Jolanta Brach-Czaina

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  • fot. Ela Lempp

A native of Warsaw, Jolanta Brach-Czaina studied philosophy at the University of Warsaw and is presently a professor. She has authored or co-authored many books on aesthetics, philosophy, art, culture and anthropology. Her 1992 essay, The Cracks in Existence, was a literary event of the highest order. Enthusiastically received by critics and awarded the Polish Publishers' Prize, it won a large readership who reacted to the book in a highly personal way. The author seemed to use various languages of existence to describe the experiences of a mother, a prisoner, a victim, a dying person, and a newborn baby. The essay is a consideration of existence: what it means to say that something exists or that someone exists. "To Be," according to the author, "means making the effort to exist. To find some order, to find one's own space, to care about things." From the perspective of existence, the intellectual, artistic or philosophical enterprises are not the only ones that matter. Normal, everyday existence is also interesting. What is usually ignored is in fact worthy of attention: everyday chores, housework, the activities of everyday people. Brach-Czaina's book has been called a "Bible of Feminism" and has served as an impulse for further feminist studies, including those of a historical or literary nature. The book has helped to elucidate the existential message in the poems of Rozewicz and Bialoszewski. Jolanta Brach-Czaina's book is one of the most important to appear in the last fifty years, a brilliant combination of philosophical precision and poetry, of intellectual substance and literary universalism: a masterpiece.

Bibliography

  • Na drogach dwudziestowiecznej myśli teatralnej, 1975.
  • Etos nowej sztuki, Warszawa: PWN, 1984.
  • Estetyka pragnień, Lublin: Wydawnictwo Lubelskie, 1988.
  • Twórczy odbiór sztuki, Białystok: Dział Wydawnictw Filii UW, 1992.
  • Szczeliny istnienia, Warszawa: PIW, 1992.
  • Primum philosophari, Warszawa: Oficyna Naukowa, 1993.
  • Od kobiety do mężczyzny i z powrotem: rozważania o płci w kulturze, Białystok: Trans Humana, 1997.
  • Błony umysłu, Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Sic!, 2003.

Translations:

German:

  • Spalten im Sein: ein philosophisches Fragment [Szczeliny istnienia]. Frankfurt am Main: Palais Jalta 1995.

Serbian:

  • Antologija poljskog eseja, trans. Biserka Rajčic, Beograd: Službeni Glasnik, 2008