Fiedler, Arkady (1894–1985)

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Author and traveller, born 1894 in Poznań. Studied philosophy and natural sciences in Krakow and Poznań. He took part in the Wielkopolska Uprising of 1918/1919. His first considerable-sized publication, Przez wiry i porohy Dniestru, was published in 1925. Since 1927, Fiedler travelled to remote parts of the world – initially, as a naturalist collecting fauna specimens, and then, as a traveller and man-of-letters.

His travels bore fruit in the form of books, of which Ryby śpiewają w Ukajali [The River of the Singing Fish] (1935) and Kanada pachnąca żywicą [Resin-Scented Canada] (1937) have won a special fame. He served as a war correspondent during World War 2 in England. While there, he wrote the books Dywizjon 303 [Squadron 303] (1942) and Dziękuję ci kapitanie [Thank You, Captain, Thank You!] (1944), presenting heroic deeds of Poles during the war. Once the warfare was over, he returned to Poland and settled down at Puszczykówek near Poznań.

From 1948 onward, Fiedler continued his travels around the world, writing more books, including: Zdobywamy Amazonkę [Conquering Amazon] (1949), Gorąca wieś Ambinanitelo [Ambinanitelo, a Hot Village] (1953), Dzikie banany [Wild Bananas] (1960), Spotkałem szczęśliwych Indian [I Have Met Happy Indians] (1968), and novels for young readers, just to mention: Wyspa Robinsona [Robinson’s Island] (1954), Orinoko (1957). Toward the end of his lifetime, he published biographies: Mój ojciec i dęby (on his father), Wiek męski – zwycięski. Arkady Fiedler had his books translated into a total of twenty-three languages. In 1973, the writer and his family established at their Puszczykówek estate a Literary Atelier/Museum. Fiedler died in 1985 and was buried at the Puszczykowo cemetery.

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