Tour de Bobkowski

Andrzej Bobkowski, the Polish literature’s most famous cyclist, a political emigrant and a keen model maker will be the subject of the events prepared by the Emigration Museum in September and October. We will get to know more about the author of the Sketches in Ink not only through workshops and lectures, but also a bicycle urban game. The events are organised because the museum and the American Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences are conducting a project to digitalise the work of Andrzej Bobkowski.

The author has had a significant position in the history of Polish literature for a long time. His Sketches in Ink are one of the most famous diaries of the 20th century. Not only literary scholars are interested in his work. The author who died over five decades ago is also gaining popularity with readers. The fact that PIASA’s (Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences) copious collection of his diaries, short stories, photographs and letters is being digitalised in collaboration with the Emigration Museum will definitely make Bobkowski even more popular. Because of its ambitious project, the museum is giving the inhabitants of Gdynia and the Tricity an additional chance to enter the fascinating literary world of this author.

Tour do Bobkowski is a project, which introduces you to the wide array of Andrzej Bobkowski’s interests as well as the highlights of his war and emigration biography. Bicycles had to be included in the unique urban game, as his bicycle memoires from the occupied France have brought him most fame and recognition. On 17thSeptember, the inhabitants of Gdynia will have a chance to participate in the competition, which will not only be fun and boost their knowledge about Bobkowski’s literary work, but also provide a chance to… win attractive prizes.

To begin with, on 3rd September, everyone will be able to try their hand in the intricate art of calligraphy. The workshop’s participants will learn to write with a flexible nib, like the one used by the author of the Sketches in Ink, and get to know the basic strokes as well as the Copperplate style. The workshop will be conducted by Marianna Paszkowska. The participation in the workshop is free of charge. Register by email:

You will be also able to get to know Andrzej Bobkowski’s writing mastery on25 październikaduring dedicated literary workshops. On 26th October, the author’s enthusiasts can listen to a lecture by Maciej Nowak PhD, a researcher and expert on Bobkowski. The events will not only present his complicated emigrant history but also the mysteries of his unique literary style.

Children will not be bored here either. The event will be accompanied by workshops for families or kindergarten and young schoolchildren groups. All of them will combine education with a lot of fun.

The Andrzej Bobkowski’s works digitalization project

“Digitalization and promotion of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences’s (PIASA’s) collection. Stage I: Andrzej Bobkowski” is an interdisciplinary research and education project, whose goal is to digitalise Andrzej Bobkowski’s manuscripts which are kept at PIASA in New York as well as to promote both the figure and the writing of the eminent emigrant author and to make the scans of his archive materials more accessible.

The process of digitalization in New York has just ended. Over 3000 scans were made and Bobkowski’s entire collection was digitalized.Maciej Nowak PhD (Catholic University of Lublin) a researcher and publisher of the Bobkowski’s works is preparing a critical account on the manuscripts, on which the Sketches in Ink are based. The Emigration Museum in Gdynia will publish the manuscripts in print next year. Bobkowski’s diaries will not undergo transcription. We will be able to read them in the form of reprinted scans. It will be a unique edition with scientific comments. They could be seen as a material monograph on Bobkowski’s diary, which was written and kept abroad.

Andrzej Bobkowski

Andrzej Bobkowski (1913-1961) escapes simple definitions. You could call him a writer, but describing him as an attentive observer and commentator of the 20th century reality is more accurate. He published short stories and sketches. However, the diaries and letters were his most important texts, which comprised his diagnosis of the world of his times in a masterly form. Bobkowski spend World War II in France. This was when he wrote Sketches in InkFrance 1940 – 1944. From 1948 until his death, Bobkowski lived in the remote Guatemala, where he continued writing his diaries as well as numerous letters to, among others, Jerzy Giedroyc, Tymon Terlecki or Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz.


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