Other Literary Forms

(Literary Essentials: Great Poems of the World)

Although poetry constitutes the most important part of Adam Zagajewski’s oeuvre, he also has written three novels: Ciepło zimno (1975; it’s cold, it’s warm), Das absolute Gehör (1982; absolute pitch), and Cienka kreska (1983; thin line). Zagajewski’s fiction, patterned on the traditional Bildungsroman, is an ironic reworking of this nineteenth century genre.

Zagajewski also published a number of important essays and essay collections. His Świat nie przedstawiony (1974; the world not represented), coauthored by Julian Kornhauser, played a seminal role in shaping the literary consciousness of the decade. Drugi Oddech (1978; second wind) and Solidarność i samotność (1986; Solidarity, Solitude: Essays, 1990), continue probing the question of literature’s ethical and social responsibility. Dwa miasta (1991; Two Cities: On Exile, History, and the Imagination, 1995) and W cudzym pięknie (1998; Another Beauty, 2000) explore the richness and variety of Europe, as found in the author’s memories, readings, and travels. Zagajewski is also the author of Polen: Staat im Schatten der Sowjetunion (1981; Poland: a state in the shackles of the Soviet Union), an analysis of the Polish state under Soviet rule.