Sunday, 7 August 2011

Ballad(yna)s and romances

As I had foreseen, I didn't really feel a strong encouragement to pursue writing this blog. Today however, due to a couple of reasons, I decided (for the umpteenth time) to devote myself to regular updating this small website of mine. Everytime I discover blogs of journalists, bookworms, musicians and so forth, I start to 'burn with desire' to be a regular blogger.

First of all, let me say that I came back from my three-week stay in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon in central-south France, in the department of Haute-Loire. I've never been that much into France and the French language as I was there, during my actual stay there. It's not really resonably explainable but the pleasant and friendly ambiance of this tiny town in charming surrounding made me want to desperately learn French fluently. And it made me stuck at some triple crossroads with four roadsigns pointing at: a) a middle-sized town in northern France, b) Stockholm, c) Edinburgh, Scotland in general, and d) southern Poland (Kraków). It would be so much better to have a couple of lives to give it all a go. Or maybe, who knows, I'd have the possibility to pack it all in my somewhat short life of, say, 80 years. I now even long more for studying in Edinburgh, I'd be so thankful if God gave me this chance and I managed to handle it, not too scared of trying new things. I do love Poland, but not as far as education is concerned.

Speaking of Poland, I'm currently reading a MARVELLOUS novel which got a very prestigious award of a magazine called "Polityka". It's called "Balladyny i romanse" and was written by Ignacy Karpowicz. I will surely post a review as soon as I finish it, but I already know this is one of the best, if not the best, books I've ever read. So innovative, poignant, ludicrous, quizzical, fixated and subtle at the same time, with elements of soft porno that could make some people a bit disgusted, but not me, with thousands of references to Polish (sick) society, (indigent, overdrawn and turgid) culture, (ineffective and bumbling) politics and reality. I'm honestly in awe.

Let me explain you the title of the book. It literally means "Balladynas and romances" and is a free variation of "Ballads and romances" - a poetry book written by "the national poet" (as we call him) of the Romanticism era Adam Mickiewicz. "Balladyna", however, is a drama written by another Romanticism period poet - Juliusz Słowacki. As you probably know, Romanticism was a 'movement' in literature characterised by grandiloquent phrases, metaphores, believe that dreams and imagination are above the reality. As a result, the language is a bit too tumid and bombastic. From the start, the title, the author (Karpowicz) laughs at our national tendency to turgid, pathetic language, literature and films celebrating historical events and the 'spirit of the nation' with not a grain of humour or satire. The whole novel is kept in this tonality, it makes me laugh, makes me amused, amazed and stunned. Believe me or not, but this is literature at its best! I've been seeing such tendencies in modern Polish literature though - to make fun of Poles, Polish attitude, lack of interest in culture and so on, and so forth. I hope to write more in the next post.

I would also like to get you acquainted with a Polish non-mainstream pop/folk band called nomen omen "Ballady i romanse", created by two 'alternative' sisters Zuzanna and Barbara Wrońska. I would even dare say they are Polish CocoRosie. Well, enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. "this tiny town in charming surrounding made me want to desperately learn French fluently":Je ne peux que t'encourager dans cette voie car comme le chante Daniel Balavoine, "le français est une langue qui résonne"...

    " a middle-sized town in northern France"... Chartres? And what about the Normandie with its
    romantic ports like Honfleur?

    Sinon, belle découverte musicale. I wondered what was the instrument used in the 3rd song, and of course...the lyrics!!!

    signé: Une parisienne anonyme