Grzegorz Jędrek: poems / 7
Małgorzata Skałbania: short stories / 12
The first story presents a chance encounter between a Mennonite pastor and a narrator at the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague. They recall memories and talk about their favorite painters. They also share a special attitude to the chair, an object taken from the works of Molière, and many places where it has become a kind of a chair-throne, as in the case of Anne Askew, who has undergone a metamorphosis, turning into a Jewess from the Łańcut market square. In the second story, the widow, looked after by a narrator and lost in the fog of senile oblivion, finds her way to reality thanks to a drawing of the Chichester Cathedral. In the next episode, the narrator who takes care of a Frenchman who needs assistance expects that the employer fulfills the promise of a local tour. The third episode talks about “utopia” – a space known, among others, from literature; the narrator is to travel to Australia, where she was invited by an art gallery, but her plans were thwarted by an epidemic.
Jacek Zalewski: From Susan to “Susan”, or Between Camp and Metaphor / 19
Benjamin Moser in the monumental biography Sontag. Her Life and Work has shown how one of the most outstanding American writers transformed from a private person into an icon of her times. Referring to this publication, the author of the essay poses a question about the role that the act of writing plays in a writer’s life. He also reflects on the essence of the relationship between a writer and a biographer. The asymmetry of this relationship is motivated by the position forced upon the writer who often feels defenseless towards the person describing his or her hidden secrets. If Sontag had read Moser’s book, it is possible that she would have blamed him for both meticulous and at times shameless glances into the most intimate corners of her life.
Keywords: Susan Sontag, biography, literature, camp, literary life, biographer-writer relationship
Anna Frajlich: poems / 34
Sara Wojciechowska, Aleksander Wójtowicz: The Chronicler of Lublin. The Unknown Stories by Wacław Gralewski / 38
Wacław Gralewski: stories / 40
The presented stories come from the archives of Wacław Gralewski. Kept at the Józef Czechowicz Museum (a branch of the National Museum in Lublin), the stories unpublished in Gralewski’s lifetime document his search for prose whose aim was to develop a genre formula situated at the intersection of moral prose and the convention of a personal document. The poetics of these stories is closely related to the figure of the narrator who relates the events from the perspective of a witness involved in the historical events of that time. Some of the texts deal with sensitive issues, such as, for example, anti-Semitism or collaboration with the Germans during the war.
Alicja Regiewicz: poems / 58
Tomasz Kłusek: In Zamość, that is Everywhere. A Triptych of Novels by Piotr Szewc / 61
A sketch devoted to the prose works of Piotr Szewc – a poet, essayist, literary critic, author of three novels: Zagłada (Annihilation) (1987), Zmierzchy i poranki (Twighlights and Dawns) (2000) and Bociany nad powiatem (Storks over the County) (2005). The writer is particularly renowned for his debut novel Annihilation, which received a wide coverage in Polish and foreign press, and was translated into numerous foreign languages. The other two prose works were not so well received, although they are undoubtedly outstanding and in some respects constitute a continuation of Annihilation. The recurrent themes in Szewc’s novels are the images of Zamość and Zamość Region, themes related to the coexistence of the Polish and Jewish communities and descriptions of the everyday life of a provincial town. Piotr Szewc both is and is not a realist writer. In his prose works, he seems to be guided by the conviction that a book, in order to remain realistic, must be saturated with unrealistic, even oneiric elements. It also needs to have a unique character and avoid “social involvement,” which often leads us astray.
Keywords: Piotr Szewc, prose, Zamość, neotomism, phenomenology, Roman Ingarden, Polish-Jewish issues, martial law, realism in literature, category of memory, Andrzej Kuśniewicz, Julian Stryjkowski
Witold Graboś: poems / 82
Maria Piotrowska: Girls from the Institute / 86
A short story from the series Dziewczyny z instytutu (Girls from the Institute). The title Elvire is one of the pupils at the Institute of Polish Maidens founded by duchess Anna Czartoryska in 1845 in Paris. It was an educational institution for young girls from Polish families who emigrated to France after the fall of the November Uprising. The duchess’s initiative was to educate a generation of teachers who in the future would form the foundations of modern education in independent Poland. The stories, created primarily to promote women and their forgotten achievements, present the history of the institute from the perspective of the girls who studied there. Elvire talks about the beginnings and hardships of an intensive educational programme. The main theme revolves around the preparations for the girls’ performance at school. The protagonist feels at ease in her artistic struggles. However, her closest friend lacks both talent and luck.
Markéta Chmielowiec: poems / 92
Olga Anna Wiewióra: Disappearing Language. On Contemporary Latvian Poetry / 94
The article is devoted to the Polish reception of contemporary Latvian poetry. The author describes the sources of Latvian literature, characterizes the work of several generations of 20th- and 21st-century Latvian poets, and emphasizes the role of translations in disseminating knowledge about other cultures. It also highlights the importance of language as a tool for ordering reality and expanding the boundaries of the world. A background theme is historical and cultural relations between Poland and Latvia, with particular emphasis on territorial, social and political setting.
Keywords: Latvia, Polish Livonia, genesis of Latvian literature, dainas, contemporary Latvian poetry, communism, Latvian language, Polish-Latvian relations, Knuts Skujenieks, Jānis Rokpelnis, Leons Briedis, Māra Zālīte, Edvīns Raups, Kārlis Vērdiņš, Ingmara Balode, Juris Kronbergs, Uldis Bērziņš
Tomasz Smogór: poems / 108
Stanisław Zasada: The Sound of Bach / 111
The reportage features Rainer Weber, his daughter Heidi and her husband Andrzej Beryt. Reiner Weber was passionate about organ music and a valued builder and conservator of old musical instruments. At the end of his life, he donated them, along with his workshop and documentation, to the Museum of Musical Instruments in Poznań. His daughter Heidi helped in making the donation. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, she worked for a short time in Poland as a teacher of German, and got married to Andrzej Beryt. Heidi’s husband was born just before the war to a German mother and a father who was a Polish Jew. During the war his family was expelled from Poznań to Mielec. Andrzej’s older brother was a prisoner at Auschwitz and his mother died as a result of war traumas. After the war Andrzej Beryt worked as an art historian and museologist. He co-founded the Martyrdom Museum in Żabikowo near Poznań, which was established on the site of the former Nazi criminal investigation camp. Both Andrzej and Heidi, who converted to Judaism, were involved in Polish-German and Polish-Jewish dialogue.
Not only analytically …
Monika Adamczyk-Garbowska: On Translators and the Art of Translation [Jerzy Święch „Z historii i poetyki przekładu” (“From the History and Poetics of Translation”), Krzysztof Umiński „Trzy tłumaczki” (“Three Translators”)]; Artur Rejter: More about Women and Men in the Polish Language [Jolanta Szpyra-Kozłowska „Nianiek, ministra i japonki. Eseje o języku i płci” (“Male Nanny, Ministress and Japanese Flip-Flops. Essays on Language and Gender”)]; Wacława Milewska: Cyprian Norwid – Getting to Know the Magician [Cyprian Norwid „Wierny-portret” (“A Faithful-Portrait”)] / 121
Reviews of recently published scientific, essayistic and documentary books, seen against the background of the most important phenomena of contemporary culture.
Poets, poets …
Ewa Dunaj: Real Conversations can Only be Conducted with Poets and Dogs [Kazimierz Brakoniecki „Pies na wiersze albo Pieczewo” (“A Dog Poetry Lover or Pieczewo”), „Biografie wiersza” (“Biographies of a poem”)]; Waldemar Michalski: “In the depth,” or a Dream about the Sea [Eugeniusz Koźmiński „W głębi” (“In the Depth”)]; Małgorzata Rygielska: Interplanetary Journeys [Joanna Pawłat „Lublin – Proxima b i inne trasy” (“Lublin – Proxima b and Other Routes”)]; Grzegorz Jędrek: Lamentation over the State of the World [Aleksandra Zińczuk „Tu” (“Here”)]; Karol Maliszewski: “Nobody Paid Attention to your Death” [Rami al-Aszek „Jak to wypisują na naszych twarzach” (“How they Inscribe it on our Faces”)] / 135
Discussions of the latest poetry books written by literary scholars and critics. They contain detailed analyzes and characterize the most popular contemporary literary trends and phenomena.
The Poster must Sing. Interview with Lech Majewski – Master of Poster Art and Book Graphics, Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw / 153
The leading topic of the conversation between Eliza Leszczyńska-Pieniak and Lech Majewski is the creative path of this outstanding graphic artist, who began his education at the Secondary Art School in Zamość, and then studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw in the legendary studio of prof. Henryk Tomaszewski, founder of the Polish poster school. Today, Lech Majewski is a lecturer at the Academy, and his posters and book illustrations have received numerous national and international awards. The poster he designed for the International Jazz Singers Meetings, which is reproduced on the cover of this issue of “Akcent,” was included on the list of the top 100 designs from Europe and the USA for the period of 1945-1990. Another topic raised during the conversation is Lech Majewski’s passion for music, especially his love for jazz.
Jarosława Bondarczuk: The Evolution in the Semantics of Serpent Images in the Art of the Stone Age / 163
Based on the analysis of ancient artifacts featuring the images of serpents, the author traces the evolution of their semantics in the context of the development of beliefs and cults of a primitive society in the subsequent historical periods. The image of a serpent appeared in the Upper Paleolithic art around 33,000-31,000 years BC as an epiphany of the Moon. The serpent was one of the main objects of attention of a primitive man in connection with the disclosure of the relationship between the sexual activity of aquatic and terrestrial creatures and the lunar phases. The next stage – 23,000-22,000 years BC – was associated with the observation of the cyclical movement of the Moon and the Sun. As a result, the serpent became the natural prototype of the spiral symbol – a sign of the high and the low levels of solar and lunar activity. On the artifacts from the period of 17,000-15,000 years BC the image of the serpent assumed the meaning of the zoomorphic symbol of the lower tier in the vertical three-tier model of the world. In the heyday of Neolithic cultures (5,000-3,000 years BC), the cult of the serpent reached its apogee, and, among various semantic associations, its relationship with the Earth was of the greatest importance. The cult of the Sun became dominant in the 2nd – 1st millennium BC. This contributed to emphasizing the relationship with the heavenly sphere in the image of the serpent, transforming it into a fantastic winged dragon associated with both the element of earth and the element of fire.
Keywords: serpent image semantics, Stone Age, religious and ideological ideas, spiritual evolution
Jacek Brzeziński: The Second Beginning of Provisorium / 171
An excerpt from Jacek Brzeziński’s book Historia Teatru Provisorium (The History of the Provisorium Theater). The author, who, as an actor, for 47 years had watched from the inside and co-shaped the development of the Provisorium Theater, summarizes the most important events from the beginning of the group’s existence in the form of a first-person narrative. The presented fragment talks about the years 1974-1976, when the theater company’s management was being changed (after the departure of older colleagues, the founders of Provisorium, Janusz Opryński began to play an increasingly important role) and when a new acting line-up was formed. During this period, the following performances were created: Provisorium – SHOW, Nowy Don Kichot (New Don Quixote), W połowie drogi (Halfway) and Dopóki ziemia kręci się (Until the Earth Goes Round). The History of the Provisorium Theater will be published by the Cultural Center in Lublin most probably in the third or fourth quarter of 2022.
Keywords: alternative theater, theater company, “Provisorium Group”, Lublin, Roztocze, 1970s, 1st Confrontations of the Young Theater, Gombrowicz
AT THE VERNISSAGE
Lechosław Lameński: 35 years of the Art Gallery of the Visual Stage at the Catholic University of Lublin / 188
In January and February 2022, in the Art Gallery of the Visual Stage at the Catholic University of Lublin, a jubilee exhibition was held on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the gallery’s establishment by Leszek Mądzik. The exhibition was special – for the first time, not works of art, but only photographs (portraits) of nearly 130 artists whose works were presented during this period were shown. The first group featured the rebellious artists who, as the act of protest against the politics of the People’s Republic of Poland (PRL), refused to exhibit their works in galleries owned by the authorities of the time, as well as the artists who, for various reasons, preferred to live and work in exile. The second group comprised of the most outstanding artists, without whom it is difficult to imagine the history of Polish art of the 20th century, and in recent years – talented artists from the middle and the youngest generation. What all these authors have in common is the element of sacrum, spirituality and mysticism, very close and important to Leszek Mądzik, implemented in an interesting and attractive artistic form, characteristic of contemporary avant-garde art. For the first time, the exhibition was curated by the daughter of the gallery creator, Liwia Mądzik, who also took care of the preparation of the occasional album, which may herald a new stage in the history of this institution.
Jarosław Sawic: From a Close Distance. About Music in Estonia / 194
The aim of the essay is to present Estonian music from a historical and cultural perspective. The author discusses the works of representatives of four main musical genres: folklore, classical music, jazz and rock. It introduces the figure of Arvo Pärt, the greatest composer in the history of Estonia, but also the artists less known in Poland, though crucial from the point of view of Estonian culture. Music is an extremely important element in shaping the national consciousness of Estonians (as evidenced by the phenomenon of the so-called singing revolution). Unfortunately, the image of Estonia in the eyes of the average Pole is still paradoxical: it is both a country close (geographically) and distant (in terms of knowledge of its culture).
Keywords: Estonia, music, Polish-Estonian relations, Estonian jazz, Estonian folklore, Estonian classical music, Estonian rock, singing revolution, Arvo Pärt, Eduard Tubin, Neeme Järvi, Uno Naissoo, Tõnu Naissoo, Maria Faust, Ruja, Mess, In Spe, Rein Rannap
CHILD AND THE WORLD
Grażyna Lutosławska: About a Fairy Tale that Got Bored with a Fairy Tale / 209
Fragments of the fairy tale series broadcast on Radio Lublin on Saturdays from September 2021. Music for the program was composed by Piotr Selim; it was produced by Piotr Król, read by Tomasz Bielawiec. In the world of fairy tales standing on the shelf, no one dares to change the order that has always prevailed. The covers of the volumes adhere to each other, but this does not mean closeness. On the contrary, the fairy tales make sure not to open up to one another. One day, the spider, which was not very clearly drawn under the ceiling in one of the fairy tales, starts to get bored. He too, like other protagonists, would like to eat donuts, have adventures, shoes and character. He decides to get out of the corner. His appearance is confusing not only in this fairy tale. It turns out that no one asked the protagonists for their opinion while assigning their roles, and not only Little Red Riding Hood is fed up with her hat …
Marek Danielkiewicz: Life in the State of Correction / 216
Leszek Mądzik: African Macbeth in Lisbon / 218
Aleksander Wójtowicz: Miron in Lublin (and Paris) / 219
Anna Łyczewska: Dao, or the Way of a Noble Man / 221
Stefania Michalska: Zbigniew Strzałkowski’s Poetic Areas of Freedom
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 authors / 228