Professor Wydra’s Great Discovery

In one of the European university libraries, an unknown printed edition of Rozmowa Mistrza Polikarpa ze Śmiercią (Master Polikarp’s Dialogue with Death) from 1542 (Cracow, Maciej Szarfenberg) has been discovered. The discovery was made by Professor Wiesław Wydra from the Institute of Polish Philology at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań.

Contrary to the previously known version of the dialogue from the Płock manuscript, this text has been preserved in its entirety. This is the most important event in Polish philology in recent years. A critical edition of Master Polikarp’s Dialogue with Death from 1542 will be published by Wydawnictwa Poznańskie Studia Polonistyczne publishing house in autumn. It is not long to wait, but it feels an age away already…

Professor Wiesław Wydra’s subjects of interest are the history of literature and books in the Middle Ages and the Early modern period, research on late medieval songs, as well as editions of unknown or unpublished Polish works from that period. The professor is also an expert on incunabula and old prints. Moreover, he has to his name over a hundred articles published in magazines and in collective books, as well as several books, including a monograph devoted to the works of Blessed Ladislaus von Gielniów. For many years, he worked closely with Wojciech Ryszard Rzepka, a historian of the Polish language. The result of this cooperation, along with a dozen or so articles written together, were the following books: Chrestomatia staropolska: teksty do roku 1543 (Old Polish Chrestomatchy: Texts up to 1543) and Cały świat nie pomieściłby ksiąg: staropolskie opowieści I przekazy apokryficzne (The Whole World Would Not Accommodate Books: Old Polish Tales and Apocryphal Texts), written together with Maria Adamczyk. Professor Wydra is also the editor of the series LibriLibrorum. EximiorumPoloniaeLibrorum Bibliotheca and LibriLibrorum. Bibliotheca Paleotyporum in Lingua PolonicaImpressorum.

(source: Institute of Polish Philology at Adam Mickiewicz University)