Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Bieganski in Poland in Polish. March, 2015

Jacek Tokarski of Wydawnictwo Wysoki Zamek writes to report that "Bieganski: The Brute Polak Stereotype, Its Role in Polish-Jewish Relations and American Popular Culture" will appear in Polish in Poland in March, 2015.

"Bieganski" is being translated by Katarzyna Szuster. Katarzyna has previously translated "A Broken Childhood" by Martyna Gradzka and "Secession in Lviv" and the work of the poet Justyna Bargielska.

I have chatted with Katarzyna via email and I am very encouraged by her attention to detail. I wrote "Bieganski" while treading a razor's edge. I strove to tell even controversial truths in a way that might be heard over the din of competing victimologies and prejudices. I prayed that Jacek would find a translator who would walk that same tightrope in the Polish language translation.

I asked Katarzyna her feelings about the charged topic of the book. She wrote back, "I enjoy translating your book, partly because it reflects my feelings about Polish-Jewish relations. I feel that Poland hasn't been given a voice or attention that isn't negative in some way, but at the same time, we're not blameless." I very much appreciate her reply.

I wrote to Kira Nemirovsky of Academic Studies Press, the publisher of the English language version of the book, to discuss the Polish language version. I mentioned to her that some have objected to the cover as it exists now. In fact it was I who had originally suggested the current cover, as I felt it encapsulated both of the stereotypes the book describes: the lumpen Polak Bieganski and the crafty Jewish Shylock. Unfortunately some readers interpreted the cover as an endorsement of those stereotypes. For that reason, I think another cover might be in order. Some possibilities are below. If you care to, please express a preference in the comments section. Thank you.

March 27, 2015. Jacek Tokarski of Wydawnictwo Wysoki Zamek has given me a new date for the publication of "Bieganski" in Poland in Polish. The new date is also in 2015. I hope it comes together this time! 














2 comments:

  1. Congratulations! I know that you had wanted a Polish translation of BIEGANSKI for a long time, and now if has finally come to pass.

    As for proposed book covers, I like the fifth one from the top. It drives the point home that the Bieganski stereotype is just as outdated as the one about the Jew wearing his kaftan and living in his little world of the shtetl.

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  2. Congratulations, dr Goska! I was waiting for such post. That's a book I will definitely buy.

    I like the second cover from the bottom. Bieganski, like every stereotype, needs a face. The more ugly it is, the better. Fools use stereotype to disgrace others. in the end they disgrace themselves.

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