Naples hosts festival devoted to Polish emigre writer

Gustaw Herling-Grudziński (1919 - 2000) was a Polish writer, essayist, World War II soldier, and political dissident living abroad during the communist era in Poland. Grzegorz Rogiński/PAP

A three-day literary festival highlighting the life and work of the Polish emigre writer, Gustaw Herling-Grudziński, was launched on Thursday in Naples, Italy, and features a series of meetings devoted to the publication of a new volume of his collected works.

A series of meetings and debates will be held to celebrate the publication of the book "Ethics and Literature”, the first collection of Herling-Grudziński's works to be released by the Mondadori publishing house.

The festival, organised by the Polish Institute in Rome, is the first such initiative in Italy dedicated to the Polish writer. It will be attended by top officials from Naples, including the Naples Mayor Luigi de Magistris, Polish diplomacy and the Polish ambassador to Italy Anna Maria Anders, Polish experts on the works of Herling-Grudziński and Italian Polonists from several universities.

In the last few weeks, Herling-Grudziński's collected works, published by Mondadori, has been well received by the Italian press. The publicist of the renowned Italian newspaper "Corriere della Sera" referred to the volume as "late, but due compensation for the Polish writer who lived in exile in Italy in an intellectually fascinating but isolated niche."

Gustaw Herling-Grudziński (1919 - 2000) was a Polish writer, essayist, World War II soldier, and political dissident living abroad during the communist era in Poland. Best known for the 1951-published A World Apart, his personal account of life in the Soviet Gulag, in 1947 Herling-Grudziński co-founded the Polish political and cultural magazine Kultura which was then published in Rome. After Kultura's move to Paris he settled in London and later in Naples, where he lived until his death.