LIFE AND WORKS
OF KONSTANTY ILDEFONS GAŁCZYŃSKI
On the 23rd of January in the house by Mazowiecka 11 street first son of Konstanty Gałczyński and Wanda Cecylia (primo voto Łopuszyńska) is born. He is been given names Konstanty Ildefons. Father of the poet-to-be, born on the suburbs of Toruń (all his ancestors come form Kujawsko-Dobrzyński region) is a railway technician. Mother belongs to Warsaw's middle class. Grandmother of Konstanty Ildefons, Marianna Amelia (primo voto Paszkowska) owned number of apartment houses and popular restaurant “U Wróbla”. Though the financial situation was seemingly stabilised, in the second half of the year the Gałczyński family had to leave the elegant apartment on Mazowiecka street and finally settle in a house owned by Konstanty Ildefons' grandmother (from the father's side) on Towarowa street. (Marian, the grandfather of the future poet, married Józefa Marianna Vieveger; her family co-owned the “Haberbusch, Schiele and Klawe” Brewery and number of apartment houses on the today's Wola). Far from the ideal financial situation of the family caused first symptoms of collapse of the Gałczyński couple.
On the 22nd of December Mieczysław Zenon is born, their second son.
Kostek (little Konstanty) becomes a student of the Warsaw-Vienna Railroad's Technical School on the Chmielna street. From the same prestigious school his father Konstanty Gałczyński was graduated in 1892, however with mean results. His father had the opinion, that a graduate from this School will be able to find a decent and highly esteemed job.
Just after the outbreak of war, the Gałczyński family is beeing evacuated to Moscow.
Konstanty attends the Polish Board School, created and run by Władysław Giżycki, well known pedagogue. Mostly, the teachers in the School are remarkable scientists. Kostek has two patrons: Kazimiera and Józef Grabowski. They turn interests of the talented student towards literature, music and theatre. Barely 10 years old, so different from the other students, Konstanty begins violin lessons, improves his theatrical interests and attends in plays directed by Mrs. Kazimiera — among others in Juliusz Słowacki's Kordian. Writes his early poems, which unfortunately were lost. House of Grabowski gives to Kostek what he was lacking in his own: care, attention and warmth. Among his friends was Jerzy Liebert, future well known Polish poet.
Kostek's first contacts with the Russian revolutionary poetry take place, with Burluk, Majakowski and Chlebnikov manifests posted on the Moscow's walls. In just a few years they will result in the admiration to the poetry of Aleksander Błok [Wikipedia source].
Gałczyński family returns to Warsaw, to the house on Towarowa street, which is no longer owned by Józefa Marianna, Konstanty's grandmother. Though father's opposition, in the autumn Kostek and Mietek continue attending the Władysław Giżycki's School on the faraway Wierzbno district. They are supported by their mother in that case. Dissonances are constantly rising among their parents.
Konstanty Ildefons starts earning money for his music and english education by giving lessons on the polish language. He starts “Dyscypuł”, a school magazine where he publishes hist first poetic and prosaic attempts.
Konstanty writes his first of his saved poems, Do Alraune [To Alraune].
Mietek, his beloved brother dies on scarlatina. Kostek blames his father in this regards. Their relationship from ice-cold become truly hostile. Very soon Konstanty will leave the house on Towarowa street. Brother's death will echo in 1928, in the beautiful poem Śmierć braciszka [Death of the Little Brother].
Kostek enlists to the famous School of English, “Metodyści”.
Konstanty passes the secondary school certificate. Few months earlier he makes his debut in he “Rzeczpospolita” newspaper — he publishes his first poem Szturm; Literary Section of the paper is lead by Kornel Makuszyński. Well-known writer embraces the 18-years old secondary school student with a careful support, he becomes his Mentor. Konstanty Ildefons will be always reminding him with extraordinary cordiality and openhearted mind.
Konstanty Ildefons attends the Warsaw University, the English Philology Department. He studies the Classical Philology as well and publishes in the youth magazine “Twórczość Młodej Polski” and in the “Smok” — the magazine of Literary Section of the Warsaw University students. Among the others, we might see there such names as: Saliński, Maliszewski, Sebyła, Flukowski, Szenwald, Toporowski, members of the “Kwadryga” group in the nearest future. They meet together in the “Kresy” cafe on the Nowy Świat and Warecka street.
Konstanty constantly writes and publishes.
In the autumn Konstanty Ildefons becomes a member of Society of Friends of the “Reduta“ Theatre lead by famous director Juliusz Osterwa. Konstanty with utmost attention observes how Osterwa leads the rehearsals of Żeromski and Wyspiański's dramas [Wikipedia source]; Konstanty finally takes part in the rehearsal of Juliusz Słowacki's Mazepa [Wikipedia source].
Konstanty starts collaboration with the “Cyrulik Warszawski” magazine. He publishes here his poem Piekło polskie [Polish Inferno]. This was his first work that had a significant feedback in the Warsaw literary circles and caused the wide resonance. Poet publishes in other magazines as well.
Starts working on the satirical novel Porfirion Osiełek.
In the autumn Gałczyński is drafted to the army and serves in the Military School, however after six weeks he was disciplinary dismissed. As regular private he joins the military unit in Bereza Kartuska. At the beginning he spends in the jail most of his time, but later his total unserviceableness in the army and interests in poetry rather than guns are utilized by some corporal, for whom private Gałczyński writes elaborated love letters.
On the 15th of March Konstanty's father dies.
In the Polish Army newspaper “Polska Zbrojna”, Konstanty, still as a soldier, publishes two poems written in Bereza: Capstrzyk i Stajnia.
In the middle of the year his military service is over. After returning to Warsaw, to his mother's apartment on Towarowa street, Konstanty joins the “Kwadryga” Literary Group. His first poem published in the “Kwadryga” monthly was Zaręczyny Johna Keatsa [Engagement of John Keats].
During his absence in Warsaw, “Kwadryga” magazine became a monthly wide-range publication, and constituted an opposition to “Skamander”. Deep friendship relationships between members of both groups becamem a legend. The legend of “Kwadryga” was created mostly by the novel Wspólny pokój by Zbigniew Uniłowski , one of the most scandallizing novels of the pre-war priod.
Konstanty writes Koniec świata [The End of the World].
Becomes employed in the Polish Emigration Society. He will last only six months as a clerk.
In the Artistic Club, in Aleje Jerozolimskie, Konstanty performs his first individual author's meeting.
In “Cyrulik Warszawski”, Konstanty publishes short stories, egigrams, paragraphs and poems. Here, under his paragraph Korporanci odróżniają się for the first time Karakuliambro pseudonym appears.
On the 3rd of May, Konstanty meets Miss Natalia Avałov. They were presented to each other in the “Mała Ziemiańska” cafe by Lucjan Szenwald, a friend poet from Kwadryga. On the next day Konstanty wrote Portret panny Noel [The Portrait of Miss Noel] — first poem in the long cycle of poems to Natalia, written by his whole life. In that year appeared also: Raj [Paradise], Küferlin, Serwus, madonna [Hello, Madonna], Ulica Towarowa [Towarowa Street], Podróż do Arabii Szczęśliwej [Journey to the Felicitous Arabia].
Satirical novel Porfirion Osiełek is finished and in the spring next year is being published in “Biblioteka Kwadrygi”.