Notes from Night Duties

Jacek Baczak
Notes from Night Duties
  • Znak
    Kraków 1995
    125 x 195
    98 pages
    paperback 
    ISBN: 83-7006-584-8

The book was awarded the Koscielski Foundation Award in 1996 The book is a concise account of relations with old age, illness, loneliness and death. Its style strikes with its simplicity and poetic climate, giving this prose at times an almost mystic character, allowing inexpressible things to be touched upon. Baczak notes down his experiences with an unusual asceticism, with a humility in face of The Mystery and sensitivity for those who embody it. This book "in an amazing way shows how humanity physically the most crippled, consciousness reduced to threads of memory, a few words or gestures, the existence plundered of the rest of privacy (...) becomes God's icon." (Tygodnik Powszechny). "They died suddenly and without a cry, like an extinguished candle. I washed the bed, then the shelf, I picked up some crumbs of food, prayer books, sweet papers, holy pictures, one slipper, a comb - and when the family didn't want these things, I went down to the cellar and saw how the stove fire engulfs everything that said so much about them." (Notes from Night Duties).