Research Programs: Fellowships for University Teachers

Period of Performance

7/1/2004 - 12/31/2004

Funding Totals

$24,000.00 (approved)
$24,000.00 (awarded)

A Biography of Polish Poet Adam Mickiewicz (1798-1855)

FAIN: FA-50322-04

Roman Koropeckyj
UCLA; Regents of the University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA 90024-4201)

To complete work on a biography of Poland's national poet Adam Mickiewicz (1798-1855). Focusing on Mickiewicz's prominence among his contemporaries as poet, professor, mystic, and politician, the biography embeds the story of his life in the larger narrative of European and Russian romanticism, of which he was, in many ways, an exemplar. Intended for specialists and non-specialists alike, publication of the biography is intended to coincide with the sesquicentennial of the poet's birth in 2005.

Media Coverage

A Polish Tragedy (Review)
Author(s): Adam Zamoyski
Publication: Times Literary Supplement
Date: 6/19/2009

The Wizard (Review)
Author(s): Jaroslaw Anders
Publication: The New Republic
Date: 5/13/2010

The Year's Work in Romanticism Studies (Review)
Author(s): L.H.P
Publication: Prism(s): Essays in Romanticism
Date: 1/1/2008

Ameykanska biografia Mickiewicza i jej autor (Review)
Author(s): Marta Zielinska
Publication: Teksty Drugie
Date: 10/1/2011
Abstract: This discussion of the most recent biography of Adam Mickiewicz, by Roman R. Koropeckyj, presents the book in the context of the American Slavicist's entire output. Koropeckyj deals with Polish romanticist literature, and Mickiewicz in particular -- being an expert not only on the poet as such but also on all his existing biographies. This makes The Life of a Romantic an important contribution to the discussion on how the Polish Bard's life is represented in what has been written about it, and in the way the biographies are written.

Author(s): Ursula Phillips
Publication: Slavonic and East European Review
Date: 4/1/2011

Adam Mickiewicz—romantyk i Europejczyk (Review)
Author(s): Magdalena Bak
Publication: Pamietnik Literacki
Date: 1/1/2011
Abstract: The review contains a discussion on selected aspects of Roman Koropeckyj’s book Adam Mickiewicz. The Life of a Romantic. The presentation of the most crucial advantages of the book, as well as some of the doubts it may raise, is accompanied by a reflection on the way Mickiewicz is perceived by foreigners and Poles.

Author(s): D. Hutchins
Publication: Choice
Date: 4/1/2009

Author(s): Przemyslaw Milewicz
Publication: European History Quarterly
Date: 4/1/2011

Polish Literature and Its National Hero (Review)
Author(s): Christpher Garstka
Publication: H-Net Reviews in the Humantities and Social Sciences
Date: 9/1/2009

Pierwsza od stu lat biografia Mickiewicza po angielsku (Review)
Author(s): Joanna Rostropowicz Clark
Publication: Nowy Dziennik
Date: 9/11/2009

Author(s): Bogdana Carpenter
Publication: Slavic Review
Date: 4/1/2010

Author(s): Joanna Rostropowicz Clark
Publication: Slavic and East European Journal
Date: 10/1/2009

Author(s): David Goldfarb
Publication: Sarmatian Review
Date: 4/1/2011

Author(s): Peter Cochran
Publication: Pushkin Review
Date: 1/1/2008

Publication: American Historical Review
Date: 6/1/2010

Author(s): Peter Cochran
Publication: Byron Journal
Date: 6/1/2009

Associated Products

Adam Mickiewicz: The Life of a Romantic (Book)
Title: Adam Mickiewicz: The Life of a Romantic
Author: Roman Koropeckyj
Abstract: Adam Mickiewicz (1798-1855), Poland's national poet, was one of the extraordinary personalities of the age. In chronicling the events of his life-his travels, numerous loves, a troubled marriage, years spent as a member of a heterodox religious sect, and friendships with such luminaries of the time as Aleksandr Pushkin, James Fenimore Cooper, George Sand, Giuseppe Mazzini, Margaret Fuller, and Aleksandr Herzen-Roman Koropeckyj draws a portrait of the Polish poet as a quintessential European Romantic. Spanning five decades of one of the most turbulent periods in modern European history, Mickiewicz's life and works at once reflected and articulated the cultural and political upheavals marking post-Napoleonic Europe. After a poetic debut in his native Lithuania that transformed the face of Polish literature, he spent five years of exile in Russia for engaging in Polish "patriotic" activity. Subsequently, his grand tour of Europe was interrupted by his country's 1830 uprising against Russia; his failure to take part in it would haunt him for the rest of his life. For the next twenty years Mickiewicz shared the fate of other Polish émigrés in the West. It was here that he wrote Forefathers' Eve, part 3 (1832) and Pan Tadeusz (1834), arguably the two most influential works of modern Polish literature. His reputation as his country's most prominent poet secured him a position teaching Latin literature at the Academy of Lausanne and then the first chair of Slavic Literature at the Collège de France. In 1848 he organized a Polish legion in Italy and upon his return to Paris founded a radical French-language newspaper. His final days were devoted to forming a Polish legion in Istanbul.
Year: 2008
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Cornell UP on-line catalog
Publisher: Cornell UP
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 978-080144471


Best Book in Literary/Cultural Studies
Date: 11/25/2009
Organization: American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages
Abstract: In this first major English-language study of the life of Adam Mickiewicz, Poland’s national poet, Roman Koropeckyj provides far more than a simple biography. In impressive detail drawn from his extensive research in Polish materials as well as German, French, Russian, Italian, and English sources, Koropeckyj incisively analyzes the simultaneous development of an extraordinary poetic talent and management of an international celebrity: a displaced Slavic romantic and a political émigré who epitomizes the cult of a national poet. From his early days in the Filaret society of Vilnius to his death in exotic Istanbul in 1855, Mickiewicz was engaged in the production of a Romantic identity linked with that of a semi-mythical Polish nation. As Koropeckyj demonstrates in his sober account, this endeavor was far less self-assured and much more complex than hagiographical accounts of Mickiewicz’s life tend to admit. Koropeckyj’s magisterial Adam Mickiewicz makes a valuable contributio

AAASS/Orbis Books Prize for Polish Studies (Co-Winner)
Date: 10/9/2011
Organization: American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies
Abstract: A poet so deeply identified with romantic nationalism is not easy to introduce to the English-speaking world. Indeed, scholars in Polish Studies have long known that their students and colleagues are unlikely to be able to appreciate the greatness of Mickiewicz’s art or the significance of his life. That is no longer the case. Roman Koropeckyj’s Adam Mickiewicz: The Life of a Romantic is not just the first major biography of the great Polish poet in English, though that would be achievement enough. It is truly a monumental feat for any scholar. Koropeckyj’s biography presents one of Polish history’s most remarkable figures as he has never been seen in English. It is a portrait, indeed, which is as valuable as any we have in any language. Koropeckyj draws on a thorough knowledge of Mickiewicz’s life and times, following the poet from Lithuania to Russia to Paris and, finally, to death in Istanbul. With equal dexterity, he shows us the student revolutionary, the celebrated exile, the acc

Outstanding Academic Title
Date: 4/9/2011
Organization: Choice Magazine