By Stanley Bill
The British Council recently set Notes from Poland editor Stanley Bill the fiendishly difficult task of summarizing the history of modern Polish literature in a mere 800 words for the Poland Market Focus at the London Book Fair 2017.
Bill argues that writers have wielded unusual power in Poland’s dramatic and often painful history: “To see this importance, we need look no further than the Polish city of Krakow. On the main square of the former royal capital, in the space of greatest symbolic significance, we find not a monument to a king or statesman or warrior, but a statue of the Romantic poet Adam Mickiewicz. In Poland, the writer has often been sovereign.”