Other literary forms
Tadeusz Konwicki (kawn-VIHK-ih) launched his literary career with Przy budowie (1950), an example of the “fact literature” wedged between fiction and journalism that was characteristic of Socialist Realism of the late 1940’s and the early 1950’s. At this early stage of his career, he also published two more books, each of which can be defined as a long short story.
After the publication of his novel Wadza, however, he devoted himself to longer genres, among which the novel occupies the central place. It should be noted, though, that his later novels lean more and more toward a peculiar kind of fiction bordering on nonfiction, in whichnarrative sections are interspersed with essayistic ones. (This blend of fiction and essay has been increasingly popular among Polish prose writers.) Two of his books published in the 1970’s and the 1980’s, Kalendarz i klepsydra (1976; the calendar and the hourglass) and Wschody i zachody księyca (1982; Moonrise, Moonset, 1987), should be classified as nonfiction, since their core consists of the writer’s diary; the diaristic notation of events serves, however, merely as a starting point for essayistic reflection and narrative anecdote.
Konwicki is also a prolific screenwriter and a director in his own right. In addition to screenplays written for other directors, he has written and directed four films—Ostatni dzie lata (1958; the last day of summer), Zaduszki (1961; Halloween), Salto (1965), Jak daleko stąd, jak blisko (1971; how far it is, and yet how near)—each of which was a much-discussed event in modern Polish cinema; scripts for these movies have been published in book form. Konwicki returned to the cinema after a ten-year absence to direct Dolina Issy (the Issa Valley), which he adapted from Czesaw Miosz’s novel of the same title.