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Polish books have no happy endings

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Polish books have no happy endings

Postby LadyMacbeth » Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:17 am

Hi:)
at this moment I would like to say that Polish books have mostly no happy endings. And how is in your countries? As deals Spanish literature I know only "Don Kichote" rather funny though bit too long:(
One of the saddest Polish books is a short story called"Lighthouse watchman". It is a short story written by one of the greatest Polish writers - Henryk Sienkiewicz (he got Nobel prize for Quo vadis). Mostly his books had happy endings thus were so pupular in Poland and abroad but "Lighthouse watchman" is very sad story about a Polish guy who left for US and found there a job as a lighthouse watchman. But instead of taking care of the ships and lighting a lighthouse he was reading "Mr Tadeusz" a masterpiece written by biggest polish poet -Adam Mickiewicz cause he was missing Poland very much:(
As you can expect a diseaster happened - one day he didn't light a lighthouse, a ship broke against rocks and Lighthouse watchman lost his job.
But imagine...he didn't stop reading this stupid Mickiewicz even then! On the contrary - he took "Mr Tadeusz" and went into unknown...

One time on one Polish forum someone asked "help me to write continuation of this story". I wrote one.
Others did the same. Try to guess what happened next.
You have to options - with happy ending and without. I have made drowned this lighthouse watchman in my version:(
LM
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Postby Jaime » Wed Aug 02, 2006 8:34 am

Well... "Don Quijote" has indeed a happy ending. After all, the hero recovers his mind a couple of days before dying.
Anyway, I think your drowning the lighthouse watchman is much of an unhappy ending, isn't it?
As for Polish literature goes, I can hardly say anything. I haven't read any but Gombrowizc and Mrozek, though I found both of them quite amazing -and amusing.
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hello,

Postby LadyMacbeth » Wed Aug 02, 2006 2:45 pm

I am so glad to be back in this wonderful section that is called BOOKS. well... Gombrowicz and Mrożek are very difficult but also very universal as it seems to me. I would call Gombrowicz books kind of Polish Monty Python and Don Kichote but it seems to me he is very Polish.
But I like things that contain historical aspect. Historical or contemporary. Gombrowicz writes totally absurds. It is called grotesque (I am not sure if the English word I have just used is written correctly).
Grotesque is something that I don't understand too much I am afraid:(. I would be totally hard to make a movie from Gombrowicz books. I wonder if it is possible. Mrożek is more clear to me. He adds history to his works (as far as I remember).
I was very good at literature but it was 10 years ago when I gave it up.
It would be very difficult to me to find my favourite Polish book. They all were so sad or seemed to me to be so far from my daily reality that I started to read to read others. Maybe "Increadible adventures of Freckled Mark" was my favourite Polish book that I read when I was a child.
:)
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Postby Jaime » Thu Aug 03, 2006 10:40 am

Yeah, I think there is a relation between Ferdydurke and Don Quixote. For instance, Don Quixote make people act as if they were as mad and fool as he is, whereas Ferdydurke's hero is always feeling compelled to act as mad and fool as the people he comes across. These two novels explore, needless to say, the idea of identity. Which I find most interesting is they're exploring the issue in a very similar way. In fact, it's as if they have established a dialogue along the past centuries, Cervantes and Gombrowicz.
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hello:)

Postby LadyMacbeth » Thu Aug 03, 2006 3:37 pm

Thanks a lot for your letter although I can contribute very few new things into observations connected with this subject.
I found a bit about Ferdydurke in English:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdydurke
You can find there some things about Mrożek's Tango too. But very few things in English. I think these things can amuse some people but that is a skill to sell them to apropriate audience that would appreaciate them.
I, myself, don't feel skilled and predistined enough to do it but some other people sure. These works are simply very difficult and even for me was very difficult to laugh at sense of humour that is presented in Ferdydurke.
I could never understood what is so funny for people in it:( I probably have different sense of humour.
This story had no beginning , no end as it seemed to me. Everything was a mad, mad reality of past and future. That's all. For example in the same time I started to read British humorous stories from II World War time and I liked them very much. They interested me much more. That's all.
Besides both Gombrowicz and Mrożek lived outside Poland writing for Polish newspapers. So I think it is stupid to compare people who write in given country and live there with the ones who emigrated and write things from abroad. I think better is to watch things written by people who lived in Poland during communism than relying on so called observations of people who lived in Argentina (like Mrożek). I like plenty of comedies done by Polish directors who lived in Poland during communism.
These are the best comedies that were done in Poland at all! Like " Alternatywy 4 Street" - my favourite Polish comedy from times of comunism.
This comedy is immortal.
Interesting why no books were published then about humourous sides of communism.
Maybe it was easier to make a movie than to publish a book?
Who knows...
Regards,
LM
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Postby Jaime » Fri Aug 04, 2006 7:52 am

Ok, I think you might have a point there and the insights into Polish politics of both Gombrowicz and Mrozek were not as much accurate as those of their Polish colleagues still living in Poland.
However, as long as literature goes, we should pay more attention to the relations between different novels than the relations between a novel and all the historical and sociological issues of the age they have written in.
Plenty of writers we consider now as the greatest ever were more or less ignored in their own countries until someone abroad grasped the new thing these artists were really doing. And that is because of the fact that we people living in the same country which the writer comes from, tend to read his novel as something strongly related with his (our) motherland, missing the whole point of his art.
Well...sorry... I think all what I'm saying has nothing to do with Polish literature at all.
Anyway, I hope someday I'm gonna read some of the Polish books you talked about. They all seem quite interesting (so thank you!)
Jaime
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Polish comedy books?

Postby LadyMacbeth » Fri Aug 04, 2006 12:53 pm

Thank you for your wonderful post that has made me thinking upon a lot of things.
Well... there are Polish no comedy books about communism. There are only movies. As far as I know.
And screenplays. Someone can feel offended at my ideas of making communism funny when so many people died and many others are still persecuted till today by communistic apparatchicks that feel free here and still rule in Poland as it seems to me:(.
However Monty Python also laughed at wars (for example in "The most funny joke in the world") and at Spanish Inquisition that was equally tragic and took life of many people and noone persecuted them because of it as it seems to me!:((( I realize what I am writing now is scarely about books but maybe they are still unwritten and that's all?
I would like here to present Stanisław Bareja - very skilled Polish film director who made most of the funniest (cult) comedies about full of absurds, humorous Polish reality of communism.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanis%C5%82aw_Bareja
and here is a notice about one of his most important movies Teddy Bear (that is really very, very funy):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teddy_Bear_%28film%29

There is any word in Wikipedia about his TV series "Alternatywy 4" Street (1983) and another TV series with his direction and screenplay "Taxi-drivers" (1986).
I simply love Alternatywy 4 Street. It is kind of Monty Python "the upper class twit of the year" though the most stupid guy makes the better career.
Very good comedy indeed.
LadyMacbeth
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ps.

Postby LadyMacbeth » Fri Aug 04, 2006 1:03 pm

Sorry for my errors I am writing here mostly in hurry:(
1.there are no Polish comedy books
2. makes the best career.

etc.

The question is why people in Poland didn't write anything funny about communism ( I mean a book) when they were making comedies about it?

:roll: :roll: :roll:
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