Poland Under Black Light

Janusz Anderman, Author, Nina Taylor, Translator, Andrew Short, Translator Readers International $12.5 (131p) ISBN 978-0-930523-13-8
In these lyrical tableaux and eerie vignettes, Anderman, a key figure in Polish ""post-war literature'' (works written after December 1981) chronicles the utter despair of life in Poland under martial law. ``The Germans used to kill us, but they let us get on with life,'' utters a disembodied voice, implying that human communication has come to a standstill under martial law. Writers, prisoners, activists, soldiers, newscasters, doctorsthe characters are mostly nameless and faceless, tired shadows who circle the prison cells and the dreary streets of Warsaw. The doctor twists an old woman's arm; both patient and psychiatrist suffer from the fear of being under surveillance (bugged at home, and followed in the streets); only hatred is cultivated as the unrelenting hunt for victims proceeds. In a Kafkaesque fragment, a taxi driver waits in despair with his meter running for his passenger whom he saw disappear into an interrogation center. The duty-officer insists that no one of the passenger's description has come in. Unfortunately, the translation does not do justice to the colloquial speech for which Anderman's dialogues are noted, and this is a relentlessly bleak collection of sometimes flat voices, trapped without hope in one of history's disasters. January 15
Reviewed on: 02/01/1988
Release date: 02/01/1988
Paperback - 138 pages - 978-0-930523-14-5
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