Coming Spring

Coming Spring

Stefan Żeromski
Translated by Bill Johnston
Copyright Date: 2007
Edition: NED - New edition, 1
Pages: 429
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  • Book Info
    Coming Spring
    Book Description:

    The Coming Spring (Przedwiosnie), Zeromski's last novel, tells the story of Cezary Baryka, a young Pole who finds himself in Baku, Azerbaijan, then a predominantly Armenian city, as the Russian Revolution breaks out. He becomes embroiled in the chaos caused by the revolution, and barely escapes with his life. Then, he and his father set off on a horrendous journey west to reach Poland. His father dies en route, but Cezary makes it to the newly independent Poland. Cezary sees the suffering of the poor, yet his experiences in the newly formed Soviet Union make him suspicious of socialist and communist solutions. He is an outsider among both the gentry and the working classes, and he cannot find where he belongs. Furthermore, he has unsuccessful and tragic love relations. The novel ends when, despite his profound misgivings, he takes up political action on behalf of the poor.

    eISBN: 978-615-5211-30-0
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-v)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vi-vi)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. vii-xiv)
    Bill Johnston

    The Coming Spring was Stefan Żeromski’s last novel. Finished in September 1924, it was published in the last days of that year (with a 1925 publication date); Żeromski died on November 20, 1925.

    For most of his life Żeromski had been engaged in the cause of Polish independence and in issues of social justice. He was born in 1864 near Kielce in what is now central Poland and then was in the Russian-occupied partition of the country. His birth during the final throes of the failed January Uprising (1863–64) against the Russians has led to his being dubbed “the...

  4. A Genealogy
    (pp. 1-12)

    It’s not a question here, dammit, of a coat of arms! Nor of a long line of ancestors with the backs of their heads shaved in the old noble style, sporting drooping Sarmatian¹ moustaches and curved swords; nor of coiffured great-grandmammas in low-cut dresses. A father and a mother—that was the entire genealogy, as it often is in our land in the stories of modern people without a past. One grandfather must be mentioned, and one sole great-grandfather ought to be noted. We wish to respect the aversion, saturated with a Semitic spirit and partiality, that modern people feel...

  5. PART ONE Houses of Glass
    (pp. 13-126)

    Czaruś had just turned fourteen and graduated from the fourth class to the fifth when Seweryn Baryka was called up to serve as an officer in the reserve. War had broken out. Rapidly, in the space of a few days, the family idyll was shattered. Cezary found himself alone with his mother in a fatherless apartment. Accompanying his father to the troop ship leaving for Astrakhan, he had felt no sorrow whatsoever. It was a novelty! He was occupied by a thousand trifling details—dates, names, and figures, in connection with his father’s donning the uniform of an officer. He...

  6. PART TWO Nawłoć
    (pp. 127-324)

    Arriving at the very heart of Poland—in other words Warsaw, its capital—Cezary Baryka had found no houses of glass either in the city or on the way. He didn’t even dare ask anyone about them. He realized that before his death his late father had played a painful joke on him. Nevertheless—influenced perhaps by that so naive legend, or perhaps by its hero, “cousin Baryka”—Cezary decided to study medicine in Warsaw. He did not have his papers from Baku, but after a rather superficial examination he was admitted and began to attend lectures. With great enthusiasm...

  7. PART THREE The Wind from the East
    (pp. 325-413)

    Upon his return to Warsaw Cezary Baryka enrolled once more in his medical studies and took up residence, at his own invitation, in the room of one of his fellow students, a certain Buławnik. This Buławnik came from a line of innkeepers or small-town profiteers, as a result of which he was always “in the money.” He lived, however, in a remote and entirely Jewish neighborhood, on Miła Street, in a dingy, crumbling apartment building whose stairs were so filthy, and the walls of whose entranceway were so blackened by the fumes of gas lamps, that it would have required...

  8. Back Matter
    (pp. 414-414)