V4 diaries: Jan Pawel Kowalewicz

Friday was the last day of our participation in the workshop. The first session took place in the morning and tied breakfast and lunch, and the next ended a day after dinner. Everyone would agree, I think, that these were most stirring. The reason was clear: it was on this day that we discussed political issues most exhaustively.
We –the Visegrad group– were joined by Serbian poet Jelena. The morning workshop was based on a debate about politics and its place in literature considered broadly, but personally too. We also spoke about government support of cultural activity, and futilitarian political frameworks of our countries.
I was having trouble justifying strong judgments about economy and society not founded on substantive evidence. Maybe that’s my problem. Maybe I should not disregard sophisticated conversations aimed at delineating existence instead of actual transition? May be, although I think that criticism should be backed up by a plan of action intended for change, and in the absence thereof we have to adapt to what we are facing.
The final workshop dealt with the influence of transformation on literature. We tried to find the turn of the eighties and nineties reflected in our generation’s output, and to define the character of the latter. Our conclusion was emptiness. But I refuse to believe in this emptiness, I deny it. I want to believe that’s just silence, calm before the storm.

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