2008

AK Varia


Monographien im polnischen “zweiten Umlauf ”, 1976-1990 = Druki zwarte w polskim “drugim obiegu” [Monographs in the Polish “Second Circuit,” 19761990. Ed. Angela Murche-Kikut for the East European Research Institute, Bremen. Transl. Karina Garsztecka. Stuttgart: Ibidem-Verlag, 2008. 510 p. 31 cm. (Archiv der Forschungsstelle Osteuropa, 2). ISBN 978-3-89821-883-2: EUR 89.90 [08-1/2-008]

Unabhängige Periodika aus Polen 1976-1990: Bestandskatalog [Independent Periodicals in Poland, 1976-1990: Catalog of the Collection] Ed. Angela Murche-Kikut. 2d rev. and enlarged ed. Bremen: Forschungsstelle Osteuropa an der Universität Bremen, 1992. 476 p. ill. 24 cm. (Dokumentationsreihe der Forschungsstelle Osteuropa an der Universität Bremen: Kataloge, 2). ISBN 3-86108-303-5

Among Poland’s remarkable achievements during the communist period is the “second circuit”—a publishing network outside the state censorship office. Based on a long tradition dating back to the partition period and foreign rule and more recently foreign occupation during World War II, the free word could never be extinguished.

The East European Research Institute at the University of Bremen has amassed a large collection of these Polish independent publications: monographs, collected works, periodicals, broadsides, posters, photographs, sound recordings, and other printed materials. These comprise about 80% of all such publications and form the largest archive of them outside Poland (those in Warsaw and Cracow being the largest).

This catalog of 3,306 Polish-language monographs complements the editor’s 1992 catalog of independent Polish periodicals and uses the same chronological subdivisions:

(1) underground publications, 1976-1988; (2) trade-union and student organizations, September 1980-December 1981 (i.e., the period in which the trade union Solidarność was a legal, registered entity in Poland); and (3) the period of transition, 1989-1990. The monographs catalog includes proscribed works by Polish authors and also works by leading dissident writers from the rest of Europe, for example Milovan Djilas, Václav Havel, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

The entries are arranged by author (when known) or by title; Polish diacritics are ignored in filing. The bibliographic descriptions are quite detailed and match the pseudonym or cryptonym to the real author when possible. Also included are the place, publisher, printer, date, number of copies printed, and the call number in the Bremen archive. Because of the conspiratorial nature of these publications, it is also important to describe the item’s physical characteristics. Commentary on the text and the authors is only in Polish. The catalog concludes with an index of personal and corporate names and bibliographic sources. [ks/ga]

Special Report: Polish Independent Publications, 1976-1990: A Retrospective.

An RREA Original Review by Gordon Anderson (University of Minnesota)

A spectre haunted Europe in the 1980s—the spectre of democracy and the non-military, peaceful collapse and dissolution of the communist system that for 50 years directly ruled half the Continent and profoundly impacted the other half. Conventional wisdom at the time largely assumed that the communist régime could be toppled only by force of arms, but in fact the opposite happened. It was the free flow of information and ideas that empowered people to cease being afraid, to demand the right to govern themselves in a democracy, and peacefully to effect lasting change.

From our current world of print and electronic publishing and the fragmentation of the mass media, the 1976-1990 phenomenon of independent, uncensored publication in Central and Eastern Europe seems strangely quaint and far removed. At that time computers (a.k.a. word-processors) were scarce, but an extensive network—a “second circuit”—of print publishers (and later even broadcast media) flourished outside the communist-controlled news and information system, which strictly rationed everything from the airways to basic supplies of ink and paper.

Thousands of these publications, in multiple copies, were exchanged in this “second circuit” and were also collected in the West and housed in archives. At the same time, organizations began to microfilm them for distribution to libraries in Western Europe and North America and for preservation, as most of these materials were delicate and perishable.

The recent publication and review of the guide to the Bremen University Library’s extensive collection of independent Polish publications (see RREA 14:6 and 7) is an opportunity to look back at other major collections and the guides to them. With the exception of the IDC collection, which is available for purchase, all the other collections are limited to their holding libraries, although in many cases the guides are available free online and/or are available for purchase.

Bez cenzury 1976-1989: literatura, ruch wydawniczy, teatr: bibliografia [Uncensored, 1976-1989: Literature, Publishing, Theater: A Bibliography]. Jerzy Kandziora, Zyta Szymańska, and Krystyna Tokarzówna. Warszawa: IBL, 1999. xlviii, 1156 p. 25 cm. ISBN 9788387456337

Jerzy Kandziora is professor of theoretical poetics in the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Kraków, Zyta Szymańska is a bibliographer at the Current Bibliography Project at Poznan University Library, and Krystyna Tokarzówna is professor of Polish literature. Their bibliography is based on a systematic cataloging of titles of books and journals (and their contents) held in public libraries and in 12 private collections in Poland. The editors acknowledge several important bibliographies as models:

  • Spis wydawnictw podziemnych w PRL [Index of Underground Publications in the Polish People’s Republic]. Beginning in 1982, this bibliography was published annually in the journal Kultura (Paris: Polish Literary Institute), which ceased publication in 2000;

  • Józefa Kamińska [pseud. of Wojciech & Władysław Chojnacki], Bibliografia publikacji podziemnych w Polsce, 13 grudnia 1981-czerwiec 1986 [Bibliography of Underground Publications in Poland, 13 December 1981-June 1986]. Paris: Editions Spotkania, 1988;

  • Józef Gajewski [pseud. of Marek Jastrzębski], Materiały do bibliografii druków zwartych wydanych poza zasięgiem cenzury 1982-1986 [A Bibliography of Imprints Published Outside Censorship, 1982-1988]. Warsazwa: Biblioteka Narodowa, 1994; and

  • Jadwiga Czachowska and Beata Dorosz, Literatura i krytyka poza cenzurą, 19771989 [Literature and Criticism outside Censorship, 1977-1989]. Wrocław: Wiedza o Kulturze, 1991.

Kandziora, Szymańska, and Tokarzówna’s bibliography lists some 230 journal and newspaper titles and more than 7,200 books, with a total of over 25,000 bibliographic entries. Approximately half these titles deal with culture, literature, and theater (and in particular the so-called “home theater,” that is, dramas written for and performed only to a private audience). The other half of the bibliography covers economic, historical, social, political, and other important public-discourse issues and ideas not covered or mentioned in the communist-controlled press. The entries are arranged chronologically, giving in effect a calendar of events in Poland’s independent (that is, not communistcontrolled) cultural life.

Catalogue des périodiques polonais hors-censure: 1976-1989 [Catalog of Uncensored Polish Periodicals, 1976-1989]. Zofia Lugan and Jean-Claude Famulicki. Nanterre: BDIC, 1993. v, 201 p. ill. 30 cm. (Collection des publications de la BDIC. Série III: Inventaires & bibliographies thématiques). ISBN 2901658210

This bibliography is the expansion of a catalog for a 1986 exhibit at the Musée d’Histoire Contemporaine of the Bibliothèque de Documentation Internationale Contemporaine in Nanterre, France, commemorating the 10th anniversary of independent publishing in then-communist Poland. Produced in cooperation with the Library of Wrocław University, this bibliography of 970 periodical entries gives the title, publication information, size (e.g., quarto or octavo), and number of issues published. Many of these titles published only a handful of issues over this period, chiefly between 1980 and 1982, although many other titles were very active in the 1980s. The catalog also features photocopy reproductions of title pages, the originals of which probably did not look much different from the photocopies. The catalog concludes with a list of titles by province (voivodeship).

France was the host country for numerous Polish émigrés and exiles during the 19th and 20th centuries, so it was appropriate that such an exhibit took place near Paris. As the editors conclude in their introduction, the 15-year underground publishing movement played a key role in the peaceful dissolution of communism and the introduction of democracy in Poland in 1990.

The Independent Press in Poland, 1976-1990: Holdings in the European and Prints & Photographs Divisions, Library of Congress. Comp. Zbigniew Kantorosiński. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1991. 66 p. ill. 31 cm

Kantorosiński’s guide appeared in print just in the 1991 edition, with subsequent updates published only online beginning in 1996. The final update was produced by Ronald D. Bachman in 2005 and is available at http://www.loc.gov/rr/european/polpress/indepres1.html.

The guide begins with a four-page list of abbreviations of both party and independent corporate bodies and committees, followed by sections listing serials, monographs, and miscellaneous publications, such as pamphlets, broadsides, and manifestos. Authors are given when known. Although the bulk of the collection consists of publications by contemporary Polish authors, the collection also includes republished, non-censored works by major Western writers and by Polish émigrés who were officially banned in communist Poland. Of special note are the many miscellaneous items—posters, cartoons and other drawings, handbills, manifestos and appeals, and other ephemeral publications intended to be passed from hand to hand—in opposition to communistcontrolled information and propaganda.

The guide also provides a list of Polish materials in the Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs Division and concludes with a geographical and a name index. The collection was based on individual donations of original copies or photocopies of these publications, and in 1991 the Library received a donation from Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty of more materials, published mainly between 1988 and 1990. Throughout the 1990s the Library of Congress continued to acquire these kinds of publications by means of exchanges with several libraries in Poland.

Polish Independent Publications, 1976+. Zug, Switzerland: Inter Documentation, 1983-1988. ca. 5,549 microfiches. 11 x 15 cm. + preliminary catalog (31 p.29 cm.—also available at: http://www.idcpublishers.com/pdf/225_guide.pdf ).

This microfilm collection appeared in the mid-1980s, not long after the Polish communist party imposed martial law on the country on 13 December 1981, ending a nearly two-year period of the trade union Solidarity’s (in Polish: Solidarność] legal existence and a period of intense pressure for radical governmental reform. The IDC microfiche collection at the time was a major event in the dissemination of these unique materials to research libraries, making them available to all scholars through their respective libraries. An additional—and at the time innovative—feature was the availability of full MARC records from OCLC for all the titles in the collection. The collection is available for purchase from the Inter Documentation Company (www.idcpublishers.com).

The catalog lists mainly periodical titles divided into three sections: Uncensored periodicals, 1976-December 12, 1981; Solidarność periodicals, 1980-December 12, 1981 (314 titles); Martial law and underground periodicals, December 13, 1981+. The set concluded in 1988 with a catalog and microfiche collection of approximately 200 independent and Solidarność monographs. The approximately 1,560 items are listed by title, author, and place of publication, along with the issues that were available. The collection contains many journals consisting of a single or just a few issues per title. It also features 14 contemporary political cartoons, whose acerbic and witty depictions give the reader a taste of the oppositional intellectual atmosphere in Poland in the 1970s and 1980s. The collection was compiled from materials gathered in the Solidarity Bibliographic Center at Harvard University from the holdings of Radio Free Europe in Munich and the Polish Library POSK in London published up to 1988.

Polish independent publications, 1976-1990: Guide to the Collection in the Hoover Institution Archives. Comp. Maciej Siekierski and Christopher Lazarski. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 1999. v, 506 p. 28 cm. ISBN 0817927727. The complete guide is also available at http://www.oac.cdlib.org/view?docId=tf6489n7xw;query=;style=oac4.

The Hoover War Library was founded in 1919 by a grant from Herbert Hoover, along with the donation of his extensive collection of pamphlets and other primary sources collected in Europe during the World War I years. In its 90 years, the Hoover Institution Archives have become a unique repository for primary sources on the communist, fascist, and nationalist movements of the 20th century, as well as for the personal papers of numerous leading statesmen, generals, political personages, and intellectuals. Early on, “rescuing history” became the major mission of the Archives.

The Archives have a special relationship to Poland, beginning with the acquisition of numerous documents issued by the 1939-1945 Polish Government-in-Exile in London. In 1976, the Archives began a full-scale effort to collect imprints from Poland published outside the state’s control, that is, non-censored documents. At significant intervals, the Institute would publish guides to the collections: Rimma Bogert and Joseph Dwyer’s The Polish Uncensored Press: Holdings of the Hoover Institution, 19771982 and Macei Siekierski’s Polish Uncensored Serials, 1976-1985. In 1992 the Institute received from Joanna Szczęsna, who had been a leading editor in the Solidarity trade union’s publications office (Agencja Solidarności) between 1976 and 1989, a very large collection of Polish independent and underground publications, which more than doubled the size of the collection.

The guide lists 2,428 serial titles, most of which the Archives acquired in their original condition (that is, not photocopies), and 1,375 titles of monographs or pamphlets. The Archives also contain thousands of ephemeral and non-print materials: leaflets, postage stamps, cassette recordings, and photographs documenting the clandestine and otherwise forbidden political and intellectual activities inside communist Poland. The Archives also possess a large collection of reports, analyses, and other documents produced by the SB (Służba Bezpieczeństwa—the Polish secret police) during the 1980s. The catalog is part of the Online Archive of California (OAC—http://www.oac.cdlib.org), and acquisition of the materials was funded in part by a major grant from the United States Institute of Peace (http://www.usip.org). At the beginning of the guide, Maciej Siekierski, curator of the Hoover Institution’s East Central European Collection, gives a thorough and informative overview of the political situation and the publications environment during the 1976-1990 period of Poland’s unique history.

While the original source materials are accessible only in libraries, the catalogs reviewed above are for the most part freely available online and constitute valuable bibliographies and source guides for the study of this historical period—the demise of communism in Europe in the 1970s and 1980s. According to WorldCat, 14 libraries (12 in the United States, plus Toronto and Oxford, England) own all or part of the IDC microfiche collection (which is also available for purchase). One hopes in time these collections will also be electronically preserved and made available to the research community worldwide.

Bibliographie der deutschen Übersetzungen aus dem Italienischen von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart [Bibliography of German Translations from the Italian from Earliest Times to the Present]. Ed. Frank-Rutger Hausmann and Volker Kapp. Tübingen: Niemeyer. 24 cm. 3-484-50333-5 (Complete work, with CD-ROM) [08-1/2-011]

Vol. 2. Von 1730 bis 1990 [From 1730 to 1990]. 2 partial vols. + CD-ROM. 2005. xl, 1349 p. ISBN 3-484-50331-9: EUR 378

The second volume of this bibliography concludes a project originally begun in 1989. The unexplained passage of some 13 years since the publication of the first volume in 1992 (see IFB 93-3/4-136) has had a detrimental impact on the quality of the current volume.

First of all, the Introduction is a confused mixture of discordant topics that ultimately fails to elaborate a working definition of literature that can explain and justify the vague inclusion and exclusion criteria, the haphazard organization of the material, and the deficient working methods. Also, it is obvious that the research done for volume 2 was completed long before the actual publication date and that the authors, perhaps having lost their enthusiasm for the project, made no effort to update it using electronic resources or to take advantage of access to materials that became available after German reunification.

The remarkable differences between volume 1 and the current volume 2 suggest that the two were completed independently of each other to the detriment of volume 2. For example, the decision to use a two-column format in volume 2 and a different organization of entries has the result that the translated title now precedes the original title. Other disadvantages abound. It appears that journals were not systematically evaluated, and that the authors relied mainly on existing indexes and bibliographies and on serendipitous finds, of which there are 1,459 such never-before indexed titles. There is no index in the printed volume, but a searchable CD-ROM contains all the entries for both volume 1and 2. The search interface provides search fields for author, co-author, original title, translated title, and descriptors. Surprisingly, there is no search field for translator in a bibliography of translations.

Picking up where volume 1 ended, volume 2 contains entries numbered sequentially from 1195 through 8299. The entries contain (1) the authors’ names, with birth and death dates; (2) the translated title and name of the translator; (3) the original title;

(4) varying degrees of commentary; (5) information on subsequent editions; (6) the source used to ascertain the titles; and (7) each holding library, with its call number.

The entries often have gaps in the information provided, such as incomplete bibliographic details, often only the translator’s last name, and other degrees of inconsistent attention to sources and bibliographic data. Thus the descriptors provide only superficial details about the literary genre and time frame of the works included.

Certainly, this bibliography makes researching German translations of Italian works easier, but it is frustratingly far from perfect. In the final analysis, the Bibliographie der deutschen Übersetzungen aus dem Italienischen can only serve as a somewhat untrustworthy point of departure, leaving a considerable amount of work still to be done by scholars who conduct research in this area. [sh/jb]

Slavica v české řečí [Slavica in the Czech Language]. Praha: Slovanský Ústav AV ČR; Euroslavica. 24 cm. (Práce Slovanského Ústavu AV ČR: Nová řada, ...). [08-1/2-016]

Vol. 1. České překlady ze slovanských jazyků do roku 1860 [Translations into Czech from Slavic Languages up to 1860]. Ed. Josef Bečka and Karolína Skwarska. 2d. rev. ed. 2002. 166 p. (..., 12). ISBN 80-86420-07-8 (Slovanský Ústav); ISBN 80-85494-63-9 (Euroslavica): EUR 24.30

Vol. 2. České překlady ze slovanských jazyků 1861-1890 [Translations into Czech from Slavic Languages, 1861-1890]. Ed. Josef Bečka and Zdena Koutenská. 2002. 629 p. (..., 13). ISBN 80-86420-08-6 (Slovanský Ústav); ISBN 80-85494-64-7 (Euroslavica): EUR 33.30

Vol. 3.1. Překlady ze západo-a jihoslovanských jazyků v letech 1891-1918 [Translations from West and South Slavic Languages, 1891-1918]. Ed. Josef Bečka. 2008. 553 p. (..., 23). ISBN 978-80-86420-28-8 (Slovanský. Ústav); ISBN 978-80-83494-79-2 (Euroslavica): EUR 40.30

During the Slavic Awakening in the 19th century the Czechs took a leading role in agitating for the official recognition and use of the Slavic languages of the Hapsburg Empire. For example, Josef Dobrovský’s Institutiones linguae slavicae—the first grammar of Old Church Slavonic—was published in Vienna in 1822, and the 1848 Slavonic Congress held in Prague was a seminal event in the 1848 “Springtime of Nations” revolutionary events across Europe. During this period Czechs published many translations into Czech of writings in other Slavic languages, in order to popularize and disseminate Slavic-language writings. The great majority of these mostly short translations appeared in journals, almanacs, and calendars.

The Slavonic Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic has compiled a three-volume bibliography of these texts, many of which otherwise are rather difficult to find. Volume 1, published originally in 1955 and revised in 2002, contains 2,432 entries; Volume 2 contains 6,463 entries; and Volume 3, part 1, contains 6,766 titles from West- and South-Slavic languages. Volume 3, part 2, will contain titles from the East-Slavic languages published 1891-1918, but this volume has not yet appeared.

The entries are arranged by author and title, subdivided into each original language. There is also a helpful index of translators and the works they translated. Volume 1 has a chronology of the original works, which date back to 1541. Volumes 2 and 3 provide indexes of authors by national identity.

In many instances a brief description of the work is given, but more often only basic bibliographic data are included, which may not satisfy every user. It is regrettable that the original title and place of publication are not given. In spite of this shortcoming, this is an important bibliography for the study of the reception of Slavic literatures among the Czechs. [ks/ga]


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