Marek Harny

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  • fot. Wanda Kosiorek

Born in 1946, a prose writer and a journalist; made his debut in 1975 with a volume of short stories entitled Lift Me Up, Great Bird; then published the novel The Land of Our Yearning and the short-story collection Mountains Are Inside of Us, after which he gave up writing prose for some years; his subsequent book, the novel Born of the Wind, was only published in 2003; he also published the novels Lessons in Love (2003), Marker (2005), The Solitude of Wolves (2006), and Traitor (2007); for Marker he received the High Caliber Award in 2006 for best detective novel; he lives in Krakow.

Marek Harny’s first works fall in line with the “black prose” movement initiated by Marek Hłasko. The author of The Land of Our Yearning sketched, for example, portraits of rebellious protagonists unable to adapt to reality, escaping to the mountains to find freedom, independence and confirmation of their own values.

After a long break in publishing prose, Harny began writing chiefly detective/drama novels. The writer introduced mystery plot lines, but the most important facet seems to be the description of Poland “here and now,” commenting on what the author sees around him. Harny often takes on “difficult subjects,” reflecting the space of public discourse in a distant echo. For example, he writes of the “dangerous liaisons” between politics and business that emerged after 1989 in Poland, of organized crime (Marker), of the ever-complicated and still sensitive crimes of years past, of Polish/Ukrainian relations, and of ecological problems (The Solitude of Wolves), or even of the problem of lustration in the Church (Traitor).

Harny’s mystery/drama novels are marked by tight and engrossing action, interesting and in-depth character studies, and colorful descriptions of the Poland of the last few decades. The author of Lessons in Love often brings in his favorite figure of the outsider protagonist, the loner with hard years under his belt, generally drifting somewhere on the margins of the depicted community.

An important strand that winds through all of Harny’s prose is the motif of the mountains. The writer clearly has great delight, passion and knowledge in writing about people scaling mountain paths and treacherous, yet beautiful peaks.

Bibliography

  • Unieś mnie, wielki ptaku, Warszawa: Ludowa Spółdzielnia Wydawnicza, 1975.
  • Kraina naszej tęsknoty, Warszawa: Ludowa Spółdzielnia Wydawnicza, 1985.
  • Góry są w nas, Warszawa: Ludowa Spółdzielnia Wydawnicza, 1990.
  • Urodzony z wiatru, Warszawa: Prószyński i S-ka, 2003.
  • Lekcja miłości, Warszawa: Prószyński i S-ka, 2003.
  • Pismak, Warszawa: Prószyński i S-ka, 2005.
  • Samotność wilków, Warszawa: Prószyński i S-ka, 2006.
  • Zdrajca, Warszawa-Kraków: Prószyński i S-ka oraz Wydawnictwo WAM, 2007.
  • Wszyscy grzeszą, Warszawa: Prószyński i S-ka, 2008.
  • W imię zasad, Warszawa: Prószyński i S-ka, 2011.