The article attempts to argue that Tuwim’s personality and work can be explained by looking into his early childhood and writing. It is definitely the period inadequately explored by critics. The author discusses key moments in the poet’s biography and most crucial elements of his work, paying particular attention to controversies triggered by some texts and themes in his writing. The article also focuses on the analysis of conflicts that Tuwim suffered from in his life. Tuwim’s strategy of provocation is also taken under scrutiny. The article presents Tuwim’s poetry as a lasting contribution to Polish literature and as a body of work which manages to resist ideological readings.


Julian Tuwim, biography, scandal, provocation, reception


Matywiecki Piotr, Twarz Tuwima, W.A.B., Warsaw 2007.

Miłosz Czesław, Traktat poetycki (1957), in: Wiersze, vol. 2, second edition, Wydawnictwo Literackie, Cracow 1986.

Skandal w kulturze europejskiej i amerykańskiej, B. Płonka-Syroka, M. Dąbrowska, J. Nadolna, M. Skibińska (eds.), Wydawnictwo DiG, Warsaw 2013.

Skandal w tekstach kultury, M. Ursel, M. Dąbrowska, J. Nadolna, M. Skibińska (eds.), Wydawnictwo DiG, Warsaw 2013.

Tramer Maciej, Literatura i skandal na przykładzie okresu międzywojennego, Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego, Katowice 2000.

Tuwim Julian, Wiersze zebrane, vol. 1–2, Czytelnik, Warsaw 1975.

Tuwim Julian, Wiersze wybrane, complied by M. Głowiński, Ossolineum, Wroclaw 1969.

Urbanek Mariusz, Tuwim. Wylękniony bluźnierca, Wydawnictwo Iskry, Warsaw 2013.

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