PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
Digital Access to PN Review
Access the latest issues, plus back issues of PN Review with Exact Editions For PN Review subscribers: access the PN Review digital archive via the Exact Editions app Exactly or the Exact Editions website, you will first need to know your PN Review ID number. read more
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Monthly Carcanet Books
Next Issue

This report is taken from PN Review 154, Volume 30 Number 2, November - December 2003.

Diary from Poland David Kennedy

In States of Fantasy, a searching account of literary studies and nation, Jacqueline Rose poses some uncomfortable questions about translation: 'Who passes into English? Who decides? And at whose expense?' Rose's questions were very much on my mind as I flew into Warsaw one Saturday in May this year as a guest at a British Council supported symposium 'Cultural Identities' at the University of Ló^dz. Some of my poems were being translated into Polish for the first time and, together with Nuala Ni Dhomhnail, Douglas Dunn and Menna Elfyn, I was cast as a representative of aspects of British and Irish poetry. Translation, Rose goes on, is 'part of a mythmaking process, framing and binding our access to what we like to think of today as a wider, more inclusive literary and cultural world'.

Our arrival seemed to write us not into myth but into history. A news report I watched in my room at the Europejski Hotel told me the weekend marked the seventieth anniversary of Nazi book burning. The weekend was also the final, fevered phase of pro- and anti- campaigns for the referendum on Poland's EU membership. This was hard to put together with the view as our plane had come into land: large arable areas clearly organised on a strip system of land ownership. The tangible presence of history and a sense of Poland as a continuing resurrection of and rebirth from the past was underlined by a three hour guided tour of ...

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image