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Wiechecki (left) in 1972
|Born||10 August 1896|
|Died||26 July 1979 82)(aged|
Stefan Wiechecki (pen-name Wiech; 10 August 1896 – 26 July 1979) was a Polish writer and journalist. He is most fondly remembered for his humorous feuilletons, which chronicled the everyday life of Warsaw and cultivated the Warsaw dialect.
The Poles, commonly referred to as the Polish people, are a nation and West Slavic ethnic group native to Poland in Central Europe who share a common ancestry, culture, history, and are native speakers of the Polish language. The population of self-declared Poles in Poland is estimated at 37,394,000 out of an overall population of 38,538,000, of whom 36,522,000 declared Polish alone.
A feuilleton was originally a kind of supplement attached to the political portion of French newspapers, consisting chiefly of non-political news and gossip, literature and art criticism, a chronicle of the latest fashions, and epigrams, charades and other literary trifles. The term feuilleton was invented by the editors of the French Journal des débats; Julien Louis Geoffroy and Bertin the Elder, in 1800. The feuilleton has been described as a "talk of the town", and a contemporary English-language example of the form is the "Talk of the Town" section of The New Yorker.
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. The metropolis stands on the Vistula River in east-central Poland and its population is officially estimated at 1.765 million residents within a greater metropolitan area of 3.1 million residents, which makes Warsaw the 8th most-populous capital city in the European Union. The city limits cover 516.9 square kilometres (199.6 sq mi), while the metropolitan area covers 6,100.43 square kilometres (2,355.39 sq mi). Warsaw is an alpha global city, a major international tourist destination, and a significant cultural, political and economic hub. Its historical Old Town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Stefan Wiechecki was born 10 August 1896. In inter-war Poland he collaborated with numerous Warsaw-based newspapers, initially as a court reporter. During numerous trials he documented typical personalities of the poorer, less-known part of the city with its distinctive culture, language and customs. With time he was given his own column in Express Wieczorny evening newspaper, where he published humorous sketches and feuilletons featuring personalities based on people taking part in trials he took part in. They gained much popularity and in late 1930s Wiechecki opened a chocolate shop in the borough of Praga, which became his main source of income.
Praga is a district of Warsaw, Poland. It is located on the east bank of the river Vistula. First mentioned in 1432, until 1791 it formed a separate town with its own city charter.
During the Warsaw Uprising, he was cut off from his house on the other side of the river, in the Old Town. There he collaborated with numerous newspapers published in the Polish-held part of town, notably the Powstaniec . Sharing the fate of the rest of Warsaw's civilians, Wiechecki was forced out of the city after the end of the uprising. However, he returned soon after the town was retaken from the Germans and resumed his duties as a journalist. Some of his humorous stories were published in book form, while others continued to be published by Warsaw-based newspapers.
The Warsaw Uprising was a major World War II operation, in the summer of 1944, by the Polish underground resistance, led by the Home Army, to liberate Warsaw from German occupation. The uprising was timed to coincide with the retreat of the German forces from Poland ahead of the Soviet advance. While approaching the eastern suburbs of the city, the Red Army temporarily halted combat operations, enabling the Germans to regroup and defeat the Polish resistance and to raze the city in reprisal. The Uprising was fought for 63 days with little outside support. It was the single largest military effort taken by any European resistance movement during World War II.
While criticised by linguists and polonists for filling the Polish language with trash, he was nevertheless considered a classic of the Warsaw dialect, at that time suppressed by schools along with all other non-standard variations of the literary language. One of the scientists to defend him in numerous articles was Bronisław Wieczorkiewicz, who later published the first monograph on the dialects of Warsaw. A renowned Polish poet Julian Tuwim dubbed Wiechecki the Homer of Warsaw's streets and Warsaw's language, his feuilletons are also mentioned in the works of Antoni Słonimski, Stefan Kisielewski and Maria Pawlikowska-Jasnorzewska. He died 26 July 1979 in Warsaw, where he is buried. After 1989 one of the main pedestrian-only zones of downtown Warsaw was officially named the Wiech Passage in honour of Wiechecki.
Polish is a West Slavic language of the Lechitic group. It is spoken primarily in Poland and serves as the native language of the Poles. In addition to being an official language of Poland, it is also used by Polish minorities in other countries. There are over 50 million Polish language speakers around the world and it is one of the official languages of the European Union.
The Warsaw dialect, or Masovian, is a regional dialect of the Polish language centered on Warsaw. The dialect evolved as late as the 18th century, under notable influence of several languages spoken in the city of Warsaw. After the destruction of Warsaw in the aftermath of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 the Warsaw dialect has been in decline. It is estimated that in modern times it is almost extinct as the native language and is preserved mostly in literary works.
Julian Tuwim, known also under the pseudonym "Oldlen" as a lyricist, was a Polish poet of Jewish descent, born in Łódź,. He was educated in Łódź and in Warsaw where he studied law and philosophy at Warsaw University. After Poland's return to independence in 1919, Tuwim co-founded the Skamander group of experimental poets with Antoni Słonimski and Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz. He was a major figure in Polish literature, admired also for his contribution to children's literature. He was a recipient of the prestigious Golden Laurel of the Polish Academy of Literature in 1935.
Wiechecki's novel Cafe pod Minogą was filmed in 1956.
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