Discover a prize-winning Polish writer


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Magdalena Tulli is the author and translator. She debuted in 1995 with the critically acclaimed novel Sny in Camienie (Dreams and Stones), followed by the stylistic formatted novels W czerwieni (In red, 1998), Tryby (Moving parts, 2003) and Skaza (Lyte, 2006). In 2011, the autobiography took a new autobiographical turnaround with the novel Włoskie szpilki (Italian High Heels) where childhood in a socialist and war- warship Warsaw is at the center. With the latest novel Szum (Noise, 2014), Tulli further develops this theme and with a fine psychological sensitivity she depicts how the child gains the traumas of the parents and how difficult it is to find reconciliation and forgiveness.

Magdalena Tulli has translated Marcel Proust, Fleur Jaeggy and Italo Calvino into Polish. She is often compared to authors such as Franz Kafka and José Saramago, and is translated into a variety of languages, but not in Norwegian. At the Litteraturfestival festival Friday 21st September you will be able to experience Tulli. Here, a Norwegian audience will have a unique meeting with the Polish author. In connection with the visit, an excerpt from Tryby , one of the highlights of her authorship, has been translated into Norwegian.

Tryby (Movable Parts)

Creation of worlds! Nothing is easier. It is said that you can spell them out of the sleeve. But why? So they can be a flattering delight to the eye as they rise to the light like quivering soap bubbles. Before dark extinguishes them. As they make it easier, they are already falling. But are not they beautiful? They call them without further thought, throwing them out of the abyss without a man, there is no one who can save them. The narrator, who is a rather subordinate figure, knows nothing more. He admits this with dissatisfaction. Alone and face to face with given facts, he cares only about one thing: to avoid falling to banalities already in the first sentence. If he could choose, he would have preferred to put his hands in his pockets, retreat and leave everything to fate – which he has not been allowed to influence – or at least remain insistent in an emphatic arrogant silence. But the narrator understands that he has no place to go. He has been denied the privilege of arrogance. The form of life that has happened to him, if it is at all called life, does not depend on choices. He has to make sure that a story some seamlessly shakes out of the sleeve constitutes the entire content of his existence. A story hungry for subjects and predications, which have stuck in their tissues as a rare and greedy parasite. The narrator wants to trust that the one who has created him knows more, has an overview of the whole and knows the end. But the person does not appear in his own person either on this page or the next, he does not respond by fax or letter. Perhaps the person is in bed, rottering in bed for weeks, in curly linen, with his back to the world and his face against the wall, with empty bottles or used syringes thrown around, who knows? And when the tragic turning point spreads gossip into the backs of the bench, or when the ghost is pouring out in deep silence, the narrator knows that he has no other to assume that it’s all on his shoulders.

The form of life that has happened to him, if it is at all called life, does not depend on choices. He has to make sure that a story some seamlessly shakes out of the sleeve constitutes the entire content of his existence.

You must humbly put the sentence and move on to the next sentence as if nothing has happened – like a clown in tanned pants that have fallen out of the chair and, while the laughter bullies over the audience, immediately climbs on a creepy ladder without interrupting his monologue: a peculiar character, irrevocably sent out in the mane’s pit, yellow of sawdust, where he stumbles again and again, caught in life in the evil circle of the performance. The circus numbers that can be seen in the maneuver, overflowed with sawdust, are known to everyone in the benkerades until the boring, even for the children who turn impatiently in their seats while waiting for the elephant’s appearance. Everyone can leave the monologues, also the yellow round button of the last sentence, which fits in the beginning of the loop with a questionable and unconvincing point, which invites nothing but a shrug. Each word has been heard more than a thousand times before. What does it matter if it was in other sentences? Nobody cares about the details. Everything is so boring, says the blurred eyes. That’s why it’s better to be a reader than a narrator. It’s comfortable to chew cheeses while putting the razor-sharp sheets in fast motion, and when you have leafed past the last page, throw the book back on the shelf.