Szczepan Twardoch: Morfina


One of the Polish guest of the 23 International Book Festival in Buidapest will be Szczepan Twardoch!

Saturday 23 April 2016, 1:30 pm

Millenáris, Márai Sándor terem

Bp., II. Kis Rókus utca 16-20.

photo by Jacek Kołodziejski

Szczepan Twardoch: Morphine

Szczepan Twardoch – Polish writer and journalist of Silesian origin.

He was born on the 23rd of December, 1979. A sociologist and philosopher by education, as well as an expert on arms and Silesian language and culture, he deals with the issue of identifying with one’s place of birth as well as with the problem of national identity: Polish, German, Silesian.

In his works, which have a clear and logical but at the same time surprising and complicated construction, he constantly balances on the line that separates reality from fantasy,  psychology from realism, true history from alternate history. The world presented in Twardoch’s books is coherent, suggestive and it provokes reflections about the world we live in.


His novel Wieczny Grunwald (Eternal Grunwald) was honoured with the distinction of the Józef Mackiewicz Literary Prize. It was also nominated for the Gwarancja Kultury award. From among the few series of stories, the volume Tak jest dobrze (It’s Good This Way) was nominated for the Gdynia Literary Prize. In 2012,  the writer received a Passport award from the weekly Polityka for the novel Morfina (Morphine).

The hero of Morfina, a Varsovian and a son of a German aristocrat and a Polonised Silesian woman has a problem. The main character doesn’t know whether he is a Pole or a German. It is 1939 and this question is fundamental. Additionally, every woman he encounters makes him feel like a different person. Twardoch not only shows an unstable man influenced by women - the writer also speaks of the Polish identity, which also has a certain unstableness and weakness in it.

Wieczny Grunwald, his sixth prosaic effort, was published in 2010 and since then he has been a magnificent writer – claims Dariusz Nowacki.- But what he achieved with last years Morphine cannot simply be described in words. We received an outstanding novel (not only in my opinion) – a somewhat crazy, but above all very bold study of male weakness and of a flexible national identity. The story is set in the realities of the first month of the German occupation. I tip my hat to Twardoch!

On the grey, boring background of the identity analyses featured in Polish literature of the past years the grim grotesque of Twardoch’s Morfina shines like a gem – adds Piotr Kofta. - In this daring story about a small, unstable person that is forced to play the part of a man, hero, Pole or German, there is something reminiscent of Witkacy and Gombrowicz, but also of Konwicki in top form.




13:30-14:30 - book presentation (Sándor Márai room) -in hungarian language

14:30-15:30 - dedication (at the stand of Typotex Publishing House)

18:00 - 19:00 - Meeting with Szczepan Twardoch, Jaroslava Rumpli, Ondreja Štefánik (Supka Géza room)


New polish books, publications, informations, from the Warsaw Book Fair! (B6)