This book is the first critical attempt made in any language to re-examine the entire œuvre of Bruno Jasieński (1901-1938). It takes into account the writer’s lifelong concerns but places them in the context of the universal value of his writing, generated by his modernist passions and his fascination with the grotesque – an artistic device that was consonant with his need to portray life in all its complexities. The author relies on the grotesque as an element that unifies Jasieński’s futuristic poetry with his prose. Especially important in this regard is the close reading of Jasieński’s satiric grotesques written in the Soviet Union.
The author does not avoid the intricacies and difficult questions of Jasieński’s ideological commitment but focuses mainly on the consequences that the highly ambivalent and ambiguous nature of the grotesque has on the interpretation of his work.
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2006. 375 pp.
The Author: Agata Krzychylkiewicz is Associate Professor of Russian literature and civilisation at the University of South
Africa. Born in Poland, she qualified in Russian Philology at the Wrocław University in 1970. In 1981 she emigrated to South
Africa with her husband and three sons. In 1999 she received a doctorate in Russian literature. She publishes mainly on contemporary
writing in Russia. Since 1994 she has been the editor of the scholarly journal Slavic Almanac.