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Does political freedom deter good writing?


Coming back to martial law
Julia Hartwig Poet
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Wracając jeszcze do stanu wojennego trzeba powiedzieć, że... że właściwie ten stan wojenny to jeszcze bardziej jak gdyby pobudził – chociaż cały... całe społeczeństwo raczej popadło w takie ombro – bo to było takie przyhamowanie, które naprawdę nie... nie mogło nie boleć, bo absolutnie wszystkie... – warto to zanalizować – wszystkie stowarzyszenia zostały rozwiązane. Został rozwiązany Związek Literatów. Pen Clubu nie można rozwiązać, bo typowe że... mogli go zawiesić natomiast – to jest jedyna forma. Potem wrócił do... wrócił do... do normalnych dzialałności. Ale, no, zupełnie inny obraz jak gdyby tej... tego świata, bo – zwłaszcza Warszawy – bo mniej więcej co tydzień te żony internowanych, które wyjeżdżały tam z jakimiś paczkami i to wszystko się... wszystko... przede wszystkim w tym – chciało się czy nie chciało się – to się uczestniczyło i to wcale nie było wesołe, no, nie muszę mówić.

Coming back once again to martial law, I have to say that... this martial law seemed to sort of stir... although the whole of society seemed to descend in a type of ombro – it was a kind of deceleration which really couldn't have been painless because absolutely everything... this is worth taking a closer look at... all associations were disbanded. The Literary Union was disbanded. The PEN Club can't be disbanded, they could suspend it, that's the only form... after that, normal activity was resumed. But a completely different image of this world, particularly of Warsaw... because more or less each week the wives of the interned who would go there with packages and all of that, and whether you wanted to or not, you participated in this and it wasn't all joyous, I don't need to tell you.

Born to a Polish father and a Russian mother, Julia Hartwig (1921-2017) was a Polish poet, essayist, translator and author of children's books. She studied at the University of Warsaw, the Catholic University in Lublin and the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. Czesław Miłosz called her 'the grande dame of Polish poetry'. Julia Hartwig was one of the few poets in Poland who made masterly use of poetic prose. She translated poems by Apollinaire, Rimbaud, Max Jacob, Cendrars and Supervielle, and published monographs on Apollinaire and Gerard de Nerval. She also translated from English, and published a large anthology of American poetry which she co-edited in 1992 with her late husband, the poet Artur Międzyrzecki.

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: The Literary Union, PEN Club, Warsaw

Duration: 1 minute, 10 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2010

Date story went live: 14 June 2011