Contents and Summaries 1/2024

Spis treści numeru 1/2024

Krzysztof Lisowski: poems / 7

Wojciech Ligęza: The Delight and Wonder of Wisława Szymborska / 10

A text dealing with the theme of the praise of existence in Wisława Szymborska’s poetry. The poetics of epiphany is combined in the works of the Nobel Prize winner with the experience of a multitude of natural entities, among which people should recognise their place. Human existence is thus inscribed in the process of evolution, whereby – contrary to anthropocentric concepts – the dominant position of our species is questioned. The descriptions of the multiplicity of natural wonders at the same time point to the cognitive limitations of the mind. According to Szymborska, the gesture of silent admiration should be treated on a par with capturing phenomena in words. The subject of these poems seeks the favour of nature indifferent to our existence, restores the sensitivity of a child, rejects the routine of perception, and tries to point out the elements of the miraculous in ordinary things and events. Unlike in the Christian religion, the miracle in Szymborska’s work is not the result of divine intervention or the transgression or suspension of the laws of nature, but it is directly linked to a reflective and attentive acceptance of an incomprehensible reality full of mysteries.

Keywords: Wisława Szymborska, poetry, wonder, nature, evolutionary process, religion, epiphany

Anna Frajlich: poems / 21

Adam Elbanowski: The Last Will of Juan De Castellanos: Chronicler, Priest and Poet of The New Kingdom of Granada / 25

A story from a forthcoming book on the history of sixteenth-century South America. The protagonist is the cleric, chronicler and poet Juan de Castellanos, author of the Elegies of Illustrious Men of the Indies, the longest poem written in Spanish. The starting point of the story is Castellanos’ will, written in 1606. The text reveals the extraordinary biography of the chronicler – in his youth a conquistador and pearl fisherman, and later a cleric and poet – whose fate seems to be a synthesis of the turbulent history of the New Kingdom of Granada, today’s Colombia.

Waldemar Michalski: poems / 38

Jarosław Cymerman: Writing Biography – Józef Czechowicz. Part 1: Self-Portrait and Facts / 42

The article contains reflections on the biography of Józef Czechowicz. These are based on two – in a sense fundamental – sources: the poem autoportret (self-portrait)from the volume w błyskawicy (in the lightning)(1934) and the poet’s unpublished Fakty (Facts) – his notes, in which he presented basic information about his family and childhood. The author of the article characterises the specific strategy of Czechowicz, who constructed the story of his biography by overlapping various perspectives – combining official factual data with descriptions of personal, often very intimate experiences.

Keywords: Józef Czechowicz, biography, Lublin, interwar period, poetic factography and imagination, autobiographical creation

Dominik Żyburtowicz: poems / 48

Paweł Majcherczyk: short stories / 53

The action of the narrative vignettes is set in the 1990s. The first one tells the story of a couple from Warsaw’s Mokotów united by alcoholic evenings and tomato mornings, the second is about a girl who made it look like a kidnapping by hiding in a dumpster all day to attract her parents’ attention. The protagonist in Opowieści z Rodos (The Tales from Rhodes), on the other hand, discovers the intricacies of local life, the issues, and the gossip among the ‘allotment holders’ when he seeks to purchase one of the R.O.D. (Family Allotment Gardens) plots.

Magdalena Jóźwiak: poems / 56

Bogusław Bakuła: Is an Anti-Totalitarian Future Possible? / 58

According to Anthony Burgess, a cacotopia is a work that combines the tragic and satirical features of anti-utopia and dystopia. This article explores the history of cacotopia in the dissident Polish, Russian, Czech and Hungarian prose of the last four decades of the 20th century. Cacotopias in the so-called people’s democracies emerged beyond the reach of censorship. Their authors, presenting a vision of the not-too-distant future, demonstrated their negative and derisive attitude towards the ‘socialist’ reality of their time, showed the social decay of societies, as well as their moral and philosophical decline. The article analyses four works: Egon Bondy’s Invalidní sourozenci, György Dalos’s 1985: történelmi jelentés, Christian Skrzyposzek’s Free Tribune and Vladimir Vojnovich’s Moscow 2024. The material presented here demonstrates that dissident cacotopia – although modestly present in individual national literatures – is recognisable as a distinctive and important phenomenon on a transnational level. In the course of several decades, it has ceased to be perceived as a satirical genre and has acquired the position of a momentous artistic achievement, noticeable in European literature.

Keywords: cacotopia, anti-utopia, dystopia, dissident literature, communism, authoritarianism, Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, USSR, Egon Bondy, György Dalos, Christian Skrzyposzek, Vladimir Vojnovich

Magda Füzesi: From the Series “Paragraphs” / 77

Bulent Akman: short stories / 81

The literary debut of Bulent Akman, a creative consultant and university freelance teacher, students’ film producer and children’s book author, among others. The stories are allegorical in nature. The first one, bordering on science-fiction and the grotesque, deals with the search for an Earth that has shrunk to the size of a grain of sand. The second, a fairy tale, describes the taming of wolves and their training as shepherds. The third, somewhat surreal (alluding to a children’s game of rock, paper, scissors), depicts the journey of a paper man who is defended by a rock man against the scissor men’s attacks. The last one is about the prison in which we have locked ourselves.

Tomasz Dalasiński: poems / 96

Aleksander Wójtowicz: The Deep Core of the World. On Cormac McCarthy’s Recent Novels / 98

A text devoted to Cormac McCarthy’s two most recent novels, The Passenger (Pasażer) and Stella Maris, which are analysed in the context of his earlier works. The author draws attention to the evolution of the writing idiom developed by the American novelist. He sees the reasons for this change in McCarthy’s interest in scientific issues, which he explored in the last years of his life, following the activities of the Santa Fe Institute as a resident and addressing this subject in his essayistic texts. In The Passenger and Stella Maris, hisscientific interests were transferred to prose fiction, which influenced the stylistics and narrative conventions of both novels.

Keywords: Cormac McCarthy, American literature, subconscious, science, narrative conventions, post-apocalyptic themes, sense of existence

Mieszko Wandowicz: Definitions / 106


Poets, poets …

Ewa Dunaj: A Window with a View of History [Aneta Kamińska „Pokój z widokiem na wojnę” (“A Room with a View of War”)]; Kamila Dzika-Jurek: Locked [Wojciech Kass „Otwarte na klucz” (“Open Locked”)]; Adam Buszek: Seeking Myself in Things Themselves [Janusz Taranienko „rupieciarnia” (“rag and bone shop”)]; Jan Wolski: Bring Happiness to Others [Grażyna Zambrzycka „Księga przyjaciół” (“The Book of Friends”)]; Kamila Dzika-Jurek: The Letter r” [Jadwiga Graboś „Kontakt” (“Contact”)] / 107

Discussions of recent books of poetry written by literary scholars and critics. They contain detailed analyses and characterise the most popular contemporary literary currents and phenomena.

In the Art Circle …

Piotr Majewski: Desire for Modernity, or Art in the Context of Politics [Wojciech Włodarczyk „Sztuka polska. Tom 7. Sztuka XX i początku XXI wieku” (“Polish Art. Volume 7. Art of the 20th and Early 21st Centuries”)]; Magdalena Howorus-Czajka: Artists of Polish Street Art [Paweł Kwiatkowski „Street art. Polska” (“Street Art. Poland”)]; Lechosław Lameński: Posters from the Collection of Irena Hochman and Tadeusz Mysłowski Against the Background of Other Exhibitions at the National Museum in Lublin [„Oblicza plakatu. Kolekcja Ireny Hochman i Tadeusza Mysłowskiego” (“Faces of the Poster. The Collection of Irena Hochman and Tadeusz Mysłowski”)] / 125

Reviews of recently published books on contemporary artistic life and the history of art.


Magdalena Ujma: Weaving the World. Ewa Pachucka, née Jaroszyńska / 137

The article devoted to the work and biography of Ewa Jaroszyńska-Pachucka. Born in 1936 in Lublin, the artist was an outstanding creator of artistic textiles. She spent most of her life in exile, but before she left Poland, already as a student of an art high school in Lublin, she became involved in the activities of the Zamek Group (she was the only woman in the group). After moving to Warsaw, she became involved with Mariusz Tchorek. In the 1960s, Jaroszyńska made works from natural fibres such as sisal and hemp rope. She used a crochet hook, which was a rarity at the time. In the second half of the decade, she created objects that were part of the organic abstraction trend, while towards the end of the decade she began to create larger works with anthropomorphic features. In 1970, together with her second husband, Romuald Pachucki, she travelled to Denmark and then in 1971 to Australia. There, Pachucka was quickly recognised and appreciated. In 1975, she represented Australia at the 3rd Triennial of Contemporary Art in New Delhi, India. Her works are held in Australia’s major private and museum collections. In 2000, Ewa Pachucka, together with her husband, returned to Europe and settled in France. The artist died in 2020. Her work, associated with the revival of textile arts and handicrafts, is gaining relevance again today.

Keywords: Ewa Pachucka, natural fibre works, crochet, organic abstraction, anthropomorphic features, Kokony (Cocoons)(1967), Landscape and Bodies (1972), Arcadia: Landscape and Bodies (1972-1977), Roman Wall sculpture (1982), The Sun Calendar or Fossilised Architectural Landscape (1986)

Brush and Company. Krystyna Lipka-Sztarbałło in Conversation with Eliza Leszczyńska-Pieniak / 146

A conversation with Krystyna Lipko-Sztarbałło, an outstanding illustrator who started out as an interior designer. However, the need to work with text was so great that the artist started creating graphic designs. Today, she jokingly says that she enjoys beautiful books all the time, and lets the weaker ones fade into oblivion. Books illustrated by the artist have found their way to publishing markets in Europe, but they are also known to children in Canada and Korea. Krystyna Lipko-Sztarbałło describes in an interesting way the influence of graphic design on a child’s psyche, and also draws attention to the way the graphic artist can interpret the text and give it new meanings. The artist explains where the fashion for ‘picture books’ came from and how they are created.


Artur Sienkiewicz: Three Times S (Sopron, Somló, Sümeg), Hungarian Poetry Outside the Country and the Polish Hero of the Spring of Nations / 158

Ten honorary consuls from different countries of the world reside in Lublin. The editors of “Akcent” decided to ask them for a kind of self-presentation combined with remarks on their understanding of their role and to recommend a few selected cultural phenomena connected with the countries they represent to be featured in “Akcent”. Artur Sienkiewicz, Honorary Consul of Hungary, talks about his infatuation with a country with which Poland has traditional ties of friendship. He suggests a journey along one of Hungary’s most beautiful routes, and invites us to read the poems of Magda Füzesi, a Hungarian poet from the part of Transcarpathia that is now outside Hungary. In this issue of “Akcent”, Konrad Sutarski, a Polish poet and translator who has lived in Budapest for many years, writes about Hungarian poetry created outside the borders of the present-day Hungarian state. His Excellency Artur Sienkiewicz also recommends reading Professor István Kovács’ essay about the heroic participation of Jan Aleksander Fredro, son of a well-known Polish playwright, in the Hungarian battle for freedom during the Spring of Nations.

Keywords: Hungarian poetry, tourism in Hungary, Polish-Hungarian friendship, Spring of Nations in Hungary


István Kovács: Jan Aleksander Fredro, Hero of the Hungarian Campaign of 1849 in a Painting by Juliusz Kossak / 161

Prof. István Kovács – Hungarian poet, prose writer, essayist, historian and diplomat – found two long descriptions of the heroic deeds of an officer of the 2nd lancer regiment of the Polish Legion taking part in the battles of the Spring of Nations in Hungary among Juliusz Kossak’s papers in the archive collection at Wrocław’s Ossolineum. He was Jan Aleksander Fredro, son of the famous playwright. These descriptions were to help the battle-painter Juliusz Kossak, whose two brothers, Leon and Władysław, also fought in Hungary in 1848 and 1849, to immortalise Fredro on canvas. In his book Unknown Heroes of the Hungarian Uprising 1848-1849 (Nieznani bohaterowie powstania węgierskiego 1848-1849),published in Polish in 2010, István Kovács wrote about Kossak’s intention to immortalise one of Jan Aleksander Fredro’s heroic deeds in painting, expressing the assumption that such a work was never realised. Meanwhile, it turned out otherwise – the watercolour was created after Fredro’s death. The article presents the history of the creation of this work.

Keywords: Spring of Nations in Hungary, Polish Legion, artists-legionaries, heroic deed, memory, Kossak brothers, Fredro family, battlefield, battle of Temesvar


Grażyna Lutosławska: A Touch / 171


Leszek Mądzik: The Raft / 174


Marek Kusiba: Happier Over that Coffin! / 176


Jacek Dąbała: Maturity and Adjectives / 179


Marek Danielkiewicz: Hatred of Democracy and Other Paradoxes / 180


Konrad Sutarski: Hungarian Foreign Poetry / 182

Justyna Teterwak: Between Young Poland and the Avant-garde. Juvenilia by Konrad Bielski / 185

Agata Łaska: War, Love and Horror. On the Novels of Zofia Romano­ wiczowa / 193

Information on well-known artists and cultural phenomena, as well as discussions of the most interesting initiatives, events and publications of the past few months.

Notes about the authors / 199