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The joy of writing – exhibition of manuscripts by Wisława Szymborska


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Bank Millennium is a patron of an exceptional exhibition Manuscripts of the Nobel prize-winning poet, including “Questioning yourself”, “The onion”, “Cat in an empty apartment” and “Joy of writing”, will be displayed at an exceptional exhibition, which will be opened on 26 February by the Jagiellonian Library and The Wisława Szymborska Foundation. A pretext to its preparation is the digitisation of manuscripts of poems by Jagiellonian Library and their publication in Jagiellonian Digital Library and on the Polona website - the biggest digital library in Poland.

During the “Joy of writing” exhibition Szymborska’s poetry aficionados will be able to see autographs of poems and copies of the first poetry volume publications, in which the texts were first published. Additionally Szymborska’s poetry publications will be shown, which appeared in foreign language translations. Presentation of the original manuscripts vs. their digital versions and book publications will offer an opportunity to look at the creative process as a whole – from the first sketches to the final version, which is given to the readers.

There will also be a place in the exhibition for the “Szymborska” font. Preparation by the Jagiellonian Library of a digital version of the poet’s manuscripts first of all provides broad access to her poetic legacy. Secondly it allows the Library to adequately protect and preserve the original manuscripts.

- Sponsoring an exhibition of Wisława Szymborska’s manuscripts is an honour for us. We are glad to be able to contribute to disseminating the works of our eminent poet. The Wisława Szymborska Foundation has carried out a project, thanks to which we will be able to reach for her poetry in the new digital format, anywhere and anytime. Now the history of her writings and a record of the creative process will be generally available – Iwona Jarzębska, Director of the Public Relations Department of Bank Millennium, said – Bank Millennium this year is celebrating the 30th anniversary of sponsoring culture in Poland. Over these thirty years we have been sponsoring high and popular culture. This time we again have an opportunity contribute to disseminating high and outstanding culture, because it comes from our Polish Nobel Prize winner - Iwona Jarzębska added.

- The Jagiellonian Digital Library as a resource available without restrictions, opens extensive cognitive and research opportunities to our readers, especially those related to academic circles. For those who previously new Wisława Szymborska’s poems only in their printed version will for sure be inspired by the manuscripts to take a new look on her works - in a manner of speaking - in the source version. Thanks to the digital copies all interested persons - both lovers of her works as well as scholars - can see the poet’s autographs from anywhere in the world and round the clock; at the same time the Library will be able to protect the handwritten originals in a much improved way – Professor Zdzisław Pietrzyk, Director of the Jagiellonian Library, emphasised.

The exhibition will show 30 hand and typewritten poems from all poem collections by Szymborska as well as copies of volumes of poetry - their first editions and editions renewed by Znak publishers, as well as editions translated into 13 languages including Chinese, English, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish and Serbian.

The Jagiellonian Digital Library and the Polony platform will release approximately 200 items: autographs, typewritten texts and computer printouts with handwritten notes; poems, frivolous rhymes, typewritten Nobel Prize speech.

In parallel with its business activity Bank Millennium also supports cultural nationwide as well as local events. It is a 360° sponsor of culture because it promotes art in almost all its forms including film, music, painting, sculpture, theatre, photography, literature and performance. The events supported by Bank Millennium include: Millennium Docs Against Gravity festival, the “Golden Sceptre” award for eminent artists, the joint production of the Bank and TVP “Two Theatres”, “Zlota Tarka” traditional jazz festival, Bella Skyway Festival, Mozart Festival in Warsaw Chamber Opera, Sacrum Profanum festival.