Rondo

Kazimierz Brandys, Author, Jaroslaw Anders, Translator Farrar Straus Giroux $19.95 (266p) ISBN 978-0-374-25200-7
Written in the late 1970s before the author's critically acclaimed set of memoirs, A Warsaw Diary and Paris/New York , this uncompromising piece of fiction attempts to describe the ``objective truth'' about the Nazi occupation of Warsaw and its tragic aftermath. Narrator Tom is ostensibly writing a polemic in response to an article in a literary journal that described, he feels erroneously, his own activities as a WW II resistance fighter. But the book doubles as a reflection on the fortunes of a generation who came of age during the war. Reputedly, Tom is the illegitimate son of a famous Polish general, which gives him a certain cachet among his peers and inevitably leads him to abandon his promising career as a lawyer to join the Polish Home Army at the onset of the war. Ironically, it is his participation in the resistance movement that leads him later to be branded a ``subversive'' and jailed by the Communists. He also has a love affair with a mysterious tormented actress--the book's dominant storyline. Eschewing theatrics, Brandys presents the war years for the most part as banal, punctuated by acts of senseless violence; lethargic pacing and lengthy philosophical digressions detract from this otherwise splendid attempt to portray the lives of a displaced generation. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
Paperback - 324 pages - 978-1-60945-004-5
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