Literary roundup: Books, borders and bullets

We recently linked to a article on Polish émigré writers, of which, there were many. Now they have followed up with an article on the likewise numerous books written in Poland that weren’t written in Polish. And these aren’t minor works written by expats but were a significant part of the country’s cultural life. Most well-known (to me, at least, especially because it’s the only one I’ve read) is The Manuscript Found in Saragossa by Jan Potocki, written in French (though the original was lost and it survived in a Polish translation). Other books were written in Yiddish, Latin, Hebrew, Belarusian, Romani and German, and contain some world famous authors and fascinating subjects.


Poor But Sexy

If you are going to hold an event presenting a book on my birthday then I can’t think of a better titled book than Agata Pyzik’s, which she will be discussing August 1 at Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. Earlier in the week, as part of the Liverpool Polish Midsummer Festival, there will be a book launch of Poor But Sexy: Culture Clashes in Europe East and West on Tuesday, July 29. Pyzik will read from the book, discuss some topics from it, have a Q&A, and “do an engaging slideshow of prime examples of socialist arts including posters, design and music as well as compare it with the western influences.”


And you can read a short excerpt of the book in The Quietus, including some amazing YouTube clips of 80s Polish new wave bands (They’re incredible!).

*And I was kidding about the book title suiting my birthday, as I only fit the first word of its title. Though if you can’t make the London event, feel free to come celebrate with me.

A loaded Ukrainian tale

The Buenos Aires Review has an essay that really either seems to have come from a novel or should have just been expanded into a novel. Stanley Bill’s Ukrainian Tales of Buenos Aires is an almost unreal story of tragedy and humanity that explores the links between two countries that have seen their share of both.

Photo – From the cover of Agata Pyzik’s Poor But Sexy

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