


In 1989, Mr Jagodziński became a founding member of the Association of Polish Writers and has been a member of the Polish PEN Club since 1990. Until 2006, he was Executive Director of the International Visegrad Fund, chairman of the Visegrad 4+ Festival as well as its director. He worked for the Institute of Eastern Studies and acted as a coordinator of Project mBank Czech/Slovakia. Until 2010 he was a member of the Program Board of the Polish-Czech Forum. From 1996 to 2001 he was the director of the Polish Institute and the cultural attaché at the Polish Embassy in Prague. From 1993 to 1996, he served as a member of the editorial board of the monthly Gazeta Śródkowoeuropejska, and from 1991 to 1996 as a regular correspondent for the newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza in Czechoslovakia, then the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Since September 2010, he has been the director of the Polish Institute in Bratislava and the first councilor of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland.

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