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Read ePUB LalkaAuthor Bolesław Prus –

3,5 5 starsWell so far this book was the best required reading that I ve read in high school. In writing this majestic novel about fin de si cle 19th century Warsaw, Prus illustrated all the social currents that would make Poland such a cauldron of differing identities in the following century Ostensibly a story about the excruciating infatuation of a successful merchant, Wokulski, for a noble s daughter, the book is also about three generations of men coming to terms with Poland s past and present and trying to break away from the Nobles Republic in order to create a modern future for the nation Although Prus could, naturally, have had no idea of what would happen to his country in the next century, the battle lines of ethno nationalism, later exploited by the National Democrat anti Semites, the Catholic Church, the Nazis and the Communists begin to emerge. Lalka Ukaza A Si Pierwotnie W Odcinkach Na Amach Warszawskiego Kuriera Codziennego , Stanowi C Dla Wielu Wsp Czesnych Literack Kontynuacj Kronik Dla Mi O Nik W Warszawy Powie Prusa Jest Powie Ci O Stolicy, Literackim Przewodnikiem, Z Kt Rym Ladami Wokulskiego Mo Na Odkrywa Szczeg Y Wygl Du I Ycia Wczesnej Stolicy Dla Innych Powie Ci Spo Eczno Obyczajow Podejmuj C Krytyk Sytuacji W Polsce Ko Ca XIX W Powie Ci O Wielkich Idealistach, A Dla Wielu Czytelnik W Po Prostu Utworem O Wielkiej I Romantycznej Mi O Ci Stanis Aw Wokulski Zakochuje Si W Zobaczonej W Teatrze Arystokratce Izabeli Ckiej I Ca E Swoje Ycie I Wszystkie Marzenia Podporz Dkowuje Zdobyciu Panny Izabeli Rezygnuje Z Pasji Naukowej, Gromadzi Maj Tek, Pomaga Jej Rodzinie Finansowo, Stara Si Wej Do Wy Szych Sfer, Spe Nia Jej Kaprysy Gdy Wydaje Mu Si , E Wszystko To Przybli A Go Do Niej The Doll is as a landmark work of Polish literature that will be of tremendous interest to anyone of Polish descent or having friends who received their education in Poland It examines all of the major political, cultural and social issues that were debated in Poland in the second half of the nineteenth century Because The Doll is taught in Polish secondary schools, the Anglophone reader is assured the pleasure of being able to discuss the work with any of his or her friends in the expatriate Polish community This is a major benefit for a work that poses significant challenges for the Anglophone reader.To properly comprehend The Doll one needs a very solid understanding of Polish history, class structure and society in the 19th century At the same time, the reader needs some experience in reading and decoding works written under censorship in which the author, poet or librettist discusses a political issue using events in other countries as proxies for those in the country that he or she is truly interested in.The key issue is that the events take place in Poland during the 19th century when Poland was partitioned between Russia, Austria and Germany The hero Stanis aw Wokulski has participated in the January Uprising 1863 1864 against Russia and spent a number of years in Siberian exile which indicates that the Polish national question is a major background issue However, the subject of Polish independence is never directly mentioned.Poles of the Jean Paul II Solidarity generation view Wokulski as a figure like Julien Sorel from the Red and the Black who makes the perverse decision to become a priest because under the Bourbon Restoration because no other options were available to him From this perspective Wokulski who has the innate qualities of political leader has no outlet for his natural talents in the Russian occupied Polish Partition As a consequence he devotes himself entirely to his love for a woman who is inaccessible because she is an aristocrat whereas Wokulski is works in trade i.e is a retailer.In the eyes of Prus, Wokulski s infatuation is a massive folly in the style of the great Polish romantic poet Adam Mickiewicz The woman he is obsessed with is both shallow and nasty Wokulski s loyalist friend Igacy Rzecki is appalled He wants Wokulski to marry a sensible woman of his own social class and dedicate himself to Polish independence which is referred to by the proxy term Bonapartism in order to get past the censor Rzecki s idea makes no sense either Wokulski is not living in democracy and because of his revolutionary past would have been too closely monitored by the Tsarist police to participate in any underground organization.Wokulski however is lucid about his situation He is aware that the best course for him is to concentrate on his business and thus create wealth in Poland Unfortunately his instincts pull him in the other direction He is unable to stop loving his fantasy woman In order to make himself acceptable in her aristocratic milieu he sells his businesses so as to passively live off his investments When, Wokulski finally sees through the woman that he loves, life loses all meaning for him His morale collapses and he dies shortly afterwards The Doll contains a lengthy discussion on Poland s Jews Being a logical positivist, Prus felt that the differences between Jews and Christians were entirely artificial What Prus desired was for Polish Jews and Catholics to merge into a single progressive community of atheists Accordingly, he presents the Jews in a very favorable light Wokulski has many good Jewish friends Moreover Wokulski vigorously argues that through their business activities which create wealth, the Jews are making an important contribution to Polish society.Prus sharpest criticisms are for the Polish aristocrats who do nothing to create wealth but simply spend money ostentatiously and amass debts while regarding everyone else with contempt particularly Jews and tradesmen i.e retailers Prus provides a very insightful portrait of Poland under Russian rule in the second half of the nineteenth century The Doll is in no ways prophetic Today we know that Poland was finally liberated by Solidarity which was in its essence a coalition of the Roman Catholic clergy and blue collar unions In The Doll , Prus discounts the Catholic Church as an utterly inconsequential force in Polish society There is no mention that I can recall either of unions or any working class organizations The Doll is a logical positivist work which assumes that leadership for change in the modern world can only come from the educated middle classes It is a great novel for any reader willing to forgive it this one blind spot. This is the acclaimed Polish classic written by Prus serialised in 1897 and full novel form in 1890 It is set in Warshaw in Poland then split between Russian, Austrian and Prussia the local history preceding the events of the novel appear quite complicated but are detailed to some extent in the book s notes but uprisings, unification and the elites, politics, modernity etc are the backdrop.The story is a Dickensian length of 679 pages small font text and a weighty tome I in fact read the ebook version and kept by printed book at home The style is that classy well constructed literary detailed narrative similar to Eliot, Tolstoy etc It is not as naturalistic as Zola but given the indications that the Tsar s censors had a go at it the book has had the extracted bits put back in I would have liked the odd note indicating when this happened and except a whole passage placed in the appendix , it could have been a bit forthright Though a character list would have been nice, I didn t have the same problems I usually do keeping track of Russian like names.The story itself is actually remarkably simple Wokulski, a now wealthy thirty something shop owner, falls in love with Izabela, an impoverished young noble aristocrat, can his money win her despite his lower status The length of the tale comes from the intricate detail of the social scene then including Barons, princes, bachelors after inheritances, mistresses and upcoming powerful money men the histories and development of many of the side characters and importantly the life and perspective of Wokulski s long standing friend and shop clerk Ignacy who has many chapters to himself as first person journal entries I really enjoyed the style and the clever way Prus has Wokulski acting unselfishly in one way say paying for a house than it s worth to get money to Izabela s dad and have her views interpreting this behaviour in exactly the opposite way intended Travels to Paris, attempted suicides, duels, avenging Baraonesses and adulterous behaviour are all abound For my interest Izabela is even reading Zola s 1877 book Une Page d Amour.Ignacy is an intriguing character his concerns for his country, Wokulski, the wider European view e.g England s war in Afghanistan then later with the Zulus, fondness for the Bonapartes, worries for wider war between Russia and Turkey on one side and England, Germany and Austria on the other etc are wonderful The emerging science of the day also plays its part flying machines, Darwinism, metallurgy on amateur scientist Wolukski.It has to be said there is quite a lot of the possible impacts and prejudices discussed between characters etc of the Jewish population, including their power and money, on the modernising Poland e.g The nobility, in great debt needing dividends, don t want Wokulski to sell up his business to a Jewish rival and the clerks don t want to work for a Jew except Ignacy who has a balanced view I found it somewhat chilling to think of this backdrop in 1890 and have references to characters taking train journeys to Krakow etc.So in summary this is a very long read, the story is definitely there will she, won t she , the passion and emotion is there when will he finally realise what she really is and the history seeps out of every page The book is a cross between Eliot s Middlemarch , Zola s Money and Ladies Delight and Tolstoy s Resurrection serialised to be as long as any Dickens A very worthy read.Some quotes Izabela contemplating marriage Perhaps even a husband, for people suffer the most terrible misfortunes But as a lover that was simply absurd If necessary, even the most aristocratic of ladies will take a mud bath but only a madman would enjoy it She had already almost forgiven him the purchase of the dinner service and the promissory notes, and the money lost at cards to her father, on which the entire household had lived for several weeks no she had not forgiven him that, and never would Today s Hungarians are worth nothing When the Huns suppressed then in 1849, they protested that every nation has the right to defend its own freedom But today They themselves are pushing their way into Bosnia, uninvited, and they call the Bosnians, who are defending themselves, criminals and brigands Is it right to equip wretched human hearts with an infinity of yearning, without at least giving them the consolation that death means oblivion A book well known and loved in Poland but less well known abroad This is a shame as I d have no hesitation in putting it in the same league as Tolstoy and like Tolstoy this is a huge book, almost 700 pages long It is helped by a very good translation At one level a love story and the power of love to distort someone life, but it is also a story of the relationships between classes especially between the aristocracy and the self made man, and it can be read as an existential exploration of the meaning of life On top of this it is an insightful historical drama of Poland under Russian rule in the late 19th century Finally it is prescient talking of flying machines, the fall of the aristocracy and future problems for Jews in Europe So you can see I am a fan To enjoy it you have to be prepared for 19th century writing it can t be accused of ever being spartan writing Also I found one of voices less convincing than the others Nevertheless a great novel. I will say this, I was lucky with this book I was in love and unhappy and the heroe in the book was reflecting my mood and emotions, so I read this book in one breath nevertheless this is one of the best polish classic books.Someone in this reviews told that Prus is boring I don t know about his other works but this book is nothing like boring And although the book had been written about century ago it s still actual.I can t describe whole book, it s soo much then one could describe in a few sentences So I will tell you just read the book and about the man who fall for a doll, who fall so hard that he became from no one to someone powerful and reach, who changed all his life, and himself becoming better man and better person for a stupid doll. One of the best novels written by Polish writers ever Really, if you are considering which book by Polish writers to read you should choose this one It isn t a pleasant story It is one of those that helps one to better understand people and changes in society One of those that it is really hard to forget.Many levels, many points of views.An amazing study of society and a deep study of human nature.This book made me think why during reading it I was constantly expecting that Izabela would have fallen in love with Wokulski Why was I expecting that only because a man loves deeply a woman she must sooner or later fells in love too Truly, it is ridiculous But so it was sometimes still is my blind, romantic vision You ve probably never heard of this book, but it comes damn close to meeting War and Peace on its own terms.History rolls forward The aristocratic scumbags are replaced by capitalist scumbags The solutions to yesterday s problems become new problems and we don t get anywhere A great man becomes a great man in pursuit of a vain and hopeless goal that eventually destroys him A world of fops, fools, scoundrels, and nihilists loses something it desperately needs.We can be 99% certain that society is irredeemably fucked But unless we try to be better, we deprive ourselves of that last 1%.When you hold out hope for human potential, you ll almost definitely be disappointed But damn it, we ve got to hope And we ve got to try. things they didn t teach us in school 1 wokulski was heavily depressed throughout the whole story not just the last few chapters2 basically everyone was Gay 3 every dude was a misogynist