Hubert Klimko-Dobrzaniecki

Hubert Klimko-Dobrzaniecki (1967) is a Polish writer. He studied theology, philosophy and Icelandic language and literature. He wrote seven books (two collections of his poetry have appeared in Icelandic). His book The House of Rose. Krysuvik was shortlisted for the Nike literature prize. For over 10 years he studied and worked in Reykjavik (including in a psychiatric hospital and an old peoples home). He moved to Vienna in 2007.

Krakowska, krakowska, krakowska

Photo: Peter Župník People say that ever since the good old days of communism ended the quality of our food has gone to the dogs. It’’s now full of chemicals, additives and taste enhancers… Those who claim this usually cite Wedel’’s chocolate with whole hazelnuts as a prime example. The post-communist variety is apparently made with Chinese nuts and the chocolate allegedly contains more sugar than it used to. I don’’t know if this claim is fuelled by nostalgia for the old days that are now gone forever or if it’’s based on an objective assessment of consumer data. In […]

Svätopluk’’s Horse

To talk, let alone write, about genitalia, and, particularly those of horses, is a rather tricky undertaking but since what I have in mind are matters of national – indeed: international – import, as well as matters of literature, I have perpetrated this text in the hope of offending neither human nor equine feelings. 2008, if I remember right, saw the collapse of a highly influential Polish literary magazine. It was called Studium. This journal occupies a place particularly close to the heart of the writer of these lines. It is exactly ten years since I made my literary debut […]

Bathory, cube and magic hair tonic

23 March is the Day of Polish-Hungarian Friendship. The relevant resolution was adopted by the Hungarian parliament on 12 March 2007 by 324 votes. There were no abstentions. On 16 March of the same year the Sejm of the Polish Republic unanimously adopted a similar resolution. This touching unanimity of the two parliaments begs for a reworking of the well-known Polish adage. Instead of the Hungarian and the Pole, always friendly / jointly riding, jointly drinking. Boisterous and joyous both / may God bless their souls, it should read: the Hungarian and the Pole / always friendly/ jointly voting, jointly […]

How I accosted a Grandmaster

Vagaries of geography make people come up with all sorts of occupations, some quite weird. For example, compulsive chess playing. The island of Grimsey is the only part of Iceland that is intersected by the Arctic Circle. It runs directly across the bed of a legendary pastor. Legend has it that this God-fearing fellow was instrumental in populating the island, while brave young men struggled with the ocean leaving their wives in his care. The current population exceeds one hundred and although everyone laughs at the legend of the fertile pastor, his successor makes only flying visits once a month. […]

Waiting for Jesus

It was a sunny morning. A man alighted at a small railway station… This is how a short story might begin. Although, as far as I was concerned, I just could not begin at all. After all, lots of short stories begin this way.  But this is a feuilleton, not a short story, so I ought to begin as follows:  It was a sunny morning. I alighted at a small railway station. A tall, bald man met me on the platform and helped me carry my luggage to the car.  I soon discovered that the man, Alain Baton, was the caretaker at the place I was being driven to. Alain did not speak any Polish, […]


It was the end of September. We boarded a small Air Greenland plane at Keflavik airport. Just our little group, a few Eskimos, the pilots and the stewardess. Before long everyone was having great fun on board. The Eskimos opened another bottle and Nunu the stewardess demonstrated the use of the safety vest and the whistle. Apparently this was necessary in case we had to land in the ocean. Nunu performed her little routine in Danish and Eskimo. Nobody apart from the locals could understand these languages.  But she was very good with her whistle and our Italian friend asked […]

The Make-Believe State

  Lately the media have been ringing alarm that Iceland is going bankrupt and that is has become the first victim of the global economic crisis. I follow the news with great amusement. I am no economist or politician, I write books. Two of them were written in Iceland where I lived for over 10 years. I studied at the university there. I had a very honest professor teaching the course on the history of Iceland, who never tried to convince us that Iceland was the seventh richest country in the world, that its króna was a super currency and […]