I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Robert Looby

Beyond the Laws

Lovers of the plain, the spare, the rational should perhaps avoid Bruno Schulz, an apparently ‘modest teacher’ from a Polish provincial town in whose stories matter has infinite fecundity and we are invited to feel for a table hammered together from ‘alien races of wood that hate one another’.

Or So I Was Told

Poland is making rapid strides in catching up on the West but there remain areas where there is still much progress to be made. For example, it is perfectly possible – accepted even – for twenty-eight-year-old footballers to have no published biographies. Biographies are much scarcer in Poland than in the English-speaking world and no one, it seems, is quite sure what the procedure is for dealing with delicate subjects.

Good Old Queens

Indeed, what we have in Lubiewo is a panorama of Poland in years of great turmoil without the stock heroic underground opposition and the stock brutal militia officer. Witkowski’s characters are unheroic, unengaged, unpolitical. For Lukrecja and Patrycja the barracks where Soviet soldiers are stationed (on Polish soil!) are an opportunity, not a symbol of oppression.