Krzysztof Pyter: poems / 7
Andrzej Jaroszyński: Polish Women in Search of Global Time / 11
The article is devoted to contemporary female authors of Polish origin who write in English. The works discussed in the essay – novels by Ewa Kuryluk (New York, Paris), Nina FitzPatrick (Oslo), A.M. Bakalar (London) and Magdalena Zyzak (California), as well as the poetry of Ania Walwicz from Melbourne – have been written over the last three decades. Despite the variety of genres, poetics and style, what they all share is sophisticated language, experimental means of expression and postmodern perspective. These works have won the recognition of critics and readers, and testify to the active presence of English-speaking writers of Polish origin in contemporary world literature.
Keywords: contemporary literature, English-language literature created by Poles, Ewa Kuryluk, Nina FitzPatrick, A.M. Bakalar, Magdalena Zyzak, Ania Walwicz, emigration, postmodernism, assimilation, cosmopolitanism, patriotism
Izabela Ilowska: Do you Know this Song? / 29
The narrator of the story goes to a conference in London, where she is to deliver a paper on the immigrant district of the East End. She meets her long-lost friend Erika, who is working on her doctorate and raises her daughter as a single mother. Erika came to London many years ago from East Germany. The narrator also spends the day with Jim who comes from Kenya. Jim once dreamed of getting away from his homeland, and now, increasingly frustrated, he cannot stop thinking about Africa. The story presents several scenes from the lives of contemporary residents of Great Britain, immigrants, those who feel lost and torn between here and there.
Oleksandr Irwaneć: Poem / 36
Jolanta Kessler: Four Meetings with the Master. Zbigniew Herbert in Close-up / 39
A literary record of the author’s private meetings with Zbigniew Herbert. In a short introduction, the poet is presented as a pilgrim wandering from communist Poland to various well-known places of the ancient world in search of the roots of the European culture and identity. Their first meetings – in person and on the phone – were held in France in the 1980s. The last meeting, in Warsaw, was not in person. Having watched a film which Kessler had made about Colonel Kuklinski, Herbert, already ill, left a mysterious dedication for the author in his volume of poetry entitled 89 Poems.
Keywords: Zbigniew Herbert, Italy, France, memories
Vasyl Makhno: poems / 44
Andrzej Titkow: Port Amsterdam / 49
The beginning of the 1970s. Young people from an avant-garde theater go to Amsterdam to perform. They are accompanied by a novice filmmaker who is not much older than them, whose task is to record this event. However, he had not managed to borrow a camera. He did not reveal this fact to anyone so as not to lose the chance to go abroad. For him, the West is a synonym of freedom, which he considers the most important value. For several years, for political reasons, he had tried in vain to obtain a passport. So it is only when the train enters the German Federal Republic that the protagonist decides to inform the head of the theater crew that he does not have a camera. There is an outburst of anger, but there is no turning back. In Amsterdam, a young filmmaker gets to know the people of the theater company better, including his own brother, one of the group’s members. His brief acquaintance with one of the actresses turns into passionate love with no future ahead.
Piotr Szewc: octostiches / 65
Łukasz Marcińczak: In Search of the Lost Wall / 68
The author, inspired by the view of a fragment of the wall that once encircled Babylon which he had seen in the Berlin museum, reflects on the city walls of Lublin. Using the three panoramas of the city from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, he characterizes the defensive structures that no longer exist and tracks their remains, partially preserved in the urban landscape. One of the thirteen towers that has survived to our times, symbolically becomes for the author a “piece of a yellow wall” from Vermeer’s painting made famous by Proust – a fragment evoking a feeling of a larger, unimaginable whole.
Keywords: defensive walls, Lublin, Krakowska Gate, Grodzka Gate, archeology, history, architecture, Marcel Proust
Michał Paweł Urbaniak: Those Parsley Dreams That Will Never Come / 81
As a teenager, Karolina had a crush on the intriguing Arek Adamus. They did not get married, as she had hoped, but remained in a long-lasting friendship. Today, they are both mature people, have families and a stable life situation. Karolina and her husband invite the Adamus family to dinner. They unexpectedly arrive with a pair of mannequins which they treat as family members. Arek reveals his embarrassing secret, counting on understanding – after all, he does nothing wrong. However, Karolina feels consternation and confusion. She deludes herself that it is simply one of the jokes of her former love. It will be an evening of settlements, anger, disillusionment, and farewells to overdue dreams that had no right to come true.
Tomasz Chudak: poems / 96
Kamil Szuszkiewicz: I Don’t Think So / 99
The scene of a night kitchen talk. A young couple and their guest, a close friend or maybe a relative, discuss the latter’s relationship problem: her boyfriend does not want to own the keys to her flat. Their scrutiny over that fact, driven by homegrown psychology, evokes a recollection of his childhood story. From behind their self-centered opinions and gradually boiling couple’s quarrel there emerges a heartbreaking story of a loving yet addicted father and a strong mother bearing the unbearable while hiding her own feelings; the talkers appear to miss some point. The piece was intended to be a study of solipsistic aspects of human communication.
Janusz Urbaniak: poems / 105
Prose writers, prose writers …
Karol Alichnowicz: Disassembly of Attractions [Jacek Zalewski „Szpila” (“The Pin”)]; Rafał Szczerbakiewicz: Realistically-fantastic Letters from Ukraine [Volodymyr Jaworski-Woldmur „Półsenne kartki z Diamentowego Cesarstwa i Królestwa Ziemi Północnej. Epopeja” (“Half-asleep Postards from the Diamond Empire and the Kingdom of the Northern Land. The Epic”)]; Wiesława Turżańska: To do Justice to a Forgotten World [Wojciech Kudyba „Pułascy. Aut vincere, aut mori”, „Pułascy. Non alius regit” (“The Pulaski. Aut Vincere, aut Mori”, “The Pulaski. Non Alius Regit”]; Aneta Wysocka: About “Polish Flowers”, Subjectively [„Kwiatki polskie. Antologia opowiadań” (“Polish Flowers. An Anthology of Stories”)] / 109
Discussions of the latest prose books written by literary scholars and critics. They contain detailed analyses and are designed to characterize the most important contemporary literary trends and phenomena.
Not only analytically …
Jarosław Sawic: “Kind of Passion” – Jazz Stories by Piotr Jagielski [Piotr Jagielski „Święta tradycja, własnym głosem. Opowieści o amerykańskim jazzie” (“Holy Tradition, with its Own Voice. American Jazz Stories”)]; Jacek Zalewski: Life in Shortcuts [Tomasz Stawiszyński „Ucieczka od bezradności” (“Escape from Helplessness”)]; Aleksander Wójtowicz: Revisions and Utopias [Dawid Kujawa „Pocałunki ludu. Poezja i krytyka po roku 2000” (“Folk’s Kisses. Poetry and Criticism after 2000”)]; Iwona Hofman: An Important Voice of the Ukrainian Writer [Oksana Zabużko „Planeta Piołun” (“Planet Wormwood”)] / 124
Reviews of recently published scholarly, essayistic and documentary books, viewed against the background of the most important trends and phenomena of contemporary culture.
Lechosław Lameński: Georg Kolbe, a German Creator of the Unwanted Nude / 142
An essay devoted to Georg Kolbe (1877-1947), a German sculptor, author of many monuments and sculptures of a decorative nature, depicting figures of naked women and men, well captured in motion, in various situations (dancing, walking, resting). This comprehensively educated and extremely prolific artist, creating in various materials (but mainly in bronze), was one of the most popular sculptors of the Weimar Republic (1918-1933), as well as one of the leading artists during the existence of the Third Reich (1933-1945). A museum named after him has been operating in Berlin since 1950. Kolbe’s work is presented against the background of a short description of Nazi sculpture, taking into account the history of two of his works (a terracotta figurine of a naked sitting woman and a bronze female torso) kept in private collections in Poland.
Keywords: Georg Kolbe, sculpture, National Socialist and Nazi art, Georg Kolbe Museum
Kamila Dworniczak: Urszula Czartoryska in the Extended Perspective / 155
Discussion of the works of Urszula Czartoryska – “the first lady of Polish photography”, one of the leading figures of post-war art criticism in Poland, whose attitude was shaped, inter alia, in the circle of Zamek (Castle) Group. The starting point for the discussion is the current position of the critic on the map of Polish art history. The author presents the rich activity of Czartoryska – writing, museology, and teaching – as a coherent intellectual strategy that fits into the determinants of Polish “modernity”. A look at the critic’s output from a broader historical and artistic perspective makes us realize that this is still an area of research which has not been fully explored.
Keywords: Urszula Czartoryska, Zamek Group, relations between photography and fine arts, avant-garde, surrealism, Marxism, socialist realism, art criticism
Jarosław Cymerman: “The Story of Lord’s Glorious Resurrection”. Re:construction / 163
A text devoted to the staging of Historyja o chwalebnym Zmartwychwstaniu Pańskim (The Story of Lord’s Glorious Resurrection) by Mikołaj from Wilkowiecko at Juliusz Osterwa Theater in Lublin directed by Jarosław Gajewski (premiere in April 2022). The author discusses the performance in the context of other productions of this drama staged by Leon Schiller, Kazimierz Dejmek, Piotr Cieplak and Piotr Tomaszuk. The Lublin performance is an attempt to get to the liturgical essence of a medieval drama and to translate it into the language of the contemporary stage.
AT THE VERNISSAGE
Anna Hałata: In Search of a Common Path. On the Margin of the Anniversary Exhibition of Barbara and Stanisław Bałdyga / 168
The reason for organizing the retrospective exhibition W drodze… (On the way …) is the 50th anniversary of the work of graphic artists Barbara Sosnowska-Bałdyga and Stanisław Bałdyga. The creators belong to the generation of artists who have formed the Lublin artistic community since the 1970s, without whom it is difficult to imagine a “graphic map” of the city. Each of them uses a separate language and technique, and their area of interest is also separate. The two worlds – distant, yet paradoxically quite close, seemingly very different, but in a sense similar. Does the demarcation line between them and emphasizing the differences make any deeper sense, since common features appear on several levels of the message? These are the questions that arise in relation to the works presented at the exhibition.
Keywords: Barbara Sosnowska-Bałdyga, Stanisław Bałdyga, graphics, digital print, abstract sign, linocuts, nature, clash of abstract and biological forms
A CHILD AND THE WORLD
Living with a Smile. Interview with Joanna Papuzińska / 174
Interview with Joanna Papuzińska, poet, author of books for children. In an interview, the writer returns to her childhood, talks about her parents’ involvement in the wartime conspiracy and the loss of her mother (who was shot in the Pawiak prison). We learn how in a young girl an artist was born. Jan Brzechwa played an important role in shaping Joanna Papuzińska’s work. The poet drew inspiration from everyday life, but also used war themes, which she depicted with distance and humor. The writer collaborated with prominent illustrators, such as Bohdan Butenko.
Piotr Mordel: Escape to the South, or Polish Losers in Berlin / 183
Recollections of Piotr Mordel – a native of Lublin (born in 1961), graphic designer, typographer, publisher, cabaret actor, cultural activist and bibliophile. The author graduated from the Lublin University of Technology; as a student he was a member of the Independent Students’ Association. During martial law, he participated in the independent publishing movement. Upon Mordel’s arrest by the Security Service (SB, communist political police), his apartment was searched, which resulted in a fine, as well as the confiscation of his publishing workshop and his library. Since 1987 he has been in exile in Berlin, where he conducts various cultural activities. He is the founder of the Mordellus Press, as well as the co-founder of the literary magazine “Kolano”. For twenty years he has been working as a graphic designer in the Polish-German magazine “Dialogue”. He is the author of the satirical broadcast Gaulojzes Golana and a co-founder of the Club of Polish Losers founded in Berlin in 2001 (it hosted many famous Polish artists, including Olga Tokarczuk, Dorota Masłowska, Andrzej Stasiuk, Kazimierz Kutz and Lech Majewski). Together with Adam Gusowski, he published Der Club der Polnischen Versager – a collection of satirical short stories “on Polish-German stories”.
Keywords: Piotr Mordel, memories, emigration, Berlin, Polish People’s Republic (PRL), martial law, independent publishing movement, Polish Losers Club, Mordellus Press, Gaulojzes Golana, editing
Marek Danielkiewicz: Dancing around the Throne / 191
Leszek Mądzik: The Loss / 194
Adam Broż: Savonarola / 195
Elżbieta Wicha-Wauben: A Polish Woman Thinks with Dutch Idioms. About the Novel by Marie Kessels “Levenshonger” („Głód życia” [“Hunger for Life”]) / 198
Andrzej Malinga: [Bibliophiles] / 202
Bogdan Knop: Two Slavic Paradigms? / 204
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 / 209