Emigration as a Drama of Frustrated Expectations:Tadeusz Nowakowski's Prose
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Emigration is the main theme of Tadeusz Nowakowski's prose. Since his debut it was connected with the problem of war experiences, images of death camps, camps for displaced persons, the dispossessed and victims of discrimination. Nowakowski is susceptible to a nostalgia, which could be called, on the evidence of his works, the Polish syndrome. This state of mind and feelings were no doubt influenced by his complicated situation after the war. As a collaborator of Radio Free Europe, Poland's door was shut to him. His 'Oboz wszystkich swietych' (Camp of All Saints) and numerous short stories, especially in the collection 'Niestworzone rzeczy' (Cock-and-Bull Stories) develop a myth of Poland whose character is signalled by titles like 'Jerusalem the Golden' or 'The Promised Land'. However, this idyllic vision is often opposed by passages in a radically different emotional key, forming something of an anti-myth. Nowakowski is aware of the fact that myths draw on feelings rooted in the human psychology and that their confrontation with reality creates a new range of experiences. In such situations the 'golden Polish Jerusalem' turns into 'a Polish hell', and the vision which sustains the life of an emigrant a 'theatre of delusion'.
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