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Jerzy Ficowski was born in 1924 in Warsaw, and is a distinguished poet, prose writer, scholar and translator (from Yiddish, Russian and Roma). During the German occupation of Warsaw in World War II, Ficowski served in the Home Army (AK) and took part in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. He has published some twenty volumes of poetry since his debut in 1948, and one book of short stories: Waiting for the Dog to Sleep. His poetry has been illustrated by Marc Chagall, and his 1979 collection of poems, A Reading of Ashes, has been called the most moving account of the Holocaust written by a non-Jew. A major scholar of Roma history and culture (his book Gypsies in Poland: History and Customs is a seminal work in the field), he has translated Roma folk tales into Polish (Sister of the Birds and Other Gypsy Tales), and is one of the most active translators of Yiddish literature remaining in Poland.
Since 1946 Ficowski has dedicated a vast amount of time to reassembling the scattered fragments of the visual and literary legacy of Bruno Schulz, a writer of great importance whose work was under-appreciated following the Second World War. At the time of its publication in Polish, Ficowski's "biographical portrait," Regions of the Great Heresy (W. W. Norton, 2003), was groundbreaking and remains the definitive study of Schulz's life and art. Instrumental in establishing the collection of Schulziana at the Adam Mickiewicz Museum of Literature in Warsaw and in planning the permanent Schulz Museum in Drohobycz, Ukraine, Ficowski has also edited compilations of Schulz's letters and drawings as well as writing the Introduction to The Drawings of Bruno Schulz. He lives in Warsaw. [from twistedspoon.com]
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