Caviar and Ashes: A Warsaw Generation's Life and Death in by Marci Shore

By Marci Shore

"In the based capital urban of Warsaw, the editor Mieczyslaw Grydzewski would include his dachshunds to a café known as Ziemianska." therefore starts the background of a iteration of Polish literati born on the fin de siècle. They sat in Café Ziemiańska and believed that the realm moved on what they acknowledged there. Caviar and Ashes tells the tale of the younger avant-gardists of the early Twenties who grew to become the novel Marxists of the overdue Twenties. They made the alternative for Marxism earlier than Stalinism, prior to socialist realism, sooner than Marxism intended the imposition of Soviet communism in Poland. It ended tragically.

Marci Shore starts off with this generation’s coming of age after the 1st global struggle and narrates a half-century-long trip via futurist manifestos and proletarian poetry, Stalinist terror and Nazi genocide, a trip from the literary cafés to the cells of prisons and the corridors of strength. utilizing newly to be had archival fabrics from Poland and Russia, in addition to from Ukraine and Israel, Shore explores what it intended to reside Marxism as a eu, an East eu, and a Jewish highbrow within the 20th century.

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25 Undaunted, she left her parents’ home and entered Wat’s world of colorful personalities. 26 Hovering about their circles as well was Adam Ważyk “with the ugly little face,” the first in Poland to translate the French futurist Guillaume Apollinaire. 28 polish fut u r i s m The Polish futurists enjoyed far less popularity among the reading public than did the Skamander poets. This was largely of their own doing, the result of their e¤orts to transgress all boundaries of propriety. Polish futurism as a semicoherent endeavor materialized in 1918, when Bruno Jasieński and two other poets organized a futurist club in Cracow.

23 The backdrop for this story is that of Marxism as an ideology of modernity, a modernity that encapsulates a shift in conceptions of time from cyclical to linear and a consciousness of the present as an ­ephemeral moment on the path towards the future. In this respect, to draw upon a favorite term of the futurists, I see no possibility for dismissing Marxism in its historical context as passé. The enormity of the experiment in the European twentieth century remains in some ways to be understood — not because Marxism should be reinvoked in the contemporary political sphere, but rather because understanding Marxism and its seduc­tive force is so critical to understanding European (and not only European) modernity.

The birth of Skamander as a literary entity coincided precisely with the regaining of Polish independence and Warsaw’s reemergence as a European capital city. On 29 November 1918, the young poets Jan Lechoń, Julian Tuwim, and Antoni Słonimski premiered at the Warsaw café Pod Pikadorem (“Under the Pikador”). The advertisement for their first appearance read: Countrymen! Workers, soldiers, children, old people, people, women, intellectuals, and dramatic writers! On Friday November 29th at 9 in the evening opens: The First Warsaw Café of Poets “pod pica­dorem,” Nowy Świat Nr.

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