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Chopin’s Polish Ballade: Op. 38 as Narrative of National Martyrdom

Chopin’s Polish Ballade: Op. 38 as Narrative of National Martyrdom

by Jonathan D. Bellman
Oxford University Press , October 2009

Chopin's Second Ballade, Op. 38 is frequently performed, yet remains very poorly understood – disagreement prevails on issues from its tonic and two-key structure to its posited relationship with the poems of the great Romantic bard Adam Mickiewicz. Chopin's Polish Ballade is a reexamination and close analysis of this famous work, revealing the Ballade as a piece with a powerful political story to tell.

Ingenious, entertaining, and convincing – Jonathan Bellman's book deftly demonstrates how the study of a single piece of music can open a new window onto an entire cultural world. – Kenneth Hamilton
 
Performative Democracy

Performative Democracy

by Elzbieta Matynia
Paradigm Publishers (The Yale Cultural Sociology Series) , October 2009

Spanning Polish history from the days of incipient rebellion against Communist rule through the Solidarity movement of the 1980s to today s democratic Poland, Performative Democracy sheds new light on what it is people are doing when they act democratically. Even as Matynia, who participated in many of the events she describes, elucidates their common features, she captures and infectiously renders their exhilarating atmosphere and spirit to the reader. – Jonathan Schell, author of The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence and the Will of the People
 
Towers of Stone: The Battle of Wills In Chechnya

Towers of Stone: The Battle of Wills In Chechnya

by Wojciech Jagielski
translated translated by Soren Gauger
Seven Stories Press , October 2009

Wojciech Jagielski has already achieved recognition for his reporting from the most inflamed points on our globe. [This latest work] will only confirm his reputation. – Ryszard Kapuscinski
 
Grotowski’s Empty Room: A Challenge to the Theatre

Grotowski’s Empty Room: A Challenge to the Theatre

by Paul Allain (editor)
Seagull Books , September 2009

The essays in Grotowski's Empty Room analyze how the internationally renowned Polish director Grotowski’s explorations in the theater continue to challenge dramatists and directors.
 
THE MERMAID AND THE MESSERSCHMITT: <br>WAR THROUGH A WOMAN'S EYES, 1939-1940

The Mermaid and the Messerschmitt:
War Through a Woman's Eyes, 1939-1940

by Rulka Langer
Aquila Polonica , September 2009

It is absolutely one of the best eye-witness accounts of WWII Poland that I’ve ever read.
- Alan Furst, author of The Foreign Correspondent and The Spies of Warsaw
 
Polish Film: A Twentieth Century History

Polish Film: A Twentieth Century History

by Charles Ford, Robert Hammond, and Grazyna Krudy
McFarland and Co. , September 2009

A history of the Polish cinema through the end of the twentieth century, with a special focus on political and economic contexts. Now in paperback.
 
What I Received From God and From People: A Story of Helena Modrzejewska

What I Received From God and From People:
A Story of Helena Modrzejewska

by Joanna Sokolowska-Gwizdka
translated by Bozena U. Zaremba and Ewa Chwojko-Srawley, with a foreword by Kazimierz Braun
BoRey Publishing , August 2009

One of the most famous actresses of her time, and inspiration for Susan Sontag’s last novel, In America, Helena Modjeska (Helena Modrzejewska, 1840-1909) enjoyed an unprecedented career in Poland before moving to the United States at age 36 to launch an equally remarkable career in this country. This biographical study provides a quick and interesting introduction to her life.
 
They Carry a Promise: Selected Poems

They Carry a Promise: Selected Poems

by Janusz Szuber
Knopf , May 2009

Szuber’s work is poised between the rigors of making poetry and life itself in all its messy glory, between the devastations of history and the quiet act of observing our place in it all.

Szuber’s poetry speaks to the hard part of the soul. - Zbigniew Herbert
 
Six Polish Poets

Six Polish Poets

by Jacek Dehnel (editor)
Arc Publications , London , April 2009

“Jacek Dehnel's slim bilingual anthology collects some of the most classically lucid poetry in Polish published in the past decade.”
– The Times Literary Supplement
 
Been and Gone

Been and Gone

by Julian Kornhauser
translated by Piotr Florczyk
Marick Press , April 2009

Like his associates Baranczak, Krynicki, and Zagajewski, Julian Kornhauser is a major figure of the New Wave generation of Polish poets. This remarkable selection from his recent work brings this important Polish writer into English for the first time.
 
It Will Return

It Will Return

Northwestern University Press , April 2009

by Julia Hartwig
Contemporary poetry
 
The Mighty Angel

The Mighty Angel

by Jerzy Pilch
translated by Bill Johnston
Open Letter Books , April 2009

Pilch masterfully plays with the tradition of the drunkard novel, demonstrating just how close the alcoholic’s self-fashioning is to the writer’s self-narration. In this way, Pilch’s novel constitutes an act of belief in literature.... The book’s wonderful, delirious and baroque style imparts the experience of dependence, exclusion, and loneliness, as well as the overcoming of loneliness through love. – Maria Janion, head of the jury for the 2001 NIKE Literary Award
 
The Peasant Prince: Thaddeus Kosciuszko and the Age of Revolution

The Peasant Prince: Thaddeus Kosciuszko and the Age of Revolution

by Alex Storozynski
St. Martin's Press / Thomas Dunne Books , April 2009

…an objective history that is needed in today’s America and Poland. The hero … is one of the fathers of modern democracy in the same mold as Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Lincoln. – Adam Michnik, Solidarnosc activist and editor in chief of Gazeta Wyborcza

…a sweeping, colorful, and absorbing biography that should restore Kosciuszko to his proper place in history
– Andrew Nagorski, Newsweek

Readers of military and American history should take note: the minute details will enthrall devotees. Casual readers will benefit from Storozynski's expert crafting of a readable and fact-filled story that pulls readers into the immediacy of the revolutionary era's partisan and financial troubles.
– Publishers Weekly

In a meticulously researched work, Storozynski greatly enhances our understanding of Kosciuszko’s personality and motivations by investigating the Pole’s relationship and feelings toward Africans, Jews, and peasants. His contribution advances our knowledge of this complex character whom Jefferson considered the ‘purest son of liberty’ he ever knew. – James Pula, Purdue University

…a testament to a great man and an important addition to world history. – Byron E. Price, Texas Southern University
 
Between Fire and Sleep: Essays on Modern Polish Poetry

Between Fire and Sleep: Essays on Modern Polish Poetry

by Jaroslaw Anders
Yale University Press , April 2009

In this insightful book, Jaroslaw Anders looks at how the major works of 20th-century Polish literature constantly transformed historical experience into the metaphysical, philosophical, or religious exploration of human existence. Between Fire and Sleep offers a fresh understanding of modern Polish culture.
 
Adam Mickiewicz: The Life of a Romantic

Adam Mickiewicz: The Life of a Romantic

by Roman Koropeckyj
Cornell University Press , November 2008

Adam Mickiewicz (1798-1855), Poland’s national poet, was one of the extraordinary personalities of the age. Roman Koropeckyj draws a portrait of the Polish poet as a quintessential European Romantic. This richly illustrated biography-the first scholarly biography of the poet to be published in English since 1911-draws extensively on diaries, memoirs, correspondence, and the poet’s literary texts to make sense of a life as sublime as it was tragic.
 
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