Marek Danielkiewicz: poems / 7
Bogdan Nowicki: Barakomachia / 10
Barakomachia consists of three separate episodes. The protagonists from the “underclass” are set in a space that mythologizes both the characters and the circumstances of their actions. There is no linearity of events. There are only situations showing in an allegorical way the disintegrated subjectivity of a man. The introduction of the elements of humour, pastiche and caricature is a hint for readers that the text should not be taken literally and they should autonomously search for the hidden meaning.
Justyna Bednarska: poems / 17
Waldemar Dymarczyk: A Saddle Hat and Boots. Long Life of Brown Aesthetics / 20
An essay dedicated to the manifestations of fascist aesthetics in culture from1930s to modern times. The author, recalling the greatest works of “classical artists” associated with the fascist movement (Albert Speer, Arno Breker, Leni Riefenstahl) and citing, among others, Susan Sontag, characterizes the most important features of this type of art: monumentalism, historicism, cult of community, strength, violence (and hence also some form of submission) and a kind of fetishism (fascination with uniform). This type of aesthetics, strongly affecting its recipients, after the war began to be referred to not only by the cultural elites, who explored the boundaries of art, using the method of provocation and shock, but also by the creators of pop culture: writers, directors, and even comic book authors. Although in most of these cases the revival of Nazi aesthetics did not entail the praise for murderous ideology, but, as cautiously observed by the author, the costume can easily be transformed into a uniform. In recent times, this tendency has been evidenced not only in the increasing popularity of symbols evoking “brown” associations, but also in more and more visible political activity of groups with extremely racist and xenophobic beliefs.
Paola Loreto: poems / 28
Sławomir Majewski: Chan Chan. Satan’s Land / 31
Doctor David and his wife Anna are staying in the Mission in a country in South America, where time seems to be passing monotonously. Their stay in the jungle was a form of a getaway after the death of their daughter and Anna’s insanity. David is exhausted with his life with Anna, who after two years got back to normal and now wants to enjoy life. David, however, for some time has been involved in a relationship with Mariposa, a young Indian girl known as La Putita. When three injured botanists appear one day in the Mission, David starts to think of another affair with Adeline, a member of the expedition; he invites the girl to spend some time in his house. The turn of the events and the reality will bring a huge surprise.
Magdalena Jankowska: poems / 40
Aleksander Wójtowicz: A Wanderer and an Exile, or the Unwritten History of Lublin Avant-garde / 42
A comparative analysis of Poemat o mieście Lublinie (The Poem about the City) by Józef Czechowicz and Ballada lubelska (Lublin’s Ballade) by Józef Łobodowski, inspired by the first joint publication of these works. In both texts, the urban scenery and related experiences were described using figures typical of modern literary discourse on the subject of identity. In The Poem there is a “wanderer” characteristic of high modernism, while in the Ballade there is an “exile.” Both works were shaped under the influence of different cultural experiences and aesthetic concepts. Czechowicz’s piece was located on the borderline of the avant-garde, high modernism (poetic fragments) and popular culture (poetic prose supplemented with directions for radio performance), while Łobodowski’s work became part of the nostalgic émigré poetry.
Tadas Žvirinskis: poems / 50
Ukrainian stories in translations by Bohdan Zadura (Halyna Kruk, Oleksandr Boychenko, Andriy Lubka) / 54
Halyna Kruk is a poet born in 1974 in Lviv, also a prose writer, translator, screenwriter, literary historian and author of children’s books. Oleksandr Boychenko is a critic and literary scholar born in 1970 in Chernivtsi, an essayist, translator and columnist. The main motif of both authors’ stories is cancer and waiting for the diagnostic test results. The evident desire to survive in such a situation is accompanied by a look into the past, life summaries and modification of individual hierarchy of values. The stories of Andriy Lubka – born in 1987 in Riga, a poet, prose writer, essayist, translator and social activist – are kept in a different tone dominated by autoirony. The theme of the first story is a failed attempt to “pick up” a girl. The narrator of the second story recalls the situation when, as a nineteen-year-old boy, he went to Minsk for the election of the President of Belarus, and, after taking part in the protest against Aleksander Lukashenka, he was arrested. During his stay in Arkestin prison, unexpected and amazingly pleasant events took place.
Walt Whitman: poems / 65
Andrzej Jaroszyński: A Polish Post-war Immigrant in a British Novel / 68
Post-war Polish immigrants appear in the British prose created both by authors with Polish roots and by British natives. The literature is diverse in terms of genre: from moral and psychological novels through satirical works and family sagas to spy and sensational books. The main issues raised by writers are those related to the identity of the protagonists who try to find their place in the new homeland and face a painful war past. Quite often there are also political issues, dilemmas of a moral and existential nature, and issues related to intergenerational conflicts (born in Great Britain, children of immigrants perceive this country differently than parents brought up in Poland). This kind of prose is therefore closely embedded in historical realities and as such it provides valuable information about Polish immigration in the 20th century.
Maciej Krzyżan: poems / 76
Małgorzata Skałbania: stories / 78
One of the threads linking the four stories of Małgorzata Skałbania – painter and poet born in 1965 in Tychy – is work or search for work. The narrator of the first story, a student at the Cracow Academy of Fine Arts, describes her stay in a dorm for Polish women led by a nun. Although the nun finds a job for the student, she seeks to take over the girl’s entire salary. The narrator of the second story mentions the figure of her aunt who would find various strange jobs for her, such as selling satellite dishes or cleaning in a beautician’s salon. In the third story, the remarks on harvest time lead to the figure of Nikolai Vavilov, a dreamer scientist, who wanted nobody in the world to starve. In the fourth story, an old electrician talks about his job and recalls the colorful history of his theater, former directors and managers as well as foreign trips of the actors’ team.
Sara Akram: poems / 87
Łukasz Marcińczak: “Kultura” among its Countrymen or – did Giedroyc Waste his Life? / 90
Text inspired by the book “Kultura” and its Reception in Poland edited by Iwona Hofman. Published on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Paris-based “Kultura,” the volume focuses on rarely analyzed aspects related to the reception of this émigré journal in Poland. The book recalls academic works on the subject of “Kultura” written under the auspices of the communist Ministry of the Interior, reports about semi-legal collections of the journal in university libraries or statements about “Kultura” appearing in the diaries of the best-known Polish “national” writers. Reading the book proves that our knowledge about this most important 20th-century Polish immigration magazine is still incomplete. This observation raises the question whether after more than half a century of the intellectual impact of “Kultura,” the “legacy” of Giedroyc can be observed in today’s Poland and in the minds of contemporary Poles.
Not only analytically …
Wiesława Turżańska: Out of Concern for Imponderabilia [„Konstelacja Topoi o rzeczach najważniejszych. Wybór tekstów krytycznych” (“Topoi Constellation on the Most Important Things. Selection of Critical Texts.”) Selection, layout, content and editing by Adrian Gleń]; Teresa Klimowicz: The Anatomy of the Jewish Cemetery [Andrzej Trzciński „Świadkiem jest ta stela. Stary cmentarz żydowski w Lublinie” (“The Stele is the Witness. The Old Jewish Cemetery in Lublin”)]; Jerzy Kutnik: A Community of Memory [“Only Vanished Footprints or a Permanent Legacy? The Central European Refugee’s Cultural Memory in the Homelands.” Eds. Márton Falusi and Ákos Károly Windhager]; Jerzy Święch: How to write about Anna Frajlich [„»Tu jestem / zamieszkuję własne życie«. Studia i szkice o twórczości Anny Frajlich” (“»Here I am / I inhabit my own life«.” Studies and Sketches about the Works of Anna Frajlich.”) Eds. Wojciech Ligęza and Jolanta Pasterska]; Aleksander Wójtowicz: Przyboś and his Multiple Portrait [„Przyboś dzisiaj” (“Przyboś Today.”) Eds. Zenon Ożoga, Janusz Pasterski, Magdalena Rabizo-Birek] / 99
Reviews of recently published academic, essayistic and documentary books, seen against the background of the most important phenomena of contemporary culture.
Poets, poets …
Ewa Dunaj: Section of the Dead Language [Bohdan Zadura „Po szkodzie” (“Once the Damage is Done”)]; Justyna Kasperek: To Absorb Reality [Grzegorz Wróblewski „Choroba Morgellonów”, „Miejsca styku”, „Implanty” (“Morgellon’s Disease,” “Places of Contact,” “Implants”)]; Elżbieta Cichla-Czarniawska: Journey into the Depths of Memory [Edward Zyman „Bez prawa azylu” (“Without the Right for Asylum”)]; Teresa Tomsia: Poet from the Owl Mountains, from Chicago, “from the Blood and Bones” of the Borderlands [Adam Lizakowski „Jak zdobyto Dziki Zachód. Wiersze i poematy” (“How the Wild West was Conquered. Poems”)]; Edyta Antoniak-Kiedos: Poetry in Exclusive Edition [Ewa Mazur „Inne klęski” (“Other Disasters”)] / 121
Discussions of the latest books of poetry written by literary scholars and critics. They contain detailed analyzes and characterize the most popular currents and literary phenomena.
Lechosław Lameński: Roman Mucha – Unusual Graphic Artist and Regionalist / 136
The protagonist of the essay Roman Mucha (1934-2017) is an interesting graphic artist born in Wieszczyca near Tomaszów Lubelski, who successfully developed both workshop and application graphics, attaching great importance to formal solutions and caring for the illustrative qualities of his works. Infatuated with the rich history and art of the Lublin region, its colorful multiculturalism, as the main theme of his very personal engravings Mucha made the diversified buildings of his beloved Tomaszów Lubelski, and, above all, the unique beauty and originality of the historic Orthodox churches, which he came across during numerous wanderings in the Polish-Ukrainian borderland. He was a typical – in a good sense of the word – regionalist artist, and at the same time a widely respected social worker, devoted wholeheartedly to cultural affairs of this part of the Lublin region.
The world revolves around femininity. A Conversation with Jerzy Tyburski / 144
Jerzy Tyburski talks about the exhibition, which became a summary of an important period in his life, about his studio and about how ideas for paintings are born. The painter can be known as an insightful observer of reality, systematically recording his reflections on the subject of the changing world in which a female element plays a special role.
Magdalena Jankowska: When the Villain Hides Behind a Holy Image / 147
Eight years since the last performance of Świętoszek (Tartuffe) on the stage of Juliusz Osterwa theater, the play premiered again. The changing socio-political context significantly influenced the interpretation of the work. Bohdan Tosza interpreted it through the prism of the slogans of capitalist activity. Remigiusz Brzyk created a statement about the enslavement of the artist. He used the text of the drama, supplemented with documents illustrating Moliere’s five-year fight for the staging of Tartuffe. Letters, essays and reviews show what weapon his art was fought against, how he defended it, and what concessions he finally had to make. Despite the distinctive intellectual aspect, the spectacle strongly appeals to emotions. The rich structure of the performance, inner pulse and good acting make the viewers watch the new Tartuffe with unwavering attention, and with deep emotion at times. The director managed to create art in defense of free creative expression.
Barbara Kowalik: “The Daughter of Headsman” in Lublin – The First Great Success of Hanka Ordonówna / 152
What contributes to the success of a song? Is it enough to have good lyrics, catchy tunes and performers’ charisma, or do you need something more? The pretext for this kind of consideration might be the song Córka kata (Daughter of Headsman), which in November 1926 brought fame to Hanka Ordonówna. The author of the essay explains the misunderstandings that have arisen around this work and examines the phenomenon of its success. The Daughter of Headsman is analyzed in various contexts – cultural, musical, literary and even political, as well as in networks of intertextual connections. In addition, the author goes back to the autumn of 1918, when the novice artist found herself in Lublin. In this city Ordonówna for the first time had the opportunity to cooperate with people treating the cabaret as a full-fledged type of theater art. It was in Lublin that she also had her first stage triumph as a performer of military and legionary songs.
CHILD AND THE WORLD
Iwona Hofman: Let’s Start with the Title. On the Tales by Grażyna Lutosławska / 164
Review of a children’s book titled Tales of Things written by Grażyna Lutosławska. The protagonists of the short tales are ordinary objects and household appliances (ball, washing machine, shoes, button, telephone, pot and drone). They all possess – as in fairy tales – human traits, and in every story there is some truth about the world or the human nature. The author of the review emphasizes the philosophical value of Lutosławska’s tales, bearing in mind a similar convention in the works of Leszek Kołakowski and priest Józef Tischner. Grażyna Lutosławska’s tales delight with the multitude of cultural contexts, creative approach to the genre convention, linguistic intuition of the author, her sensitivity to the meanings of words, and the very form of publication (beautiful cover, realistic illustrations, tasteful colors, interesting experiments with text architectures).
White Page. Maria Ekier, an illustrator, author of children’s books, interviewed by Eliza Leszczyńska-Pieniak / 168
Maria Ekier, an outstanding Polish illustrator, also known as a book author, introduces the reader to the secrets of graphic art. She talks about the books she illustrated and about the cooperation with their authors, including Hanna Krall. She confesses that at first she wanted to become an actress, but while studying at a theater school, she became convinced that performances on stage did not match her personality. It was only with time that she realized that her destiny was a “white page” that Ekier would fill with the composition created in her imagination. The artist talks about the people who shaped her character and talent, including Jerzy Popiełuszko and her mother Danuta Szaflarska. Maria Ekier also recalls the deepest memories associated with childhood – she was born during the war and her first courtyard was in the ruins of Warsaw destroyed by the Germans.
Marek Danielkiewicz: Excuse me, Can I Sleep a Bit? (essay) / 177
Iwona Hofman: Poems are not to be Staged / 180
The fourth edition of the Polish Language Festival in Szczebrzeszyn (5-11.08.2018) was filled with a lot of literary, theater and musical events accompanied by film screenings and thematic walks. The motto of this year’s festival, “The Skamanders,” has found a funny reflection in reciting the famous poem Lokomotywa (Locomotive) by Julian Tuwim in translations into various languages. For the first time the Award of the Great Editor was given to Marianna Sokołowska, a long-time employee of the Polish Publishing Institute. The guests of this edition were, among others: prof. Jadwiga Puzynina, Maja Komorowska, Anna Nehrebecka, Dorota Masłowska, Olga Tokarczuk, Wiesław Myśliwski, Eustachy Rylski, and Andrzej Stasiuk. In the theater zone there premiered the fragments of the plays: Irańska konferencja (The Iranian Conference) by Ivan Vyrypaev and Jerzy Pilch’s Dziennik przebudzenia (Journal of Revival). In the music zone – concerts by Nula Stankiewicz, Hanna Banaszak, Adam Struga, Jazz Band Młynarski-Masecki, and Haydamaky. The audience participated enthusiastically in the Poetry Match and the Night of Skamanders.
Leszek Mądzik: Tasting Old Age (essay) / 186
Notes about the Authors / 187