Once Upon a Time There Was a Puss in Boots: Hanna Januszewska’s Polish Translation and Adaptation of Charles Perrault’s Fairy Tales

Monika Woźniak


The article opens with an overview of the Polish reception of fairy tales, Perrault’s in particular, since 1700. The introductory section investigates the long-established preference for adaptation rather than translation of this genre in Poland and provides the framework for an in-depth comparative analysis of the first Polish translation of Mother Goose Tales by Hanna Januszewska, published in 1961, as well as her adaptation of Perrault’s tales ten years later. The examination focuses on two questions: first, the cultural distance between the original French text and Polish fairy-tales, which causes objective translation difficulties; second, the cultural, stylistic and linguistic shifts introduced by Januszewska in the process of transforming her earlier translation into a free adaptation of Perrault’s work. These questions lead not only to comparing the originality or literary value of Januszewska’s two proposals, but also to an examination of the reasons for the enormous popularity of the adapted version. The faithful translation, by all means a good text in itself, did not gain wide recognition and, if not exactly a failure, it was nevertheless an unsuccessful attempt to introduce Polish readers to the original spirit of Mother Goose Tales.

Słowa kluczowe: translation, adaptation, fairy tale, Perrault, Januszewska

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