Karolina

Krzysztof Varga
Karolina
  • Czarne
    Wołowiec 2002 
    125 x 195
    256 pages
    ISBN 83-87391-60-3

The hero of this novel, „a flâneur who is always late”, reclusive and resigned, is searching in his memory, in his imagination, everywhere he can think of, for a woman called Karolina. He hasn’t seen her for a very long time, she „only existed in the dim distant past”, until one blazing hot day she unexpectedly returned to him, or strictly speaking, to his enfeebled, weary mind. Karolina has many identities – she’s the diligent student, the poet manque, the unfulfilled painter, the unattainable lover, the melancholy Central European – which the hero keeps adding to his collection. Sometimes comical and sentimental, often self-ironic, he is doggedly searching for himself, brooding on his own life, analysing his own feelings, and as he does so weaves digressions on a wide variety of themes. In this way, the hero also assumes the role of the typical essayist, speaking in a language of feelings and impressions about the surrounding world, its myths and stereotypes, literature and culture, and taking an ironical look at reality. Karolina, the hero’s destiny and the curse of his empty life, is therefore not just a phantom or a shadow of his memory, but also a deliberately chosen pretext for a multi-layered narrative – a plaything that the bored hero will eventually abandon. He will do it with grace, sorrow and tenderness, telling Karolina „you will sleep restlessly”, as if bidding farewell to part of himself, but at the same time returning to his own thoughts.