Konstanty Willemann lives in Warsaw, but he is the son of a German aristocrat and a Polonized Silesian woman, who does not make much of patriotic slogans and the tradition of heroic soldiers dying for their homelands. He is a cynic, a scoundrel, and a bon vivant. He is a cheating husband and a bad father. Konstanty reluctantly takes part in the September Campaign, and when it collapses, he joins a secret organization with equal reluctance. He does not want to be a Pole or a German. He does, however, want to get his hands on more morphine and live his old life as a barfly and a womanizer. But you cannot escape from history. In Morphine, Szczepan Twardoch has achieved a rare feat in Polish prose – he has created an anti-hero whom you cannot help but like. Like the great ones – Witkacy, Gombrowicz, Littell – the young writer knows how to show a weak, torn human being enmeshed in history. A crazed, trance-inducing, and bold novel.

“The Author uses techniques of modernist novel with mastery. The use of internal monologue, stream of consciousness and free indirect speech brings into mind Döblin’s Berlin Alexanderplatz as well as Joyce’s Ullysses. Just like Leopold Bloom or Franz Biberkopf, Konstanty Willeman is an anti-hero who roams the streets of a big city”.

“Like in Littell’s The Kindly Ones, in Twardoch’s Morphine cynicism is mixed with decadence and obscenity with sentimentalism… Nevertheless the attempt at presenting the events from Autumn 1939 in Warsaw with the use of the language of the era (instead of a realistic reenactment of what happened to our mothers and fathers) is fascinating”.

“Twardoch’s novel in a remarkably artful and witty way casts doubt on monumental stereotypes of both Polish and German culture of memory”.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Release date: 2012
Pages: 624
ISBN: 978-83-08-05011-8
Rights sold: Croatia (Hena Com) Czech Republic (Host) Germany (Rowohlt) France (Noir sur Blanc) Hungary (Typotex) Macedonia (Begemot) Romania (Casa Cartii de Stiinta) Russia (Text Publishing) Serbia (Dereta) Slovenia (Cankarjeva Zalozba) Ukraine (P.H. Ranok Ltd.)


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Szczepan Twardoch, "Morfina", Publisher: Rowohlt, Germany, 2014

Morphine

Szczepan Twardoch

Konstanty Willemann lives in Warsaw, but he is the son of a German aristocrat and a Polonized Silesian woman, who does not make much of patriotic slogans and the tradition of heroic soldiers dying for their homelands. He is a cynic, a scoundrel, and a bon vivant. He is a cheating husband and a bad father. Konstanty reluctantly takes part in the September Campaign, and when it collapses, he joins a secret organization with equal reluctance. He does not want to be a Pole or a German. He does, however, want to get his hands on more morphine and live his old life as a barfly and a womanizer. But you cannot escape from history. In Morphine, Szczepan Twardoch has achieved a rare feat in Polish prose – he has created an anti-hero whom you cannot help but like. Like the great ones – Witkacy, Gombrowicz, Littell – the young writer knows how to show a weak, torn human being enmeshed in history. A crazed, trance-inducing, and bold novel.

“The Author uses techniques of modernist novel with mastery. The use of internal monologue, stream of consciousness and free indirect speech brings into mind Döblin’s Berlin Alexanderplatz as well as Joyce’s Ullysses. Just like Leopold Bloom or Franz Biberkopf, Konstanty Willeman is an anti-hero who roams the streets of a big city”.

“Like in Littell’s The Kindly Ones, in Twardoch’s Morphine cynicism is mixed with decadence and obscenity with sentimentalism… Nevertheless the attempt at presenting the events from Autumn 1939 in Warsaw with the use of the language of the era (instead of a realistic reenactment of what happened to our mothers and fathers) is fascinating”.

“Twardoch’s novel in a remarkably artful and witty way casts doubt on monumental stereotypes of both Polish and German culture of memory”.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Release date: 2012
Pages: 624
ISBN: 978-83-08-05011-8
Rights sold: Croatia (Hena Com) Czech Republic (Host) Germany (Rowohlt) France (Noir sur Blanc) Hungary (Typotex) Macedonia (Begemot) Romania (Casa Cartii de Stiinta) Russia (Text Publishing) Serbia (Dereta) Slovenia (Cankarjeva Zalozba) Ukraine (P.H. Ranok Ltd.)


Other covers

Szczepan Twardoch, "Morfina", Publisher: Rowohlt, Germany, 2014