Ewa Pasek, Ladislav Matejka Collegiate Lecturer and Lecturer II in Slavic Languages and Literatures, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and Megan Thomas recently translated the Polish novel: The Career of Nicodemus Dyzma by Tadeusz Dołęga-Mostowicz.
The Career of Nicodemus Dyzma is a fascinating, deeply sarcastic story about an ignorant and incompetent man who rises to the highest spheres of government. The excerpt from the novel was published in Przekrój, a Polish popular cultural quarterly magazine, along with a brief interview with Ewa and Megan and includes a marvelous introduction to the novel from Professor Benjamin Paloff.
“Those with knowledge of Polish letters have long awaited a translation of Dolega-Mostowicz’s classic satire, an all-too-timely tale of a boor’s rise to power, whose crudeness is understood as candor, whose ignorance is taken as wisdom, and whose ambition is unmatched. Thomas and Malachowska-Pasek have masterfully conveyed the absurd humor, rollicking story, and biting critique of the original.” —Daniel W. Pratt, contributor to Gombrowicz in Transnational Context: Translation, Affect, and Politics
“Very few books or characters become proverbial. But The Career of Nicodemus Dyzma is a byword in Polish culture for the accidental rise of an opportunistic swindler to the heights of society and politics. This entertaining novel from interwar Poland remains instructive beyond its context today.” —Stanley Bill, translator of The Mountains of Parnassus by Czeslaw Milosz
“The Career of Nicodemus Dyzma is still alive, not only as a good read but also as an essential historical document of 1930s Europe and as a trans-historical political satire with immense potential for contemporary readers . . . Cultural historians, political aficionados, and literature lovers will all find something very seductive about the book.” —Michal Pawel Markowski, author of Wars of Modern Tribes: Fighting for Reality in the Age of Populism