Number Crunching Romantic Poet

Juliusz Słowacki

Juliusz Słowacki

Business acumen can go hand in hand with a flair for writing and Juliusz Słowacki is a case in point. His name conjures up some of the most celebrated Polish romantic poetry, yet it is not common knowledge that it was not writing but shrewd investing at the stock exchange that earned him a living. As a result, he was arguably the only Polish poet of his time who did not experience financial hardships. He did a stint as a legal trainee at the Governmental Revenue and Treasury Commission in Warsaw, where the interns were obliged to follow and describe daily quotations of treasury papers, the performance of other securities and currency exchange rates. That taught him how financial markets worked. Later, after emigrating, he honed his skills and gained further financial expertise as the treasurer of the Polish Club and then as a member of its economic council. He also advised his friends and family on business matters. Słowacki had a reputation as a tough negotiator, never failing to compare prices, costs and earnings. In his dealings with publishers he endeavoured to optimise printing expenses and actively engaged in the distribution and marketing of his poetry. He kept a tight rein on his living expenses and did not squander money. Finance-wise he was even prepared for his death, at just forty, with a will in which he precisely disposed of his property to prevent any disputes and quarrels in the family. The accounts he kept revealed that in 1848, just before the outbreak of the European revolutions, he had assets equivalent to the value of his almost ten-year living expenses. The political upheavals sent the value of his securities plummeting, but a few months later, just before his death the poet wrote in his letters that he had made up for the stock exchange losses. Surprising as it might seem that a visionary romantic poet was also a savvy investor, Juliusz Słowacki’s life was an example of how a literary talent and a knack for business, far from being mutually exclusive, can coexist in harmony.

Get Newzar here!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s