Anna Piliszewska: poems / 7
Bohdan Zadura: Gábor Bethlen Prize / 10
The passage on the verge of prose and memoir essay. Bohdan Zadura’s trip to Budapest to receive the literary prize has become a backdrop for his travel into the past. This award-winning poet, novelist, literary critic and translator has authored 22 collections of poems, 3 novels, 3 volumes of short stories and 4 critical-literary books; his works have been translated into more than 20 languages. While waiting in Budapest for the ceremony of awarding him with the Gábor Bethlen Prize, the author recalls his long-lost Hungarian friends and confronts the past with the present. Looking at shop windows while walking and resting on benches, he compares the pre-Internet epoch of his youth to the epoch of the modern day. The conclusion is bitter: “Long gone are the days when things were different everywhere. Nowadays everything is more or less the same.” The counterpoint to these reflections on Hungarian and Polish everyday life are cordial meetings with his Hungarian friends.
Tomasz Kłusek: Literature of Experience. On the Novels of Bohdan Zadura / 18
The text devoted to the novels of Bohdan Zadura – one of the most outstanding contemporary Polish poets, whose prose achievements have not gained so much publicity as his poetry. Zadura’s debut novel, Lata spokojnego słońca (1968, The Years of Peaceful Sun), and two more – A żeby ci nie było żal (1972, So that you do not Regret) and Lit (1985) – form a kind of autothematic cycle. The fascination with literary themes and the doubts experienced by the writer during the creation process play an important role in Zadura’s prose. Despite many references to Zadura’s life, these works should not be read simply as “novels with the key,” as this significantly deflates their meaning. Much more important are other features of his writing: intellectualism, opposition to the nonaligned, recycled and mediocre literary production, interesting images of the cultural life of Puławy and Warsaw in the 1970s and 80s, and, above all, the coexistence of various fictional, autobiographical and essayist elements. All of the above allow the writer to create an original type of “spiritual autobiography.”
Elżbieta Cichla-Czarniawska: poems / 26
Utz Rachowski: Short Stories / 32
Three stories by a German poet and prose writer. Utz Rachowski was born in Plauen (Vogtland) in 1954. He has published several books with short stories, essays and poems. The first of the stories presented in “Akcent,” The Seven Storms, deals with the relationship of the impulsive little boy who got his first bike with his patient and wise grandmother. In the second story, Show on Demand! an adolescent narrator, a bright student, discovers that he will never be as happy in his life as his friend, who is able to enjoy the simplest things, such as swimming in the pool, even though he has not recently been promoted to the next class and thus has been expelled from school. The Day When the Women Came talks about political prisoners who are waiting with excitement and anticipation for the visit of their wives and female partners.
Jarosław Mikołajewski: Letters to a Friend / 41
In Remembrance of Julia Hartwig (1921-2017) / 42
A note in remembrance of Julia Hartwig, a prominent Polish poet associated with Lublin, who passed away on 14th July. She came from a well-known family of Lublin photographers and attended a high school in Lublin. She was the author of many excellent collections of poems, essays and translations of fiction.
Janusz Malinowski: Hrabal, Eel and Golden Tiger / 44
A recollection of the meeting with Bohumil Hrabal, whom the author of the sketch met personally in 1988 in one of Prague’s pubs. Observing the small habits and distinctive traits of behavior of the famous writer at the pub table provides a better picture of his character. No less interesting are the allusions to the political situation in Czechoslovakia at those times. Although these allusions appear casually in the background, they speak of the climate that had been in place for almost 40 years in the academic circles on the Vltava River (the participants of the described meeting over the beer mugs, in addition to the author of the text and Hrabal, were Polish philologist and literary scholar from the Charles University, Bartoš Otakar; a Balkanist, Slavic philosopher and political scientist Sáva Heřman, and a historian, philosopher, and political activist Milan Hübl).
Grzegorz Wróblewski: poems / 50
Bogdan Kolomijczuk: The Duel / 52
A Polish literary debut of a young Ukrainian prose writer. Bogdan Kolomijczuk was born in 1984 in Ostrog. So far, he has published the novel Ludwisarz (2013, The Bellfounder), for which he received the grand prix and the first prize in the international “Coronation of the Word” competition, as well as collections with retro-style crime fiction: Eve’s Mystery (2014) and Souls’ Prison (2015). The action of this story is set in the 16th century in Lviv and its vicinity. Countess Sieniawska hires the master of fencing to avenge the offense she had suffered from her lover. The swordsman is to defeat the lover in a duel in front of his servants and friends, for the man is fond of the art of swordsmanship. As the time is approaching, the swordsman appears in the designated place and provokes the lord in the Hungarian outfit who is passing along – the Countess’s former lover. A duel ensues and afterwards the events take an unexpected turn…
Jerzy Święch: The Policy of Professionalism, or the New Humanities / 59
In the last decades, the role traditionally attributed to experts in humanities has been re-evaluated. The humanists have ceased to be perceived as professionals and legislators endowed with the unquestioned authority, guided solely by the pursuit of objective truth. At present, specialists must take the assessment of their actions by non-professionals seriously, explain their decisions and repudiate the accusations. They have therefore turned into a kind of hired workers, increasingly subordinated to their clients, and thus they are primarily expected to produce pragmatically perceived results. At the same time, the basis on which the independence of literary research was based has been weakened. Among others, its autonomous position was shaken, the essence of scientific procedures and theories was criticized, and the literary canon was deeply ideologized. As the author of the article has observed, the postulate of protecting the rights of the majority from the dictatorship of the experts often serves the defense of new interests – veiled behind a layer of rhetoric. As a result, humanist activities have become an element of the political game.
Rafał Mieczysłavsky: poems / 73
Dorota Nowakówna: Happy End / 75
American writer Tom, prompted by his Polish friend Agata, comes to Poland and rents an apartment in Cracow. He leads a solitary life and experiences fears, the basis of which is the breach between the fear of appropriation and the need for closeness. His relationship with younger and attractive Agata is safe yet unsatisfactory. Tom starts to be fascinated with the cats that appear in the backyard of his apartment building. In a little while he allows these cats to live in his flat, and after some time it turns out that the cats embody his fears – the presence of creatures full of tenderness and warmth makes Tom completely possessed.
Jan Klimecki: Poiesis / 81
The Image of the Priest in the Polish Culture of the 21st Century
Łukasz Janicki: Introduction / 84
Rev. Andrzej Draguła: Absence of a Priest as a Sin of Negligence / 86
Rev. Andrzej Wierciński: Between Love and Non-love / 89
Rev. Jerzy Sikora: Do not Send us to the Moon yet / 91
The fourth part of the survey “The image of the priest in the Polish culture in the first fifteen years of twenty-first century,” carried out by “Akcent” among the clergy who cooperate with the journal. The responses indicate how the respondents assess the image of priests projected in movies, books, press, news and communications media; what they think about priests’ writing activity; what is new in the message of Pope Francis’ preaching and what tasks in relation to culture face the Catholic Church today.
From Lublin – a City of Culture
Edyta Antoniak-Kiedos: Eastern Poetry Central [„Lublin – miasto poetów. Antologia” (“Lublin – the City of Poets. Anthology”)]; Grzegorz Józefczuk: A Thoughtful Critic Captures in the Frame [Lechosław Lameński „Zatrzymani w kadrze. Eseje o współczesnych artystach lubelskich” (“Captured in the Frame. Essays on Contemporary Lublin Artists”)]; Grzegorz Kondrasiuk: Exercises in the Memory of the Theater City of Lublin [Magdalena Jankowska „Tak, widziałam to. Tak to widziałam” (“Yes, I saw it. That’s what I saw”)]; Józef Franciszek Fert: Following the Footsteps of Józef Łobodowski [„Śladami pisarza. Józef Łobodowski w Polsce i w Hiszpanii” (“Following the Writer. Józef Łobodowski in Poland and in Spain”)]; Stanisław Rogala: Saved in the Calendar of Waldemar Michalski [Waldemar Michalski „Zapisane w kalendarzu. Szkice, komentarze, wspomnienia” (“Saved in the Calendar. Sketches, Comments, Memoirs”)] / 94
Reviews of the most important recent academic, essay, documentary and poetry publications related to the cultural life in Lublin.
Not just analytically…
Wiesława Turżańska: Country of the Devil Paradoxes in the Pop Version [Marta Panas-Goworska, Andrzej Goworski „Naukowcy spod czerwonej gwiazdy”, „Grażdanin N.N. Życie codzienne w ZSRR” (“Scientists from under the Red Star,” “Grazdanin N.N. Everyday Life in the USSR”)]; Dariusz Pachocki: Kolberg on the Road 816 [Michał Książek „Droga 816” (“Road 816”)]; Ewa Dunaj: Surprisingly Good Time for Poets and Poetry (When Such Books are Made) [Joanna Grądziel-Wójcik, Piotr Łuszczykiewicz „Bogusława Latawiec. Portret podwojony” (“Bogusława Latawiec. Double Portrait”)]; Wiesława Turżańska: Polishness does not Disturb my Parallel European Identity [Jan Władysław Woś „Na drogach Europy” (“On the Roads of Europe”)]; Andrzej Niewiadomski: New Life of New Art [Aleksander Wójtowicz „Nowa Sztuka. Początki (i końce)” (“New Art. Beginnings (and Ends)”)] / 115
Reviews of recently published academic, essay and documentary books, seen against the background of the most important phenomena of contemporary culture.
Lechosław Lameński: Whiteness Suits Him. The Magical Art World of Jan Gryka / 134
An article dedicated to Jan Gryka (born in 1959 in Michałów near Białystok), an artist who creates the art of performance, object and installation, as well as a teacher and director of the Department of Intermedia and Drawing at the Faculty of Arts at Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin. In his opinion, art should be interdisciplinary and often created with active participation of the public. From the very beginning Gryka’s work is associated with flour. His projects have been featured in the White Gallery since 2001 (this gallery was created by the artist and his wife Anna Nawrot). Gryka provided the audience with a dough made of 100 kg of wheat flour to stick their own molds on the walls. After the show, a large amount of dried dough fell off the walls. The artist collected the pieces and had been using them for many years in further projects. In addition, he founded the Little Museum of Small Flourish Displays with a branch in the Mills in Garbów. Other works of Gryka are, for example, Błękitny Obelisk (The Blue Obelisk) made in 2014 from the aerated concrete blocks painted blue and objects made of multicolored artificial flowers To nie są nenufary (2012, They are not Water Lilies), To też nie są nenufary (2013, Nor are these Water Lilies), Amorficzna ściana (2015, Amorphous Wall) or Amarantowe wyspy (2016, Amaranth Islands). According to the critics, Jan Gryka refers in his works to the artistic endeavors of the late 1960s and early 1970s, especially to the postminimalist structures of Robert Smithson, Richard Longo, and Joseph Beuys, who are the artists fascinated by the process of decay and deconstruction. He engages in a dialogue with organic, natural forms, arranging them into perishable systems and visual compositions. Micro-operations and slow transformations exposed by the artist are permeated with the language of symbols and myths.
Bożena Noworyta-Kuklińska: “Portrait of a Girl in a Flower Garland” of the Lublin Museum / 143
The analysis of the Portret dziewczynki w girlandzie kwiatów (Portrait of a Girl in a Flower Garland) by a Flemish painter Jan Philip van Thielen (1618-1667), taking into account a wide historical and artistic background. Van Thielen was a recognized painter of flowers. Thirty of his paintings with floral garlands survived, for which he collaborated with Flemish and Dutch artists who painted characters, scenes or religious symbols at the center of his floral compositions. Historically, the function of the floral wreath was to pay homage and honor to Virgin Mary, the divine figures or the saints. Plants emphasized the symbolic meaning of the qualities and attributes of the represented characters or built the contexts of religious scenes. Over time, the floral wreaths were also introduced in the portraits of the heroes of mythology or renowned and distinguished people. The image of Jan Philip van Thielen is, however, thematically different and even exceptional. The author of the article is speculating about its message. Did the artist show the image of a child who died at an early age and therefore has a hand raised up to heaven? The image would then be a special kind of epitaph, a wonderful commemoration. It is also possible that it represents the personification of the abstract concept – eternity.
Magdalena Jankowska: What Happened to our Revolution? / 149
The presentation of Remigiusz Brzyk’s Marat/Sade spectacle, which premiered on June 17, 2017 at Juliusz Osterwa Theatre in Lublin. The original title of Peter Weiss’s play is: Męczeństwo i śmierć Jean Paul Marata przedstawione przez zespół aktorski przytułku w Charenton pod kierownictwem pana de Sade (The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sad). The political exile, participant in the French Revolution and libertine Marquis de Sade stages a theatrical play about the events from fifteen years ago, which is the murder of the revolutionary leader Jean-Paul Marat by a Girondist symphatizer, Charlotte Corday. The main character in the play is the collective – the insane patients of the asylum who are transformed into revolutionaries. The spectators are also witnesses of the worldview dispute about the possibility of shaping a socio-political reality which is never fully satisfactory. Placed on opposite sides of the stage, as if around the boxing ring, they realize that virtually all the characters they see are the victims. The idea of saving the world through the violent uprising has gone bankrupt. The Revolution is devouring its own children and identifying scapegoats, but there is always the hope which many crooks crave to fill with their slogans.
Aleksandra Jasińska-Kania: Unusual Daily Life – Memory of Lublin / 154
A fragment of autobiographical sketches by Aleksandra Jasińska-Kania (born in 1932 in Moscow), professor emeritus at the University of Warsaw, where she headed the General Sociology Department in 1992-2013. She also lectured as a visiting professor at many American and European universities. She published – as an author, co-author or editor – many books, articles and joint publications. Her parents were Małgorzata Fornalska and Bolesław Bierut (Polish president in the days of Stalinism, born in Lublin). Nearly 20 years after the death of her first husband, she got involved with professor Zygmunt Bauman (1925-2017). The featured fragments of the autobiography talk about the period spent by the author in Lublin, where she arrived from the Soviet Union (1944-1945), and her subsequent visits including the last one in 2012, when Zygmunt Bauman was invited to give a talk at the Christian Culture Congress. Lublin for Jasińska-Kania is a special place. This city became for her “an imaginary family nest, from which all the members of the family once flew away into different parts of the world.” It was a stopover on the road from Soviet internationalism/cosmopolitanism to a sense of national identity, a place where she learned the everyday language, the tastes, the sounds, the colors of her Polishness. It was here in Lublin that her communist childhood had come to an end.
IN THE REFLECTION OF SPECIES
Aneta Wysocka: How the Language of Poetry Crosses the Boundaries of Anthropocentrism / 166
In the last century in the natural sciences the interest in the specificity of animal mental processes has increased. The interest was reflected not only in philosophy but also in art and literature. The article features an analysis of the language of poetic works whose authors have embarked on a dialogue with the anthropocentric model of perception of reality established in culture, and have attempted to reconstruct the mechanisms of perception specific to animals. Literary attempts to go beyond the convention of presenting living creatures were realized for instance through unconventional language categorization, innovative metaphor and special functionalization of grammatical structures. Artistic reconstructions of the inner world of animals served not only to invigorate the means of expression, but also to realize the epistemic relativism and formulate the diagnosis of human fate and place in the universe of beings.
Adam A. Szafrański: What Does Anthropology Read and What does it Tell? A Few Remarks on Selected Aspects of Anthropological Imagination / 172
“Literary Turn” in modern anthropology means abandoning the discovery of allegedly universal laws governing different societies for a more direct approach. An anthropologist is no longer trying to maintain a scientific distance at all costs, does not seek simplistic generalizations, but tries to describe the phenomena as “from the inside” and as accurately as possible, entering into a dialogue with the subject based on understanding and realizing that every “ethnographic truth” is somewhat partial, incomplete. In the context of religion this approach involves the need to maintain an empathic attitude towards other beliefs, and, in the view of some researchers, also allowing the possibility of references to transcendent reality in the scientific procedure. The author of this article answers the question about the practical consequences of such hypotheses and traces the differences between the definitions of religion proposed by contemporary anthropologists: Jack David Eller, Jeppe Sinding Jensen, Melford Spiro, Martin Southwold, and especially Clifford Geertz.
DISCOVERED YEARS LATER
Jarosław Cymerman: Józef Czechowicz and his “Experiment in Journalism” / 179
“Collective Review” of the Moving Art Exhibition shown in Lublin from April to June 1932, originally published on April 10, 1932 in the daily newspaper “Kurier Lubelski.” The initiator and editor of the collection of reviews, and the author of the two of them (“drawings, engravings and lithographs” and “applied art”) was Józef Czechowicz. Kazimierz Pieniążek wrote on the subject of oil painting and watercolor painting, Jan Samuel Miklaszewski wrote about sculpture, and Wiktor Ziółkowski about graphics. The featured review – wrongly forgotten as it is an interesting “journalistic experiment” – was extracted from the archives of Józef Czechowicz Museum of Literature in Lublin and supplemented with the detailed factual introduction and footnotes by the head of this institution.
Leszek Mądzik: Four Walls (essay) / 185
Marek Danielkiewicz: Oh, Those Unbearable Poets with their Broken Laptops (essay) / 187
Magdalena Jankowska: Magnifying Images / 189
The first edition of the Festival of Set and Costume Design “Stage under Construction” organized by the Center for the Meeting of Cultures in Lublin took place on 20-23 June 2017. Spiritus movens of this undertaking is Leszek Mądzik, who has been the lead author of the Visual Stage Theater at the Catholic University of Lublin for nearly fifty years. The new festival takes the form of a contest. Grand Prix for the best stage design and costumes (by Katarzyna Borkowska) was awarded to the Księgi Jakubowe (Books of Jacob) of the Powszechny Theater in Warsaw. The Stage Golden Pocket went to Jerzy Rudzki, the author of the stage design for the production of Punkt Zero: Łaskawe (Point Zero: The Kindly Ones) of the Provisorium Theater. Equally the Golden Pocket, but for the costumes, was awarded to the Mixer Group, who dressed up the actors of the Fahrenheit 451 in the Coastal Theatre in Gdańsk. In addition, during the festival, the works of Jan Jaromir Aleksiun in the Saska Gallery and the installation of stage and costume designs were exhibited in various corners of the Center for the Meeting of Cultures, in particular a retrospective review of works by Andrzej Kreütz-Majewski.
Janina Januszewska-Skreiberg: Polish Poetry Evening in Oslo / 192
A report from the meeting at the Polish Embassy in Oslo with Anna Keryl (born 1959) on 31 March 2017. Anna Keryl is a Polish poet and painter who has been living in Norway for 26 years. The opportunity to present her work was the publication of her volume of poems Z niebem, ze światem, z tobą (With heaven, with the world, with you).
Konrad Sutarski: Polish-Hungarian Salon in Katowice / 194
On March 21, 2017 in Katowice Feliks Netz Polish-Hungarian Salon began its literary and artistic activity led by the writer’s widow, Beata Netz, with the help of the local “Libra” Association and in cooperation with the authorities of Katowice. Feliks Netz (1939-2015) was a prominent Polish poet, novelist, journalist and author of well-known and highly regarded radio and film scripts. He was also an acclaimed translator of literary works from English, German, and Russian (he was highly praised for the translation of Aleksandr Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin) and above all from Hungarian. It was mainly thanks to Feliks Netz – as well as the great translator Teresa Worowska – that the prose of one of the most prominent Hungarian writers Sándor Márai has been widely known in Poland.
Notes about authors / 197