The Doll

Translator: 
ISBN: 
978-1-85866-065-3
paperback
$19.95 / €13.95 / £13.99
Part of series: 
Publication date: 
1996
702 pages

Warsaw under Russian rule in the late 1870s is the setting for Prus's grand panorama of social conflict, political tension, and personal suffering. The middle-aged hero, Wokulski, successful in business, is being destroyed by his obsessive love for a frigid society "doll," Izabela. Embattled aristocrats, the new men of finance, Dickensian tradesmen, and the urban poor all come vividly to life on the vast, superbly detailed canvas against which Wokulski's personal tragedy is played out.

Unlike his Western European counterparts, Prus had to work under official censorship. In this edition, most of the smaller cuts made by the Tsarist censor have been restored, and one longer fragment is included as an appendix. 

"See it in a modern context. Our celebrities are the aristocrats. While we worship them and youthful beauty, our country is sinking, and while we fool around (sports events often usurp the evening news, for example), the Chinese are buying up our industries, taking jobs away, and we are powerless. This book was a warning to Poles to wake up."
"One wonders if it is the sort of novel that Conrad might have written if he had remained in Poland."

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