In 1939–1989 it was common for an aspiring writer to make an entry into the literary scene through a literary magazine. This article revisits the problem by distinguishing two categories of literary magazines, those produced for the young from those by the young. The latter were launched through the initiative of young writers seeking a platform of their own, i.e. the impulse for the creation of such periodicals came from the literary community itself. The article also draws on Professor Kazimierz Wyka’s periodization of literature on the basis of a pair of criteria, the historical and the generational (literary groups and generations). They are an important analytical tool in the mapping of generational change in the literary history of Poland in 1945–1989.
Literary periodicals promoting young writers played a major role in the formation of a distinct generational consciousness during the occupation and in the post-war period. They included Sztuka i Naród [Art and the Nation] (1942–1944), Walka [Combat] and Inaczej [Contrarily] (1945), Pokolenie [ The Generation] (1946–1947), Nurt [The Current] (1947), Po prostu [ Plain and Simple] (1949–1955), Wyboje [ Bumps] (1956–1957), Zebra (1957–1958), Orientacja (1965–1971) and Nowy Wyraz [New Expression] (1972–1981). The young writers’ literary magazines were the product of the shifting political environment and generational change.