Good Night, Dżerzi - Janusz Głowacki
In his latest novel, Janusz Głowacki creates an elaborate psychological and social portrayal in which scenes from Jerzy Kosiński's life intertwine with the story of the narrator who is working on a screenplay for a film about the writer. The narrator is based on the personage of Głowacki himself, who was a close friend of Kosiński.
The life history of a man who searched for a reason to live unexpectedly transforms into the story of persons entangled into his life and diabolically affected by him, including the author himself, set in characteristic corners of New York City.
The novel searches for an answer to a question who Jerzy Kosiński truly was: a Polish Jew who made a successful career in the USA? A controversial man who relentlessly modified his autobiography? A man tormented by the trauma of the Holocaust? A frequent purveyor of sadomasochist clubs? A man suspected of fraud with regard to his authorship of the acclaimed novel The Painted Bird? Or was he someone else altogether?
One of the main characters of Głowacki's novel is Jerzy Kosiński, an American writer of Polish origin whose distinguished international career was cut short by a major scandal, humiliation and suicide. Did it have to come to such an end? Was it a question of fate or coincidence?
On the pretext of writing a screenplay about "Jersey", Janusz Głowacki leads the reader through a world in which truth and mystification, New York sex clubs and the Holocaust, tragedy and grotesque walk arm in arm…
As Bartosz Marzec writes in his review:
"Głowacki has been planning to explore this subject for a long time. He thought about art. Then, he mentioned Kosiński in his autobiography. What did he see in his figure?
(...) He was the master of mystification. (...) He intuitively sensed what to do in order to draw attention. (...)
The author of 'Being There' believed in coincidence. Taking that into consideration, Głowacki wonders whether Jersey's biography was the contemporary version of the Oedipus' myth. The Gods told him that he would kill his father, marry his mother and end up tragically. At the same time, just for the sheer fun, they let him believe he was free, successful and gave him a family. 'And then things fell apart', as Głowacki writes. Similarly, Kosiński was born when Hitler came into power. 'At this moment, he and the entire Jewish nation were sentenced to death by the divine decree. Yet, somebody there above decided it would be fun to save the boy for now, let him make a brilliant career, and then come back for him. The role of Erinys, goddesses of revenge, was played by the journalists...".
Source: www.swiatksiazki.pl, www.salonkulturalny.pl, www.rp.pl
The official release of Good night, Dżerzi: November 10, 2010. On November 7, Janusz Głowacki will sign copies of the book during the 14th Kraków Book Fair.
- Janusz Głowacki
Good night, Dżerzi
Series: Nowa Proza Polska / New Polish Prose
Publisher: Świat Książki, Warsaw, November 2010
320 pages, hardcover