Marek Hłasko Release in US
#language & literature
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Translated by Ross Ufberg, Marek Hłasko’s Piękni dwudziestoletni / Beautiful Twentysomethings is being released in the U.S. by Northern Illinois University Press.
Touted as Hłasko’s literary autobiography, it presents a fascinating portrait of the young writer and his short life as a key player in a rebellious generation. Told in a gritty tone infused with black humour, the text is considered a Polish classic and portrays with daring accuracy the political struggles of the time. The memoir goes through his conflicts with Polish authorities after publishing an anticommunist novel and the subsequent stripping of his citizenship.
Covering one event after another, the breezy style of the text doesn’t understate descriptions of the relationships the author had with Roman Polański, Jerzy Andrzejewski and Kazimierz Brandys, each of whom went on to become a cultural giant. His place in Polish literature is likened to the roles that Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs had in the Beat generation. Hłasko’s writing expresses his disagreement with the reality of Poland in the 1950s and shows how he resisted conforming to the existing formula of socialist realism.
Described by the New York Times as a “spokesman for those who were angry and beat … turbulent, temperamental, and tortured,” the publishing of his first-hand account will give English-language readers an exclusive look into this rebellious cultural icon from Poland.
Beautiful Twentysomethings can be purchased online at the publisher’s website.
Sources: PAP; author: Lucyna Szura; 24/10/2013, translation: SMG; 25/10/2013