Literary awards, social media

15 January 2013 - By

Found in Translation Award:

The Polish Book Institute, the Polish Cultural Institute in New York, and the Polish Cultural Institute in London announced that the winner of the Found in Translation Award for 2011 is Joanna Trzeciak for her translation of Tadeusz Różewicz’s “Sobbing Superpower”, published by W. W. Norton & Company (USA). This award is in recognition of exceptional translation quality, and the great importance of the text awarded. The volume, counting over 300 pages, is a selection of Różewicz’s poems covering all the periods of his work.



"An anti-poet relentlessly, even ruthlessly determined to tell the truth, however painful it may be."—Edward Hirsch

Widely held to be the most influential Polish poet of a generation that includes Czeslaw Milosz and Wislawa Szymborska, Tadeusz Róźewicz gives voice in the sharpest, most disturbing way to the crisis of values that has plagued our civilization. Joanna Trzeciak's new translation displays Róźewicz''s supernatural simplicity, his stark diction and sudden turns.

From "regression into the primordial soup"
     finally I too came into the world
     in the year 1921 and suddenly . . .
     atchoo! time passes I am old and forgot where I put my glasses
     I forgot there was
     history Caesar Hitler Mata Hari
     Stalin capitalism communism
     Einstein Picasso Al Capone
     Alka Seltzer Al Qaeda
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Poland’s top literary award

Marek Bieńczyk was awarded the Nike Award, Poland’s most prestigious literary prize for “Książka twarzy,” which translates as ‘A Book of the Face’, the work is described by the author as ‘my Facebook’.

The book is a collection of essays which blend elements of various genres, including poetry, press articles and criticism, and merge intellectual discourse with autobiographical reflections on a wide range of subject matter, from literature and films to tennis and wine. Nike jury chairman Tadeusz Nyczek described the book as ‘Bieńczyk’s grand self-portrait’.

Mr. Bieńczyk is a graduate in French studies at the University of Warsaw. In addition to pursuing a teaching career at the Institute of Literary Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences, he is a prolific writer and translator from the French. He also wrote the novels Terminal and Tworki (the latter translated into English by Benjamin Paloff) and several collections of essays and literary criticism.



Milan Kundera on Marek Bienczyk's Transparency: "The subject of transparency has always interested me; in The Art of the Novel I discussed it as one of the key words in my personal lexicon. Marek Bienczyk is right to give it an entire book of its own: transparency remains one of the foundational concepts of today's social imaginary, and its role never ceases to grow. These lovely pages, in which the essay brushes up against fiction, offer us more than an historical and philosophical study, but a truly existential, and thus novelistic, investigation of transparency. It's a delight." Drawing on all his resources as a novelist, cultural critic, and scholar, Marek Bienczyk peels away the layers of our contemporary obsession with "transparency," skipping across centuries and continents to piece together the genesis of our fears of deception and overexposure. Highly poignant, and transcending the genres of criticism, personal essay, and the metaphysical novel, Transparency is a gorgeous revelation -- about our never-ending need for revelation.

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"Ksiazka twarzy" to zbiór esejów Mareka Bienczyka, która nagrodzono Nagroda Literacka Nike 2012 - najbardziej prestizowym wyróznieniem literackim w Polsce. "Brawura Marka Bienczyka, by pod jedna okladka pomiescic tak kompletnie rózne tematy, wydaje sie wrecz szalona; kto przytomny wydrukowalby obok eseju o pasji do splywów kajakowych tekst o klopotach Mickiewicza ze zdobywaniem kolejnych paszportów? Albo analize cudownosci zdan Raymonda Chandlera, którego ma Bienczyk, i slusznie, za jednego z najwiekszych stylistów naszych czasów, tuz obok hymnu na czesc korzysci z picia wina?" - powiedzial w laudacji przewodniczacy jury Nike Tadeusz Nyczek. "Nie mam swojego profilu na zadnym portalu spolecznosciowym, ale jest to mój Face-book, ksiazka twarzy" - pisze autor. Wsród bohaterów sa m.in.: pisarze (Hemingway, Coetzee, Malaparte, Chateaubriand), tenisisci (Fibak, Borg, Agassi), czy slynni aktorzy (Humphrey Bogart)." Bienczyk sypie anegdotami, opowiada o wioslowaniu na Lotwie i wampirach melancholicznych, o jezyku zakochanych, stadzie malowanych tramwajów i mnóstwie innych rzeczy, które cos dla niego znacza w lekkim, i zarazem wyrafinowanym stylu.
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Polish Social, a new webzine, is the brainchild of two Chicago women with a commitment to community, a pulse on Chicago’s art & culture scenes, and a belief in the power of networking and organizing. It provides links to events, job opportunities, innovators in disparate fields; and provides news of interest to a new generation of Polish Chicagoans.

Being Polish in Chicago is sort of a tale of two cities – in one (the collection of Polish communities that dot this city), there is a strong culturally Polish identity, in the other (the city of Chicago as a whole), there is an opportunity for Poles from all fields to step into leadership positions and showcase the Polish community as a vibrant and essential part of this city’s fabric.

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