Próba nocy. Krzysztofa Derdowskiego paraboliczne opowiadania: „Plac Wolności” i „Uciekinierzy”

Grzegorz J. Grzmot-Bilski


The present essay aims at the interpretation of the late stories by Krzysztof Derdowski „The Liberty Square” and “The Refugees” in the context of the Dark Night of the Senses and the Dark Night of the Soul as described by St John of the Cross. Throughout the essay, it is being argued that the works of the author of „The Liberty Square” have not only a literal and fictional meaning, but – first and foremost – the parabolic, i.e. the allegorical and symbolic one. In his late stories, Krzysztof Derdowski tries to answer the questions concerning the situation of man in the in modern world. Who are we? Who should we become? Whither do we advance? What is the sense of one’s being here and now? In a metaphor of those led astray, Derdowski carries out a diagnosis of the spiritual condition of the postmodernity man; of the one at the turn of the 21 th century. Richie (Rysio), both the main hero and narrator of „The Liberty Square”, advances along the path leading to his inner self; the pathway to the self-cognition. The experience of the clinical death and rescuing his life is basic for this pathway. The pathway is characterized by an extraordinary; nay, a mystical yearning for the recognition and grasping the sense of life afresh; for living through everything at all. In his work, Derdowski struggles with the absurdity and “non-being” of the existence; with God’s death; with an individual’s thrownness into the world bereft of God; the world abandoned by God; with the motives of naturalism, relativism and nihilism. Thus, the works by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Demons, also titled: The Possessed, The Devils; The Brothers Karamazov), by Franz Kafka (The Trial; The Castle), by Albert Camus (The Stranger, L’Étranger, often translated as The Outsider), by Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being) and by Samuel Beckett (Waiting for Godot) are addressed.

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