IN ENGLISH

 

Antoni Libera (born April 19, 1949, in Warsaw) is a Polish writer, translator, literary critic, and theater director. He graduated from Warsaw University and received his Ph. D. from the Polish Academy of Sciences. He is a member of the Pen Club, the Polish Writers Association (Stowarzyszenie Pisarzy Polskich), and the American Samuel Beckett Society.

Libera is best known for his translations and productions of Samuel Beckett's plays. He has translated all Beckett's dramatic works into Polish, as well as some of his other works. He has also directed many of Beckett's plays in Poland, Great Britain, Ireland, and the U.S. Many famous Polish actors have appeared in those plays, including Tadeusz Łomnicki, Zbigniew Zapasiewicz, Maja Komorowska, Adam Ferency, Zbigniew Zamachowski, and Andrzej Seweryn, along with British actors like Barry McGovern and David Warrilow.

His other translations include Shakespeare "Macbeth", Sophocles "Antigon" and "Oedipus the King", Oscar Wilde "Salome", Friedrich Hölderlin, Constantine Cavafy, and others. He has translated a number of opera librettos as well, such as "Death in Venice" by Benjamin Britten, "Black mask", and "Ubu King" by Krzysztof Penderecki. He wrote a libretto to the balet "Chopin". Read about it from The Fryderyk Chopin Institute and in "Warsaw Voice".

In 1990 he was commissioned by the London Royal Court Theatre to write the play "Eastern Promises," which was performed in that theater and published in "The May Days Dialogues" by Methuen in 1990 (Polish title: "Czy Europa musi zginąć"? published in "Dialog").

Libera's first novel, "Madame" (1998), was awarded the Grand Prix from Znak (a major Polish publishing house) and nominated for the 1999 Nike Literary Award.  In 2002 it was again nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.  The novel has been translated into 20 languages. Read one chapter here. Read reviews here.

In 2004 he wrote an anthhology of literary texts "Beckett's Blessing". Read about this book here. Read the title essay here.

In 2006 he wrote a story "Lausanne Lyrics" dedicated to his friend Jerzy Pilch. Read the story here.

In 2009 he published the autobiographical work "Godot's Shadow", which was nominated for an Angelus Award and the Jan Michalski Prize for Literature. Read more about this book here. Read a review here.  Read the beginning here.

From 1988 to 1993, Libera was one of the editors of the magazine "Puls" (published in London), and from 1996 to 2001 he was a literary director at the Dramatic Theater in Warsaw.

Read here about Libera's view on Poland joining European Union.

In October 2010 he was awarded the Silver Medal "Gloria Artis."

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Original works:

Beckett's Blessing and other confessions (Sic!, 2004)
Eastern Promises [a dramatic dialogue] (Methuen, 1990)
God Bless ... [Christmas vigil story in "9 Wigilii"] (Świat Książki, 2007)

Godot's Shadow [autobiographical prose] (Znak, 2009)
Lausanne Lyrics [short story in "Pokaz prozy"] (WL 2006)
Madame [a novel] (Znak 1998)
View From Above and From Below  [ short story in "Mówi Warszawa"] (Muzeum Powstania Warszawskiego / Wydawnictwo Trio 2011)
 
Translations and studies:

Barańczak, S. Winter and Journey [essay on Barańczak's poetry and selected his poems] (WL 1997)
Beckett, S. Selected Shorter Prose (Czytelnik 1982)

Beckett, S. Plays [selected drama works] (Biblioteka Narodowa, Ossolineum 1995, 1999)
Beckett, S. Plays [4 canon plays] (PIW 2002)
Beckett, S. Collected plays (PIW 1988)
Beckett, S. Molloy and Four Novellas (Znak 2004)
Beckett, S. what is the word and other works [10 plays and 10 shorter prose] (PIW 2010)
Beckett, S. Fidelity to Failure [essays] (Znak 1999)
Cavafy, C. As You Set Out for Ithaka... [selected poems] (Znak 2011)

Hölderlin, F. What Is Lasting the Poets Provide [100 selected poems] (Znak 2003), (słowo/obraz terytoria 2009)
Racine, J. Phedre (PIW 2011)
Sophocles Oedipus the King (PIW 2012)
Sophocles Philoctetes (PIW 2012)

Shakespeare, W. Macbeth (Noir Sur Blanc 2002)
Szpotański, J. Satiric works and autobiographical fragments (LTW 2003)
Szpotański, J. Collected Satiric Works [edited by... and Preface] (Puls 1990)
Wilde, O. Two Love Plays [Salome, A Florentine Tragedy] (PIW 2003)