The Discourse of the League of Polish Families against «Others» 2001-2007
In March 1999, during a lesson at the Music Academy in Warsaw, an engaged reaction of the professor to my prepared piece of Frédéric Chopin surprised me, a high school student visiting the country for the first time. The acute tone of the Polish pianist in the remark that “you have not understood” a crucial point of his music contrasted with her kind critique that I had an innate sense for performing a Mozart sonata and Ravel’s Jeux d’eau. Though having tried dearly to absorb the tradition cherished in the composer’s birthplace, after the lesson, I held an unusual doubt if “I had understood” the crucial point, i.e. the “Polishness” pre- sumably reserved only for Poles. A six-day trip thus ended with such a sense of incompleteness. In choosing to remain an amateur, the problem of the “proper” meaning of Chopin was left unsolved in my mind for some years. I can say that during a ritual wandering in a library in Tokyo at the end of my college time, it was the remaining sense of confusion about the Romantic music that had led me to pick up an English title on Polish nationalism, and later, made me decide to begin my own study on this phenomenon – in Poland itself. The gap between such an episode and my academic focus on the League of Polish Families, a radical rightist party of contemporary Poland, is not huge. The problem of Polishness that captured an outsider’s mind continues to circulate...
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