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Old 05-21-2015   #111
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Re: In search of Stefan Grabinski

I was struck by the similarities between Grabinski's novelette Passion and the story "Don't Look Now" by Daphne duMaurier, considering that Grabinski was virtually unknown to the English speaking world until the early 1990s.

Grabinski had spent some time in Venice, and there are probably autobiographical elements in this story. But as is typical in Grabinski's stories, strange elements enter into the lives of his characters.

The narrator is a Pole visiting Venice. He meets another visitor to Venice, a beautiful, Spanish widow. Their relationship becomes romantic.

But strange elements enter their lives. They meet a painter who has a reputation of having precognition. He creates a painting symbolic of the fate of the narrator's lover. Anther character who enters the lives of the couple is Gina Vamparone, a dis-sheveled woman who roams the area and gives off a bad vibe.

If you're a fan of the uncanny fiction of Robert Aickman and Daphne duMaurier, I think you will like Passion by Stefan Grabinski.
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Old 05-22-2015   #112
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Re: In search of Stefan Grabinski

I have picked up a copy of Grabinski's short stories based on what I have read in this thread. I am lookign forward to reading it.

"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H. P. Lovecraft
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Old 11-08-2015   #113
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Re: In search of Stefan Grabinski

On The Hill Of Roses

Foreword by Mark Samuels
Introduction by Miroslav Lipinski

Stories:
On the Hill of Roses
The Frenzied Farmhouse
On a Tangent
Strabismus
Shadow
At the Villa by the Sea
Projections

Not only do I like the contents of the book, but I'm impressed with its high production values.

A brief foreword is by Mark Samuels, an excellent writer of weird fiction himself. The Introduction is by the translator of this book, Miroslav Lipinski. Lipinski's Introduction is sort of a biography of Grabinski. Grabinski was not a totally obscure writer. He had some measure of success. But toward the end of Grabinski's life, it did seem that he was largely forgotten. A dying Grabinski was visited by a friend, who predicted that a time will come when Grabisnki's fiction will be known throughout the world.

That prophecy has been fulfilled.

"On the Hill of Roses"
A man is resting in a pleasant area, when he smells roses from a walled area. He goes to that area and encounters a fascinating genius loci. The story has a tragic ending.

"The Frenzied Farmhouse"
The story is told by a Poe-like unhinged narrator. A man and his children move into a farmhouse. This farmhouse has a disturbing influence on his mind. The violence in this story is very a-typical from Grabinski.

"On a Tangent"
A metaphysical story. Doing that kind of story well is difficult, and I'm not sure if Grabinski entirely succeeds. While reading the story, I was reminded of Charles Fort's worldview that everything is interconnected--disparate, obscure facts are inter-connected at some level. The protagonist of the story has a theory that, while some events might at first seem to be due to chance or strange coincidences, these events have a secret pattern, which gives "some sort of indication, some sort of uncovering, a fulfillment of some fated role..." So was what happened to the protagonist at the end of the story fated to happen?

"Strabismus"
This story is about a man who struggles with a person who is "the personification of antipathy. He was my living antithesis..."

"Shadow"
A man sees a mysterious shadow, which reveals a horrible act, and investigates this. I would classify this story as a Gothic tale, which nevertheless has an interesting, original idea behind it.

"At the Villa by the Sea"
This is a kind of story that Robert Aickman might have written--uncanny stuff happens, and the reader has to infer some things. The narrator visits his distant cousin Richard. Richard is a widower, well off, and has a boy. The narrator and Richard discuss a poet they knew, who died tragically. It appears that this dead poet has a telepathic influence on all the characters in the story. The reader has to infer why the dead poet is doing this.
I am greatly impressed by this story.

"Projections"
Occult fiction told in diary form. The narrator investigates the ruins of an old monastery.
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Old 11-08-2015   #114
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Re: In search of Stefan Grabinski

Fortunately I already have the Dark Domain and the Motion Demon……….

“The real reason why so few men believe in God is that they have ceased to believe that even a God can love them.”
― Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island
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Old 11-10-2015   #115
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Re: In search of Stefan Grabinski

Poe, Grabiński, Ray, Lovecraft. Correspondences, Parallels, Comparisons
Institute of Romance Languages and Translation Studies of the University of Silesia
Sosnowiec (Poland), June 20-21, 2016.



Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), Stefan Grabiński (1887-1936), Jean Ray (1887-1964), Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937) – the four writers of horror, gothic, or “weird” fiction need no further introduction to any aficionado of fantastic literature. They continue to have a profound influence on literature and popular culture, and to inspire new generations of writers, film directors, heavy- and doom- metal musicians, and creators of computer games.

The critics of fantastic literature have often pointed to ample evidence of mutual fascination, permeation, and mysterious correspondences in the works of the four writers. Grabiński is commonly referred to as “Polish Poe” or “Polish Lovecraft,” Ray is known as a “Flemish Lovecraft,” and both Lovecraft and Grabiński admitted to being inspired by Poe’s work. Grabiński wrote an essay on Poe (“The Prince of Fantasts”), and Lovecraft devoted one of the chapters of his Supernatural Horror in Literature to the American writer, and made him a character in his short story entitled “The Shunned House.” When the first translations of Lovecraft’s fiction appeared in Poland in the 1930s, the translator used a pseudonym “Żalny,” which is the name Grabiński adopted when he first published his works.

The four writers’ fiction is characterized by the same motifs, dark obsessions, or philosophical visions of the world and the human. Grabiński, Ray, and Lovecraft draw on Poe’s characterization of the macabre, and the themes of ubiquitous death with its physical symptoms, of the influence of drugs and alcohol on one’s perception of reality, of madness, and the blurring of the borderline between the dream and the awake. Lovecraft dreamed up his own mythology with the pantheon of otherworldly, incredible creatures endowed with unearthly powers. Their prospective return (both in dreams and in reality) becomes the source of “cosmic horror”: irrational fear of the unknown, the inconceivable and the unnamed, which comes to light when one faces phenomena which cannot be rationally explained and hence may engender madness. Grabiński also developed his mythology of cosmic, great motion, with the central figure of the Motion Demon, and the mythology of fire with the characters of elementals, Red Magda, and fire-born spirits. The Polish author uses the motifs of parallel worlds (also present in Ray’s and Lovecraft’s work), and of demonic women (reminiscent of Poe’s Ligeia, Morella, Eleanor, and Berenice). Finally, Jean Ray’s fiction is characterized by the themes of black magic, occultism, demonology, cosmic fear of the unknown, forbidden books bringing to mind the Lovecraftian Necronomicon, and mysterious cults evocative of both Lovecraft’s and Grabinski’s work.

The conference aims at examining the mysterious parallels shaping the works of the four writers. The organizers welcome both comparative analyses, and interpretations of each writer’s individual oeuvre. The official conference languages will be Polish, English, French, and Italian. Sessions devoted to Stefan Grabiński will be held in Polish. It is anticipated that selected papers from the conference will be published.

Please send abstracts of no more than 250-300 words for proposed 20-minute papers by 20th April 2016, accompanied by a short biographical note not exceeding 150 words, institutional affiliation, and contact details to adj.loska @gmail.com (submissions in English, Polish, and French), or to clasalmeri @gmail.com (submissions in Italian). Notification of acceptance will be sent by 30th April 2016. Conference fee is € 100, which covers access to all conference sessions, conference materials, coffee breaks, and post-conference publication. The conference banquet is optional and requires an additional fee of € 25. The conference will take place in Sosnowiec, Poland, at the Institute of Romance Languages and Translation Studies of the University of Silesia.

Organizing Committee:
Chair: Katarzyna Gadomska.
Members: Claudio Salmeri, Zuzanna Szatanik, Joanna Warmuzińska-Rogóż, Aleksandra Bogusławska, Agnieszka Loska, Adam Niglus, Anna Swoboda.
Conference secretaries: Agnieszka Loska, Claudio Salmeri.

[Source: Institute of Romance Languages and Translation Studies of the University of Silesia]

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Old 11-10-2015   #116
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Re: In search of Stefan Grabinski

Quote Originally Posted by Andrea Bonazzi View Post
The official conference languages will be Polish, English, French, and Italian.
Thank you Andrea for drawing my attention to this. I am already thinking about contributing a session on Jean Ray and Grabinski in French. Brilliant stuff!

"In my imagination, I have a small apartment in a small town where I live alone and gaze through a window at a wintry landscape." -- TL
Confusio Linguarum - visionary literature, translingualism & bibliophily

Last edited by yellowish haze; 11-10-2015 at 10:34 AM..
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Old 03-25-2016   #117
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Re: In search of Stefan Grabinski

Today I happened across some of Piotr Jablonski's illustrations for CP's upcoming Grabinski edition:

Wonderfully Weird Paintings by Piotr Jabłoński | The Dancing Rest

I'm curious if anyone might have further information on when this is set to be released?
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Old 08-08-2016   #118
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Re: In search of Stefan Grabinski

Quote Originally Posted by Andrea Bonazzi View Post
Poe, Grabiński, Ray, Lovecraft. Correspondences, Parallels, Comparisons
Institute of Romance Languages and Translation Studies of the University of Silesia
Sosnowiec (Poland), June 20-21, 2016.
I have (finally) managed to write a commentary about the event in which I summarized a few interesting facts that I have gathered from the conference:
confusio linguarum: "Poe, Grabiński, Ray, Lovecraft. Correspondences, Parallels, Comparisons" - international conference held in Poland

"In my imagination, I have a small apartment in a small town where I live alone and gaze through a window at a wintry landscape." -- TL
Confusio Linguarum - visionary literature, translingualism & bibliophily

Last edited by yellowish haze; 08-08-2016 at 03:05 PM..
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Old 01-22-2017   #119
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Re: In search of Stefan Grabinski

From the Ruinenlust thread (I am providing a link to this compilation from here for those who miss it and for future reference).
Quote Originally Posted by yellowish haze View Post

"In my imagination, I have a small apartment in a small town where I live alone and gaze through a window at a wintry landscape." -- TL
Confusio Linguarum - visionary literature, translingualism & bibliophily
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