City of Lions [Book Review]

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In the course of the past two decades, the city of Lviv has enjoyed close attention as well as a “close reading” in literary and scholarly texts on the city. This attention fits easily into two categories: (a) scholars producing academic studies on the city and (b) classical literary works on the city, composed in various languages, finally becoming available to a broader readership through translation into English. The book under discussion falls into the second category.1 It must be pointed out right away that this is an unusual book—a truly successful combination of two essays—that should be rewarded with proper attention. Under one cover, the reader has the opportunity to enjoy two pieces that are linked together by the image of the city of Lviv. The first is an elegiac essay, Mój Lwów (My Lviv), authored by Polish writer Józef Wittlin. (This first English-language translation is by Antonina Lloyd-Jones.) The second essay is from post‑2010s Lviv by internationally-recognized British author Philippe Sands; it uses Wittlin’s work as a springboard for Sands’ own explorations of the city, or of what is left of the city from that period, mixed with a personal narrative.
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Archival date: 2019-04-26
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