Czesław Mirosław Szczepaniak: poems / 7
Joanna Clark: Marina – Heroine / 10
The title character of the story, Marina, a young Russian immigrant who lives with her mother and brother in Princeton, USA, is addicted to drugs and seeks help by attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. The meeting place is the campus of the elite Princeton University, but Marina feels a stranger there. Her “Russian soul” rebels against the rigors of the AA program. Alienated by her separateness, her American peers cannot understand her, bored by her monologues about Russian culture and tragic history. The narrator, a Polish woman who has lived in America for a long time, who also belongs to AA, tries to take care of Marina. Through her we get to know several other meeting participants, students from various backgrounds, with different perspectives on recovery from addiction. The academic year is drawing to an end, the students are leaving, and Marina decides to leave the USA: perhaps Israel, perhaps the Netherlands? –The narrator loses contact with her. When, many years later, she comes across alarming information about Marina’s return to Princeton, she does not dare to come to her aid once again. A different America, different American contrasts.
Aneta Wysocka: On the Poetic Imagination of Wacław Oszajca / 19
The article is devoted to the lyrical works of Fr. Wacław Oszajca. The author delineates the most important motifs and themes present in his poetry, extensively characterized in the literature on the subject (so the text is an attempt to recapitulate the previous findings of researchers to date). The subject matter of the works and the ways of presenting it are considered here with regard to the specificity of the author’s biographical experience (the homeland as a microcosm of the artist), social background (the category of “priestly poetry”) and cultural factors (Christian culture as a source of inspiration). The text also sketchily presents the stylistic solutions characteristic of Oszajca’s poetry (versification forms and the so-called figures of thoughts and figures of words).
Keywords: Wacław Oszajca, priestly poetry, theme of life and death, Christian culture, theme of God, Bible, figures of thoughts, figures of words
Krystyna Lenkowska: poems / 24
Mieszko Wandowicz: Blues for Harp, Dying and Piano / 28
A story of a musician who is fading, sometimes to a lesser, sometimes to a greater degree: fading physically, spiritually and mentally. That is why, among other things, he resignedly flees into the blues to perform in a small club, which itself escapes an inappropriate audience – hidden in an alley behind an inconspicuous door. There are background stories that make it easier to understand the old bluesman and his “here and now”. It is also a story about the blues: what it is or what it should be. And about the fact that while people may fade away, the blues remains eternal. The story also loosely refers to Wandowicz’s prose debut Niedźwiedź kręcący warkoczami (The Bear Spinning Braids), made public on the Akcent website more than two years ago.
Ryszard Kołodziej: poems / 35
Zbigniew Chojnowski: The Whole by Piotr Szewc / 38
The article is an attempt to take a synthetic look at the work of Piotr Szewc. In line with the thesis proposed by the author, Szewc – despite his geographical and biographical setting in the space of Zamość and Zamość region and regardless of the genological differentiation of his works – is a creator of an integral world. Paradoxically realistic and symbolic images reveal not only the writer’s life, but also his artistic philosophy. The creator’s worldview is based on the conviction that the elementary being that appears to him refers to the Whole. As a result, what appears to be accidental is felt and shown as a part of a higher order. Creating the world from the trifles surrounding the poet and the manifestations of the experienced time, not only flows from the need to preserve the memory of the past, but is also a way to regain a sense of substantiality, and above all, as the author writes, “the sacred secrecy and mystery of human existence”. The works of Piotr Szewc, in the context of the 21st-century crisis of metaphysics, serve to rebuild a tender relationship to both people and reality, and helps to strengthen the sense of the existence of an eternal perspective.
Keywords: Piotr Szewc, poetry, metapoetic reflection, Zamość, locality and universalism, ontology, metaphysics, meaning of life, motif of memory
Maria Duszka: poems / 47
Adam Dalczyński: The Day and Night of Józef C. / 50
The work depicts a journey through real and imagined Lublin. The narrator – in thirteen passages of poetic prose – guides the reader through thirteen points of the city during a long day and a short summer night. These are, in order: the Jewish cemetery, the Castle, Po Farze Square, the Basilica of the Dominicans, the Crown Tribunal, an alley on Dolna Panny Marii street, Lithuanian Square, the Culture Center, the cemetery at Lipowa street, the railway station, the footbridge over the Czerniejówka river, Martyrs of Majdanek street, and, finally the Bystrzyca river. During the “guided tour” they are shown real locations as well as characters important to the history of Lublin, and even nocturnal phantoms and apparitions as if taken alive from the past. The text is a creative reference to Józef Czechowicz’s Poemat o mieście Lublinie (Poem on the City of Lublin).
Maciej Anczyk: poems / 60
Joanna Dobkowska-Kubacka: Beautifying the Vampires. From a Monster to a Hottie / 63
For several decades now we have been observing the phenomenon of a vampire craze. Although it is not the word, but the image that is the medium most convenient for mass culture, most films starring vampires are adaptations (or creative developments) of novels (by authors such as Bram Stoker, Anne Rice, Stephenie Meyer and Charlaine Harris). Humanizing the monster has proven to be crucial to the evolution – and popularity – of the vampire theme. A vampire craze, as one of the multiple manifestations of the escape of modern society from the thought of death, is furthermore linked to the culture of greed: the requirement to have everything, to consume the entire offer at once, to exist and act in many fields at once. In this case, it is largely about eternal youth and immortality achieved practically at no cost; about avoiding the inevitable end of human life, while remaining human with all its arsenal of higher feelings, and, most importantly, an attractive looks.
Keywords: mass culture, vampire, death, culture of greed, superman, Dracula, Nosferatu, Beauty and the Beast theme, Bram Stoker, Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, Anne Rice, Werner Herzog, Stephenie Meyer, True Blood series, The Vampire Diaries series
Dariusz Bitner: That Hot Summer / 77
Excerpt from the novel Fusy (The Grounds). The young protagonist, before entering high school, spends his summer vacation at home near Wolin. He is faced with the decision whether to become a painter or a writer. His aunt has promised him art lessons, and his uncle unexpectedly shows up; staying with them becomes a lesson for the boy in entering the adult world. Erotic jitters in contact with a mature woman, discovery of the world of books and art, male relations and discovery of the world of politics. The events of the 1970s attack the young man from all sides. On the front pages of the newspapers, Leonid Brezhnev “brings peace” to the socialist countries, and in the bourgeois countries the trial of the Manson gang is underway. The protagonist, in a brief conversation with his uncle, begins to ask himself questions about the value of family and, above all, about identity. Identity, is the greatest mystery. Throughout our lives, we don’t know what holds us to the ground, and what carries us off into the skies.
Zbigniew Dmitroca: poems / 85
Bogusław Bakuła: “Orzeł Biały” (1941-2001). Commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the Creation of the Most Important Periodical of the Polish Army in the East / 88
The article presents the history of one of the most important periodicals of Polish post-war emigration, “Orzeł Biały” (“The White Eagle”). It was established in December 1941 and accompanied the soldiers of the Polish Army in the East on the route from Buzuluk in the Soviet Union through Iran, Iraq, Palestine, the Italian campaign of 1944 to Rome and Brussels. In 1948, the editorial office moved to London, where “Orzeł Biały” was published until its closure in 2001. Its founder was General Władysław Anders, and the creation of the editorial board was coordinated, among others, by Jerzy Giedroyc and Józef Czapski. Over the years, the elite of émigré journalists, intellectuals and writers collaborated with the magazine. The texts published in “Orzeł Biały” were an important voice of the émigré community, trying to reconcile its roots in Western culture with loyalty to Polish independence ideals and patriotic duties. From the history of the periodical emerges a picture of ideological directions, trends in the culture of the emigrants, as well as social transformations and generational changes.
Keywords: “Orzeł Biały”, Polish émigré press, World War II, emigration, Władysław Anders, Polish Army in the East, history of the 20th century
Jerzy Święch: In Memory of a Scholar and Friend (Jerzy Bartmiński 1939-2022) / 106
A memoir text dedicated to Jerzy Bartmiński – a linguist, ethnolinguist, folklorist, Slavist, professor of humanities, lecturer at Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin and the Institute of Slavonic Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences, member of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences, who died on February 7, 2022. Professor Jerzy Święch, also a long-time, distinguished employee of MCSU, a historian of literature enjoying widespread recognition at home and abroad, and privately a friend of Bartmiński, describes the history of their acquaintance lasting since 1956. At the same time, he draws attention to those features of the outstanding linguist’s personality that allowed him to develop research activities of international importance, and also synthetically characterizes the main threads of his extensive scientific interests.
Keywords: Jerzy Bartmiński, linguistics, ethnolinguistics, folklore, textology, language stereotypes, Lublin, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University
Not only analytically …
Waldemar Kuligowski: Why More Ikea Catalogs are Printed than Copies of the Bible [Roch Sulima „Powidoki codzienności. Obyczajowość Polaków na progu XXI wieku” (“Afterimages of Everyday Life. The Customs of Poles on the Threshold of the 21st Century”]; Bartłomiej Krupa: The Warsaw Ghetto in Poetry and Prose [„Getto warszawskie w literaturze polskiej” (“The Warsaw Ghetto in Polish Literature”)]; Jarosław Janowski: On How we See the World [Dobrosław Bagiński „Obraz – zagadka wzrokowa” (“Image. A Visual Enigma”)]; Grzegorz Józefczuk: Oh, This Scholar is a Poet [Alfred Marek Wierzbicki „Między innymi o radości” (“About Joy Among Other Things”] / 113
Reviews of recently published scientific, essayistic and documentary books, seen against the background of the most important phenomena of contemporary culture.
Poets, poets …
Andriy Saveneć: Translations (Fortunately) are not Always Free [„100 wierszy wolnych z Ukrainy” (“100 Free Poems from Ukraine”)]; Ewa Dunaj: On the Need (and Necessity) of Non-New Sentences [Jacek F. Brzozowski „Kilka zdań co nienowe” (“A Few Sentences that are Non-New”]; Stefan Jurkowski: Poetry of Twin Moments [Elżbieta Cichla-Czarniawska „Sobowtór chwili” (“A Double of the Moment”)]; Ewa Dunaj: Permanent Beauty [Bogusław Kierc „Tyle na chwilę. Wiersze z lat 1967-2020” (“So Much for a Moment. Poems from 1967-2020”)] / 132
Discussions of the latest poetry books written by literary scholars and critics. They contain detailed analyses and characterize the most popular contemporary literary trends and phenomena.
Lechosław Lameński: Finally in Poland – Andrzej Kolo and the Artists of the KrakArt Group / 145
The protagonist of the essay is Andrzej Kolo, actually Andrzej Kołodziej, a Polish painter from Tarnów (born 1944), who emigrated to the USA in 1973. In 1981, he founded the KrakArt group in California, whose members were graduates of national art academies who had been living and working in the United States for years. This group is very active in terms of exhibitions; it has no single program, its members represent a wide variety of currents and tendencies present in contemporary European and world art. In Poland, they exhibited their works for the first time only in 2020 at the Kazimierz Pulaski Museum in Warka and at the Polonia House in Krakow. In 2022, further exhibitions of the group were planned in Łódź and Warsaw. However, due to technical reasons, only two individual exhibitions of the group leader, Andrzej Kolo, have been held so far. This multi-talented artist (painter, draftsman, photographer, poet, musician and playwright), admirer of the art of the rebellious Stach from Warta Szukalski, most willingly paints pictures, mainly figurative and landscape paintings, definitely expressionistic, with elements of decorative color.
Keywords: Andrzej Kolo, KrakArt group, avant-garde, expressionism, abstraction, surrealism, new figuration, pop-art, op-art, decorativeness, optimism, intense colors, dynamic line
PROFILES AND FRIENDSHIPS
Bohdan Zadura: Janek from Warsaw, a professor from Trento, a Florentine / 155
A sketch based on the reading of Jan Władysław Woś’s Dzienniki (Diaries), which were published in 2021 by the Florentine publishing house Le Fenice. The publication includes the notes from the years 1967-1974, covering the period when Woś, after graduating from the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Warsaw, landed a scholarship in Italy – where he eventually settled permanently. The author of the text, an acquaintance of Woś from his student days, recalls their former lecturers and friends, takes a closer look at the adventures of the young researcher’s trip to Italy, and tells of their cordial contacts renewed after several decades. That reunion years later contributed, among other things, to the fact that Woś – already a well-known historian approaching retirement age, specializing in medieval history, and a publisher of sources for Polish history and the history of the Catholic Church – made his debut as a novelist in Poland in 2009.
Keywords: Jan Władysław Woś, diaries, memories, University of Warsaw, 1960s and 1970s, communist Poland, Stefan Morawski, Jan Legowicz, Leszek Kołakowski, Witold Maj
Jan Lewandowski: Madame Elżbieta / 164
The essay outlines the life story of Elżbieta Loppe (1904-1996), the daughter of the Lutheran pastor Zygmunt August Loppe, a man of great merit for Poland. The biography of Madame Elżbieta is presented against the background of the history of the three generations of the Loppe family and the turbulent events of the 20th century. Two sons of a clerk at the German consulate in Warsaw, the protagonist’s father and her uncle, having completed their studies in Dorpat, became parish priests of Lutheran parishes in the Kingdom of Poland. They were avid supporters of the Polish character of the Lutheran Church, both during the Russian rule and in the years of the Second Polish Republic. The events of World War I and II scattered family members from the borderlands of European Russia to West Germany, but Madame Elżbieta’s biography was limited to the route: Wilno-Suwałki-Łuck-Przemyśl-Lublin. Still, she got to live in the Russian partition, under the Austro-Hungarian and German occupation, in the Second Polish Republic, in the USSR, under the German occupation and in the Polish People’s Republic …
CARDS FROM THE ISLAND
Grażyna Lutosławska: “Hockney’s Eye” at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge / 173
Marek Danielkiewicz: The Spirit of Time / 176
Leszek Mądzik: A Meeting / 178
Grzegorz Figiel: The Collections of the Hieronim Łopaciński Public Library in the National Library Resource / 179
70 years of the best Radio in Poland / 184
Mariusz Deckert: Towards the Future / 186
Konrad Sutarski: The Invisible Side of the Moon, or a Mechanizer of Agriculture in Search of World Discoveries / 188
Bartosz Suwiński: Nostalgia and Presence. The Poetry of Manolis Aligizakis / 192
Waldemar Michalski: My Maxim Rylski / 194
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 / 200