Articles tagged "Polish Literature"


The Ship-breakers

1 Shuel is eighteen years old, in a checked shirt hanging loose over his trousers, and with the trusting smile of a child to whom nobody has ever done any harm. Shuel and I are sunk up to our ankles in…...

Painting the Occupation

What did Suleiman Shakir paint? An abandoned house. An old man on a donkey. Children picking daffodils. The pictures didn’t need captions. Everyone knew what he was trying to tell them about the…...

Kyrgyzstan: Shade and Shadow

No Bukhara, no Samarkand, no meaning, just bare life in the rarefied air. That had been what I was after. A clarity of existence. To see sand sifting through the post-imperial rust. That would be enough…...

A Letter to a Young Poet: On Tomasz Różycki

I Once, on a long trip, I experienced an incident that was as trivial as it was enlightening. It happened that my luggage was lost for a couple of days while I was staying in a foreign city. Because I…...

Sławomir Mrożek, 1930–2013

Poland's great Sławomir Mrożek died August 15 in Nice. Though best known as a dramatist, Mrożek was also a prolific writer of short stories; we were delighted to include his "Ketchup,"…...

A Vacation in Basra

February 2005. Violence rages following the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and the southern port city of Basra is dominated by the militants of Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army. The British, who are stationed…...

Translation Roundup

READ Interviews, Articles, Reviews New dispatches from Tijuana's Festival de Literatura del Noroeste (FeLiNo) and the second annual Dhaka Hay Festival. For International Translation Day 2012, WWB contributor…...

The Week in Translation

GO what: Pole Position: Polish Book Autumnfest 17 events in 2 months, at 15 venues across 10 different cities, featuring 7 key Central European writers when: events run from September 19-November 7 where:…...

Ketchup

I read in the newspaper that the Apocalypse wasn’t going to happen. To celebrate this piece of good news, I went to McDonald’s and ordered a hamburger. “How fortunate,” I thought,…...

I Wish I Had a Master

               for S.F. I wish I had a master to teach me how to live, to eat with knife and fork as well as to write poems he’d tell me how the…...

Alterity

The rules are clear: no place to mill about. There’s no such thing as comfort for unhappy men. He leaves the tall house and passes through the eye of the blizzard, insignias unpinned, his neck exposed…...

only i am

it'll happen via levels and verticals, you won't even notice before a cluster of tongues has ground you, smelt from your body a thimble for death. you have no chance without me. only i am cruelty-free:…...

Adjectival Poem

Amazing spring, warm, humid and full of backlit trees in various colors, even if it’s still unclear which ones, except for the rhododendron, which one way or another stays in shape, though it’s…...

Bugging

And of course the birds go on chirping, and how! Even if they’re not chirping. Bah, wires can chirp almost as well, so it’s easy to confuse them. It’s altogether loud and sensuous, almost…...

Utensils Shrink

children grow, no doubt happily verbs swell before your eyes or burst their seams, everything does something to be happy inevitably. In Studio “Bernardi,” Łódź, 17 Piotr- kowska…...

Old-Fashioned

And then she died on us, utterly. The leg dead, the foot rough. The bend of the knee glows with emptiness. And the belly’s warmth turns to ash, a black sachet filled with down. Even the cigarette,…...

Jerzy Pilch’s “A Thousand Peaceful Cities”

Hailed by Czeslaw Milosz as "the hope of young Polish prose" and often compared with the Polish master of surrealist pranks Witold Gombrowicz, in the third of his novels to be published in English the…...

A Thousand

We exist on innumerable photographs. Whoever you are you exist. In a country landscape there is no place for sublime pleasures of the soul. Whoever’s tired of the city this, or some other, can go…...

from “The Fool”

The Fool (Głupiec, 2005) is set in contemporary Olsztyn, author Ewa Schilling's hometown in northeastern Poland. Alina is a thirty-year-old high school teacher and the daughter of a Lutheran pastor,…...

An Interview with Ewa Schilling

This interview was conducted by email, in English and Polish, between 24 May and 1 June, 2010.   W. Martin: How did you begin writing The Fool (Głupiec), and what motivated you to tell this particular…...

Olga Tokarczuk’s “Primeval and Other Times”

On April 10, 2010, heavy fog in the vicinity of the Russian forest of Katyn determined the fate of Poland’s president, Lech Kaczynski, and ninety-six other Polish leaders, including members of parliament,…...

from “Dukla”

One Saturday the summer vacationers appeared. The village was slowly becoming a tourist spot. A few cabins, a woebegone hostel, a kiosk selling Wyszków beer in its special bottles. The locals were…...

Animal Farm; or, a Short and Somewhat Political History of Comics in Poland

The Goat Polish comics began in 1919 with the publication in the Lvov satirical weekly Szczutek (“Fillip”) of With Fire and Sword; or, The Adventures of Mad Grześ, about a young soldier…...

From Key of Passage

The pyxel appeared at a most inconvenient moment for Robert. As usual on such appearances, the air flickered a little, an invisible violin began to play softly, and there was a whiff of vanilla. The pyxel…...

Balloon to Solaris

Polish speculative fiction has been developing for over two hundred years, although it was only sixty years ago that science fiction began to be treated as a separate segment of the publishing market,…...

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