27 October 2010 The weekly with a special supplement about the Conrad Festival is available for sale from today.

This week’s issue of Tygodnik Powszechny, which you can buy already today, is accompanied by a special supplement about the Conrad Festival, containing, among others, a text of Katarzyna Bojarska about films by Claude Lanzmann and an essay of the artistic director of the Festival, Michał Paweł Markowski, entitled Od siebie (From One’s Own Self). We invite you to read this supplement!

“Guillotine – and the death penalty in general as well as various methods of inflicting death – have been a big matter in my life” – these are the opening words of Claude Lanzmann’s autobiography The Patagonia Hare. „He uses several different ways to speak of life in the persistent neighbourhood of death,” writes Katarzyna Bojarska about the life and works of Claude Lanzmann. Lanzmann will be a guest of the 6th day of the Conrad Festival and will take part in the debate “A Testimony To the 20th Century”, which will be hosted by Konstanty Gebert.

“Our liberature is and is not similar to what was earlier. But in the case of the book with collages in Hertha Müller’s box “The Guard Takes His Comb”, which is being published by us within a series, cards are not stitched together, but they are numbered, so the analogy with a manuscript would be justified. It is important that this measure should not be accidental and not a “trick for trick’s sake”. And Joyce was important for many reasons, also as an example of a writer (preceded by Sterne, Blade or Mallarmé) who tried to model the appearance of his books. He showed that even the colour of the cover and the number of pages can be meaningful” – says Adam Poprawa in an interview with Katarzyna Bazarnik and Zenon Fajfer. How many pages does liberature have?

“The Internet is a natural medium for literary works, but the presence in the traditional “paper” world of literature is still something that counts most. In virtual space, where the hierarchy and borders do not exist, all criteria of evaluation become blurred.” The attempt to answer the question whether new media replace a traditional book or not is made by Jerzy Franczak in his article Znikająca biblioteka (The Disappearing Library). “The history of mankind means the ceaseless bibliocaust. Books perish in the fire and in the common oblivion, whereas we save selected works – those we regard as the most valuable and those we find by accident. For instance, we cannot be sure whether Aeschylus, Euripides and Sophocles are the most outstanding dramatists of their epoch, since Aristotle enumerates many other authors whose works did not survive until our times.

What is happening in modern American poetry? Who is doing a revolution, and who is entrenching themselves in traditional positions? Which poets are a “must read”? – these are the topics of the discussion between Julia Fiedorczuk and Andrzej Sosnowski. „Americans have invented new ways of writing for almost one hundred years (Pound, Eliot and Williams in their early years, Riding, Loy, Stevens, Bishop, Berryman, Olson, Ginsberg, representatives of the New York school: Ashbery, O’Hara, Koch, Schuyler), but, at the same time, they have no significant establishment of poetic attitudes that could be profaned ritually,” the authors state.

“We read in order to write, that is, to find the rationale for our own existence, to avoid concealing what is the most important, even if these most important things are hidden in a few details unnoticed by others, like a streak of light on a naked arm, like a crumpled newspaper carried by the wind,” writes Michał Paweł Markowski in his essay From One’s Own Self. “The child who begins to read becomes a philosopher not because it says one opinion or another which is caught up by barren adult minds, but because it learns immediate duality and can move from one world to another with a smile on its lips. What do I mean by writing this? Perhaps that someone who reads finds it very difficult to stick their separated halves together.”