The Krakow Diaries

75 days in Krakow. On a literary grant from the German Kulturstiftung der Länder. In the Guesthouse of the 16th century Villa Decius, with 10 other writers from Poland, Germany, Belarussia, Ukraine and Georgia. Beautiful city. Nice Krakovians. Fun nightlife. Beautiful women. And in the guesthouse: Meetings of the minds. Too much vodka. Good friends. One of the great pleasures of my life.

The Villa Decius Writer's Guesthouse Rogue Gallery

But before we start, let me introduce you to the players.

Writers, always secretly aware that they really have no social standing whatsoever and forever striving to improve on that condition, are constantly competing among each other to be cool.

It's in the way we dress (or refuse to dress well). It's in the way we talk about art. It's in the way we seek out the perfect description for a leaf and hope it will be recognized as much better than someone else's description of a leaf. It's in the way I try to tear down sacred cows and provoke a fight by claiming that everything about art is crap. (It's not true of course – as Sturgeon said, only 90% of everything is crap. Nor did it work. My game is an old game and no one took it seriously, alas.)

It's a competition that is never spoken, never acknowledged and is often subconscious, but deep inside we are always competing to be Coolest Writer. So now that the competition is over, here are the winners.

One more thing: Over nearly three months I learned to respect and love all these people, though I hardly know most of them and will see few of them ever again. In some way I consider all of them friends. The Villa Decius experience was only partly about Krakow. Mainly, it was about them.

1 Comments:

At 3:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Netter Beitrag

 

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