Aleksander Jurewicz

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  • fot. Ela Lempp

Aleksander Jurewicz, poet and prose writer, was born in 1952 in Lida in Belarus. In 1957, following an expatriation campaign conducted by the authorities, he and his parents left Belarus to make their home in Gdansk. Jurewicz studied at the University of Gdansk and the Screenplay Writing Department of the Lodz Film School. In the 1970s and 1980s he published several volumes of verse which reveal a strong autobiographical bent. Jurewicz first won fame with the publication of Lida (1990), a work which earned him the Czeslaw Milosz Prize. Lida consists of a series of poetic fragments, prose sketches and extracts from the author's own letters to his grandmother. A mournful lamentation for the lost paradise of innocence, Lida offers the reader a series of literary snapshots from the small town where the author spent his early childhood and chronicles his removal to an alien and unfriendly world. The past is recreated not only by means of a literary portrait of great beauty, but also through a language strongly rooted in the dialect of Poland's eastern borderland and richly laced with Belarussian influences. Through the poetic rhythm of his prose in Lida, Jurewicz rekindles our affection for the past, compelling us to contemplate the mystery of biography, and thus the mystery of man's fate. In his story, Pan Bog nie slyszy gluchych (The Lord doesn't Hear the Deaf), Jurewicz describes his years in Lodz. The course of the narrative is interspersed with moments of introspection and scenes that take place on the border-line between sleep and consciousness - for the author spins out an imaginary tale of a childhood romance in far-off Belarus. This book of small dimensions is exquisitely ensconced in the real world of the 1960s. At the same time it represents a successful attempt by the author to revisit the world of his childhood and is a moving tribute to the memory of his forefathers.

"I don't know how to explain everything, but I knew that if I hadn't been able extract this migrant's tale from my head, my life would not have been fully complete. There would be some shadow hanging over it, some unfinished business."
Aleksander Jurewicz

Bibliography

  • Lida, Białystok: Wydawnictwo Versus, 1990.
  • Dopóki jeszcze i inne wiersze, Gdańsk: Gord, 1991.
  • Pan Bóg nie słyszy głuchych, Gdańsk: Marabut, 1995.
  • Życie i liryka, Gdańsk: słowo/obraz terytoria, 1998.
  • Prawdziwa ballada o miłości, Kraków: Znak 2002.
  • Popiół i wiatr, Gdańsk: słowo/obraz terytoria, 2005.
  • Dzień przed końcem świata, Kraków: WL, 2008

Translations:

German:

  • Lida fragments in: Deutsch-Polnische Ansichten DPI, 6/1994, (Almanach). Wiesbaden: Harassowitz Verlag.
  • Nach den Gewittern, Ein polnisch-deutsches Lesebuch, Göttingen.
  • Zwischen den Linien, Hannover: Postskriptum, 1996.