[ excerpt ]
also by the author:
I Burn Paris
The Mannequins' Ball
about the translators:
Soren A. Gauger, originally from Vancouver, Canada, lives in Krakow, Poland.
He is the author of the story collection Hymns to Millionaires, the translator of Wojciech Jagielski's Towers of Stone,
and co-translator of Jerzy Ficowski's Waiting for the Dog to Sleep and Bruno Jasieński's I Burn Paris.
Guy Torr lives and works in Krakow where he is a senior lecturer in English Language at Jagiellonian University. He has worked as a lexicographer and translator for many years and
has contributed to the Wielki słownik polsko-angielski (2004) and Larousse's Praktyka metoda nauki słownictwa (2005). Since 1996 he has worked as a
Russian-Polish-English translator for the trilingual lexicon of Russian thought Ideas in Russia published by the University of Łódź. During his years of cooperation with
Jagiellonian University’s Institute of Oriental Philology he has translated a number of volumes on the literature of the Arabian Gulf, most recently
Modern Poetry and Prose of Bahrain (2006) and Translating Traditions: Thurayya al-Baqsami (2009). His research interests focus on the problematic
nature of literary translation, and he has published a number of papers on Chekhov in English.
||the legs of izolda morgan
by Bruno Jasieński
translated by Soren A. Gauger & Guy Torr
The Legs of Izolda Morgan, published as a separate volume in 1923, is the finest example of Polish Futurism in prose. The present volume includes
the complete version plus a selection of the manifestoes and Futurist texts that preceded and followed it, placing it in the proper context. Also included
are two satirical grotesque tales from Jasieński's later Soviet period.
To the Polish Nation : A Manifesto on the Immediate Futurization of Life (1921)
Nife in the Gutt (1921)
The Legs of Izolda Morgan (incl. "Exposé") (1923)
Polish Futurism (A Summation) (1923)
The Nose (1936)
The Chief Culprit (1936)
In The Legs of Izolda Morgan machines are pictured as creatures that can work, move, even kill, while people are portrayed as some kind of apparatus whose body can
be dismembered into parts without showing the effects of organic decay. The underlying intention of the tale's plot is to show that the violent intervention of machines
in human life undermines the accepted premises on which the categories of being alive and being human have conventionally been based. The story thus illustrates the
reciprocal contamination of previously clearly distinct categories of human and mechanical. The story also maintains that this happens as a result of people's fascination
with the external, purely material nature of life, which leads them to misinterpret the essence underlying the categories of human and mechanical. At the same time the
story neither points out, nor even attempt to specify the essential qualities that differentiate people from machines. As a result, the dehumanized world, obsessed in
the same degree with machines as it is obsessed with the body ... instills in us fear of such life as portrayed in the story, and in order to overcome
this fear one needs to look for such qualities in oneself that would enable one to retain one's humanness intact. Jasienski seems to encourage in his readers the quest for such qualities.
— Agatha Krzychylkiewicz, The Grotesque in the Works of Bruno Jasienski
13.5 x 19.5 cm
fiction / essays
cover by Dan Mayer
forthcoming : 2013