Giertych or Gombrowicz?

17Aug07

It seems I underestimated Witold Gombrowicz. I’ve come late to this story, from the Süddeutsche Zeitung, but it seems he’s capable of more than just rattling cages.

Thomas Urban looks into the week-long conflict in Poland over required reading in schools. The governing coalition is now threatened with collapse over the dispute, centering around the author Witold Gombrowicz. “It’s a novelty in the history of European democracies that a controversy surrounding an author should take on such a political dimension. Education Minister Roman Giertych, head of the League of Polish Families, has declared he no longer expects students to have to read works that are morally damaging, including those of Gombrowicz … certainly the most famous Polish writer of the 20th century. Giertych sees his goal of educating Poland’s youth in ‘order, discipline and patriotism’ jeopardised by the sceptic and freethinker Gombrowicz, who never sought to hide his homosexual disposition. The fundamentalist League of Polish Families has even adopted the slogan: ‘Giertych or Gombrowicz!'”

Via signandsight. I can’t find the full article at the SZ site, unfortunately, but this sounds like a story to watch.

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