Contents and Summaries
Piotr Szewc: poems / 7
Andrzej Jaroszyński: Bringing the Massacre Out of the Dark. British Novels about Katyn / 10
An essay devoted to the British novels featuring the theme of the Katyn massacre. In historical crime thrillers, the Katyn massacre is presented in various ways. For instance, it appears in the context of a political game played by foreign intelligence services during the Cold War (Archangel 006 by Raymond Hitchcock); as a justification for the betrayal committed in the novel by one of the Poles, outraged by the fact that the British government hides the truth (Enigma by Robert Harris); or in relation to the fight to expose the actual perpetrators of the crime (When We Fall by Carolyn Kirby). Against the background of these sensational plots, a mature literary attempt to present the fate of the Polish officers imprisoned and killed in the Soviet camps has been authored by Jane Rogoyski in her novel Kozłowski. The author based her plot on historical sources, including the memoirs of Zbigniew Godlewski, a military doctor. Rogoyski describes the adventures of a fictional protagonist who avoided death at the hands of the Soviets and after the war lived as an immigrant in London. The novel refers to the Polish romantic tradition, as the survivor is greatly influenced by the sense of the spiritual presence of the missing and murdered brothers in arms.
Keywords: the Katyn massacre, British literature, World War II, emigration, historical crime thrillers, politics, Polish-British relations, Jane Rogoyski
Marek Danielkiewicz: poems / 18
Katarzyna Nowak: Northern Lights / 22
The story told by a girl is half a fairy tale about her family who lives in a village by the San river. A planitnyk – a man whose work is to chase away the storm – arrives in the village. The girl’s grandmother takes him in, and sees it as an honour due to the newcomer’s affiliation with the celestial spheres. The man takes the grandfather’s place behind the stove, wanders around the village and recounts his fish stories to the inhabitants. But when the day to face the storm finally comes, the grandmother forbids him to leave the hut. Ignorant of the fate of the man’s brothers, who are ready to help him high up in the sky as cloud spirits, the grandmother finally wants to witness the catastrophe she had anticipated throughout her whole life.
Dariusz Patkowski: poems / 27
Łukasz Marcińczak: The Wawel Dragon, or Stach Szukalski? / 30
Stanisław Szukalski (1893-1987) is an artist born in Poland, who spent almost all his life in the United States. He created a number of grand monuments related to the culture and the history of Poland. In his native country, his works have always generated extreme emotions. For a long time, also due to political reasons, Szukalski had been ignored by researchers and art critics. Only recently has this situation changed, thanks to the publications of prof. Lechosław Lameński from the Catholic University of Lublin. Today, Stach from Warta Szukalski (as he called himself) is perceived by many as a visionary and a precursor of the changes taking place in culture in recent decades. In Poland he has become a fashionable artist (although, according to the philosopher Wawrzyniec Rymkiewicz, dangerous at the same time). Szukalski was an anti-Christian artist who combined various traditions and myths in his works, often of very distant and exotic origins. Trying to make a kind of transgression of the national symbolic imagery, he established for the Polish art, but also for the broadly understood “Polishness”, some completely new perspectives.
Keywords: Stanisław Szukalski, sculpture, myth, Duchtynia, The Tribe of the Horned Heart, interwar period, history of the Polish People’s Republic, United States
Maciej Melecki: poems / 42
Łukasz Suskiewicz: Desire / 46
Desire is a literary impression inspired by an episode in the life of a nineteenth-century painter (Paul Gauguin) who fled civilization to Tahiti. The narrative is composed of the episodes related to the journey, the relations with Vincent van Gogh and the first impressions of the stay on the island. Of particular importance is Gauguin’s fascination with friendly and intelligent people of Tahiti, whose culture is distant from the European one. The text combines the elements of a story and ekphrasis.
Miłosz Waligórski: poems / 53
Marek Kusiba: The Whole Thing is Beyond Comprehension … Lessons of Optimism with Janusz Szuber / 56
A sketch for a portrait of Janusz Szuber from Sanok, one of the most outstanding contemporary Polish poets, who died on November 1, 2020 at the age of 72. The text was written by Marek Kusiba – a journalist and a friend of Szuber, who was born in Krosno (a short distance from Sanok), and has lived in Canada since 1984. The author recollects the years of their shared childhood, introduces the unknown facts from before the poet’s illness when he became imprisoned in a wheelchair at the age of twenty. Kusiba cites the content of some conversations and letters addressed to Szuber by the admirers of his talent – Czesław Miłosz, Zbigniew Herbert and Ryszard Kapuściński.
Keywords: Janusz Szuber, Polish poetry, Sanok, memories, Marek Kusiba
Piotr Machul: poems / 70
Joanna Clark: Junction Stations / 73
In Junction Stations, Joanna Clark combines the story of people in the commuter train in the American city of Princeton, where she has lived for a long time, with memories of train journeys in Poland during her childhood. American and Polish stations bring together the historical threads and junctions, for example, in the person of one of the passengers of the Princeton railway, the daughter of Joseph Stalin.
Adam Waga: poems / 77
Zbigniew Chojnowski: The Alphabet of Life in a Community (On Marianna Bocian’s Poetry) / 80
Twenty years after Marianna Bocian’s death, her poetry can be interpreted as a critical voice towards contemporary civilization that denies its spiritual and religious heritage. Referring to the roots of Christianity, the poetess called in her poems for the essence of humanity. She associated being an artist of the word with the obligation to take responsibility for a community and respect for a human being. Bocian analyzed a human being in a sacred dimension as a chain of countless generations connected with each other. The poetess had no doubt that the creation of an ethical community requires deep spirituality and is not possible without a close connection with transcendence.
Keywords: Marianna Bocian, Polish poetry, metaphysics, community theme, morality in art, cultural crisis
Zoltán Mihály Nagy: Satan’s Spawn / 85
In Transcarpathia, the end of the Second World War is associated with the so-called liberation by the Red Army and the inclusion into the sphere of influence of the Soviet Union. The new order had a strong impact on the Hungarians living in the region, who had remained in isolation from their homeland since the Treaty of Trianon (1920), with a several years’ break during the war. Their fate is presented in Zoltán Mihály Nagy’s novel which combines the elements of an epic, folk ballad and a sociographic document. The author talks about the trauma of the Hungarian population affected by the practices of collectivization and forced labor, known as “maleńkij robot”. The story is told from the perspective of a young Eszter, raped by Soviet soldiers and then exposed to a confrontation with a family and a rural community living according to traditional values and beliefs. Nagy’s novel is written in the form of poetic versification.
From different perspectives
Karol Alichnowicz: A Compound-Complex History [Hanna Krall „Synapsy Marii H.” (“Synapses of Maria H.”)]; Ewa Dunaj: An Exotic Flower on the Bedroom Window Sill [Birutė Jonuškaitė “Maranta”]; Grzegorz Józefczuk: “Undulization” of Schulz, Galloping Passionately out of Breath [Anna Kaszuba-Dębska: „Bruno. Epoka genialna” (“Bruno. The Age of Genius”)]; Wiesława Turżańska: Nothing Special in the War … [Jan Lewandowski „Lubelskie kartki z wojny 1920 r.” (“Lublin Postcards from the War of 1920”)]; Rafał Szczerbakiewicz: Memory and the History of “No Dependence” [Bogusław Bakuła „Nie zależności. Przypadki literatury i kultury poza cenzurą w latach 1976-1989” (“No Dependence. Cases of Literature and Culture Beyond the Scope of Censorship in 1976-1989”)] / 92
Reviews of recently published prose, scientific, essayistic and documentary books, seen against the background of the most important trends and phenomena of contemporary culture.
Piotr Majewski: From the “Zamek” Group to „Parapeinture”. Ryszard Kiwerski (1930-2015) / 110
Another article in the “Akcent” series about the members of the Lublin “Zamek” group is devoted to Ryszard Kiwerski (1930-2015). In the first half of the 1950s the artist studied art history at the Catholic University of Lublin. He first belonged to the Young Artists’ Club, and then to the “Zamek” group, with which he exhibited his works until 1959 at the Krzywe Koło Gallery and at the 3rd Exhibition of Modern Art in Warsaw. The author of the text discusses Kiwerski’s life abroad, as well as his artistic activity developed in exile in France, where he emigrated in the second half of the 1970s. Kiwerski designed posters, created collages and photomontages, and practiced painting. In the last decades of his life, he developed an original formula of solaristic painting, which he called Parapeinture. The only exhibition of Ryszard Kiwerski’s works in Poland since he moved to France was organized by Leszek Mądzik’s Art Gallery of Lublin in 2007 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Lublin “Zamek” group.
Keywords: Ryszard Kiwerski, Lublin “Zamek” group, solaristic painting, „Parapeinture”, photomontage technique
Krzysztof Karpiński: Andrzej Trzaskowski – The Brain of Polish Jazz / 117
Andrzej Trzaskowski (1933-1998) was an outstanding pianist and composer, one of the most important figures of the first post-war generation of Polish jazz artists. He was a member of the cult band Melomani, led by a saxophonist Jerzy “Duduś” Matuszkiewicz. In 1958 he joined the group Jazz Believers, and a year later he founded the famous The Wreckers, with which he successfully performed at the 1960 Jazz Jamboree festival in Warsaw. In 1962, at the invitation of the US State Department, the group went to the USA, where it performed, among others, at the festivals in Newport and Washington. The second half of the 1960s marked the period of Trzaskowski’s cooperation with the Norddeutscher Rundfunk radio and television station in Hamburg. In the 1970s, the musician created and led the Orchestra of Polish Radio and Television Studio S-1. He was a composer of 50 instrumental and orchestral pieces. He wrote music for 70 films, recorded 30 albums, and as a music critic he collaborated with the monthly magazine “Ruch Muzyczny” and the “Jazz Forum” magazine. He was an artist of great knowledge, intelligence and courage. Consistently faithful to his own concept of free jazz, he was a firm supporter of progress in art.
Keywords: Andrzej Trzaskowski, music, Polish jazz, Melomani, The Wreckers, Jazz Belivers, history of the People’s Republic of Poland, free jazz, Jazz Jamboree Festival, film music
Jan Kondrak: From the “Dyjak” Series / 130
CONFRONTATIONS AND CLOSE-UPS
Miniatures by János Lackfi translated by the team under Teresa Worowska’s direction / 135
Teresa Worowska (with the team): The Description of an Experiment / 140
In September 2020, a translation seminar attended by six young translators was held in Balatonfüred, Hungary. They translated short works by János Lackfi, an author of the middle generation, who is extremely popular in Hungary. These texts are perfect for stylistic exercises because they are written using different slangs and kept in different linguistic registers. They are mostly monologues delivered in unusual situations, sometimes humorous, sometimes reflective. The young translators presented their versions of the translation, and then a literary experiment was conducted to merge them into one final version, combining the best proposed interpretations. In addition, the translators wrote down their comments and observations. Finally, the supervisor of the seminar, an experienced translator Teresa Worowska, framed them into a uniform commentary on the more universal problems of the translation workshop.
DISCOVERED YEARS LATER
Justyna Teterwak, Jarosław Cymerman: The Smile of the Avant-garde, or on “The Reflector’s First Nativity Scene” / 143
Jan Arnsztajn, Konrad Bielski, Wacław Gralewski: The Reflector’s First Nativity Scene [1927, fragments] / 149
The satirical poem The Reflector’s First Nativity Scene, staged by Jan Arnsztajn, Konrad Bielski and Wacław Gralewski in Lublin in 1927, proves that the artists associated with the Lublin avant-garde were looking for the new ways of communicating with a mass audience, reaching for the forms belonging to popular culture. In the text accompanying the presentation of the fragments of the poem, Justyna Teterwak and Jarosław Cymerman write about its genesis, reception, and also discuss the manuscripts preserved at the Józef Czechowicz Museum in Lublin.
Keywords: poetic avant-garde, New Year’s nativity scene, interwar period, Lublin, Jan Arnsztajn, Konrad Bielski, Wacław Gralewski
CITY ON FIRE
Jacek Zalewski: A Bench, or on the Pornography of Rest / 161
A bench represents all the things a rushing city escapes from. It is an apotheosis of reality, a praise of peace and idleness. In the city where everyone is constantly chasing after some goals, having a rest is a sinful pleasure. The public indulgence in this pleasure exhibits the sense of obscenity and shameless authenticity, which allow the city bourgeois communicate to their surroundings: Right here at this moment I have nothing to do! The openness of this manifestation is pornographic as it demonstrates the nakedness of the exposed free time. It is obvious that as a place of selfless rest, the bench is an ostentatious diversion directed against ambition, legitimate haste and the seriousness of a busy city.
Keywords: anthropology, city, urbanization, bench, philosophy of rest
Lech Giemza: Dribbling between the Lines / 166
An article devoted to the relationship between literature and football. Many writers distance themselves from this sport, which is seen as a form of entertainment intended for the masses. There are, however, the writers who observe and write about football with a certain degree of restraint and interest, and those who do not hide their enthusiasm. Among the famous Polish writers dealing with the topic of football were Kazimierz Wierzyński, Janusz Rudnicki, Krzysztof Mętrak, Jerzy Pilch, and Jacek Podsiadło. One of the most remarkable essays on football was written by Andrzej Kijowski. Among the people writing about this sports discipline, there is a division into “participants” (writing from the internal perspective of the game) and “observers” (watching from the distance, taking the position of a football fan).
Keywords: literature, football, sport and politics, Janusz Rudnicki, Andrzej Kijowski, Jerzy Andrzejewski, Jacek Podsiadło, Jerzy Pilch
Leszek Mądzik: Snow / 173
Tomasz Kłusek: 4th International Literary Tripoint: Belarus – Poland – Ukraine / 174
Andrea F. De Carlo: Janusz Andrzej Bernatowicz: Love and the Poetry of Senses / 178
Information on the well-known creators of culture and cultural phenomena, as well as discussions of the most interesting initiatives, events and publications from the past few months.
Notes about Authors / 180