Contents and summaries. Akcent 1/2020

Spis treści numeru 1/2020

Contents and summaries

Anna Maria Goławska: poems / 7

Jakow Glatsztejn: When Yash Arrived / 11

Jacob Glatstein’s second autobiographical novel (the first one, Ven Yash iz geforn, was published in 1937) came out in Yiddish in 1940. The action takes place in a spa in the Lublin region. The name of the spa is not mentioned, but various cultural and topographical references suggest that the action is set in Nałęczów, one of the oldest Polish health resorts located 20 km away from Lublin. In the opening chapters the main protagonist Steinman is introduced against the background of other Jewish visitors. Both novels were published in new and revised English translations in 2010 with an introduction by Ruth Wisse.

Monika Adamczyk-Garbowska: Somewhere in Poland, in Other Words in Nałęczów: Jacob Glatstein’s Travel to Poland in 1934 / 23

The article discusses Jacob Glatstein’s novel Ven Yash iz gekumen [When Yash Arrived] with a special focus on the topography and circumstances of the writer’s visit to Poland in the summer of 1934 that so far have been neglected or misinterpreted by foreign critics. The article is accompanied by a Polish translation of Glatstein’s essay published in the New York Yiddish daily Tog-Morgn Zhurnal in November 1965 in which he recalls, among other things, his stay in Nałęczów and the people he met there who became prototypes for characters in his novel.

Keywords: Jakow Glatsztejn, Lublin, Nałęczów, Holocaust, memories, Bela Mandelsberg-Szyldkraut, Mosze Feinkind

Jakow Glatsztejn: A Jewish Historian from Lublin / 33

Adam Kopciowski: Bela Mandelsberg-Szyldkraut – a Forgotten Researcher of Jewish Lublin / 36

The article is devoted to the life and work of a Lublin historian Bela Mandelsberg-Szyldkraut (1901-1942?). The author describes her family situation, education, pre-war cultural and socio-political activities, and lists her most important publications. In the part about World War II we learn what happened during the occupation times to Bela Mandelsberg-Szyldkraut (social work, imprisonment in the ghetto and her death, probably during the great deportation to the Bełżec camp) and her husband Majer Szyldkraut (escape to the USSR in 1939, post-war return to Poland, cultural activities in France and Israel, death in 1991 in Tel Aviv).

Keywords: Bela Mandelsberg-Szyldkraut, Majer Szyldkraut, Lublin, World War II, Holocaust, Lublin, historiography

Maciej Bieszczad: poems / 43

Maria Krzywda: Maria’s Eight Days / 46

The story begins with a drowning scene, as a result of which the main character Maria loses her voice. In the following scenes, divided into subsequent days, Maria experiences a change or a loss. We learn that she is a resident of an orphanage where she was placed after her grandmother’s death. Her memories of life with the grandmother are intertwined with everyday experiences at the orphanage. On the first day Maria loses taste and stops eating, on the second day she loses control of her toes, on the third – her smile, on the fourth – her ability to recognize letters, on the fifth – her body heat, on the sixth – her sleep, on the seventh – the feeling of the whole body. On the last, eighth day we learn that Maria did not survive the accident and drowned.

Przemysław Szczygieł: poems / 49

Tomasz Kłusek: We are all Immigrants … Identity Issues in the Writings of Danuta Mostwin / 51

The article is the continuation of the essay Kalendarz polski Danuty Mostwin [The Polish Calendar of Danuta Mostwin] published in the previous issue of Akcent. That essay discussed primarily Danuta Mostwin’s novel cycle …ani o ziarno jęczmienia mniej… [… not even one barley grain less…] whereas this one focuses on the novels Olivia [Olivia], Ja za wodą, ty za wodą [Me off the Water, You off the Water], Odchodzą moi synowie [My Sons are Leaving], and the short stories collections titled Asteroidy [Asteroids] and Odkrywanie Ameryki [Discovering America]. The subject of identity, recognized by the author of the essay as a recurring and binding theme for all these works, is also connected with Danuta Mostwin’s theoretical and scientific considerations. This refers to the writer’s concept of a “third value” (as an identity based on a combination of values ​​derived from the country of birth with those found in the country of settlement) and the impact of the work of Professor Margaret Mead and other representatives of the academic community of Columbia University in New York. Moving away from perceiving the problem of immigration only as a spatial phenomenon, and taking into account what Mead called “immigration in time,” allows placing Mostwin’s work in a broader context and reveals the universality of her works.

Keywords: Danuta Mostwin, immigration in time, immigration in space, Polish Diaspora, identity, Margaret Mead, William Faulkner, psychology

Ryszard Kołodziej: poems / 64

Joanna Clark: Go Ahead / 67

The story’s action takes place in the near future with a dystopian character. A young married couple sensing some danger must decide whether to run away or stay in their house on the outskirts of the village. They differ in the assessment of the situation and during their dispute the topic of the history of their relationship comes up, yet they both see it differently. The ending of the story can also be interpreted differently – however, it seems that, after all, they will not be able to avoid the threat.

Uta Przyboś: poems / 71

Karol Maliszewski: The View from the Hospital Window / 75

A sketch devoted to the topic of illness and hospital in the contemporary poetry. The author first discusses the life story of Anna Zelenay suffering from tuberculosis, noting how she puts these experiences into poems. In the following parts of the sketch, he recalls the poetry of Miron Białoszewski, Waldemar Michalski, Józef Baran and Bohdan Zadura, analyzing the poems in which the authors recorded their mental state after a heart attack. Each of them rendered this traumatic experience in their own characteristic way. The motive that runs through all these poems is the “view from the window” or the “view on the window,” a specific approach to the space that divides, and, at the same time, connects the two worlds of the sick and the healthy.

Keywords: poetry, hospital, illness, heart attack, window, Anna Zelenay, Miron Białoszewski, Waldemar Michalski, Józef Baran, Bohdan Zadura

Mateusz Chról: poems / 85

James Hatton: New Earth / 87

The story is based on the events that took place in 1912 during the Antarctic expedition Terra Nova. A group of six is ​​cut off from the world for six months. Levick, a doctor, struggles not only with the weather, illness and hunger, but also with his growing affection for another member of the expedition – Browning. Levick looks after seriously ill Browning for months while they are hiding in an ice pit and later on their trip back home. The group will survive, and Levick will remember Antarctica not as a hostile land that almost took their lives, but as an asylum where he could be himself.


Not only analytically

Stefan Jurkowski: A Miracle without a Miracle [„Innego cudu nie będzie. Rozmowy o wierze i niewierze” (“There will be no Other Miracle. Conversations about Faith and Disbelief.”)] Damian Jankowski talks to Wacław Oszajca SJ]; Aleksandra Niewiara: Free Europe – Linking the Meanings [Leksykon aksjologiczny Słowian i ich sąsiadów (Axiological Lexicon of Slavs and Their Neighbors). Edited by Jerzy Bartmiński. Vol. 2, Europa (Europe). Ed. Wojciech Chlebda; [Leksykon aksjologiczny Słowian i ich sąsiadów (Axiological Lexicon of Slavs and Their Neighbors). Edited by Jerzy Bartmiński. Vol. 4, Wolność (Freedom). Ed. Maciej Abramowicz, Jerzy Bartmiński]; Wiesława Turżańska: An Exceptional Decade. From Port Huron to Kent State [Jerzy Jarniewicz’s „Bunt wizjonerów” (“Visionaries’ Rebellion”)]; Andrzej Majewski: Vatican Privately [Magdalena Wolińska-Riedi: „Kobieta w Watykanie” (“A Woman in the Vatican”)] / 94

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

Poets, poets …

Iwona Hofman: The Anthology of Czapski [„Polskie wiersze wojenne” (“Polish War Poems”). Composed by Józef Czapski. Submitted for print by Igor Belov and Piotr Mitzner]; Bartosz Suwiński: Poems will Follow Us [Krzysztof Lisowski: „Zaginiona we śnie” (“Lost in a Dream”)]; Stefan Jurkowski: A Fleeting Man [Elżbieta Cichla-Czarniawska: „zanurzeni w mroku” (“Immersed in Darkness”)]; Zbigniew Chojnowski: A Dis-sorceress [Małgorzata Skałbania: „Che barbaro momento”]; Iwona Gralewicz-Wolny: “Letter by Letter” [Jadwiga Graboś „Lekcje rozróżniania” (“Lessons in Distinguishing”)] / 109

The discussions on the latest poetry books, written by literary scholars and critics. They contain detailed analyzes and characterize the most important contemporary literary trends and phenomena.


Andrzej Jaroszyński and Łukasz Marcińczak on The Lexicon of Lublin Jews / 122

A juxtaposition of two literary criticisms devoted to a selected book published recently. The clash of different points of view and personal assessments allows the authors to emphasize the multidimensionality of the publication and initiate a discussion about its meaning and value.


Iryna Syzonenko: Painter and Time. A Short Story about Stanisław Żukowski, a Forgotten Polish Landscape Painter / 130

An article devoted to Stanisław Żukowski (1873-1944) – a forgotten landscape painter, born in a Polish noble family in the Grodno province. Due to various places of residence (especially in the years 1892-1923), he is considered – outside of Poland – as a Russian, Belarusian and even Ukrainian painter. His atmospheric, sophisticated landscapes enjoyed high critical acclaim and audience interest. The artist participated in many exhibitions, both in Russia, as well as in Germany, Italy, France, Denmark, the United States and Canada. After his final return to the homeland of his ancestors in 1923, he became a member of the Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts in Warsaw (Zachęta), joined the Warsaw Group of Artists “Pro Arte” (active in 1932-1939), and actively participated in the artistic life of his beloved capital. He did not leave the city during the Warsaw Uprising, and he died in a transit camp in Pruszków.

Keywords: Stanisław Żukowski, landscape painting, nature, impressionism, Isaac Lewitan


Eliza Leszczyńska-Pieniak: The Archeology of Memory / 139

A discussion of the exhibition of paintings by Piotr Tymochowicz at the BWA in Zamość. The artist symbolically transfers images of destroyed houses, which create a symbolic story of Poland from old times into modern spaces. It forces us to reflect on the passing of time, awakens our longing for the past, but also confronts us with the contemporary understanding of architecture.


Jadwiga Mizińska: Heartfelt Places / 142

Physical space-time is homogeneous and neutral. Human space-time is, however, non-homogeneous, maximally diversified in political, social, psychological, aesthetic and ethical terms. It contains “bad” and “good” places, unpleasant and nice, hostile and friendly. The author of the essay indicates her subjectively selected “heartfelt places” in the space of Lublin and urges her readers to tell everyone about their own.

Keywords: Lublin, “heartfelt places”, Catholic University of Lublin, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Krzywa 19, Old Town in Lublin, topography


Jan Władysław Woś: Natalia Gonczarowa – A Star of the Russian Artistic Avant-garde / 150

Jan Władysław Woś – historian, researcher of Polish-Italian relations, publisher of sources for the history of Poland and the history of the Church, bibliophile, collector, retired professor of Eastern European history at the universities of Pisa, Venice and Trent – writes about Natalia Gonczarowa (1881–1962) in the context of the exhibition of her work organized recently at the Strozzi Palace in Florence. Gonczarowa was a versatile artist; she practiced painting, drawing and graphics, stage design, costumes, fabrics, ceramics, she was an actress, a ballerina and a book illustrator. Her work is an explosion of colors, strength, energy and creativity. Goncharova harmoniously combined elements of traditional Russian art with avant-garde Western art. She created in various styles, including primitivist, post-impressionist, cubist and cubofuturistic. Peasant themes and religious works inspired by icons occupy a special place in her work.

Keywords: Natalia Gonczarowa, Mikhail Łarionow, primitivism, post-impressionism, rayonism, futurism, cubism, peasant and religious themes


Marek Danielkiewicz: Song Festivals, or my Beloved PRL (People’s Republic of Poland) (essay) / 154


Leszek Mądzik: Anxiety (essay) / 157


Adam A. Szafrański: An Italian Sociologist in Polish Optics / 158

Information on the well-known creators of culture, as well as the most interesting events, publications and artistic activities from the past few months.

Notes about the authors / 161