Michał Komar

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  • fot. Ela Lempp

Born in 1946, Michał Komar is a writer, essayist and author of numerous plays, screenplays and television shows.  He’s also a regular columnist for “Tygodnik Powszechny.”

The writer has specialized in a type of writing that has no proper name, nor any proper affinities. In his three most recent books, which have been very warmly received by critics, Michał Komar skillfully blends genres, juggling various types of literary speech; he uses a particular form of writing that is easily recognizable and very original; it has become not only the trademark of this writing, but its greatest virtue. What is this form? You might call it, for want of a better term, the erudite novel, or the fictionalized essay, a syncretic form that combines the attributes of artistic and discursive prose. But this is being too concise (and evasive). For this is also a form that cannot be reduced to a single formula. On the Revolutions of the Fates and the Bodies, Three, and An Everyday Bestiary should foremost be associated with erudite flourish. Small wonder, then, that Komar’s prose is adored by those readers who  confer Olympian wisdom on writers in a somewhat old-world fashion, and by those able to appreciate the beauty of an attractive, engaging tale. The greatest problem, however, is saying exactly what Komar deals with in his fictionalized essays; it is easier to list those things on which he remains silent. Put simply, the writer collects and arranges the most varied items in unexpected configurations, things that can be drawn from studying old tomes and the latest articles on history, customs, politics, anthropology, the military, the history of aesthetics and dozens of other complexities. A catalogue of the topics or index of the figures involved would occupy many pages. Marek Zaleski, a long-time commentator on Michał Komar’s writing, has pointed out ongoing elements in this essayistic prose: "a play on the order and the spawning of reality, the paradoxes of our condition, a mockery of our longing for final conclusions, a delving into the opaqueness of the world, and a stoic praise of the whims of destiny."

 

Bibliography

  • Piekło Conrada (szkice historycznoliterackie), Warszawa: Czytelnik, 1978.
  • Czarownice i inni (eseje), Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie, 1980.
  • Prośba o dobrą śmierć (szkice historyczne), Warszawa: Czytelnik, 1993.
  • O obrotach losów i ciał (eseje), Warszawa: WAB, 1998.
  • Trzy (opowieści eseistyczne), Warszawa: WAB, 2000.
  • Bestiariusz codzienny (eseje), Warszawa: WAB, 2003.
  • Wtajemniczenia (powieść), Warszawa: Świat Ksiązki, 2009.