WILLMAN-GRABOWSKA, Helena

WILLMAN-GRABOWSKA, Helena Antonina Maria. Warsaw 4.1.1870 — Krakow 31.10.1957. Polish Indologist. Professor in Krakow. Daughter of Józef Grabowski and Elżbieta Lipińska. After school in Warsaw she became a schoolteacher. Soon active in anti-Russian movement. Women were then not allowed to the university, but she studied privately under Baudouin de Courtenay and followed his advice to go to the West. From 1909 studied French and German literature in Bern and Lausanne, then from 1911 in Paris, now Indology under Lévi, Foucher, Finot, and Meillet. From 1921 Chargée de conferences at E.P.H.E., teaching Sanskrit and Pāli during the seven years of Finot’s absence in Hanoi. In 1927 she returned to Poland and was soon given the chair of Sanskrit at Krakow (after a vacancy since 1916), first as Associate, full Professor only 1937. Dr. ès lettres 1928. In 1936-37 travelled in India and Sri Lanka. From 1939 during the occupation she was hiding in coutryside, but fortunately had part of her books there. She studied Old Persian and Dravidian and taught at nights Polish literature to the young of the village. After the war she returned to Krakow, but was forced to retire in 1948 without pension (given to her only in 1951). In 1957 she was again given permission to teach, but died in a heart attack before starting. Before 1905 she was married with Józef Grabowski, but then separated, a daughter and a son.

HW-G was mainly a Vedic scholar. Among her students were Sternbach, Pobożniak, Lączak, and Skurzak.

Publications: diss. Le locatif dans le Rigveda. P. 1928; diss. 2. part 1. of Les composés nominaux dans le Çatapathabrāhmaṇa. 1. 22+134, p. Mém. de la Commission Orientale de l’Academie Polonaise des Sciences et Lettres 10 & 12. Cracovie 1927-28.

with P. Masson-Oursel & Ph. Stern: L’Inde antique et la civilisation indienne. 32+493 p. Bivl. historique 26. P. 1933 (ch. “Littérature sanscrite” by HW-G), English tr. Ancient India and Indian Civilisation. Transl. by M. R. Dobie. 435 p. L. 1934.

– “Les noms de personnes dans le Çatapatha Brāhmaṇa”, Mélanges Vendryes 1925, 373-390; “Examen des composés nominaux dans les inscriptions d’Aśoka”, RO 3, 1925 (1927), 68-106; “Les répétitions du Śatapatha-Brāhmaṇa”, RO 6, 1928 (1929), 170-190; “Génitif en vieil Indien”, BSOS 1937; “Le catégorie du genre dans les langues dravidiennes”, Biuletyn PTJ 11, 1952, 162-170.

– “L’idée de l’ātman du Rig-Veda aux Brāhmaṇa”, RO 7, 1929-30 (1931), 10-25; “Evolution sémantique du mot ‘dharma’”, RO 10, 1934, 38-50; “La notion de temps dans les Brāhmaṇas”, Atti del XIX Congresso intern. degli orientalisti, Roma 1935. R. 1938, 324-330.

– “Le chien dans l’Avesta et dans les Védas”, RO 8, 1931-32, 30-67; “Un vieux thème de fiançailles dans la littérature indienne et grecque”, Bulletin international de l’Academie polonaise des sciences et lettres, classe de philologie, classe d’histoire et de philosophie, Année 1934, 216–229; “Les nāgas dans l’Arthaśāstra de Kauṭilya”, RO 11, 1935 (1936), 193-205; “Sarasvatī-Anāhita et autres déesses. Étude de mythologie indo-iranienne”, RO 17, 1953, 250-272.

translated in Polish: Dwadzieścia pięć opowieści wampira. 130+239 p. Wrocław 1955; “Fragmenty z Mahābhārata”, RO 21, 1957, 459-490; O cnocie i necnocie niewieściej (fragmenty Kathasaritsagary). 1960.

a book on Kālidāsa in Polish; articles in Polish.

In the 1920s wrote textbooks of Polish in French.

Sources: R. Lardinois, D.O.L.F. 979f.; H. Marlewicz in http://www.academia.edu/36718109/Helena_Willman-Grabowska with photo and references to Polish sources; L. Sternbach, JA 246, 1958, 95f. Photo in Przegląd Or. 1958:2.

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