The New World Avenue and Vicinity

Tadeusz Konwicki, Author, Walter W. Arndt, Translator Farrar Straus Giroux $24.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-374-22182-9
Bustling, scrubby New World Avenue cuts ``like a curved Turkish saber'' through Warsaw, where Polish-Lithuanian novelist Konwicki ( Moonrise, Moonset ) moved in 1947 after his native Vilnius was annexed by the Soviet Union. Circling round this storied street of Polish kings, these haunting reminiscences sound a stately, beautiful music, a moonlit sonata of the soul, as Konwicki muses on freedom, the will to power, old age (``a dreadful effort to crawl off''), spectator sports (a ``bizarre and appalling deformity''), his life (``a washout'') and the dubious pleasures of the flesh. Charmingly illustrated with line drawings by the author, this engaging meditation lays bare his obsessions--the Devil, his aristocratic Lithuanian roots, a ``thirst for holiness''--and his vices--boredom, impatience, ambition, recklessness and the ``daily affliction'' of perfectionism. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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