A Minor Apocalypse: A Novel

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Dalkey Archive Press, 1999 - Fiction - 238 pages
21 Reviews

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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Review: A Minor Apocalypse

User Review  - Steve Anderson - Goodreads

Somber and thought-provoking are the two words that come to mind reading Tadeusz Konwicki's novel. While not knowing a lot about Polish history, I have spent a few months in Poland and heard stories ... Read full review

Review: A Minor Apocalypse

User Review  - Ron - Goodreads

Konwicki delves into the growing fascism--it is an anarchist novel which portrays this as the way of world history--in the eastern bloc in the early 80s with great passion and insight into the human ... Read full review

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About the author (1999)

Konwicki fought as a young man in the resistance movement against the Nazis, an experience that provided him with material for several novels. He later became preoccupied with psychological and philosophical problems of young people and with lyrical reminiscences of his childhood in Lithuania. His strongly anticommunist novel, The Polish Complex (1977), was published without the sanction of the authorities.

RICHARD LOURIE, an American writer, is a leading translator of contemporary Russian and Polish authors, a journalist, and a producer of film and television documentaries. His books of fiction and nonfiction include The Autobiography of Joseph Stalin (1999), Hunting the Devil (1993), Russia Speaks (1989), and First Loyalty (1983).

Robert L. McLaughlin, a professor of English at Illinois State University, received his Ph.D. from Fordham University in 1987 with a dissertation on Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow. He has published articles in a variety of journals, and, in 1993, he became managing editor of the Review of Contemporary Fiction.

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