All the elements of seasonal hedonism are here – Sea, Sun and Sex – but so are cruelty, indifference and memory, all playing havoc with people’s dreams and hearts. It’s love and death in Tel Aviv.
Gustav Herling-Grudziński, Inmate No. 1872, wrote his powerful indictment of the Soviet system of penal camps, the GULAG, not as a description of nations at war, but as a conflict between barbarism and civilization. First published in 1951, this book was quietly but intentionally suppressed for decades.
Patrice Dabrowski’s new history, written with her usual elegant style, refers to Poland with the pronoun “she” – but the Soviet-imposed regime as “it,” notes Nathan Wood, perhaps with a touch of disapproval. Now there’s a great discussion starter.
If you always wanted Poland to be just another normal European state, historian Brian Porter-Szűcs says that’s exactly what it is. That is good news, though Michał Kasprzak thinks it may dampen dinner conversations at festive tables.
Compared to Keats, Marcel Proust, and even to “Bob Dylan, William Shakespeare, Pablo Neruda and James Dean rolled into one,” Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński was passionate, erotic, heroic, idealistic and incomparably prolific. His life and his art were one, his death made him legend.