Series: On the margins

Adam Zagajewski

Asymmetry

Translator

Đurđica Čilić

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Series: On the margins

Adam Zagajewski

Asymmetry

Translator

Đurđica Čilić

Buy a book

There is only benevolence / which is always late are the last verses of Adam Zagajewski’s poem “20th Century in Retirement”. Zagajewski is one of the most significant contemporary Polish and European authors. That benevolence isn’t missing in Zagajewski’s poetic manner and content. It, moreover, almost anticipates the reader, adjusts them so they can carefully enter into the reading of poetry whose most precious effects elude the impatient and the gruff. Although he uses simple language and communicative expressions, there is something old-fashioned and classic in Zagajewski’s poetry. On one hand, he reaches for the registry of philosophical and cultural terms which need a thoughtful, educated reader. On the other hand, there are no strong gestures, one-sided worldviews or adherence to poetic trends in his poetry. This asymmetry of real life, painted in short, measured strokes of poet-painter, which use melancholic tones to stand witness to transience and stops it with memory, is a confirmation of auto-ironic constatation of the poet himself that poetry is – a slight exaggeration.

It is on us to calmly admit that not many poets exaggerate as beautifully as Zagajewski.

From the afterword written by Đurđica Čilić

Writer

Adam Zagajewski

Adam Zagajewski is one of the most significant authors of contemporary Polish literature. Zagajewski is a winner of prestigious Polish, European and global literary awards, and his works have been translated into many languages. He is a poet, essayist and prose write. He was born in Lavov in 1945, but his family has been forced to move to western Poland. He spent his childhood in Gliwice, where he finished elementary and high school…

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Translator

Đurđica Čilić

Đurđica Čilić was born in 1975 in Livno and grew up in Vitez in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She graduated with a degree in Croatian and Polish studies from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb, where she also got her masters and doctoral degrees…

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