Stanislaw Jerzy Lec (pronounced Lets) was born on June 3, 1909 in Lwów, which was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time and is currently in Ukraine. He was original surname was Tusch-lets. He went to the University of Jan Kazimierz in his home town from 1927 to 1933. There he studied Polish studies, philology and law. After college, Lec worked as a writer for various newspapers, mostly the left-wing Lewar i Sygnaly ('Jack and signal'), but also Dziennikiem Popularrnym ('Popular News'), Cyrulikiem Warszawskim ('Warsaw Barber'), Szpilkami ('Pins'). He also worked on the Communist paper, Nowymi Widnokregami (New Horizon).

He managed to survive Hitler's holocaust, even though he spent time in a concentration camp at Tarnopo. Lec managed to escape from the camp and served in the Polish Peoples' Guard and the Polish Workers' Party. He would then travel first as an attache to Vienna, then to Israel. In 1952 he returned to Poland.

While being a busy writer who has some interesting quotations, Lec was not a powerful literary figure like Hemmingway, Chekov or Dickenson. He wrote satire and some poetry as well. Lec published his first edition of Unkempt Thoughts in 1957. A German translation of the collection was published as well in the same year. In April 1962 Lec received the Literary Prize of the Polish Artists and Writers Association. Stanislaw Jerzy Lec died of cancer on July 5, 1966. A second collection, entitled More Unkempt Thoughts, was released posthumously in 1968.

Do not ask God for the way to heaven; He will show you the hardest one.

Impartiality is not neutrality. It is partiality for justice.

No snowflake in the avalanche ever feels responsible.

Perfect imitations must share the fate of the originals.

It’s the priests who have demands, not the gods.

Hay smells different to lovers and horses.

To torture a man, you have to know his pleasures.

Get out of the way of Justice. She is blind.

sources: - might want to translate it, unless you know German
"Polish literature" Encyclopædia Britannica -


Thanks to Kidas for the extra oodle of info!