22 May 2008

The Vilenica jury have awarded the Vilenica 2008 Prize to the Polish writer Andrzej Stasiuk.


Vilenica 2008 Prize Winner: Andrzej StasiukAndrzej-Stasiuk_web

The Vilenica jury have awarded the Vilenica 2008 Prize to the Polish prose writer Andrzej Stasiuk.

The Polish writer, poet, essayist, and literary critic Andrzej Stasiuk was born in 1960 in Warsaw. As an activist in the pacifist movement, he deserted the army in the early 1980s and spent a year and a half in prison. Later he started moving in circles close to the music, rock, and punk scene, publishing articles in fanzines and alternative newspapers until he left Warsaw for the countryside in 1986. It was only after the fall of the communist regime that he made his literary debut with a short story collection based on his prison experience, although the main protagonist in the book is language.
He still lives and writes in a village called Wołowiec in the Low Beskids, a mountain range in the Carpathians, in the South of Poland. Besides fiction, Stasiuk writes book reviews and feuilletons, which he publishes in the weeklies Tygodnik Powszechny and Gazeta Wyborcza, and in the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. He has received several literary awards for his achievements, including the Foundation for Culture Award (1994), the Kościelski Foundation Prize (1995), the Raczyński Library Prize for Dukla (1998), the Machiner Prize (1999), the Samuel Bogumił Linde Literary Prize (2002), the Adalbert-Stifter-Prize (2005), the Literary Prize NIKE for Going to Babadag (2005), and the Arkady Fiedler Award, known as the “Amber Butterfly”, for Fado (2007).

Together with his wife Monika Sznajderman, Andrzej Stasiuk also runs a publishing company. The family publishing company, Czarne, specialises in contemporary Eastern and Central European prose and essays. Their publications include numerous works by authors from the Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian language areas, such as Danilo Kiš, Dubravka Ugrešić, Muharem Bazdulj, Daša Drndić, Tatjana Gromača, Bora Ćosić, Miljenko Jergović, Nenad Veličković, and Vladimir Arsenijević, as well as the Slovene author Jani Virk.

Selected Bibliography

Wiersze miłosne i nie (Verses Amorous and Otherwise), 1994

Mury Hebronu (The Walls of Hebron), 1992, short stories
Biały kruk (White Raven), 1995, novel
Opowieści Galicyjskie (Tales of Galicia), 1995, short stories
Przez rzekę (Across the River), 1996, novellas
Dukla, 1997, short stories
Jak zostałem pisarzem, Próba biografii intelektualnej (How I Became a Writer. Attempt at an intellectual biography), 1998, autobiographical prose
Dziewięć (Nine), 1999, novel
Opowieści wigilijne (Christmas Tales, together with Olga Tokarczuk and Jerzy Pilch), 2000, short stories
Zima i inne opowiadania (Winter), 2001, short stories
Jadąc do Babadag (Going to Babadag), 2004, literary travelogues
Fado, 2006, literary travelogues
Dojczland (Doitchland), 2007, literary travelogue

Moja Evropa, Dwa eseje o Europie zwanej środkowa (My Europe: Two Essays on So-called Central Europe, together with Yuri Andruhovich), 2000
Tekturowy samolot (Cardboard Airplane), 2000

Dwie sztuki

[telewizyjne] o śmierci (Two [Television] Plays on Death), 1998
Noc. Słowiańsko-germańska tragifarsa medyczna (Night – A Slavo-Germanic Medical Tragifarce), 2005
Ciemny las (Dark Woods), 2007

The books by Andrzej Stasiuk have been translated into almost every European language as well as into Korean and Japanese. Slovene translations: Devet, 2004, Na poti v Babadag, 2007; Albanian translation: Rrugës për në Babadag, 2006; English translations: Tales of Galicia, 2003, White Raven, 2000, Nine, 2007; Czech translations: Haličské povídky, 2001, Jak jsem se stal spisovatelem, 2004, Dukla, 2006; Finnish translations: Valkoinen korppi, 1998, Matkalla Babadagiin, 2006; French translations: Par le fleuve, 2000, Dukla, 2003, Contes de Galicie, 2004, Mon Europe, 2004, Sur la route de Babadag, 2007; Croatian translations: Devet, 2004, Moja Europa (dva eseja o takozvanoj Srednjoj Europi), 2007, Zima, 2007; Italian translations: Corvo bianco, 2002, Il Cielo sopra Varsavia, 2003; Lithuanian translation: Pakeliui á Babadagŕ, 2006; Hungarian translations: Galíciai történetek, 2001, Fehér holló, 2003, Az én Európam, 2004, Dukla, 2004, Útban Babadagba, 2006; German translations: Der weisse Rabe, 1997, Die Welt hinter Dukla, 2000, Wie ich Schriftsteller wurde, 2001, Neun, 2002, Galizische Geschichten, 2002, Die Mauern von Hebron, 2003, Über den Fluss, 2004, Unterwegs nach Babadag, 2005; Dutch translations: De witte raaf, 1998, Dukla, 2001, Galicische vertellingen, 2007; Norwegian translation: Dukla, 2004; Romanian translations: Europa mea, 2003, Cum am devenit scriitor, 2003; Russian translations: Belyj voron, 2003, Duklja, 2003; Slovak translation: Dukla, 2004; Serbian translation: Beli gavran, 2004; Spanish translations: El mundo detrás de Dukla, 2003, Nueve, 2004; Swedish translations: Världen bortom Dukla, 2003, and Nio, 2004, as well as Ukrainian translations: Moja Jevropa, 2001, Dev’jat, 2001.

From the laudation by Jana Unuk:
The oeuvre of Andrzej Stasiuk, whose unique literary sensitivity freshly illuminates and brings within our grasp the landscapes of Central and Eastern Europe, merges geography, memory, and imagination into a lasting, coherent, distinctive literary image. Over the years, the plot weft of Stasiuk’s writing seems to be disappearing, giving way to the lyrical warp where exquisite descriptions of places, landscapes, roads intertwine with a sensitivity to the metaphysical basis of the world and of human life.
Ever since Stasiuk’s first book, his trademark has been a compact lyricism, expressed in revelatory illuminations of beauty and empathy and set against its opposites on the scale of human emotions: the brutality and the description of utter humiliation in The Walls of Hebron (1992), the spare report on ordinary people’s lives in the Polish countryside during the transition of communism to capitalism in Tales of Galicia (1995), the oblivion, neglect, and void experienced in the isolation of a Carpathian village, as in Dukla (1997), or on the “escape route leading south” in Stasiuk’s literary travelogues: Going to Babadag (2004), Fado (2006), and Doitchland (2007). Similarly, Stasiuk’s two novels, White Raven (1995) and Nine (1999), largely use their plots – the so-called human stories – as starting-points for describing the settings, the Carpathian landscape in the former and the metropolitan skyline of Warsaw in the latter.
Stasiuk’s writing is marked by place more deeply than by time or history. His latest books are set on the road, in perpetual motion and exploration of the place. Stasiuk’s literary travelogues elaborate the style of the lyrical description bordering on epiphany and of memory’s fragile fabric, similar to the style he had created in Dukla, except that their setting spreads to the landscapes of Central and sometimes of Southern Europe. Stasiuk’s roads start in the Carpathians, circle around the backyard of his Central Europe, sometimes extending to the Balkans, particularly Albania, and curve back to his Carpathian homeland.

Foto © Kamil Gubała