THE GRAVEYARD by Marek Hłasko reviewed by Nathaniel Popkin • Cleaver Magazine
THE GRAVEYARD by Marek Hłasko (1956) in the first English translation by Norbert Guterman (1959) release December 3, 2013 Melville House, 140 pages reviewed by Nathaniel Popkin The moment of truth in this book of deceit is treated in a most unusual way: it isn’t treated at all. Or more precisely: it isn’t even needed. The consequences for Franciszek Kowalski, the protagonist of Marek Hłasko’s unforgettable 1956 novel The Graveyard, indeed for all of humanity, are damning enough. Slender Citizen Kowalski had fought bravely in the underground in 1945; after receiving a nearly fatal chest wound, his faith in international socialism had willed him to live. Now, at 48, the sober Kowalski is a proud Communist Party member and a factory manager in a Polish city. One night, he runs into a comrade he hasn’t seen in years. The old fighters set off to a bar to reminisce, and despite … chop! chop! read more!