Anthony Liberia of Liberia decorated with the order of the white eagle

Writer, translator, theater director, literary critic and expert on the work of Samuel Beckett, he was awarded by President Andrej Duda not only as a man of merit in the field of culture, but also as a collaborator with the Committee on Labor Defense and the Committee on Social Self-Defense of the Committee on Labor Defense in the 1970s.

– They call you the pearl of the rebel intelligentsia in Warsaw, that’s what it is – said President Andrzej Duda, addressing Anthony Liebra to Libra after he was awarded the Order of the White Eagle. The president noted that, according to the literature, the Labor Defense Committee was established in Anthony’s Liberia apartment, “one of the most important works towards a free Poland”. – Although it was difficult even to think of such an independent, fully sovereign Poland – he emphasized.

– You, in the highest sense, the intelligentsia of Warsaw, a man who, with all his work and life, builds the greatness of the Republic of Poland in the broad sense of the word – added Duda. He noted that Liberia’s literary “idol”, Samuel Beckett, called him his “ambassador in this part of Europe and the world.”

Anthony Liebera Libra. who is she?

Photo: Jacek Domiński/Reporter

Anthony Lippin Libra

Anthony Liebin-Libera was born on April 19, 1949 in Warsaw, the son of Zdzislaw Liebin Libera, a noted literary historian. In 1972 he graduated from Polish Studies at the University of Warsaw. In 1984 he received his doctorate from the Polish Academy of Sciences. In 1988-1993 he was a member of the editorial board of the London-based “Puls”, and in 1996-2001 he was the literary director of the Warsaw Drama Theater. He is a member of the PEN Club, the Polish Writers Association and the Samuel Beckett Society of America.

He translated into Polish all of Samuel Beckett’s dramatic works, as well as a large portion of his other writings. While working on the translations of the eminent Irish author, Libra called and reached out to him. He performed Beckett’s plays several times, in which the most prominent actors of the Polish stage took part in these endeavours. All this in 2009 resulted in a book called “Judo and His Shadow”.

Libra has also written translations of Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, Sophocles, and Holderlin. He is also the author of translations of librettos including. “Kroll Obo” was written to the music of Krzysztof Penderecki.

Libra’s debut novel in 1998, critics – incl. Krzysztof Massu, Bowie Hoyle and Zbigniew Menzel—appreciated the elegant prose form, skilful play with literary tradition, and authoritative depiction of the feelings of a teenage artist who loves a woman much older than him. The Lady was not only supposed to be a nostalgic journey back in time, but also an attempt at a literary revival of the era in which the protagonist entered high school without realizing how many turmoil awaited him in the near future. “Madame” was awarded the main prize in the novel competition “Zanak”, a nomination for the Nike Literary Prize, Andrei Kizhovsky. It has been translated into more than a dozen languages, and was shortlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Prize in 2002. Adapted by Maciej Wojtyszka and directed by Jakob Krofta, “Madame” premiered at the Warsaw Theater on July 7, 2012 – still performed today.

Among the contributions of Anthony Libra to Polish culture, one should also note the discovery of the general talent of Janusz Zuber. It was he who showed Zbigniew Herbert and Czesław Miłosz, the first family-financed volumes of the poet from Sanok. “Both were delighted, although, as we know, Miosz rarely received praise and recognition from others,” Libra told PAP.

Received the Special Prize of the Polish Translators Association and the Literature Fund Prize from the Ministry of Culture and Art for the translation of Beckett’s dramatic works (1989). In 2005, he received an award from the magazine “Literatura na Świecie” for his prose translation of Beckett’s “Molloy and Four Novels”. In 2010, he was awarded the Silver Medal and in 2018 – the Gold Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artes. In 2016, Minister of Culture Piotr Glinsky honored him with the annual award of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage in the theater category. Two years later, Anthony Libra acquired President Lech Kaczynski at the hands of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. In 2019-21, he was nominated for the Public Media Award three times in the “Word” category.

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