19 January 2011 Critic above Critics

Michał Paweł Markowski, the Artistic Director of the International Joseph Conrad Literature Festival, received the Kazimierz Wyka Award of the Marshall of the Malopolska Region and the Mayor of the City of Krakow for outstanding achievements in the field of essays as well as in literary and art criticism. The award was granted today, 19th January, in the Conference Room of the City Council of Krakow.

Jury, chaired by Jan Pieszczachowicz, recognized Prof. Markowski for his lifetime achievements in criticism and essays both on literature and art.

The Kazimierz Wyka Award is granted in literary criticism, essays, history of literature and is one the few of the category in Poland. It is highly regarded by both literature and art theoreticians and the authors themselves. Not only does it remind of the importance of the humanist calling, but it also represents the self-government authority’s patronage of culture.

This year’s laureate, Michał Paweł Markowski, is a critic, publicist and translator. He translated, among others, Derrida, Foucault, Rorty, Perek, Deleuze, Nancy and Edmund White. He published 4 volumes of Works of Roland Barthes. He edited, and partially translated, collection of essays by Marcel Proust, Memory and Style. He prepared the Polish first edition of Fragments by Friedrich Schlegel. He is one of the editors of the American magazine The Slavic Review. He co-edits Magazyn Literacki Książki w Tygodniku, a literary magazine of the Tygodnik Powszechny weekly.

Prof. Markowski is also the head of The Stefan and Lucy Hejna Chair in Polish Language and Literature and of Department of Slavic and Baltic Languages and Literatures at the University of Illinois, Chicago and a visiting professor at the Jagiellonian University. He chairs the Board of Trustees of the Humanistic Studies Centre at UJ and is the Artistic Director of the International Joseph Conrad Literature Festival in Krakow. What is more, he wrote and edited over 20 books on the philosophy of literature and culture. Recently, he published: Black current. Gombrowicz, the world, literature, Theories of 20th century Literature, Polish modern literature: Leśman, Schulz, Witkacy, Unpredictable. Essays, Life up to Literature. Essays and Sun, Possibility, Joy. Essays. Since 1997 he has co-edited the Horizons of Modernity series and since 2008 the Hermeneia series published by the Humanistic Studies Centre.

He is a laureate of numerous prizes, among others of Award of the Literatura na Świecie Quarterly in the field of comparative studies in 1998, the Kościeliski Award (2000), the Aleksander Brückner Award (2000) and Ministry of National Education Award three times (1998, 2001, 2005). He was nominated twice to the Jan Długosz award for the best Polish humanistic book (in 2000 and 2005). In 2006, he was honoured with a three-year professor subsidy Mistrz by the Foundation for Polish Science. Since 2010 he has been living in Chicago.