Salt of the Earth

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Product Details

Pushkin Press
Publish Date
5.4 X 1.3 X 8.6 inches | 1.1 pounds

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About the Author

JΓ³zef Wittlin (born 1896) was a major Polish poet, novelist, essayist and translator. He studied in Vienna, where he met Joseph Roth and Rainer Maria Rilke, before serving in the Austro-Hungarian army in the First World War. As well as Salt of the Earth, he published numerous collections of poetry, many of which were characterised by their strong pacifist sentiments. With the outbreak of WWII he fled to France and then to New York, where he died in 1976.

Translator Patrick Corness has been a university teacher for most of his career. He translates to English from Czech, German, Polish, Russian, and Ukrainian. Among others, he has translated Cyprian Norwid, Marina Tsvetaeva, and Vasyl Gabor. He is a Visiting Professor of Translation at Coventry University and an Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Translation Studies at the University of Leeds.


'One of the great Central European war stories, on a par with the works of Jaroslav Hasek.' - Los Angeles Review of Books

'Lively, faithful, and sensitive to the cultural nuances that make the novel such a rich tapestry of the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy prior to WWI.' - World Literature Today

'Wittlin's... irony and quiet fury are those of the idealistic ascetic steeped in the Old Testament and the Odyssey. His compassion for the ignorant and lowly of the earth, breathed into his work, imparts to it a glowing poetic quality and a sublimity of soul... It is a volume to be read again and again. It has the satisfying quality of good music.' - Virginia Quarterly Review

'One of the small number of contemporary works which extend into the sphere of the mythical and epical' - Thomas Mann