PL EN

Sławomir Mrożek

Photo by Michał Łepecki

Sławomir Mrożek

Diary 1962-1989

listen
Read by Wojciech Barczyński, recorded by Radiofonia Association
read
English translation: Hanna Gamza
The day before Christmas Eve
December 1964
 
I've been haunted by the past recently. The fifties. Faces and things. My unforgettable room in Krupnicza Street. I'm from Kraków. Yesterday I suddenly got drunk. I wish my obsession with calculations and accounting was equal to patience, to the ability to gather some material that could be calculated. Nevertheless, I still feel as if I were at the beginning of the world, at its creation; despite all my experience, which I yesterday understood.  The whole tenement house is full of noisy Italians, you hear them variously from all apartments. Towards them I am, in the very first layer, like a cripple who can’t hear and isn't able to speak well. This can be cured if you learn the language, but other handicaps are more difficult to be coped with.
I am now and will remain there – in Karmelicka Street, near “Skala” which bears a different name now, that was its pre-war name – in the idle, enchanted, never-ending afternoon in one of those undetermined seasons in Kraków. I go and watch pictures in the Kaiser-Panorama and lament that I won't see these lands myself other than screened here. I suffer also because of women, but what used to be the same misery, now ceased to be partly related to women since it transposed itself elsewhere; the pain is still the same but women are no longer its embodiment, its form and materialisation. Some Italian child, the future of humankind, is crying. Oh well, this is how the year 1964 ends.
English translation: Hanna Gamza
hide

Sławomir Mrożek

(1930–2013) – a prose writer, playwright, and draughtsman. Master of satire and mockery, counted among the creators of the theatre of the absurd. A graduate of Krakow’s Nowodworek secondary school. Made his début with drawings in Przekrój weekly in 1950. A long-term resident of the famous Writers’ House on Krupnicza Street. In 1963, he moved to Nice, where he wrote his most famous dramas, including Tango and Emigranci (The Émigrés). Returned to Poland in 1996. Six years later he suffered from a serious stroke, which resulted in the loss of speech. A few years of laborious rehabilitation had the aphasia receded. His autobiography Baltazar was a part of the therapy. Working on it, the artist reconstructed his memories, at the same time learning to write anew. For health-related reasons returned to Nice in 2008, where he spent the last years of his life. (ms)

see on map
Map
< go to main page