How a novel The Man with White Eyes (The Bad) became the Iliad

Krzysztof Mrowcewicz

Abstract


This article talks about a famous novel by Leopold Tyrmand entitled Zły (The Bad) which was translated into English by David Welsh as The Man with White Eyes (New York: Knopf, 1959). The author claims that the novel which describes a life in destroyed Warsaw of the 1950s gradually became an epic. The author refers to a conception by Polish literary scholar and critic Kazimierz Wyka who claimed that epics are not written, but – under some circumstances, sometimes even against the will of the writers – some texts become epics. According to the author, in Zły (both in the style and in the plot) can be found the elements of brilliant epic stylization. The novel which at first was read as a thriller gradually became an epic because it described with epic accuracy a world that had disappeared, a world where a new life was born in the ruins.

Keywords


Leopold Tyrmand; The Man with White Eyes (The Bad); Warsaw; epic; epic style; thriller; Stalinism; evil

Full Text:

PDF (Polish)