Rudolf (Writings from an Unbound Europe)

Rudolf (Writings from an Unbound Europe)

Marian Pankowski

Language: English

Pages: 110

ISBN: 0810114186

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


This novel, set in the 1970s, tells the story of the "author," a middle-aged Polish professor who lives abroad but who earlier survived the Nazi concentration camps, and Rudolf, an old man. Told in stream of consciousness as well as through a triangular correspondence among Rudolf, the author, and the author's mother, the story emerges as a tale of subversion and liberation that echoes Gombrowicz in its exploration of transgressive desire. It will be of great interest to those interested in Polish literature and to readers of gay and lesbian literature.

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keeps glinting through the work in progress. And those pigeons are being noted because they flatter grayness with the potential for muted rainbow hues to be seen in stained-glass windows. Some man or other has seated himself on the terrace. He’s keeping an eye open for the waiter, has noticed me and smoothed his hair (like mine!) with a fine hand. And my cup stained with coffee from my lip has caught my eye. I’ve smiled at it, and together weve allied ourselves against a wave of anonymity belched

probably no smaller! And our eyes have grown to match. Thomas’s are like woodpecker holes encircling sky. And through them you can see an African world with its horizon and mirage full of promises. Now a sheikh on a magnificent charger soars over the dunes, now a caravan and a hundred Arabs driving camels with bloody whips so as to deliver alive to their destination slaves hidden in first-class tea . . . And close by, a fat Arab’s yawning. Now he’s gorging himself with something . . . must be a

graying childhood scooter. And suddenly a guard of honor, children, grown-ups, and old folk. Drawn up by generation. They give friendly shouts, and I tear petals off the roses and throw them, and as I’m throwing, all at once I notice rotten wood and vermin scattering from my scooter in all directions so that the ground’s reddish. So I begin to stamp, to tread it all underfoot, but they think this is my famous insurrectionist dance with a pinch of expat Polonization. A deluge of bravos. So I

o f Red Army batteries . . . And suddenly . . . some sixteen-year-old Russian lad, blackened with hunger, grabs me by the arm and bawls above the groaning o f the trucks: ‘Palyak, slushay, Katyusha payotl Pole, listen, the rocket launchers singing, Katyushas singing!’— and he’s shaking with wet-eyed laughter. R udolf. . . you know about the fern . . . winter turns it rusty, but the time comes when a crosier will raise itself from the cold earth and begin to uncurl, so as to burst into glory on

said a Hail Mary for him— yesterday, I think it was. You wrote to me that you’d taken him apart. I’d have done the same. Well, now you’ll have peace from all that writing . . . It’s not right to do that, not with children . . . You know what . . . that old billy goat across the way . . . ” “Poptiu?” “Poptiu, what a swine . . . used to ask kids to his cellar, too . . . He used to give them apples . . . you know, those smashing winter croppers he’d keep in straw. But in return they had to unbutton

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