Transparency

Transparency

by Marek Bienczyk
     
 

Milan Kundera on Marek Bienczyk's "Transparency" "The subject of transparency has always interested me; in "The Art of the Novel" I discussed it as one of the key words in my personal lexicon. Marek Bienczyk is right to give it an entire book of its own: transparency remains one of the foundational concepts of today's social imaginary, and its role never ceases

Overview

Milan Kundera on Marek Bienczyk's "Transparency" "The subject of transparency has always interested me; in "The Art of the Novel" I discussed it as one of the key words in my personal lexicon. Marek Bienczyk is right to give it an entire book of its own: transparency remains one of the foundational concepts of today's social imaginary, and its role never ceases to grow. These lovely pages, in which the essay brushes up against fiction, offer us more than an historical and philosophical study, but a truly existential, and thus novelistic, investigation of transparency. It's a delight." Drawing on all his resources as a novelist, cultural critic, and scholar, Marek Bienczyk peels away the layers of our contemporary obsession with "transparency," skipping across centuries and continents to piece together the genesis of our fears of deception and overexposure. Highly poignant, and transcending the genres of criticism, personal essay, and the metaphysical novel, "Transparency" is a gorgeous revelation--about our never-ending need for revelation.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
For the casual reader of fiction, this blend of novel and essay from Bienczyk (Tworki) will seem anything but. Narrated by a "we" variously encompassing the reader, the narrator's partner, Olga, and Bienczyk himself, it initially examines transparency in political terms, only to branch off into such different avenues as philosophy, history, linguistics, and literature. A brief fictive storyline toward the beginning, "Gabriel and Snow," situates the book as a series of short stories, an impression quickly shattered as the author instead chooses to trawl through such varied cultural touchstones as the Crystal Palace, Edward Hopper, Abbey Road, and McDonald's. In the midst of all this, Jean-Jacques Rousseau becomes a familiar character. Only towards the end does a clear narrative off-handedly resume, as Olga receives her own named section, a place at center stage soon disrupted by that irritating "we". By that point, even Bienczyk feels frustrated by his inconclusive style, while fiction readers will be hungry for more story and philosophically inclined ones yearning to debate him on the many thorny points raised. Bienczyk's obvious linguistic and intellectual prowess intrigues, raises difficult questions, and gifts a brand-new reading list to anyone willing to tackle it. (Apr.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781564787118
Publisher:
Dalkey Archive Press
Publication date:
04/24/2012
Series:
Polish Literature (Dalkey Archive) Series
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Marek Bienczyk is the critically-acclaimed author of "Terminal, "a novel, and of several collections of essays and literary criticism, most recently "The Eyes of Durer: On Romantic Melancholy. "A noted wine critic and expert on French culture, he is also a prolific translator of Milan Kundera and Roland Barthes, among others. He teaches in the Institute of Literary Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences and lives in Warsaw.
Benjamin Paloff is a poetry editor for "Boston Review "and Assistant Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures and of Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His poems have appeared in "The Antioch Review," The New Republic," The Paris Review," "and elsewhere. His other translations include Dorota Maslowska's "Snow White and Russian Red."

Benjamin Paloff grew up in Atlantic City and is a poetry editor at Boston Review. His poems have appeared in The New Republic, A Public Space, The Paris Review, and elsewhere, and he writes frequently for such publications as The Nation and the Times Literary Supplement. The recipient of grants and fellowships from the US Fulbright Program and the National Endowment for the Arts, he is also the translator of several works from Central and Eastern European literatures. He teaches at the University of Michigan.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >