Nadwiślańskie ścieżki Mikołajka. Opowiadania René Goscinnego na polskim rynku wydawniczym

Michał Rogoż

Abstrakt


[Nicholas at the Vistula River. René Goscinny’s stories on a Polish publishing market]

One of the best known artistic achievements of the duet René Goscinny and Jean Jacques Sempé was a series of stories about an unruly pupil Little Nicholas and his friends, published for the first time as a book at the beginning of the 1960s. In 1964 le petit Nicolas, or Mikołajek, first entered the Polish publishing market – under the title Rekreacje Mikołajka the first two parts of the series were presented. The readers had to wait for next editions until the late 1970s, when Barbara Grzegorzewska’s translations appeared: Mikołajek i inne chłopaki (Nicholas and Other Guys) (1979), then Wakacje Mikołajka (Nicholas’ Holidays) (1980) and Joachim ma kłopoty (Joachim in Trouble) (1982). Following the suggestions of the French publisher, the last title was changed in later editions for Mikołajek ma kłopoty (Nicholas in Trouble). To meet a large demand from the readers, some of the stories were published in popular children’s and young readers’ magazines of the publishing house “Nasza Księgarnia”. Already in the 1960s humorous stories were read on the Polish Radio by the well-known actress Irena Kwiatkowska. In the 21st century the publishing house “Znak” launched two volumes of stories entitled Nowe przygody Mikołajka (Nicholas’ New Adventures) (v.1: 2005, v.2: 2007). Mikołajek’s popularity was initially not reflected in its reception in the press. Sporadically, the French book was mentioned in specialist journals dealing with the publishing market or in periodicals devoted to socio-cultural topics. Only since 2005 due to the publication of the new adventures of the little protagonist the subject has attracted quite a considerable commentary in the Polish print media, including popular newspapers (such as e.g. “Gazeta Wyborcza”) and their regional supplements. The authors of the reviews and columns frequently mentioned the satirical aspect of the series, poking fun at traditional school educational methods and a middle-class life style with a patriarchal family model. The narrator of René Goscinny’s stories seems to resemble a morosophos or a “wise fool”, whose motif has been present in the world literature since antiquity (e.g. the figure of Socrates in Plato’s dialogues). Likewise, in the Polish tradition there are archetypes of such a persona, for instance the jester Stańczyk, portrayed in Jan Matejko’s paintings or Nikifor, an outstanding self-taught painter; in Polish literature it is certainly Onufry Zagłoba and Koziołek Matołek. An interesting reference to Mikołajek’s adventures is a book by Maryna Miklaszewska Mikołajek w szkole PRL-u (Nicholas at School in the Polish People’s Republic), a specifically Polish pastiche. Brought out for the first time in 1986 in the so-called second circulation, the book was published by an underground publishing house “Rytm”. The intended similarity to the French series – in the preface the author writes even about ‘a certain type of plagiarism’ – on the one hand resulted from the fascination with the original protagonist, on the other hand was a kind of a political weapon against the authorities of the times. The opposition between the world of adult teachers and unruly pupils was used here to describe the atmosphere at schools and in the educational system in general which was characteristic of the last years of the Polish People’s Republic. Despite the passage of time, the books about Mikołajek are enjoying considerable popularity, as demonstrated by the market success of the newly published stories and the accompanying discussion in the press and on internet forums.

Słowa kluczowe


Goscinny René; Sempé, Jean-Jacques; twórczość; edytorstwo; przekłady polskie; opowiadanie dziecięce francuskie; historia

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