By Johnston, Bill; Stasiuk, Andrzej
Stasiuk's masterpiece--in line with the paintings of Danilo Kis and countryman Bruno Schulz--is eventually made to be had in English in a gorgeous translation by way of invoice Johnston
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It looks like an animal that wants to play. The cops have their hands in their pockets as if the whole business is over. The blue flashing light on the police car rotates helplessly in the luminous morning air. A few rubbernecks crane over the fence by the ditch. As they stare they smoke cigarettes, we see the blue smoke. This kind of stillness always sets in at a place of death. The sun is rising ever higher, so people can take a look at their world. DUKLA I. We got there in the afternoon. People were standing on the street corners waiting for something.
No one raised their voice. Laughter would burst out and quickly die down again. The out-of-towners were bolder. They’d go out onto the cement dance floor with their loose city swagger, seemingly at ease, yet tense and conscious of the looks outsiders always attract. You could tell them by what they wore. Shorts, flip-flops, tight T-shirts, sandals, caps with visors, cretonne, cotton; beach, unconstrained boobs. But nothing much was happening. The Laskowski number would come to an end, Popcorn or Locomotiv GT would come on, and the young bucks, starting to feel bolder, would toss their bottles and cigarette butts aside, strut over to some girl or other and sweep her up in a dance that was awkward because it was still coy.
The puttering sound of the car rising high into the air is like the rattle of a sewing machine. Darkness leaches into the seams, and tacking the journey together does no good whatsoever. The eastern skyline lightens like a silvery snake that’s come to rest stretched out between the peaks of the hills. Its cold hue is a forecast of heat and dust and so we need to get a move on, mount those motionless waves then plunge down again to the bottom of a desolate ocean where houses shake off the darkness like dogs coming out of water, or stand whitely there like skulls in flashing sunglasses.