Born: May 6, 1868, Kobielo Wielkie, Russian partition of Poland (presently Poland)
Died: December 5, 1925, Warsaw, Poland
Early days. His father was the village organist, supporting with his meager income a family of nine children. Reymont left the school after third grade. He was admitted to the tailor's guild as a journeyman in Warsaw. He became interested in theater and developed a lasting love for the stage. In 1888 he was expelled from the guild when the Russian authorities suspected him of taking part in a strike in Lodz. At that time his parents had a watermill and land of some importance in the vicinity of Piotrk�w, close to the railway from Warsaw to Vienna. As Reymont wrote in his autobiography: �I could tolerate neither the tyranny of my father nor the extreme conservatism and Catholicism of my family.� This was the reason why he run away and joined a travelling acting company but he found out that he lacked the necessary talent.
Starts writing. He worked later in the railways and in a factory. Reymont's railroad job paid very little, but it provided him opportunity to write short stories, poems, dramas and novels without end. As a writer Reymont relied on experience, and used his adventures as raw material for his fiction. Between the years 1884 and 1894 he kept diary, which helped him in his literary apprenticeship Having benefited financially from a railway accident, he moved to Warsaw and gained succes with his book Pilgrimage to the Mountains of Life (1894) which explored the mood of a group of people on pilgrimage to Jasna G�ra. It attracted the attention of the closed circle of Polish intellectuals and writers by its portrayal of the collective psychology.
First novels. Reymont's first novel, The Comedienne, appeared two years later, and was followed by sequel, Ferments . It told a story about the rebellion of a young woman, and her acceptance of the necessity, understanding that the revolt against the laws of society must end in failure.
The Promised Land. The Promised Land (1899) was about the rapidly growing industrial city of Lodz and the cruel effects of industrialization on textile mill owners. It painted a kaleidoscopic view of its people, places, generations, nationalities. The narrative technique adopted influences from film, cutting from one scene to another. Reymond saw industrialization as a huge beast that swallows human resources, anticipating modern enviromental debate. At the beginning of the 20th century Reymont was injured in a railroad accident. He received substantial settlement, that brought him financial independence, without the need to earn a living from other work. In 1902 Reymont moved to Paris, where he finished his major work, The Peasants.
The Peasants. Its final volume was published in 1909 and was compared to the best works of Thomas Hardy and �mile Zola . The narrative structure followed the seasons from autumn to summer and the church holidays and religious rituals interwoven with the rhythm of the season. In the story Reymont focused on the love affair of Antek Boryna, the son of Maciej, a wealthy peasant, with his young and sensual stepmother, Jagna. Although Reymont continued to write prolifically he did not gain the same popular and critical success that greeted The Peasants.
Later works.Nobel Prize. Among his later works are The Dreamer (1910) and an occult novel, The Vampire (1911). Reymont returned to Poland in 1914. He visited the United States in 1919 and 1920, and settled in the 1920s on his own estate, Kolaczkowo. He got the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1924.
This short biography was copied, with small changes and with the permission of the author, Petri Liukkonen, from his website:
Other source, Reymont�s autobiography:
English translations of some of his works:
Constance J. Ostrowski
See also some of his works online in Polish:
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