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Poetry readings: Truth

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Why I like Kraków
Adam Zagajewski Poet
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No, Kraków jest miastem średniowiecznym, ma centrum i to jakoś... nie tylko, że to lubię, ale to mi jest potrzebne do życia, to porządek, który miasto średniowieczne buduje, bo jest... to są kręgi koncentryczne. Kręgi – i świat jest uporządkowany. Jest rynek, później są Planty, później jest pierwszy pierścień, drugi pierścień, potem są błonia, łąki, lasy i świat można jakoś zaakceptować, można polubić. No ja wyraźnie nie nadaję się na pioniera amerykańskiego, który jedzie w stronę Dzikiego Zachodu, tylko raczej właśnie wolę taką postać jak Kant, który nigdy nie wyjechał z Królewca, jak się opowiada. A Królewiec to też miasto średniowieczne.

Well, Kraków is a medieval city – it has a centre and somehow... not only do I like this, but I need it to live, to have the order which a medieval city establishes and this creates concentric circles. Circles – and then the world is tidy. There is the market, then there are the Planty, then the first ring, the second ring, then the commons, meadows, woodland, and in this way the world is made acceptable, it can be liked. I'm clearly not American pioneer material who travelled into the Wild West. I prefer to be like Kant who according to him never left Königsberg, and Königsberg is also a medieval city.

Adam Zagajewski (b. 1945 in Lwów) is a Polish poet, novelist, translator and essayist. He was awarded the 2004 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, the 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize Lifetime Recognition Award and the 2017 Princess of Asturias Award for Literature. He is considered as one of the leading poets of the Generation of '68 or the Polish New Wave (Polish: Nowa fala) and is one of Poland's most prominent contemporary poets.

Listeners: Andrzej Wolski

Film director and documentary maker, Andrzej Wolski has made around 40 films since 1982 for French television, the BBC, TVP and other TV networks. He specializes in portraits and in historical films. Films that he has directed or written the screenplay for include Kultura, which he co-directed with Agnieszka Holland, and KOR which presents the history of the Worker’s Defence Committee as told by its members. Andrzej Wolski has received many awards for his work, including the UNESCO Grand Prix at the Festival du Film d’Art.

Tags: Kraków, Königsberg, Immanuel Kant

Duration: 1 minute, 1 second

Date story recorded: March 2018

Date story went live: 25 April 2019