- November 14, 2013
Catverse, that is playing with the language
Agnieszka Frączek – a linguist, a German scholar and a lexicographer studies old dictionaries and writes children literature with equal passion. She was invited to Vilnius by the Foundation The Little Prince and the School Point of Native Subjects to tell children about her workshop, her dog and kittens which inspired her to write “Kotostrofy, czyli o kotach strofy” (Catverse, that is verses about cats), and her latest book “Rany Julek! O tym, jak Julian Tuwim został poetą” (Good Gulian! How Julian Tuwim became a poet).
Agnieszka Frączek is a Doctor of Science in linguistics, a lecturer at University of Warsaw, a science editor of the “Great German-Polish and Polish-German Dictionary”, the author of several dozen scientific papers on linguistics. One day, she sat down to her computer and wrote her first poem for children. She was so engrossed in this new task that she became a children’s literature writer and wrote two and a half meters of books for the youngest readers. – Two and a half meters – she explained to her readers during the meeting in The House of Polish Culture in Vilnius – because they take up 2 shelves, 1 meter each, and a half of the third shelf.
Agnieszka Frączek writes book that seem to be silly, that are supposed to amuse. In reality, she “smuggles” linguistic knowledge inside them. Thus, there are books about homonyms (“Kanapka i innych wierszy kapka”), homophones (“Jedna literka, a zmiana wielka”), phrasemes (“Siano w głowie, czyli trafiła kosa na idiom”), proverbs (“Gdy przy słowie jest przysłowie”). A. Frączek is also the author of speech-language pathology book series (“Kelner i Kornel i inne wiersze niesforne”, “Dranie w trawie, czyli wiersze trudne niesłychanie”, “Muł Mądrala i innych wierszy co niemiara”, “Struś na cisie i inne fisie”, “Trzeszczyki czyli trzeszczące wierszyki”).
In April 2013 her book “Rany Julek! O tym, jak Julian Tuwim został poetą” (Good Gulian! How Julian Tuwim became a poet) was published. It was dedicated to Julian Tuwim’s 60th death anniversary and the 100th anniversary of his literary debut. Frączek’s book about the authors childhood and was the pretext for the meeting with her readers in Vilnius. Having a lot of experience in those kinds of meetings, she used this occasion to talk with children about the most interesting subject for her – language. She explained to children wittily and simply what are word games, how a poem is born, how the illustrations are made and how poems and illustrations are compiled into a book. She encouraged the children to read, because books like being read! She talked about little Julian Tuwim, who was a naughty boy, who caused his parents a lot of trouble, who raised grass snakes, who was interested in mechanics and astronomy, who was supposed to become a serious lawyer and became a poet.
The participants of the meeting with Agnieszka Frączek had a chance to check if they know Tuwim’s poems. The competition, prepared by the teacher of the School Point of Native Subjects – Sebastian Nowakowski, proved that Tuwim is a very popular author in Polish schools in Lithuania and the children know all of his poems by heart. The best little experts on Tuwim’s literature received books. Agnieszka Frączek also gave out awards for the best illustrations of Tuwim’s poems, produced by the pupils of Polish schools in Lithuania.
Tłumaczenie by Kinga Zinser w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Kinga Zinser within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.