Archive for July 12, 2021

Krzywe Lustro: all art is translation

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on July 12, 2021 by Louise Steinman

Join a Panel Discussion about the book, July 25th, 10 AM PDT, in English and Polish

[photo: Ludomir Franczak]

I’d almost given up on the idea of a Polish translation of my book, The Crooked Mirror (published by Beacon Press in 2013.) But I know some stubborn (read, perseverant, optimistic) people, like the gifted translator Dorota Golebiewska, who decided she’d get to work and translate the book on her own. Who was determined to find the right Polish publisher for the work. And she did. And Rabbi Haim Beliak, who was also determined that the book be translated as part of the work of his organization, Beit Polska, Jewish Renewal in Poland. Dorota connected with the estimable Polish publisher, KARTA, which was founded in Warsaw in 1982 as an underground publication focusing on political commentaries; and which, after a few months, was transformed into an “independent almanac” presenting human attitudes towards dictatorship. The team at KARTA were a delight to work with—editor, researcher, designer. They included in this edition thirty pages of photographs. I wrote a new foreword, Marek Jezowski of Beit Polska wrote a thoughtful afterword: “Fortunately, the Polish-Jewish conversation continues to take place, and as Louise Steinman’s book, among others, makes clear, the list of conditions precedent for it occurring is short. Essentially, all that is required is for someone on one side or the other to demonstrate their willingness to understand: to listen with genuine mindfulness and sincere interest.”

The book has been graced with an intriguingl new cover, with shiny black and white historical photos gleaming from within the windows of a house of shared memories. It has already received a good review in Gazeta Wyborcza. The poet Adam Zagajewski, dear friend, dear mentor, wrote a lovely blurb for the book and then sadly, a few months later passed away. A great soul, a great poet, a great loss. This edition of The Crooked Mirror is dedicated to Adam.

Well, the day has come, the book is on the shelves in Poland, in its “second life” as Marek wrote, and Polish readers’ responses start to trickle back to me in Los Angeles. Hopefully there are many people who wish to “demonstrate their willingness to understand, and to listen.”

You can join us for a panel discussion to celebrate the publication of Crooked Mirror on Sunday, July 25th, 10 AM PDT. Panelists include: Dr. Kathy Balgley, professor of literature; Dorota Golebiewska, translator of Polish version, and editor Hanna Antos, of Karta.. discussion in both English and Polish. I’ll join in for Q&A. Will post a link for registration soon!

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