Contents and summaries 4/2021

Spis treści numeru 4/2021

Andrzej Muszyński: Climate Change / 7

Łukasz Marcińczak: Lights and Shadows of Gustaw Herling-Grudziński’s Religiosity – part II / 11

The text is devoted to the manifestations of religiosity in the life and work of Gustaw Herling-Grudziński. Although the author of Inny świat (A World Apart) often made the question of faith a specific point of reference in his works and emphasized it in various guises, at the same time he carefully avoided anything that might portray him as a “Catholic” writer. Ostentatiously emphasizing his “Manichaeism,” as well as accentuating the great strength of evil that has been in this world since time immemorial – which, in his opinion, has been gaining strength in modern times – he led us to the question about the eschatological meaning of Christ’s sacrifice. The late baptism of the writer, who, however, constantly struggled with his Jewish heritage, suggests that the “Silent Christ,” so emblematic of his works, has a lot to do with the silence of Yahweh in the face of the Holocaust.

Keywords: Gustaw Herling-Grudziński, religion, Christianity, Jews, conversion, prose, emigration

Piotr Matywiecki: poems / 24

Mirosław Kulisz: Piñata / 28

The protagonist is a child who gropes his way in complete darkness. His eyes are blindfolded. Or maybe he suddenly lost his eyesight? The child does not remember who he is or how he got there. He hears voices around him, children’s muffled laughter. In his head there are flashes of memories from which he tries to assemble himself. His mother, his father, a big pink house in the affluent neighborhood of Ciudad de México, hot July afternoons spent with Tito, his inseparable brother, soaking their feet in the park’s fountains. And the owl … The boy, taking each step very carefully, heads towards the piñata suspended on a tree branch in the middle of the garden. Would breaking it be enough to find out the whole truth?

Zbigniew Dmitroca: A Washed-Out / 32

Urszula M. Benka: stories / 38

Three little pieces of prose about the fascination with women. The narrator of the first story titled Lilia (Lily), is a middle-aged woman who obsessively thinks about her husband’s lover. In the second one, the distant past is recalled through the prism of the memory of the gravel lining the road – Eve striking fire, Cain playing an instrument made of snakeskin or maybe Hermes with an instrument made of turtle shell? Whatever the case, each obsession becomes a kind of liturgy with time. The narrator of the third piece, entitled Moja Gladys (My Gladys), is overwhelmed with a feeling of jealousy: she works off the books as a cleaning lady in the house of a beautiful girl, yet knows nothing about her employer.

Edyta Antoniak-Kiedos: Women’s Poetry in the Male World of Literature / 44

The article deals with the subject of the marginalization and exclusion of women’s creative work in academic and critical literary discourse. The book was inspired by Karol Maliszewski’s book Bez zaszeregowania (Beyond Category), in which the renowned researcher and tireless reviewer of Polish poetry called for a more expressive presence of the female element in the space of literature. The author, taking up the subject raised by Maliszewski, shares her own insights and observations, and analyzes the changes taking place in front of our eyes, which allow us to perceive the female poets as the full-fledged participants of literary life. She also draws attention to the introduction of the new topics into literature, which so far have often been neglected or even tabooed.

Keywords: Polish poetry of the 21st century, poetry rankings, women’s literature, Karol Maliszewski, literary criticism

Kalina Kowalska: poems / 56

Iwona Hofman: Stefan Kisielewski. Without Him, Life would be More Dull / 59

In 2021, due to the 110th birthday and the 30th death anniversary of Stefan Kisielewski, an increased interest in his work can be observed. This is evidenced, among others, by several books published most recently: Stefan Kisielewski. Reakcjonista. Autobiografia intelektualna (Stefan Kisielewski. A Reactionary. Intellectual Autobiography) edited by Małgorzata Sopyło and the volume of his letters Listy 1946-1991, containing the writer’s correspondence with Jerzy Giedroyc, edited by Łukasz Garbal. Kisielewski belonged to a small group of authors who published in the three publishing circles: official, emigrant and underground. He left behind an extensive body of work, including, apart from journalistic texts, also musical compositions and novels. According to Kisielewski, his passion was to observe and criticize the reality of the People’s Republic of Poland (PRL). Being a member of the Parliament of the People’s Republic of Poland in the years 1957-1965 on behalf of the “Znak” group, he gained the opportunity – as he himself began to call it with time – to “look from within.” From this perspective, he engaged in the polemics with Giedroyc about the role and duty of the Polish émigrés and the “reality of communism.” Sopyła and Garbal faced the challenge of depicting Kisielewski’s colorful biography with the assemlage of documents and fragments of his journalistic texts.

Keywords: Stefan Kisielewski, history of the People’s Republic of Poland, Jerzy Giedroyc, the Literary Institute Kultura, emigration, Tygodnik Powszechny, Jerzy Turowicz, communism

Rafał Rutkowski: poems / 70

Rafał Jakub Pastwa: A Rift / 73

Excerpts from the diarist book of Rafał Pastwa – a priest, poet, prose writer, theologian, journalist, and media expert. Zgrzyt (A Rift) is a work about feeling, empathizing, processing and creating the world by a lonely person who looks at the world through a window that becomes an anti-filter for reality. It is a book about the psychological entanglement in loneliness. He accepts his loneliness – this is his daily bread, his burden, but also his relief.

Danuta Agnieszka Kurczewicz: A Black Iris in the April Buttonhole / 79

Wolfgang Hilbig: short stories / 81

Translations of two short stories by Wolfgang Hilbig (1941-2007), a German writer and poet from the GDR. The narrator in Sen sprawiedliwych (The Dream of the Righteous) shares with his grandfather not only the bed, sleeping pressed against his body, but also a well-kept family secret concerning his grandmother’s death. Although her death was explained by an illness caused by the consumption of prunes, he and his grandfather both realize that one of them is the murderer. However, they cannot tell anymore which one of them killed the grandma – their guilt as if forces them to cling into each other. The narrator of Zapach książek (The Smell of Books), on the first night spent in snowy Berlin in a room filled with Russian books, feels at first their musty smell. What reaches him next is the smell of coal burning in furnaces. It is the smell of death that reminds him of the days when he worked as a stoker in the boiler room. It also evokes his memories of very distant readings. Immersed in these thoughts, the narrator identifies himself with the imaginary Russian who once brought these books, forbidden and cursed in Russia, and, overwhelmed by their scent, escaped from this room and this city …

Philip Rosenau: poems and aphorisms / 89


Poets, poets …

Karol Maliszewski: “Enjoy the Meeting,” or Recovering the Poet [Jacek Łukasiewicz „Uroda świata się nie kończy. Wybór wierszy” (“The Beauty of the World is not Finite. The Selection of Poems”)]; Bartosz Suwiński: Absence [Bohdan Zadura „Puste trybuny” (“The Empty Stands”)]; Inesa Szulska: Captured in Translation [Anna Maria Goławska: „artimi daiktai / bliskie przedmioty” (“artimi daiktai / close objects”)]; Urszula M. Benka: The Spot and the Gate [Rafał Rutkowski „Moje oczy to ptaki” (“My Eyes are Birds”)]; Ewa Dunaj: An Old Poet Sails Uphill [Krzysztof Karasek „Wzgórza anarchii” (“The Hills of Anarchy”)] / 92

Discussions of the latest poetry books written by literary scholars and critics. They contain detailed analyzes and characterize the most popular contemporary literary trends and phenomena.

Not only analytically …

Jarosław Cymerman: A Wire, not a Nerve [Piotr Paziński „Atrapy stworzenia” (“Dummy Creation”)]; Lechosław Lameński: From Italy to Poland. Artistic Essays by Jan Władysław Woś [Jan Władysław Woś „Wystawy” (“Exhibitions”)]; Tomasz Kłusek: Metaphysics, Art and the Pier [„Ranek / mane. Eseje – szkice – przyczynki krytyczne. Antologia »Toposu«” (“Morning / mane. Essays – Sketches – Critical Contributions. »Topos« Anthology”). Selected and edited by Krzysztof Kuczkowski]; Wiesława Turżańska: “I Read a Book of Poems like a Crime Novel” [Iwona Gralewicz-Wolny „Na tropie 21 przygód ze współczesną książką poetycką” (“On the Trail of 21 Adventures with a Contemporary Poetry Book”)] / 107

Reviews of recently published scientific, essayistic and documentary books, seen against the background of the most important phenomena of contemporary culture.


Magdalena Ujma: A Bitter Legend. On Jerzy Ludwiński and the Reception of his Work after 2000 / 122

Jerzy Ludwiński (born January 2, 1930, died December 16, 2000) is an outstanding figure of Polish art criticism in the second half of the 20th century. He was the originator and co-founder of Zamek Group, one of the most important formations which shaped the Polish avant-garde art at the end of the 1950s, a critic-visionary, author of innovative institutional concepts (Museum of Current Art, Center for Artistic Research), and, finally, the organizer of such important events as: The 1st Symposium of Young Artists and Scientists “Art in the Changing World” in Puławy 1966, The Mona Lisa Gallery in Wrocław and Symposium Wrocław’70. The text traces the process of the reception of the critic’s ideas after his death, as well as the process of creating his legend – in connection with the facts of his professional career.

Keywords: Jerzy Ludwiński, Zamek Group, post-war art criticism in Poland


István Kovács: Two Elections / 130

A fragment of the first volume of a synthesis of the Polish-Hungarian history by a diplomat, historian, writer and poet, István Kovács. In March 1571, Jan Zygmunt Zapolya, the prince of Transylvania, died. The power after him – in accordance with the will of Sultan Selim II and with the approval of Emperor Maximilian II – was taken over by Stefan Batory. The first task of the new Transylvanian voivode was to organize the religious affairs of his subjects. Meanwhile, on July 7, 1572, Sigismund II Augustus, the last Jagiellon on the throne of the Republic, died. One of the candidates for the crown was Batory. However, Hungary did not have the support of the Polish nobility. The first elected king of Poland was the Frenchman Henryk Walezy. His short but colorful reign ended with a secret escape, but it gave Batory time to better prepare for the next election.

Keywords: history of Poland, history of Hungary, Stefan Batory, Henryk Walezy, free election, Kasper Bekiesz, Duchy of Transylvania


Eliza Leszczyńska-Pieniak: A Landscape Made of Stones. An Interview with Krystyna Rudzka-Przychoda – Artist Painter / 141

An interview with Krystyna Rudzka-Przychoda, a painter, member of the Association of Polish Artists and Designers. The vernissage of her works took place in Zwierzyniec and accompanied the Capital of Polish Language festival in Szczebrzeszyn. The title of the exhibition – Stąd świat oglądam okiem słońca (This is where I see the world with the eye of the sun) – was inspired by the poetry of Tadeusz Różewicz. The paintings by Krystyna Rudzka-Przychody reveal the artist’s fascination with nature and portray her sensitivity to the variety of forms of life in nature. The painter talks, among others, about how she works on her paintings, what inspires her and what makes her happy while she is creating her art.


Andrzej Titkow: That Lublin … / 145

The author of the text, Andrzej Titkow, is a Polish screenwriter, director and producer of documentary and feature films. Although he was born in Warsaw, he learned from his mother in his early childhood that her father, grandparents and great-grandparents came from Lublin. The text talks about the search for the author’s own identity, the gradual process of learning about his family history, which ultimately resulted in the production of the documentary Album rodzinny (The Family Album) in 2012. The author recollects the life of his ancestors, including his great-grandmother, Franciszka Arnsztajnowa – a Lublin poet, social and political activist; her husband, Marek Arnsztajn – an outstanding doctor; and their son, Jan Arnsztajn – also a doctor and a soldier of the 1st Legions Brigade and a participant in the Polish-Bolshevik war.

Keywords: Lublin, memories, Franciszka Arnsztajnowa, Marek Arnsztajn, Jan Arnsztajn, Jews, Polish-Jewish relations, Holocaust, Józef Czechowicz, Hanna Krall, documentary, Center “Grodzka Gate – NN Theater”, descendants of Lublin Jews


Student Culture Then and Now / 152

Józef Franciszek Fert: Once I was … / 152

Rafał Szczerbakiewicz: Private Paths / 158

The second part of the survey Student Culture Then and Now, conducted by the editors of “Akcent” among the authors associated with the journal who represent the academic circles. Based on their own memories and experiences, they attempt to define the student culture and identify its determinants. They reflect on how its manifestations and forms have changed over the last decades, and what the future of this phenomenon may look like.


Justyna Teterwak, Aleksander Wójtowicz: The Monument to Józef Czechowicz / 162

Konrad Bielski: The Speech on the Occasion of the Unveiling of the Monument to Józef Czechowicz (September 9, 1969) / 164

A transcript of Konrad Bielski’s speech delivered on September 9, 1969 on the occasion of the unveiling of the monument to Józef Czechowicz in Lublin. The text is based on the typescript stored in the Józef Czechowicz Museum, with footnotes and an introduction, which outlines the history of the creation of the statue, so important for Lublin literary culture.

Keywords: Józef Czechowicz, Konrad Bielski, Józef Czechowicz monument in Lublin, Polish interwar poetry


Marek Danielkiewicz: If you haven’t been a Finnish Sailor, you Know Nothing about Life / 167


Leszek Mądzik: Tree / 170


Urszula Gierszon: Lublin-Toronto-Berlin. A Note about a Bibliophile Phenomenon and the Two Aesthetes / 171

Jarosław Cymerman: Serpentines of the Festive Theater / 182

Wasyl Słapczuk: The Great Existential Journey / 184

Information about famous artists and cultural phenomena, as well as discussions of the most interesting initiatives, events and publications from the past few months.

Notes about authors / 187