Literary Representation of Sport in Historical Turmoil: On Józef Hen’s “The Boxer and The Death”
The present article strives to analyze a sporting war short story The Boxer and The Death by Józef Hen as an exemplary piece of sports writing immersed in a historical context. Although there is no entrenched tradition of sports writing in the Polish literary expression, the story offers a very classic sports narrative anchored in the Holocaust reality. Following the presentation of the figure of Hen and providing historical background for sport in concentration camps, the author analyzes the story, focusing on its two main characters: Janusz Kominek and Walter Kraft, as well as the values and symbols they represent. It is also argued that The Boxer and The Death fulfills the criteria of a traditional western, melodramatic narrative, and conforms to Robert J. Higgs’s Adonic model of an athlete in literature.