Żyć to opowiadać o życiu. Na marginesie Placu Wolności Krzysztofa Derdowskiego

Ireneusz Ziemiński


The article is an attempt to interpret Plac Wolności, a novel by Krzysztof Derdowski, from a philosophical perspective showing the symbolic meaning of the title freedom square as a place of life and death for the generation represented by the narrator, Rysio. The novel by Derdowski can also be read as a literary portrait of the generation which brought about the fall of communism in Poland or even as a multifaceted, intertextual, intellectual and artistic game consisting in literary references to works by the most eminent prose writers of the XXth century (Proust, Joyce, Döblin, Dos Passos, Faulkner, Cortazar, Marquez and many others) as evidenced by the narrative technique (non-linear timeline, changing points of view, alternating between descriptions and dialogues and monologues, the ambiguity of the narrator). From the perspective of a philosopher it is also important that Derdowski’s work is a fictional story about life which becomes real only thanks to literature; words give it permanence and meaning which goes unnoticed in daily struggles. While death may seem like the end of every story, a life which was immortalized in literature cannot be destroyed even by death.

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