Guest 2003.

Bibliography

Akt urodzenia
Wydawnictwo PoznaŸskie
Poznan, 1969

Nasze Ÿycie roŸnie
Instytut Literacki
Paris, 1978

Niepodlegli nicoŸci
NiezaleŸna Oficyna Wydawnicza
Warschau, 1988

Um niemanden zu verletzen
Tiessen
Neu-Isenburg, 1991
Übersetzung: Karl Dedecius

Wunde der Wahrheit
Suhrkamp
Frankfurt a. M., 1991
Übersetzung: Karl Dedecius

Magnetyczny punkt
CiS
Warschau, 1996

Stein aus der Neuen Welt
Rospo
Hamburg, 2000
Übersetzung: Esther Kinsky

Kamień, szron
Wydawnictwo a5
Krakau, 2004
Übersetzer: Karl Dedecius, Esther Kinsky

Ryszard Krynicki [ Poland ]

Ryszard Krynicki was born in Sankt Valentin (Wimberg camp), Austria, in 1943.  His Polish parents were forced labourers.  After graduating in Polish Studies at the Adam Mickiewiecz University in Poznan, he worked as a librarian and as editor of the magazine 'Student', a job that he had to give up due to his involvement in the civil rights movement. Krynicki is one of the most important of the now-renowned 'new wave' group of poets, a collective formed in the late 60's to oppose the ideology and language of the prevailing political system.  In the late 70's, his activities in this group, as well as in the democratic movement, led to his being banned from publication for several years.  The poet has translated many German authors including Nelly Sachs, Paul Celan, Bertolt Brecht and Reiner Kunze, and has received many prizes, most recently the Friedrich Gundolf Prize in 2000 for his contribution to gaining recognition for German art abroad.

Ryszard Krynicki's early poems are strikingly different from his later work.  In the first poems, written just after his debut in 1966, the language displays a density of metaphor and opulent imagery, through which the world is comprehended as a terror-invoking maelstrom.  Uncertainty and fear characterise the figures in this world, who attempt to flee as a way out. Both in terms of content and language, Krynicki is able to write in a way that renounces the ideological model of society and its prescribed use of language.  This critique does not lead to nihilistic despair, but instead keeps "the conscience, which is constantly endangered by outer constraints and the possibility of inner stultification, alert and thereby hopes to heal the disturbed, sickened sense of self-esteem" (Karl Dedecius).  The more recent texts (such as 'Wunde der Wahrheit', 1991) are more minimal and laconic.  Just a few lines long, the clarity of language has an almost ascetic effect in comparison to the first poems. Krynicki proves himself to be a relentless critic of reality, a sceptical observer of language and its poetical as well as political potential.  "Escape", writes one critic, commenting on the change in Krynicki's tone, "is replaced by a resolute spiritual pilgrimage."  Krynicki even thoroughly reworks his older poems, minimising the previously lavish language and showing that there is considerable truth in the sentiment that a poem is never finished.  Krynicki lives in Krakow where, together with his wife, he runs the publishing house a5.

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