Tamara Trojanowska, Joanna Niżyńska, and Przemysław Czapliński, with the assistance of Agnieszka Polakowska
A New History of Polish Literature and Culture since 1918
University of Toronto Press 2018
New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in Eastern European StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Literary StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network March 14, 2019 Nataliya Shpylova-Saeed
Being Poland: A New History of Polish Literature and Culture since 1918 (University of Toronto Press, 2018) consists of sixty essays written by authors from all over the world who specialize in Polish literature and culture. They write from a unique place: from the place of the individual who is connected with their culture, and at the same time they go beyond geographical and cultural boundaries. Thus, the present volume provides an overview of Polish culture and literature that absorbs local and global experiences. One of the key features of Being Poland is that it invites dialogues across boundaries in terms of cultural and academic interactions. As the introduction aptly puts it, the book attempts to surpass some “monological” interpretations of cultural events and phenomena and to initiate a conversation that will allow space for multiple diverse voices. In this regard, the editors of the volume collect essays that highlight moments crucial for Polish literature and culture; at the same time, they aspire to broaden their exploration of local developments by locating them in the context of global interactions, which include, but are not limited to, culture, literature, and history. The result of this endeavor is a polyphonic narrative that appeals to the reader’s imagination, surpassing the concreteness and monolith of a singular culture. Being Poland, edited by Tamara Trojanowska, Joanna Niżyńska, and Przemysław Czapliński, with the assistance of Agnieszka Polakowska provides space for the reconsideration of literature and culture within the globalized context.