Themersonowie i Witkacy, czyli nieeuklidesowa przygoda smoka Żabrołaka (The Themersons and Witkacy or non-euclidean adventure of the Gaberbocchus)

Sztuka Edycji 9 (1):57-68 (2016)
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Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz and Franciszka and Stefan Themerson constitute a rare constellation of outstanding artists of the 20th century avant-garde. Their best known contributions were a concept of Pure Form and an idea of Semantic Poetry respectively. They all shared multiplicity and diversity of interests and areas of not only artistic activities. Philosophy and science influenced to large extent form and content of their works. Despite their mutual interest in each other’s work they had never met personally and no correspondence between them was found. However similarities in attitudes resulted then in intertwining of their paths of artistic development. One of early Stefan Themerson’s novels featured strong influence of Witkacy works but all his later writings were fully original and individual. However the author believes one can still find some flavours, tones and traces leading to the oeuvre of the author of Insatiability. After leaving Poland in 1938 Themersons had still maintained their interest in Witkiewicz works what finally led to translation and preparation for publishing by Gaberbocchus Press of his two plays – Gyubal Wahazar and Mother featuring Franciszka’s drawings. A brief review of Gaberbocchus Press achievements and resources of the Themersons Archive, established by Jasia Reichardt after their death, constitute a background for an analysis of relationships between Witkacy and Themersons. The fact National Library in Warsaw acquired Themersons heritage alleviated very much access to many very interesting source documents. The author focused on a part of the Archive related to the all aspects of Witkacy’s works. Typescripts of publication ready translated and adapted plays, Vahazar and Mother, which finally remained not published by the Gaberbocchus Press triggered an idea to take up the challenge of publishing a “bestlooker” today. A draft of a bibliophilic bilingual edition of the Gyubal Wahazar drama illustrated with Franciszka Themerson’s drawings (samples are included in the paper) is proposed as a final thought.
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