Booking Hell

Roman GiertychRoman Giertcyh, Minister of Education has done it again. He’s got himself into yet another pickle thanks to the ridiculousness of his ideas. Well done, Roman!

Deputy Roman
Giertych is of course Deputy PM and leader of the League of Polish Families (LPR), an extremist catholic party intent on slapping their right-wing ideas on the whole nation regardless of whether the nation agrees with these ideas or not. The LPR currently has around 4% in the opinion polls which means the party will, in all likelihood, not get into parliament at the next election.

Roman the Educator
Wanting to flex a bit of political muscle and show the world he really is a big, powerful man, Roman Giertych has decided to change the obligatory reading list for school kids and do away with some of the biggest names in Polish literature in an effort to impose his idea of ‘canon’ on Poland’s youngest readers.

Roman the Wise
For the first time ever, a Minister of Education has made this decision single-handedly without consulting it with any school teachers, head teachers, literary experts or specialists in education. Roman has decided that the poets Jan Lechoń and Kazimierz Wierzyński are not good enough for Poland’s school children and has also forced out Maria Konopnicka, Bruno Schulz, Witold Gombrowicz and Stanisław Lem – all literary pillars, veritable heavyweights of the Polish literary canon.

Roman the Bold
Like a school boy ready to prove a point and ready to show he’s in control, Giertych has been quick to elbow his way into the nation’s collective consciousness eagerly sticking his hand up with slogans like, “Miss, Miss, there’s too much violence in our schools”. Or, “Miss, Miss, we need to re-think our moral values”. Oh yes, when it comes to conservative, right-wing slogans, Roman’s yer man.

Roman the Cunning
However, when it comes to the reading list, commentators are a little worried. They’ve put two and two together and realised there’s more to this controversy than Giertych simply finding Gombrowicz too difficult or Lem a little over his head. It seems that each and every one of the authors of these Index-ed books is of Jewish descent or, in the case of Konopicka, fought ardently for the Jewish cause.



2 thoughts on “Booking Hell

  1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but AFAIR none Lem’s works was ever obligatory in school. Apart from that I’m a dedicated fan of his writing (his books were among the first that I learned the joy of reading on) and support all good publicity that he recieves, and that means also including his name on the obligatory reading authors list, I simply find it shocking. He is our flagship sci-fi writer AND one of Poland’s flagship general literature authors (usually Lem and Kapuscinski are the only ones foreigners can mention without looking up a few other names). Also apart from it leaving me (and many others I bet) heartbroken, I find such a decision highly unpatriotic.

    Sorry to sound pompous, but this really makes me want to cry ;(

  2. My mistake, but I was told/I read that Lem was on the school reading list. But yes, you’re right – to turn these heroes into (Giertych) villains is a real crime. I mean this is literature of the highest calibre. I share your sadness.
    By the way, love the sweet little icon! 🙂

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