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A Minor Apocalypse by Tadeusz Konwicki
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A Minor Apocalypse (original 1979; edition 1999)

by Tadeusz Konwicki, Richard Lourie (Translator), Robert L. McLaughlin (Afterword)

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170269,943 (3.52)8
Member:marfec2012
Title:A Minor Apocalypse
Authors:Tadeusz Konwicki
Other authors:Richard Lourie (Translator), Robert L. McLaughlin (Afterword)
Info:Dalkey Archive Press (1999), Edition: 1st Dalkey Archive Ed, Paperback, 244 pages
Collections:Read Fiction
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

Work details

A Minor Apocalypse by Tadeusz Konwicki (1979)

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Used Book Entertainment

The previous owner of my copy has underlined certain words and put a X mark against those sentences, in red ink.
Here is the list of words from hell: X

pussy
jerk
goddamnit
twerp
Everything's fucked as fucked can be.
cunts
Old fart
fucking asshole
take a crap
Shit
son-of-a-bitch
lousy faggot
Sissies
fucking
kicked the shit out of
dink
faggot
comes off
I don't give a shit.
cabbagehead
kick his ass
boob
fucked
shit-ass
drag-ass
asshole
freak
Who the hell knows.
scum
erection
old bag
The hell with him.
turns me on
faggoty
budding tits
dick
slob


These words are bad.
4 vote | HearTheWindSing | Mar 31, 2013 |
It was alright. Had its moments where Konwicki's excellent word wizardry had me locked, and its moments where I may have skimmed a chapter here and there. ( )
  palaverofbirds | Mar 29, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tadeusz Konwickiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rasch, GerardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Here comes the end of the world.
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I was thinking about the fragile chain of chemical reactions which causes my eyelid to rise, my stomach to rumble, the skin on my forehead to wrinkle, or makes the ordinary bladder creak with muffled pain. It causes that rush of words and images we call thoughts inside or outside of my head, it causes a cloud of waves - longing, a spasm of hatred - to appear; it causes a missile of fear of the eternal unknown to be shot out into space or fires a cartridge of pleasure of knowing a morsel of truth.
The cigarette before breakfast tastes the best. It shortens your life. For many years know, I have been shortening my life. Everybody shortens their existence on the sly. There must be something to all that. Some command from above, or perhaps a law of nature in this overpopulated world.
When I pray, skittish, blasphemous thoughts buzz about my head. I shoo them away, though they are only the measure of my modest knowledge seen against the enormous, old-fashioned structure of religious axioms encrusted in that dreary and melancholy edifice erected by people in epochs which were bright and dark, good and cruel.
A cigarette on an empty stomach is bad for you, but a hundred grams of potato vodka is death itself. Or maybe it's better.
No one knows the date, because for years they've been moving it, sometimes ahead, sometimes back. At one moment they're chasing the West, then they pass it, then they're chasing it again, and then they're behind again. Every branch of industry, every institution, every state farm had its own calendar and had to struggle with it. Five moths ahead, then twelve back. 1974 turns into 1972, then 1977 becomes 1979. Everything got all screwed up. We're still going around the sun, but it's a horrible mess.
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Book description
As in his novel The Polish Complex, Konwicki's A Minor Apocalypse stars a narrator and character named Konwicki, who has been asked to set himself on fire that evening in front of the Communist Party headquarters in Warsaw, in an act of protest. He accepts the commission, but without any clear idea of whether he will actually go through with the self-immolation. He spends the rest of the day wandering the streets of Warsaw, being tortured by the secret police, and falling in love.
Both himself and Everyman, the character-author experiences the effects of ideologies and bureaucracies gone insane with, as always in history, the individual struggling for survival rather than offering himself up on the pyre of "the greater good." Brilliantly translated by Richard Lourie, A Minor Apocalypse is one of the most important novels to emerge from Poland in the last twenty-five years.
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