Andrzej Stasiuk in Budapest


Meeting with a Polish author of the book " Across the river" will be moderated by Balázs Lévai

Monday 13 May 2013, 6:00 pm

FUGA -Budapest Center of Architecture

1052 Budapest, Petőfi Sándor utca 5.

Foto © by Kamil Gubała


Andrzej Stasiuk (born 1960) writes fiction, poetry, and occasional literary criticism, and is co-owner of a small but lively publishing firm called Czarne. He first made a name for himself with a collection of short stories entitledThe Walls of Hebron (1992), which gave a rapacious but affecting description of life in prison. The critics immediately noted his impeccable style and above-average literary standard. His next three works of fiction gave solid foundation to his literary status. His reflective adventure novel The White Crow (1995) was well received, as was Galician Tales, published in the same year, a short collection of 15 stories on the same theme. It describes life in a backward village and the changes that have harrowed the simple people who live in this isolated spot. The book is beautifully written, in the style of biblical language, and when it came out Stasiuk was hailed as a master of the atmospheric literary miniature, inimitably able to sublimate banal, raw reality. His work of fiction entitled Dukla (1997) is regarded as the high point of this stage in his writing, in which he expresses almost philosophical ambitions as a writer. Whether showing us around the little town of the title, describing the death of animals or changes in the weather, the narrator keeps falling into his own sort of reflective mood, considering all sorts of ontological concepts, such as time warps and distortions of space, rhythm and order that are invisible to the naked eye. But above all he tries to expose his ideas to metaphysical analysis. Stasiuk’s next two works of fiction mark a change of tone. These are an unpretentious autobiographical sketch, written “in a single breath” (How I Became a Writer, 1998) and his second novel,Nine (1999). In it he depicts Warsaw at the time when capitalism first came to Poland (the early 1990s), and aims to encapsulate the transition from old times to new, which in his view was chiefly typified by a breakdown in the ties between people. In the late 1990s he put a lot of energy into writing essays. With Ukrainian writer Yuri Andrukhovich he co-authored a book entitled My Europe – Two Essays on What is Known as Central Europe (2000), and independently published a collection of sketches on literature, The Cardboard Aeroplane (2000). He also made a return to his best novellas by publishing a modest little book entitled Winter and Other Stories (2001).

Grochów is his latest book, which has been published in hungarian.