lundi 23 mars 2009

Poland - 25 February 2008

Poland, the nation of a kind of mad dream. Gambrowicz, Andrzejewski, the superb dancer from Krakow whom I hosted for several days in Paris, the figures of Chagall and their magical creatures, the gypsy-Jews on their violins, the land of eccentrics. And John-Paul the Second, whose diary I read almost every day in 2006, and whose tomb is venerated in Rome like that of a saint. The Polish come en masse to World Youth Days and the prayers of Taizé. They will descend on Sydney, this year. This is where Central Europe and its joyful absurdity begins – here in Poland, not in the kitch of "alternative" Berlin.

Characters: that Polish girl who danced the salsa in Philip’s house in York, and who said about an ill-fated love story that “people can be so fake.” And another one, a vegetarian from Warsaw, who visited a Chinese supermarket in Belleville where they sold living crabs and had the idea that she could save one, grab the creature from the aquarium and start running, pursued by an angry clutch of Chinese. Both of these women belong to the same Polish literary genre: the comic!

Is this because Poland is the antithesis of Germany? A Judeao-Christian land, an anti-pagan land. And therefore a place where the comic is preferable to the tragic. An odd sequence to enthrone Benedict XVI after John-Paul II if we see things in this way – it marks a sad return to nature after a detour via the Baroque and joyful artifice.

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