Bałucki Michał

Michał Bałucki was a Polish folk and satiric writer. He was born in Krakow in 1837 and died there in 1901. His father owned a tailor’s workshop and mother had a small café. He wrote 30 novels and almost 20 comedy plays, which are quite popular till today. His works were deeply connected with Krakow. All his life Michał Bałucki was living at Floriańska St. He was born in the building 11 in the tenement called “Pod Aniołkiem”(Under the Angel), later moved to building 39, so we can say that Floriańska was “his street”.  He studied at Jagiellonian University, first mathematics, then history and literature. He was a member of January Uprising conspiracy movement, and was imprison for this in the St Michael’s Prison(now Archaeological Museum) in 1863-1864. After his release he moved to Warsaw but came back to Krakow already in 1866. He published his works in several newspapers, such as “Kraj”, “Tygodnik Krakowski”, “Kalina”. He also became the first president of Polish Gymnastic Society “Sokół”(Falcon).

Unfortunately his success didn’t last forever. Actors of the City Theatre considered his new play “Wędrowna Muza”(Wondering Muse) to be abusive towards actors’ society, and decided to cause its failure. They arranged the “work-to-rule” campaign, known in Poland as “Italian strike”. They performed literally only those actions that were described in the screenplay without adding any personal skills. For example when the script was saying “he lights a cigarette” the actor did light the cigarette but didn’t smoke. The premier of the play that took place on the 29Th of October 1898 was a complete disaster and received horrible reviews. Michal’s following works were not successful either, critics were writing about his age, lack of talent and the end of the career. This caused severe depression, which writer was not able to fight with. On the 17th of October 1901 he shot himself at the entrance to Jordan Park. Despite (or maybe even because of) the fact that Cardinal Jan Puzyna didn’t allow the proper funeral, almost all city of Krakow came to say goodbye to the writer. A monument to Michał Bałucki was erected in 1911, you can find it at Planty park close to Słowacki Theatre.

Monument to Michał Bałucki on a map:


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