Richard Farina – Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me
Our publishing industry is extremely efficient in getting us bad books in no time. Paulo Coelho Kaszlnie, and we already have a Polish publication with a clear throat, Dan Brown will write a letter to the IRS, and we can already read it in lovely (?) Polish language on the last page of "Życie na Gorało". However, we manage to miss the real gems. The number one slip-up is, of course, the absence of a Polish translation of the book "Infinite Jest" by David Foster Wallace. This book is already fifteen years old, appears in every list of the most important novels of the 20th century, but it has not reached us yet… To improve our translators and editors, I will tell, that this book is not easy. Moreover, I have over 1000 pages. But since we were able to translate "Ulysses" by James Joyce (indestructible and wonderful Maciej Słomczyński fought with him for thirteen years), we should deal with this book as well. I will cheat, I have plans to put a finger or two on this.
Richard Farina - a classic of the 60s
Second book, that comes to mind is Richard Fariña's Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me. Published in 1966 year, two days before his tragic death in a motorcycle accident. Let me just quote its obsessed beginning. In the following entries, I would like to present the profiles of these two unusual and unknown writers in Poland.
“To Athens then. Young Gnossos Pappadopoulis, hairy bear pooh, flame keeper, he came back from sailing on asphalt seas, spilled in the great wastes: oh highway! US 40 and endless 66, I am home to glacier-flooded gorges, finger lakes, the golden girls of Westchester and Shaker Heights. Take a look at me, sounding like lies, stomping his boots, with a mind steeped in delusions.
House of Athens, where Pelenelope indulges in the joyful ecstasy of infidelity, where Telemachus hates his father and tries to kick him in the groin, where old, the patient Argus is trotting, to greet your return, tired gentleman and introduces a pin into the leg that is stuck by the contraction, infecting her with some horror full of hydropathy. O, Hello,
because the house is a madman,
home of his dreams
home for haymaking,
whether the sun is shining or not, because in this well-mountainous country of geological pressures and errors, it always rains a lot. "