2011 Selected texts

On the Border of Truth
by: Agnieszka Wolny-Hamkało

“Where there is Truth, there is no Beauty” – wrote Stefan Chwin. Of course, in the poetics of these words of wisdom, there is both provocation and paradox. But it is also clear that the truth in literature is not the truth of facts. Each narrative is a creation, or at least an interpretation, and a fact itself out of context or misunderstood can mislead us and feed us lies. “I cannot lie to you in verse,” wrote Jacek Podsiadło. He was probably referring to the well-known fact that even the way one “lies” contains a hidden layer of truth. The case seems to be different when we seek truth in the context of literary non-fiction: reportage, biography, autobiography. But is it really? Does non-fiction fully deserve its name? What form is actually represented by literary reportage, a genre of which Poland is so proud?

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Patricia and Her Double
by: Adriana Prodeus

Had she not become a writer, she would have been a murderer. Patricia Highsmith (1921-1995) balanced precariously on the border of ‘being’ her protagonist, Tom Ripley. She even said that he was the real author of her novels, and signed them ‘Tom/Pat’. Through this character, which was developed in five books, she built the most intimate relationship in her life. A relationship that has fascinated filmmakers for decades. People have tried to pigeonhole Highsmith as an author of crime fiction, a master of suspense, and a lesbian writer. She has eluded such formulas. In each of her books, she explores new worlds and is simply a writer of splendid literature. Her Little Tales of Misogyny are succinct stories about women who kill their husbands in the most ingenious ways. For example, by bearing them seventeen children. In a restrained style and icy tone, Highsmith climbs the heights of irony. Quite a different convention is maintained in The Cry of the Owl, a brilliant thriller about a stalker watching a woman who gets tangled up in a toxic relationship.

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V4. MFO – So far away, so close

We have invited authors from Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia to Wroclaw to give presentations and participate in discussions, hoping that in such company, and with the participation of Polish writers, we would be able to have a conversation about several key, often controversial,issues which in recent years have been at the essence of the relationship between literature and, more broadly, artistic creativity in our four countries. We have the impression that we really know very little about each other, and that opportunities for mutual stimulation have been limited for reasons we do not fully understand.

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