In honour of Adam Zagajewski being awarded the 2016 Jean Améry Prize for European essay writing, Eurozine publishes Zagajewski’s defence of ardour. That is, true ardour, which doesn’t divide but unifies; and leads neither to fanaticism nor to fundamentalism.
is a Polish poet, novelist, translator and essayist. He is the author of the poetry volumes Tremor (1985); Canvas (1991); Mysticism for Beginners (1997) and Without End: New and Selected Poems (2002); as well as the essay collections Solidarity, Solitude (1990); Two Cities (1995); Another Beauty (2000); and A Defense of Ardor (2004), all published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. His collection of essays Lekka przesada (“A slight exageration”) (a5, 2011) is available in German translation as Die kleine Ewigkeit der Kunst: Tagebuch ohne Datum (Hanser, 2014).
As the struggle between democracy and a dream of some kind of return to the past deepens in Europe, Adam Zagajewksi contemplates the passage between ideas and action in the real world, wherein lies the old European – and not only European – wound.