Contents and summaries

Spis treści numeru 2/2021

Contents and Summaries

Tadeusz Żukowski: poems / 7

Jacek Giszczak: Marcel Proust Read Anew / 11

Marcel Proust: The Guermantes Way (An Excerpt) / 13

Five volumes of the series In Search of Lost Time were published in Poland in the years 1937-1939 in the translation of Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński. The last two volumes were lost during the war in Lviv. The entire novel was published in Poland between 1957-1960. Volume Six was translated by Maciej Żurowski, and Volume Seven by Julian Rogoziński. Eighty years after the first Polish edition, Officyna decided to publish the entire work of Proust in a new translation. This edition is unique because each volume will be translated by a different translator. The third volume, The Guermantes Way, will be published this year in translation by Jacek Giszczak, an experienced translator of French-language literature living in Lublin, a winner of the Ryszard Kapuściński Award. A fragment of Giszczak’s translation is featured in the current issue of “Akcent”.

Keywords: In Search of Lost Time, Marcel Proust, Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński, translations

Maciej Cisło: poems / 22

Jakub Nowak: An Epitaph for Agency. The World of Parasitic Surveillance according to Shoshana Zuboff / 26

An essay written under the influence of Shoshana Zuboff’s book entitled The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power (Wiek kapitalizmu inwigilacji. Walka o przyszłość ludzkości na nowej granicy władzy, trans. Alicja Unterschuetz). Zuboff’s work concerns the activities of network companies such as Google or Facebook. Operating within the political and economic order which Zuboff calls surveillance capitalism, the Big Tech companies use the experiences of those who use their platforms and Internet services for the purpose of data mining. The data they collect contributes to the so-called behavioral surplus, which allows the tech giants to predict the Internet users’ subsequent actions. The products of data engineering applied in predictive analytics have become so efficient today that algorithms not only capture important trends in our behavior, but they are also able to influence our actions on a larger scale, shaping our consumer or civic choices for optimal outcomes.

Keywords: new technologies, surveillance capitalism, corporatism, globalization, Shoshana Zuboff, Data Justice Lab

Zbigniew Jerzyna: poems / 36

Marcin Jerzyna: “There is Always a Light at the Verge of Despair.” In Memory of My Father / 39

The memoirs of Marcin Jerzyna, poet and musician, about his father. Zbigniew Jerzyna (born May 9, 1938, died November 29, 2010) was a respected poet, playwright, essayist, author of radio plays, song lyrics and poems for children. The publication of the memoirs is accompanied by the presentation of the poet’s previously unpublished poems, which the editors of “Akcent” have received from his son.

Marcin Jerzyna: poems / 41

Roman Chojnacki: Sugar Pigeon / 43

The title pigeon is one of those wonderful flying creatures that have two distinguishing features: a movable palate and a reduced number of bones. The plot of the featured novel takes place in the second half of the 1960s. The protagonist is a teenager who at all costs wants to gain autonomy from the confines of his epoch which he finds alien. The novel brings up the memories from his childhood, difficult emotional relationships, including first erotic experiences, as well as his addiction to the situation of his own family. He is someone who would later be called an “establishment child” (the term “establishment” refers to the communist government administration in which the parents of such children held high positions). And this fact is the source of dramatic tension and sometimes leads to tragicomic and pathetic situations.

Stefan Rusin: poems / 52

Łukasz Marcińczak: On Both Sides of the Same Blindness. Remarque’s Older Brother / 54

The author of the sketch juxtaposes two of the most outstanding 20th-century anti-war books: Henri Barbusse’s novel Under Fire (Ogień), published in 1916, and Erich Maria Remarque’s novel All Quiet on the Western Front (Na zachodzie bez zmian), published in Germany 14 years later. Although both works substantially differ in their literary aesthetics, their authors, who fought on opposite sides during World War I, shared similar military experience. This prompts us to ask questions about their post-war fate. The French writer, although he emerged from the trenches as a declared communist, was respected not only in Russia, where he eventually died, but also in his native country. On the other hand, the German author, disdained in his homeland, spent his entire post-war life in exile, notorious for his affairs with Hollywood actresses. In the end, however, it is Remarque’s novel that still remains in the literary canon, while the work by Barbusse, once awarded with the Goncourt Prize, has shared the fate of some other outstanding books, to which we hardly ever return today.

Keywords: Erich Maria Remarque, Henri Barbusse, World War I, pacifist literature, communism

Zbigniew Chojnowski: poems / 61

Edward Zyman: Is the Polish Diaspora in the Dawn of Normalcy? / 64

The plot of the novel Kreator (Creator), from which the published fragment is taken, takes place among the Polish Diaspora in the United States and Canada in the 1980s. In this case, however, the geographical factor is not brought to the foreground. The essence of the narrative of the novel is the clash of the two worlds: the refugees from World War II and the newcomers representing the journalists and writers who were forced to leave Poland during the martial law period in the early 1980s. Both groups, despite the differences in their mentality, drastically divergent political views and distinctive lifestyles, are in fact doomed to coexist. The novel follows a pastiche-grotesque convention, but the clearly outlined characters and events seem to be derived from an autopsy.

Henryk J. Kozak: poems / 72

Tomasz Kłusek: Henryk Pająk’s Cracked World / 77

A text devoted to the prose by Henryk Pająk. The writer, born in 1937, for some time combined the career of a writer with that of a journalist, which resulted, among others, in the volume of reportages titled Zerwanie [Rupture] (1976). In his novels such as Los [Fate] (1969) or Za cieniem cień[Shadow after Shadow] (1989) we can identify the means of expression typical of non-fiction where the real events were subject to the process of fictionalization. This method is even more evident in Pająk’s other novels, including Druga śmierć[Second Death] (1971), Pęknięty świat [Broken World] (1972) and the Vilnius-Zamość dilogy, i.e. Tam, za snem [Over There, Following the Dream] (1991) and Wolny [Free] (1992). Of particular importance among the works by the author associated with Lublin’s artistic scene is the novel Posłuchaj, Moniko [Listen, Monica] (1977) which supposedly contains some autobiographical elements. As a prose writer, Pająk was particularly interested in the topic of war and in the influence of the World War II experience on the contemporary rural areas. Later, he took up the topic of the former Polish Eastern Borderlands. Since the beginning of his literary activity, Pająk had been writing poetry as well. By publishing a retrospective volume of poems Amen in 1993, he bid farewell to strictly artistic activity. From then on, he engaged exclusively in political journalism.

Keywords: Henryk Pająk, World War II, Polish Eastern Borderlands, Lublin, rural issues, reportage

Stanisław Kieroński: poems / 95


Not only analytically …

Jan Lewandowski: The “Red” Habsburg [Timothy Snyder „Czerwony Książę. Niezwykłe losy Wilhelma von Habsburga” (“The Red Prince. The Extraordinary Life of Wilhelm von Habsburg”)]; Wiesława Turżańska: “Wisełka, You’re so Multifold” [Joanna Gromek-Illg „Szymborska. Znaki szczególne. Biografia wewnętrzna” (“Szymborska. Distinguishing Features. Internal Biography”)]; Adam Talarowski: Medieval Epic as a Testimony to Historical Memory [Wojciech Michalski „Robert Bruce i jego kompania w eposie pióra Johna Barboura The Bruce około 1376 roku” (‘Robert Bruce and his Company in the Epic by John Barbour The Bruce around 1376”)]; Józef Franciszek Fert: Romanticism in the Mirror of Conservatism [Tomasz Kłusek „Dwie koncepcje konserwatyzmu romantycznego: Krasiński i Rzewuski” (“Two Concepts of Romantic Conservatism: Krasiński and Rzewuski”)] / 99

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

Poets, poets …

Bartosz Suwiński: Bohdan Zadura – Levels of Meanings [Bohdan Zadura „Sekcja zabójstw” (“Homicide Section”)]; Ewa Kołodziejczyk: “Endure Each Day More” [Krzysztof Siwczyk „Osobnikt” (“A Nobody”)]; Stefan Jurkowski: A Chronicler of a Cramped Garden [Alfred Marek Wierzbicki „Stąd i stamtąd” (“From Here and from There”)]; Jan Belcik: Wojciech Kass’ Matters and Metaphysical Situations [Wojciech Kass „Metaf. 20 wier­szy o położeniu” (“Metaph. 20 Lines about the Position”)]; Arkadiusz Bagłajewski: Petőfi – Our Common One? [Sándor Petőfi „Lutnia i miecz. Wybór poezji” (“Lute and Sword. A Selection of Poetry”)] / 119

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


Lechosław Lameński: Irena Hochman and Tadeusz Mysłowski’s Collection of Graphics at the National Museum in Lublin / 139

When at the beginning of March 2021 the National Museum in Lublin (the former District Museum at the Castle) was opened after a thorough renovation – and then closed after a few days, due to the COVID-19 pandemic – among its highlights was Irena Hochman and Tadeusz Mysłowski’s Gallery of Temporary Exhibitions. It includes nearly two hundred prints and other works on paper by the most eminent Polish, European and American artists, mainly from the 20th century. The entire collection of about nine hundred exhibits compiled by Irena Hochman and Tadeusz Mysłowski, privately spouses, was partially donated and partially deposited at the Museum.

Keywords: Irena Hochman, Tadeusz Mysłowski, collection, National Museum in Lublin

Anna Hałata: Around the Exhibition “Correspondences. The Artist and the Collection” / 145

The National Museum in Lublin houses a collection of nearly 900 works of art donated by Irena Hochman and Tadeusz Mysłowski, which illustrates the important phenomena in the Polish graphics and the world art of the 20th and 21st centuries. The exhibition Correspondences. The Artist and the Collection results from an attempt to look at Mysłowski’s activity through the idea of dialogicality, which is one of the characteristic features of both his work as an artist and his passion for collecting art. In a sense, the collection becomes a “mirror” revealing the explorations, interests, emotions and passions of Mysłowski – the artist. It builds a topography of references and gives the opportunity to look at his art from a broad perspective of inspiration and historical relations.

Keywords: Irena Hochman, Tadeusz Mysłowski, collection, graphics and contemporary art, the idea of ​​dialogicality


Jarosław Sawic: “Mr. Green-Eyed…”. The Literary Biography of Bulat Okudzhava / 154

A text inspired by Dmitry Bykov’s book Okudzhava. Life, Songs, Legend (Okudżawa. Życie, piosenki, legenda). The analysis of the monograph devoted to the outstanding Russian poet and bard aims to find an answer to the question about the essence of Bulat Okudzhava’s phenomenon. The author of the sketch is also interested in the form of the book, the scope and type of source materials, and the cultural and historical perspective, including Bykov’s attitude to Stalinism.

Keywords: Bułat Okudżawa, poetic song, biographism, Stalinism, Dmitry Bykov


Lechosław Lameński: Stanisław Baj and Others against the Background of Piotr Zieliński’s Art Gallery Wirydarz / 159

The latest exhibition of works by Stanisław Baj, a well-known and respected painter, took place in Lublin in the intimate space of Art Gallery Wirydarz owned by Piotr Zieliński. Baj, who likes to paint the image of the Bug river in various light configurations, showed a dozen or so of his latest riverside paintings. They seem even more abstract than his earlier works, and their colours are radically different, with the dominance of aggressive reds. The Wirydarz Art Gallery has operated since 1999. Its creator, Piotr Zieliński, is not only a successful and respected gallery owner, but also a remarkable art collector and art dealer. He actively participates in the artistic life of the city and the region, featuring the great variety of artists from all over Poland.

Keywords: Stanisław Baj, the Bug river, light, Wirydarz Art Gallery


Marek Danielkiewicz: Men’s Playing and Writing (essay) / 166


Leszek Mądzik: Eyes (essay) / 169


Jacek Dobrowolski: A Sip of Northern Waters. A Sketch on the Poems by Alicja Rosé / 170

Aneta Wysocka: A Testimony of a Peasant Soldier. Poland of 1907-1918 in the lens of Karol Omyła’s “House Notes” / 177

Joanna Tabor: Polish-Lithuanian vis-à-vis (Birutė Jonuškaitė’s Tender Mirror) / 179

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 the authors / 183