Jacek Dehnel

Jacek Dehnel (1980) is a Polish poet, writer, translator and painter. He has published several volumes of poetry: Żywoty równoległe (Parallel Lives, 2004); Wyprawa na południe (Expedition to the South, 2005), Brzytwa okamgnienia (The Blink of Eye Razor, 2007) and Ekran kontrolny (The Monitoring Screen, 2009). His works of fiction include the novel Lala (The Doll, 2006) and Rynek w Smyrnie (The Market of Smyrna, 2007). Dehnel has translated the poetry by Osip Mandelshtam, W.H. Auden, Philip Larkin and George Szirtes, and written Polish lyrics for songs by Astor Piazzolla. He has been awarded literary prizes including the Kościelski Award in 2005 and on 2007 he received the Passport of the journal Polityka, where he regularly publishes his feuilletons.

Four Postcards from NYC

Photo: Peter Župník Reading books is not an innocent occupation you can indulge in with impunity. The more and the longer you read, the more you filter everything you see through everything other people have seen and said. This is most likely to occur while you’’re visiting foreign parts because that’’s when the eye has the greatest tendency to detect what is and to seek in it patterns of things previously learned. Jogging along the Hudson River in the evening I seem to hear the following words in my ears: Dehnel makes me go jogging in the evenings but jogging […]

Gangsters and scribblers

It’’s weird being a grown-up. I should have got used to it by now but it still feels a bit weird. It’’s not just that one has to work and earn money and meet deadlines. Being the co-owner a piece of real estate is also quite a strange business. You’’ve got to pay land tax, a piece of paper demanded, visibly unhappy with us being in arrears, suddenly and resolutely demanding payment after two years. Or take a committee. A piece of real estate has to be managed. In the past there used to be special companies that did that […]

K & K Gloom

  Having written of Kaiserlich und Königlich ennui a little while ago, I would now like to write of sadness, melancholy, spleen or – to invoke the official language of one half of the Empire – Weltschmerz. Not far from the Serenissima’’s borders, where the Austro-Hungarian coast came to an end, Maria Theresa was gripped by the desire for her own Venice: a large, multicultural port with picturesque canals. And since the Austrian Empress approached every task in an orderly and systematic fashion, after issuing toleration edicts abolishing customs duties to attract settlers (adherents of a variety of faiths but of a single, mercantile […]