Bronisław Wildstein

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  • fot. Ela Lempp

(born 1952) – journalist, columnist, novelist and activist in the democratic opposition, who spent the 1980s in emigration in France. After returning to Poland he worked as a journalist for newspapers including Życie and Rzeczpospolita and for the weekly Wprost. In May 2006 he became head of TVP, Poland’s main public television channel, but was dismissed in March 2007 for political reasons.

The theme of his own generation occupies an important place in Wildstein’s fiction; almost as it was happening he aimed to describe the experiences of the opposition activists who were forced to leave Poland in the 1980s (e.g. in his roman à clef The Brother), and he has also described how they coped in the new situation, in independent Poland, where the world ceased to look quite so black and white, and life became much more complicated, bringing the former heroes of the opposition a lot of disappointment (as in his collection of short stories, Future Limited). Wildstein has also tried to tackle other topics; On Betrayal and Death is set in Alexander the Great’s empire following the death of the ruler, and the main character in The Master is the guru of Polish alternative theatre, Jerzy Grotowski. Wildstein has used various styles in his fiction, starting with more avant garde writing full of metaphors where the descriptive level was the most important thing, then gradually progressing towards classic narrative forms.

Regardless what he writes about and how he does it, whether newspaper articles or fiction, Wildstein never loses sight of the universal, fundamental issues. As Stanisław Obirek says: “Wildstein’s writing is a bit like black-and-white photography. Of course, it does not lack shadows and grey areas, but it is free of any deceptive wealth of colours and makes the reader think about what really matters.”

Bibliography

  • Jak woda, Oficyna Literacka, Kraków 1989.
  • Brat, Oficyna Literacka, Kraków 1992.
  • O zdradzie i śmierci, Oficyna Literacka, Kraków 1992.
  • Dekomunizacja, której nie było, Ośrodek Myśli Politycznej, 2000.
  • Profile wieku, Świat Książki, Warszawa 2000.
  • Przyszłość z ograniczoną odpowiedzialnością, Arcana, Kraków 2003.
  • Mistrz, Świat Książki, Warszawa 2004.
  • Długi Cień PRL-u, czyli dekomunizacja, której nie było, Arcana, Kraków 2005.
  • Dolina nicości, Wydawnictwo M, 2008.