Editors Release WITKACY, A '21st Century Perspective' on the Life & Work of Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz
United Kingdom - While many are unaware of him, Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz 'Witkacy' (1885-1939) was a prolific Dramatist, Poet, Novelist, Painter, Photographer, Art Theorist and Philosopher; one of the most colourful personalities of twentieth-century Poland. While his work stretches far and wide, a hugely insightful new book provides us with a consideration of Witkacy's artwork, philosophy and theatre together in one definitive collection.
'Witkacy: 21st Century Perspectives' gives a clear picture of exactly what Witkacy strove to achieve during his lifetime. The book's essays and historical accounts were mostly derived from 'Witkacy 2009' and 'Witkacy 2010'; events taking place in London and Washington D.C. respectively .These events also incorporated academic conferences which included presentations made by leading Witkacy scholars. Following the two conferences, the editors have been able to compile a collection of papers which are primarily but not exclusively designed to take a socio-philosophical approach to Witkacy's work.
"In his lifetime, Witkacy completed more than thirty plays, several novels, numerous philosophical works and a large amount of grotesque and surreal poetry. Much of his work concerned itself with political clashes and revolutionary transformation. As a survivor of the Russian revolution events in recent history would not surprise him. " It is further explained; "This diverse collection will appeal to both social scientists and historians who want to experience deeper reflection and more meaningful conjecture and a greater degree of conclusiveness about his work."
Continuing, "The entirety is divided into seven sections; starting with an historical account of the Witkacy movement, followed by a number of essays that concern themselves with Witkacy in the realm of the political. The third section concerns itself with Witkacy and Polish Modernism. Then we are presented with explorations of Witkacy's key concept of the idea of Pure Form. Following this we are offered a series of essays concerned with philosophy, history and politics. The sixth section revolves around questions of identity in Witkacy's work. In the seventh and final section we are presented with two essays which offer us a brief comparative consideration of his work."
However, one of the most celebrated sections of the book is a stunning annex titled 'Witkacy's Portraits and the S?upsk Collection'.
"This section contains thirty-eight full colour portraits that give an excellent overview of Witkacy's work. We were privileged to have the Slupsk Museum permit us include this selection of visual images from the Witkacy Collection," Hayes adds.
About the Editors:
Kevin Anthony Hayes is an actor, director and Polish theatre specialist with around thirty years involvement in Polish culture. He had the pleasure of living behind the 'Wall' for almost three years from October 1986, as a Polish Government and British Council Scholar. He then worked as a theatre director at Krakow's famous Stary Theatre, alongside such luminaries as Andrzej Wajda, Kristian Lupa and Jerzy Jarocki. As the first Englishman to direct at the Stary he was responsible for a very successful revival of 'THE IMPORTANCE...' All in all he has directed and produced quite a number of plays in Poland. The emphasis has always been on confronting relevant social and political realities with the mystique of artistic and literary subtlety. In 2000 he was awarded an 'Uprawnenia' or Diploma, in Theatre Directing by the Polish Association of Theatrical Artists (Z.A.S.P.). He spent a season at the prestigious Contemporary Theatre in Wroclaw acting in Polish in Waldemar Krzystek's production of 'THE LOW MEADOWS' based on the bestseller of the same name by Piotr Siemion. He has worked as a Senior Lecturer in Practical Phonetics at Warsaw University's Institute of Applied Linguistics. Whilst he does not claim to be an academic his controversial paper on 'The Vision of Homo Sovieticus as it appears in the Dramas' of Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz' was banned from publication in Russia following the author's presentation of it at 'The First International Conference devoted to Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz' at The Actors Centre St. Petersburg in 1993. He has worked for Polish Radio and Television, presenting and making programmes at The National News Service in Warsaw. This included a very popular cycle of Comic Weather Forecasts on TELEEXPRESS. He has appeared in a number of Polish feature films. He has translated classic Polish work for the film director Jerzy Skolimoski, has interviewed leading Polish film directors such as Filip Bajon, Agnieszka Holland and Krzysztof Zanussi, in English for Polish television. In 2007 he was awarded a 'Green Card' on the basis of being considered 'An Alien of Extraordinary Ability' in the realm of Polish Theatre.
Mark Rudnicki is a Term Assistant Professor of English at George Mason University, where he teaches courses in composition, research methods, philosophy, and world literatures. Previously, he taught at University of Warsaw, Jagiellonian University, and George Washington University. He is the recipient of two Kosciuszko Foundation Research Fellowships and has spoken at various conferences primarily on the intersection of philosophy and literature in the works of Witkacy, Gombrowicz, and Schulz. He received a Ph.D. in comparative literature from the State University of New York at Buffalo.