Sunday, 25 October 2009

"Zasypie wszystko, zawieje..."

I am totally blown away by Wlodzimierz Odojewski's book "Zasypie wszystko, zawieje...". I bought it at a little book market run by one of the teachers at my university. I saw the title and it felt like somehow I already knew it. I still don't remember whether I've heard of it on one of the lectures or maybe saw it somewhere and just got to remember it. Extraordinarily poetic and flowing it is unfortunate that the title lost its values while translated into English - "Everything will be covered by the snow”.

First published in France in 1973 (originally in French), the book received remarkable reviews. "Zasypie wszystko, zawieje..." was compared to Leo Tolstoy's "War and Peace" and other masterpieces of Slavic Literature.

The book gives an extremely deep and personal insight into a young man’s life that is being disrupted by war. To create this depth Odojewski uses the same sort of techniques as Faulkner, Joyce or Proust. Equally, as the last of them, he seems to be obsessed with time and memories. The events are presented in flashbacks most of the time. We see them as the character sees them at the moment, often we get to see them more than once as the character's memories keep coming back, usually changed by a new knowledge or different emotional circumstances.

It definitely qualifies as one of the most moving books I've read. It may well be that you will not be the same person after you read it.

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