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20 March
2014

Spain’s ”EL PAIS” on View of Krakow

– Visit the Polish mediaeval and renaissance town in the documentary film which reveals some of its secrets, with the poet Adam Zagajewski as narrator – writes Eduardo Lago, the EL PAIS journalist who visited Krakow at last year’s Conrad Festival.

The name of Krakow – an outstandingly literary city – is inextricably connected with two great poets whom the Polish language gave the world: Nobel Prize winners Czesław Miłosz and Wisława Szymborska. None of them was born in Krakow but the city embraced them like its children, as it did with other fine writers such as: Joseph Conrad, Tadeusz Kantor, Stanisław Lem, Sławomir Mrożek, Stanisław Witkiewicz and Adam Zagajewski. – comments the EL PAIS columnist.

– The creators of the film, which is nostalgic in tone, try to efface the gap between the contemporary city and its past. Mediaeval Krakow melts into the renaissance city, and both eras blend together in the heart of the modern town. Olden-day theatres, cafés and cabarets peep into modern ones for a while. Horse-drawn trams and cabs cross the paths of today’s taxis and bikes; the acrid smell of oil mixes with the sweetish smell of horse manure; ugliness which pops out here and there merges with serene beauty. Zagajewski recalls Szymborska, who when passing by Wawel Castle didn’t even notice it. A paradox of the queen of paradoxes. Is it so that poetry watches over the city’s dream or wakes it up? – adds Eduardo Lago.

To read Eduardo Lagos’ full article in EL PAIS, please visit website.