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Dedalus Book Of Polish Fantasy [Paperback]

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4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Dec 31 1990
anthology: stories by Mrozek, Bruno Schulz, et al
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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By Alan Friesen TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I bought this book as I was heading out of the country and wanted to try reading literature from authors I'd never heard of before. The genre is "fantasy," so I suppose I was expecting something akin to what us Westerners consider to be fantasy, but I was definitely wrong. Most of the stories in the collection revolve around the authors' Catholic faith: demons, heaven, hell, purgatory, faith, and so on. Several of the stories are very similar to fairy tales, though while traditional fairy tales tend to leave out names and places, these include both. One particularly fantastic story examines the idea of purgatory using fascist imagery, and believe it or not, the "fascists" (God and his angels) don't actually come off as the bad guys.

It's an absolutely fabulous read. The other reviewer for the book mentions that Sapkowski is nowhere to be found, and that's the primary reason why I gave this book four stars: Andrzej Sapkowski is widely considered to be Poland's greatest author, let alone fantasy author, and to have no stories by him in this collection is a serious oversight. Regardless, if you're at all interested in fantasy or fantastic stories written from a fantastic perspective, you need to get this book, period.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good start March 15 2005
By Piotr Konieczny - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
There are preciously few translations into English from non-English markets. As I know first hand what is released on Polish and Russian markets, and have some info on Japanese, I can tell you that English market is missing some really, really top class authors. The Dedalus series is an interesting project, unfortunately its emphasis is a bit too much on history for my tastes - I don't find the 19th century literature to par with today's, and as with any short stories collection, this is a mixed bag, you are likely to find some stories not to your tastes. And one more complain - the title sais fantasy, but there are no stories by any of the three best Polish modern fantasy authors (Sapkowski, Kres, Ziemianski), while quite a few are more sf like.

But don't get me wrong. I gave this book 4 stars and I mean it. The DB of Polish fantasy is definetly worth buying. Quite a few of the stories are excellent quality, and for one of them I'd buy the book even if it was the only one it it - I am speaking of Dukaj's 'Golden Gallery'. Dukaj, whom I consider to be not only the best sf Polish author, but the best sf worldwide author ever, has debuted some 15 years ago with this story - and it is just a taste of things he has written later. 'Golden Gallery' is stunning, and a must read.

Keeping fingers crossed more translations will start flowing into the English market...I'd love to read some of the great French, German, Japanese, Czech, Hungarian and others stories my friends tell me about...

Finally, since the editorial review is missing the table of contents, here is one for you all. Note - fragments mean book chapters.

# Stanisław Mrożek "Co-existence"

# Andrzej Szczypiorski "The Lady with the Medallion"

# Marek S. Huberath "The Greater Punishment"

# Tadeusz Miciński "Father Faust" (fragment)

# Franciszek Mirandola "Strange Street"

# Władysław Reymont "The Vampire" (fragment)

# Lucjan Siemieński "The Shadow of Queen Barbara"

# Jan Barszczewski "The Head Full of Screaming Hair"

# Henryk Rzewuski "I am Burnin'!"

# Stefan Grabiński "The Grey Room"

# Stefan Grabiński "The Black Hamlet"

# Kornel Makuszyński "The Gentleman with a Goatee"

# Witold Gombrowicz "Dinner at Countess Kutłubay's"

# Bruno Schulz "Father Experiments" (fragment)

# Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz "Mother Joanna of the Angels" (fragment)

# Bruno Jasieński "The Legs of Isolda Morgan"

# Wiktor Woroszylski "The White Worms"

# Andrzej Bursa "Dragon"

# Jacek Dukaj "The Golden Galley"
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not what I was expecting - and that's a good thing! May 10 2007
By Alan Friesen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I bought this book as I was heading out of the country and wanted to try reading literature from authors I'd never heard of before. The genre is "fantasy," so I suppose I was expecting something akin to what us Westerners consider to be fantasy, but I was definitely wrong. Most of the stories in the collection revolve around the authors' Catholic faith: demons, heaven, hell, purgatory, faith, and so on. Several of the stories are very similar to fairy tales, though while traditional fairy tales tend to leave out names and places, these include both. One particularly fantastic story examines the idea of purgatory using fascist imagery, and believe it or not, the "fascists" (God and his angels) don't actually come off as the bad guys.

It's an absolutely fabulous read. The other reviewer for the book mentions that Sapkowski is nowhere to be found, and that's the primary reason why I gave this book four stars: Andrzej Sapkowski is widely considered to be Poland's greatest author, let alone fantasy author, and to have no stories by him in this collection is a serious oversight. Regardless, if you're at all interested in fantasy or fantastic stories written from a fantastic perspective, you need to get this book, period.
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