Tadeusz Konwicki (tah-DEH-ewsh kohn-WIHTS-kih), the book’s author. There are no other characters in this work, except as Konwicki discusses, describes, and occasionally vilifies colleagues and acquaintances of his, such as compatriot writers Czesaw Miosz and Stanisaw Lem. He also includes fragments of an old novel, in which he created an alter ego character by the name of Teodor Klimowicz. Konwicki is an elderly, sick man; he is continually afraid that he has lost his talent for writing. The work is in almost journal form; Konwicki’s day-to-day problems with the Communist Party and the ever-looming specter of the Soviet Union color most of his entries. He details his problems with making Miosz’s book The Issa Valley into a film as well as the film’s cool reception. Konwicki is preoccupied with predicting the future for Poland while also recalling its past, especially the events of World War II.