Contents and summaries 3/2021

Spis treści numeru 3/2021

Łukasz Marcińczak: Lights and Shadows of Gustaw Herling-Grudziński’s Religiosity / 7

The author of the essay focuses on an attempt to capture the significance of Gustaw Herling-Grudziński’s Jewish identity in his prose. The writer wanted to forget about his origins and refused to talk about it. Baptism and conversion to Christianity became the main sources of themes in his work. In his multilayered stories, which usually had as their starting point the outstanding works of the Christian art – although they could also be legends, old chronicles or heard stories, but most often all of these together – the writer explicitly declared that he only attempts to grasp the spiritual and existential dimension of the religion initiated by Christ. This has become, in a way, a trademark of his work. However, the secret that Herling-Grudziński carried within himself led to the extension of these attempts to interpret the Christian tradition in a personal dimension, related to his origin, which he considered a kind of stigma.

Keywords: Gustaw Herling-Grudziński, religion, Christianity, Jews, conversion, prose, emigration

Eugeniusz Koźmiński: poems / 18

Bernard Nowak: To Epping / 21

While traveling from Lublin to Epping, the narrator of the story attends his cousin’s funeral in a village near Gdańsk. Along the way, he closely observes the people he meets, and even discreetly listens to their conversations. His trip to the funeral provokes memories of the deceased and the recollection of the episodes from the past, accompanied by the remarks about the meaning of life. The very process of writing is an attempt to sort out the experienced events in order to understand them better.

Robert Mielhorski: poems / 35

Joanna Zętar: “Everything Is As It Was. Nothing Is As It Was”. Julia Hartwig’s Lublin / 38

Julia Hartwig was born in Lublin in 1921. Here she attended primary and secondary school. In Lublin, in 1936, she made her debut in the school magazine „W Słońce” (“Into the Sun”). She grew up in a home dominated by photography, which both her father Ludwik, and brother Edward were involved in, professionally and out of passion. Due to the prestige enjoyed by the family photography studio, her first poetic attempts were reviewed by Józef Czechowicz. Julia Hartwig would always recall Lublin with great fondness. The theme of her hometown, tinged with positive emotions, appears in several of her works.

Keywords: Julia Hartwig, Lublin, memories, Hartwig family, Józef Czechowicz, interwar period, “Grodzka Gate – NN Theater” Center

Stefan Jurkowski: poems / 50

Wojciech Kudyba: Warm-Cold / 53

The novel Pułascy (The Pulaski Family) is a type of a family saga. Its action takes place in the second half of the 18th century, when Poland is becoming more and more dependent on its influential neighbors. The protagonists are the representatives of the eponymous Pułaski family, who played a great role in the first national uprising, which many historians believe was the Bar Confederation. The head of the family, Józef Pułaski, was one of the leaders of this uprising. His son, Franciszek, was also an important commander, and Kazimierz, who became famous for his numerous victories and heroic defense, first of Berdyczów, and then – Częstochowa, became legendary. Józef’s youngest son, Antoni, also took part in the Confederate fights. He was captured by the Russians in one of the skirmishes and sent deep into Russia. After a long period of wandering, he ended up in Kazan, where he was well received by the Governor. He was assigned a magnificent building and was treated with honors. Antoni led a robust social life in exile and soon became the local socialite and the love interest of many influential women. The published chapter presents one scene from his long romance with the wife of Governor Samarin.

Maciej Teodor Kociuba: poems / 62

Rafał Szczerbakiewicz: Hillbilly Gospel. The Racial and Musical Identity of Young Rock and Roll / 66

Almost all the stages in the early history of rock and roll were intuitive and affective. In the most spectacular moment for the development of this genre – in 1956 – no one was able to accurately verbalize musical experiences and emotions. New phenomena have not been linked to the tradition of the American subcultures, and no cultural or anthropological research has been undertaken. Therefore, the random, spontaneously improvised session in December 1956 with Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley constitutes a unique event. In the legendary Sun Records recording studio in Memphis, the white artists associated with the early rock revolution used music to tell a story about their roots and identity, “narrativize” the white and black tradition, but, most of all, they revealed the spiritual aspect of rock and roll – the rhythms and gospel emotions that lay at its foundation.

Keywords: rock and roll, gospel, country, Blacks, Whites, identity, racism, exclusion, USA, Mid-South, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Sun Records

Łukasz Komsta: poems / 74

Zbigniew Masternak: The May Queen and the Green Man / 78

Two young people – a boy and a girl – go to Dublin. They cannot find a room in the hotel because the old Celtic festival of Beltaine, dedicated to Bel, the god of fire and light, is underway. In search of accommodation, they wander around Dublin, talking about the culture and history of the Celts. They accidentally end up among the homeless who are also celebrating. The May Queen turns out to be a fat beggar with a drunk face, and the Green Man – a pockmarked, skinny alcoholic. They sat on a throne made of an old cart, symbolizing the divine couple whose unity was a sign of the sacred union of the earth and the sun. The story offers a strange interpenetration of the sacred and the profane, the spiritual sublime with the down-to-earth, degenerate physicality.

Magdalena Jankowska: poems / 83

Aleksander Wójtowicz: Hope in the Shadow of the Catastrophe / 86

A sketch devoted to the series Lady Astronaut of Mars by Mary Robinette Kowal. The novels that make up the series are analyzed from the perspective of the dominant trends in modern fantasy, mainly postapo and climate fiction. The broader context of the analysis is the belief in a technological and scientific progress, rooted in the philosophical discourse of modernity, which is a counterweight to the catastrophic narrative. The utopian accents in Kowal’s novels constitute one of the ways to break the deadlock related to the “anthropocene stagnation” and its rhetoric (Ewa Bińczyk), and, at the same time, open up the field for a new discussion on climate change.

Keywords: Mary Robinette Kowal, science fiction, postapo, climate fiction, utopia, dystopia, climate catastrophe, Mars, scientific and technological progress, alternative history, modernity

Witold Graboś: poems / 92

Marian Golka: Travel Cases / 97

The presented texts are a part of a larger collection of literary travelogues. The author’s intention was not to describe the spectacular events or meetings, but rather to capture the seemingly banal, yet interesting existential situations that create an opportunity to reflect on the condition of a contemporary man and culture. The goal was also to capture a specific poetic aura in the frame that accompanies more than one moment during the journey – the moment when we can take a closer and more sensitive look at the world.


Prose writers, prose writers …

Karol Alichnowicz: A Garden with Forking Paths [Paweł Huelle “Talita”]; Jacek Zalewski: In Search of the Penis [Szczepan Twardoch „Pokora” (“Humility”)]; Andrij Saveneć: Borderland Apocalypse Continued [Wojciech Pestka „Diabelska maszyna do szycia. Kresowa apokalipsa: reportaże i perory” (“Devil’s Sewing Machine. Borderland Apocalypse: Reportages and Perorations”)]; Magdalena Jankowska: A Chance [Zbigniew Dmitroca „Ostatnia okazja” (“The Last Chance”)]; Przemysław Kaliszuk: Do We Have to Like the Songs We Know Well? [Grzegorz Filip “Cover”] / 101

Discussions of the latest prose books written by literary scholars and critics. They contain detailed analyzes and are designed to characterize the most important contemporary literary trends and phenomena.

Not only analytically …

Wiesława Turżańska: On the Economic Strategy of Mr. Cogito and More … [Józef Maria Ruszar „Zapasy ze światem Zbigniewa Herberta. Esej o życiu pisarzy w czasach pierwszych sekretarzy” (“Zbigniew Herbert’s Wrestling with the World. An Essay on the Life of the Writers in the Days of the First Secretaries”)]; Iwona Hofman: Poland–Germany According to “Kultura” [„Przeciwko wrogości. »Kultura« wobec Niemiec i sąsiedztwa polsko-niemieckiego” (“Against Hostility. »Kultura« towards Germany and the Polish-German Neighborhood”). Selection, edition and introduction by Basil Kerski]; Łukasz Garbal: Prince, Morphine and Doctrine [„Redaktor. 20 lat bez »Kultury«” (“The Editor. 20 Years Without »Kultura«”). Ed. Iwona Hofman, cooperation Ewelina Górka, Justyna Maguś]; Paweł Panas: Utopists and Skeptics [Aleksander Wójtowicz „Epoka wielkiego zamętu. Szkice o literaturze nowoczesnej (1918-1939)” (“The Age of Great Confusion. Sketches on Modern Literature (1918-1939)”)]; Dariusz Skórczewski: A Jubilee Journey through the Passages of Art [„Paragone. Pasaże sztuki. Studia ofiarowane Profesorowi Lechosławowi Lameńskiemu” (“Paragone. Art Arcades. The Studies Offered to Professor Lechosław Lameński”). Ed. Elżbieta Błotnicka-Mazur, Anna Dzierżyc-Horniak and Magdalena Howorus-Czajka] / 121

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


Jadwiga Mizińska and Jan Lewandowski on the Anthology Na pograniczu narodów i kultur. Polska – Europa – Ameryka (On Borderlands of Nations and Cultures. Poland – Europe – America) / 143

A juxtaposition of two critical literary commentaries devoted to a selected book published recently. The collision of different points of view and personal assessments allows to emphasize the multidimensionality of the discussed publication and initiate a discussion on its meaning and value. This time, the subject of reflection is the anthology Na pograniczu narodów i kultur. Polska – Europa – Ameryka (On Borderlands of Nations and Cultures. Poland – Europe – America) (Warsaw – Lublin 2020) composed of the most interesting texts on various aspects of the cultural borderland, published in “Akcent” over the past 40 years.


Lechosław Lameński: Open and Unpredictable. About the Work of Anna Nawrot / 155

Anna Nawrot, a graduate of the Institute of Artistic Education at Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, is a respected artist who willingly experiments with the new techniques and methods of artistic expression. In 1985, together with Jan Gryka, she established the Biała Gallery, which she has successfully managed to this day. The subsequent shows are dominated by various installations, collages and object d’art. This is also characteristic of Anna Nawrot’s art, which is interdisciplinary, open to external impulses and fabulously colorful. The artist willingly uses ready-made objects (e.g. ties, mannequins, various types of figurines) or their fragments, as well as red yarn and photographs, creating interesting series of paintings, tablecloths and scarves with a clear feminist message.

Keywords: Anna Nawrot, Biała Gallery, art installations, collages, object d’art, feminism


Student Culture Then and Now / 165

Jan Lewandowski: Tempora Mutantur / 167

Jerzy Kutnik: Subjectively and from the Sidelines / 171

The first part of the survey Student Culture Then and Now, conducted by the editors of “Akcent” among the authors associated with the journal who represent the academic circles. Based on their own memories and experiences, they attempt to define the student culture and identify its determinants. They reflect on how its manifestations and forms have changed over the last decades, and what the future of this phenomenon may look like.


Eliza Leszczyńska-Pieniak: Where are Józef Wilkoń’s Horses Rushing? / 176

The article devoted to Józef Wilkoń presents a mature artist who continues to take up new challenges. The painter, illustrator and sculptor has gained international fame, and books with his illustrations have been shaping the imagination of the youngest readers for years. The text was inspired by the exhibition organized as a part of the 150th jubilee art display at the Wirydarz Art Gallery in Lublin. Józef Wilkoń presented 28 works – horses, peacocks and fish reveal his sensitivity to the natural world and are the expression of the Franciscan reflection on the relationship between a man and his little brothers. The quotes from art experts and the artist’s friends allow the readers to learn not only about Józef Wilkoń’s extraordinary workshop, but also about his love of life which he thoroughly enjoys.


Aleksandra Pucułek: A Singing Poet Read Silently. About Jan Kondrak’s Lyrics / 181

A sketch inspired by the publication of the volume Piosenki (Songs) by Jan Kondrak – author of lyrics, composer and performer associated with the Lublin region, one of the leaders of the Lublin Bard Federation. His works reflect the changes taking place in the recent decades in Poland: the older ones relate to the reality of martial law and the decline of the Polish People’s Republic, the newest ones are devoted to the problems we face today. The most important themes and threads appearing in this works are: the fascination with nature, the analysis of human motivations and the criticism of distorted social behavior, the attempt to verify basic concepts and values understood differently in the contemporary world, the issue of the passage of time. To what extent is this a universal message, and to what extent does the artist remain primarily a member of a cultural formation that flourished in the 1980s and 1990s? – asks the author of the sketch, analyzing the formal and stylistic qualities of Kondrak’s songs.

Keywords: Jan Kondrak, poetic song, Lublin Bard Federation


Marek Danielkiewicz: Zsuzsanna’s Tears / 187


Leszek Mądzik: Wardrobe / 190


Anna Znajomska: Robert Znajomski – “Lines and Dashes” / 191

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 authors / 196