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Pan Tadeusz

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  6,322 ratings  ·  77 reviews
An epic tale of country life among the Polish and Lithuanian gentry in 1811-1812, PAN TADEUSZ by Adam Mickiewicz is perhaps Poland's best-known literary work and has been translated into almost every European language. This bilingual edition, with side by side Polish and English, features Kenneth R. Mackenzie's celebrated English translation.

The plot has the typical
Paperback, 598 pages
Published January 1st 1992 by Hippocrene Books (first published 1834)
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2018 English translation by Bill Johnston, published by Archipelago Books

Pan Tadeusz is the Polish classic, the ‘national epic’. In English, there isn’t a sole work with comparable stature and ubiquity.

Given my heritage, the way I'd felt about not having read Pan Tadeusz was much as if I hadn't read - or even really known the stories of - Pride and Prejudice, or Jane Eyre, or Oliver Twist as soon as I could.

But I’m also particular about translations: I didn’t want to read Tadeusz in an old
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
NOTHING but Respect for my favourite Wieszcz Narodowy ...more
Joseph Spuckler
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Lithuania! My homeland! You are health alone.
Your worth can only ever be known by one
Who’s lost you. Today I see and tell anew
Your lovely beauty, as I long for you.

Pan Tadeusz: The Last Forray Into Lithuania by Adam Mickiewicz and the new translation by Bill Johnston is an epic poem about the divided Poland and Lithuania. Mickiewicz was a Polish poet, dramatist, essayist, publicist, translator, professor of Slavic literature, and political activist. He is regarded as the national poet in Poland,
May 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The work is without a doubt a masterpiece among the great books of world literature. That said, I can understand how generations of Polish schoolchildren have rankled at having it crammed down their throats.

I read this edition in tandem with the MacKenzie translation. Each has its advantage. The Weyland attempts to match the meter of the Polish original, but is monolingual. The MacKenzie is in the all-too-familiar iambic pentameter, but has the Polish original on facing pages.

While my knowledge
Oct 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Mickiewicz, who lived from 1798-1855, is widely considered the Polish national poet, and this present work is considered the Polish national epic. Mickiewicz was born in the Russian region of the Lithuanian part of the Polish-Lithuanian Confederation and lived during a time of constant political turmoil with recurrent changes in national boundaries. Ultimately Poland was divided up among Prussia, Austria, and Russia, and Mickiewicz spent much of his life as an exiled political activist, ...more
Pan Tadeusz, Or, The Last Foray in Lithuania; A tale of the Gentry in the Years 1811 and 1812

by Adam Mickiewicz, translated by Kenneth MacKenzie

To think of such things in a Paris Street,
Where on my ears the city’s noises beat
With lies and curses, and with plans ill-fate,
And fiendish quarrels and regrets belated!

Alas for us who fled in time of pest
And, timid souls, took refuge in the west! …

I longed to fly, a bird of feeble flight,
Beyond the thunder and the stormy zone,
And seek the sunshine and
Lee Klein
Just received this from Archipelago and will get to it soon — as an American of Polish and Lithuanian descent (three generations removed) this interests me, especially after some immersion in the ancestral territory with the riveting The Avengers earlier this summer. I can find Lithuania on a map but am otherwise clueless. Maybe move the family back there if the mid-term elections don’t go blue. Start the Back to Lithuania Movement! Raise a little liberal army of American emigrants.
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
1811 – 1812 Lituania, Poland, under Russian occupation.
Pan Tadeusz is an Epic Poem and critics have said that no European Nation of our time has an epic, such as Pan Tadeusz.
It is divided into twelve chapters, or songs and each song contains seven to eight poems, linking the story together.
Each poem is a miracle of beauty in itself, of people, dialogs, settings and most of all nature.
At first, it seems to develop into a classic romantic love story, but soon this remains only a thin thread in
Czarny Pies
Jul 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Canadians or Americans with Polish friends
Recommended to Czarny by: My polish wife
Shelves: polish-lit
I have now read Pan Tadeusz twice. The Kenneth Mackenzie verse translation which I have just finished was a delightful surprise. It is very good at rendering the conversational repartee and mood of the original work. I had earlier read the prose translation of George Noyes which has the obvious virtue of being easier to read.
Pan Tadeusz is the great national epic of Polish literature and rallying standard Polish independence. It is very important that American and Canadian book lovers read it
Katya Kazbek
I grew up reading Borodino, Mikhail Lermontov’s romantic poem on the deadliest battle of the Napoleonic wars, and along with War and Peace, it formed a certain understanding of the time period in my head. Now that I’m starting to delve into Russia’s imperial history, and trying to understand the postcolonial circumstances all across the region, I love looking at things from the other perspective. And Pan Tadeusz, in a fresh new translation by Bill Johnston, is perfect for this purpose. To see ...more
Oct 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Adam Mickiewicz was one of the greatest polish writers. This book shows exactly why he is considered to be so excellent. It contains the view on polish patriotism and the unity, which exists in this country in its darkest days. Intelligence in the plot, which leads to the freedom and the beauty of the polish hearts is perfectly shown in this book.
Dec 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Polish epic poetry... there's nothing quite like it.
May 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have to read it every few years again adn again. I have to try in English just for fun.
Typical Polish folks - they drink till they're fighting, and they fight till they're drunk. And then they wonder why the partition of Poland took place in the first place. Sadly, a very disappointing read to me.

In spite of everything, Talimena is my OTP tho.
Another classic of Poland off the list. This is an interesting, problematic epic symbolic of Poland's wistful, nostalgic nature. I'm five-starring it for historical importance and the enormity of its place in Poland's cultural history, but truth be told, there's a lot to dissuade people from reading this classic.

It's long and often ponderous, and my 100-year old translation didn't help with any of it. There's a legion of characters referred to alternately by their title or their name or
Jun 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The work is without a doubt a masterpiece among the great books of world literature. That said, I can understand how generations of Polish schoolchildren have rankled at having it crammed down their throats.

I read this edition in tandem with the MacKenzie translation. Each has its advantage. The Weyland attempts to match the meter of the Polish original, but is monolingual. The MacKenzie is in the all-too-familiar iambic pentameter, but has the Polish original on facing pages.

While my knowledge
Lukasz Wertel
Jun 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is one of the better books I read in a while. It has moments of action, like battles, but also manages to describe the local culture. It shows what the people eat, how they dress, what they do in spare time, etc. This book is written beautifully, and I have to admire the author's ability to make this story a poem. And not just any poem, my favorite kind of a poem. The kind where a line actually rhymes with the next one. The way it's written is great, and the only reason I do not give it 5 ...more
Michael Warenycia
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great deal of national consciousness and symbolism delivered with a delightful story that does not suffer from the tiresome excess of Graeco-Roman name-dropping which afflicts so much Romantic-period epic poetry and has little relevance or interest for the modern reader. One of the best of its genre, of any country or language.
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As Pushkin is to Russia, and Shevchenko is to Ukraine, so Mickiewicz is to Poland, its national poet. The English translation of this book is not easy to find even in Poland, but I was lucky enough to get my hands on this brilliant modern translation from Bill Johnston in the Pan Tadeusz Museum in Wrocław. I have to say that after reading it, it’s criminal to me that it isn’t better known or more highly regarded outside of Poland.

It’s an epic story told in verse, complete with literary
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing

2018 English translation by Bill Johnston, published by Archipelago Books

First published in Paris in 1834, Pan Tadeusz, a long narrative poem, is regarded as the national epic of Poland, But it is not an epic on a grand scale, with brave heroes and valiant exploits, but a quieter tale, which concentrates on the everyday, the mundane, the down-to-earth. It’s the story of two feuding families and the romance between the eponymous Tadeusz Soplica and Zosia, the daughter of the opposing family. Life
May 13, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I had no idea what to expect from this near-500 page narrative poem all about the changes in Polish lifestyle (and indeed changes in the very existence of Poland) in Napoleonic times. Surely the translator has done a wondrous job of getting everything flowing, rhyming and readable, but I was losing interest in the actual contents before giving up almost at the halfway mark. It's certainly not as heavy as such summary may sound, what with its romances, and a certain supernatural dash here and ...more
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Polish historical saga which kept the spirits of Polish people when their country was divided by Austria, Prussia and Russia. Written in very beautiful poetical way is a number one novel in verse in Polish schools. Ask any Polish what they know about Pan Tadeusz and they for sure will start with - O Litwo, ojczyzna moja ty jestes jak zdrowie...
When it comes to composition it seemed very similar to Pushkin's Eugene Onegin, though of course the latter tells a private story of a man, while Pan
Aggie Szymanska
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful epic poem. If you can read it in Polish, definitely do so. It's so much richer and the writing is absolutely breathtaking. The story is also cute and draws you in, so it's not a slog, although the language can be difficult. The supporting characters are hilarious and all likeable in their own way. Historically the politics Mickiewicz is writing about, both as a reflection of his time and the time period the story is set in, are very interesting. Typical romantic Polish storytelling, ...more
Reading this is like whisking Beowulf and War and Peace together, letting it rhyme, and setting it in Poland/Lithuania. It even has the Great Comet of 1812!

Yesterday's Russian haircuttress was not amused that I brought this epic while getting my hair did. I think she might have something against the former SSR/Satellite States, in addition to many, MANY other things...
Colin Henry
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
Mieckiewicz wrote in the epilogue that Poland is aland where slight happiness can be found. I was only slightly happy reading this last foray into Lithuania. It will be my last foray into epic Central European poetry for a long time.
Fred Perry
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Long ago and far away

Long ago in the 1830s and far away in Paris, Mickiewicz wrote a epic poem of Poland and Lithuania just before Napoleon started his march to Russia. This is slapstick and legend and lust and a very good read.
A bit of a drag for a modern audience and a lot of allusions that went over my head, but the language was absolutely beautiful.
Oct 14, 2017 rated it liked it
I had to read it for school so my opinion is probably biased.
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lekturki
i have to read this book because for my polish lessons. i was surprised because it wasn't that bad, but that isn't a easy book to read. you have to be focused all the time.
Matthew Dambro
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The last great epic poem in European literature; the Polish Iliad. Written in 1834 by a Polish emigre' in Paris; it tells the story of the Napoleonic liberation of Poland in 1812. It was written after the abortive revolt of 1832. It lays bare the anguish of the Polish people between the Partition of 1795 and the revival of 1918. Then came the torture of the Nazi and Soviet occupation from 1939 to 1989. Mickiewicz kept alive the idea of Poland through the sheer power of his words.
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A great example why books shouldn't be forced on anyone. 4 26 Nov 10, 2015 09:23AM  

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To a Pole, the name Adam Mickiewicz is emblematic of Polishness and greatness. What Homer is to the Greeks, or Shakespeare to the British, Mickiewicz is to the Poles. He is a cultural icon, a name inextricably connected with Polish literature and history, and one mentioned with pride. Mickiewicz stands out in the consciousness of Poles both as a man of letters and a political leader.

Despite his
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“Wstrzymując oddech, usty chwytał jej westchnienie.
I okiem łowił wszystkie jej wzroku promienie.”
“Tėvyne Lietuva, mielesnė už sveikatą!
Kaip reik tave branginti, vien tik tas pamato,
Kas jau tavęs neteko…”
More quotes…