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A Dreambook for Our Time (Writers from the Other Europe)

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  89 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
"We live, as we dream--alone," Conrad revealed in "Heart of Darkness." This novel by Tadeusz Konwicki, a Pole writing in his own language, is an extension of the theme of dream and life and their interlocking realities, and man's attempt to come to meaningful and personal terms with an existential and absurd universe.The antihero (in the Camusian sense) is shown at the ope ...more
Paperback, 282 pages
Published 1976 by Penguin Books (first published February 28th 1963)
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Jul 19, 2013 William1 rated it it was amazing
A Dreambook for Our Time is a vividly told, character-driven narrative about the lives of a group of Polish adults in the late 1950s, about the time of Sputnik. The action takes place in a Polish village somewhere on the Sola River. A huge presence in the novel is that of the nearby forest. It was in the forest that many people hid from the Nazis during the war. It was also in the forest that Polish partisans operated during wartime; that Hitler was said to have hidden the "gold of the Jews"; an ...more
Nate D
Apr 17, 2014 Nate D rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: haunted memories
Recommended to Nate D by: the partisans in the woods
The past is a trap, a smoldering peat bog, a river that leaps its banks and can only swallow.

Tadeusz Konwicki is amazing, a haunted poetic conscience of communist Poland who fought first Nazis and Russians as a partisan in WWII, then state censors and prohibitions as a novelist and filmmaker. I've already written a brief bio of Konwicki elsewhere but suffice to say that he's my only favorite writer -- besides nouveau roman-ers Robbe-Grillet and Duras -- who is also one of my favorite directors.


Young Polish boys playing outside a Soviet bunker, 1941.

This is an unbearably grim book about post-war Poland. Our narrator, only called Paul, stumbles dead-eyed through an uneasy existence. The book switches between second-person flashbacks and first-person present narrative. The countryside is pillaged. The people are tired and maimed, sometimes faintly ridiculous but you don't want to laugh at them. There are no children. The whole book reads like an attack of shell shock.

It's a damn good boo
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Apr 17, 2013 Nathan "N.R." Gaddis marked it as i-want-money
Recommended to Nathan "N.R." by: Nate D & William
Found on the list, “William T. Vollmann’s Favorite ‘Contemporary’ Books,” but too should be noted that EVERYTHING from this series, "Writers from the Other Europe," could perhaps be included on that list.

Here's a list of thirteen from amazon:

The LibThing list of fifteen:

And My Shelf (why not?):
Dec 04, 2013 Jonathan rated it really liked it
Powerful - disturbed and disturbing.
Oct 16, 2012 Ryan rated it really liked it
Read this whole series - Writers from the Other Europe - ages ago. This was one of the standout volumes, though all had merit. Kundera - also in the series with The Joke, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, The Farewell Party, and Laughable Loves - has become well known, but authors such as Konwicki deserve our attention. Bruno Schulz (in the series with Sanatorium under the Sign of the Hourglass and The Street of Crocodiles), Danilo Kis (A Tomb for Boris Davidovich), and Bohumil Hrabal (in the ...more
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
Jan 20, 2011 Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk rated it liked it
Shelves: polish, 20th-century
Drifting, disconnected... lost in a time of fear and change.
Sennik wspolczesny by Tadeusz Konwicki (1073)
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