Before the war, Józef Mackiewicz wrote dozens of columns devoted to aviation. The topic of air transport first appeared in his work in 1923 in a text entitled “About airplanes, elephants and roses”.
The beginning of his passion for flying can be found in the childhood and early youth of Józef Mackiewicz. We are talking about his passion for birds and later studies in nature at the University of Warsaw and the Stefan Batory University, during which he mainly dealt with ornithology.
Józef Mackiewicz was a faithful air chronicler, recording all aviation records, flights and routes. He was able to put aside his political prejudices and appreciate the achievements of Soviet aviation, paying special attention to individual exploits and technical progress.
When he wrote a strictly aviation book after the war, he met Roman Lutosławski during his stay in Rome. Initially, the story “The Bottom of Heaven”, based on reports from World War II, was to be published in exile under a common pseudonym, i.e. the name of the author and the aviator telling him his adventures. In fact, the authorship of the former was omitted, and the text in 1957 was published without consulting Mackiewicz. In the whole situation, it may seem most ironic that his works, which were never intended to be published in the People’s Republic of Poland, were published by the Ministry of National Defense. A year later, the second edition of this novel was also written. The book was published for the third time in 1969 under the new title “Across the North to the Tropics.”
Although Józef Mackiewicz was not recorded as the author of the book, his writing manners can be found, for example, in the presence of birds, the multitude of their species and excellent knowledge of their customs. Natural phenomena such as the formation of a dune have also been described in great detail. There are also many other characteristics of this author in the text, including pessimism and self-mockery.
1. 1. Grzegorz Eberhardt „Pisarz dla dorosłych. Opowieść o Józefie Mackiewiczu” (Grzegorz Eberhardt “Writer for adults. The Tale about Józef Mackiewicz“)
Translated by Joanna Zawalska