Between East and West: Writings from Kultura

Robert Kostrzewa, Other Hill & Wang $30 (273p) ISBN 978-0-8090-2937-2
A stimulating feast awaits the reader of this anthology of 15 essays and stories chiefly by Polish emigres from Kultura , the Paris-based review. A number of self-lacerating articles examine Polish chauvinism and hatred of Germans and Russians. Other pieces deal with the crushing of Solidarity in 1981, Tolstoy as misanthrope and survival in Auschwitz. Czeslaw Milosz pinpoints salient traits shared by Central European writers: irony; an awareness of history; a dark, apocalyptic vision. Mikhail Heller, a Soviet historian living in Paris, profiles homo sovieticus , a creature best adapted to life under the communist system. ``The Journey,'' a powerful story by Wlodzimierz Odojewski, charts a man's train ride through corpse-strewn Poland to bury the soldier brother whose wife he had stolen away.``The Nose,'' by Slawomir Mrozek, is a savage, Gogol-like parable on anti-Semitism and conformity. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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