(Polish title: Jak to z Kotem w butach bylo. Basnie Charles'a Perraulta w przekladzie i w adaptacji Hanny Januszewskiej). The opening of the article examines the history of the reception of fairy tales - in particular Perrault's tales - in Poland since 1700; it attempts to explain the reason for the long established Polish tendency to adapt rather than to translate this kind of literary works. The introductory presentation is followed by an in-depth comparative analysis of the fi rst ever Polish translation of Mother Goose Tales by Hanna Januszewska, published in 1961, and the adaptation of Perrault's tales made by the same author about ten years later. The examination focuses on two questions: firstly, on the cultural distance between the original French text and the Polish context of fairy-tales tradition, resulting in a series of objective translation difficulties; secondly on the cultural, stylistic and linguistic shifts introduced by Januszewska to the tales in the process of transforming her earlier translation into a free adaptation of Perrault's work. The goal of this scrutiny is not only to compare originality or literary value of Januszewska's two proposals, but also to try to understand the reasons that lie behind the enormous popularity of the adapted version. The faithful translation, by all means a good text in itself, did not gain any recognition, and if not exactly a failure, was nevertheless an unsuccessful attempt to introduce Polish readers to the original spirit of Mother Goose Tales.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.