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Słoń [Ebook] ➨ Słoń Author Sławomir Mrożek – Buyprobolan50.co.uk Kevään hullaannuttamat virkamiehet kohoavat ilmaan kotkansiivin ja leijailevat taivaalla sakeina parvina Kanarialintuihin kyllästynyt tuomarinrouva pitää häkissä ilmielävää edistysmielistä Kevään hullaannuttamat virkamiehet kohoavat ilmaan kotkansiivin ja leijailevat taivaalla sakeina parvina Kanarialintuihin kyllästynyt tuomarinrouva pitää häkissä ilmielävää edistysmielistä Viisas leijona kieltäytyy syömästä kristittyjä Kirjailijakunta järjestäytyy sotilaallisesti pukeutuu univormuun ja on vähällä kompastua leppäkerttuunTällaisista leikkisistä aiheista on puolalainen Slawomir Mrozek luonut riemastuttavan satiirinsa.

10 thoughts on “Słoń

  1. Glenn Russell Glenn Russell says:

    Slawomir Mrożek grew up in Kraków during World War II He became a member of the Polish United Workers' Party during the reign of Stalinism in the People's Republic of Poland and made his living you call this living as a political journalist The Elephant Mr Mrożek's laser sharp satire of totalitarian practices told in 42 short ironic fable tales To share a feel for the delights in store for any reader I've focused on three yarns FROM THE DARKNESS The narrator tells us he along with the others in his remote village are currently in the grip of ignorance and superstition At the moment he wishes to venture outside in the dark to take a piss but he's afraid one of the many flying bats will lodge itself in his hair and he won't be able to get it out So he stays inside and writes up his report Let's be łaskawy gracious and give our narrator a name Jakub Anyway Jakub reports the price of grain has fallen ever since the devil appeared at the local mill wearing a red white and blue cap embroidered with the words Tour de la Paix The peasants have been avoiding the mill and to top it off the manager and his wife were driven to drink until one fine day the manager splashed his wife with vodka and set her on fire Thereafter he departed for the People's University to read Marxism in order to counter irrational elements Meanwhile his wife who died in the flames leaves us with one ghost Jakub's report continues informing us of such things as bloodcurdling howls at night that might be the spirit of poor Karas cursing the rich kulaks or wealthy Krywon long dead complaining about compulsory deliveries Howling as a proper class war And one day Jusienga was out reading Horizons of Technology when something got him in the back so for three whole days he never stopped staring vacantlyJakub reuests advice from his comrades in the city since he and his villagers are all alone surrounded by nothing but distance and graves And he's been told by a forester that when there's a full moon heads without bodies roll around chasing and knocking into each other And when they pour milk into jugs hunchback dwarfs appear out of nowhere to spit in the milk And according to the village priest the skeleton found behind Mocza's barn was a political skeleton No doubt about it comrades than anything else Jakub's report is a plea for help Help Daniel Mroz's illustration for From the Darkness THE ELEPHANTSlawomir Mrożek begins his tale thusly The director of the Zoological Gardens has shown himself to be an upstart He regarded his animals simply as stepping stones on the road of his own career He was indifferent to the educational importance of his establishment The zoo was located in a provincial town and lacked a number of the important animals Whereupon on July 22 anniversary day of the Polish Committee of National Liberation manifesto under Stalin the zoo was allocated an elephant The staff was overjoyed However their joy was short lived The director being a good communist sent a letter to Warsaw renouncing the allocation and proposed a plan to obtain an elephant that would cost less and thus be less of a burden on the shoulders of Polish miners and foundry workers an inflatable rubber elephantThe director's rubber elephant proposal was accepted Upon the completion of the making of the rubber elephant two keepers were charged with blowing the elephant up to its full size Well comrades you can imagine how much huffing and puffing it would take to blow that rubber into a full sized elephant Perhaps predictably after many hours of such huffing and puffing and blowing by the two keepers the rubber elephant was still nearly as flat as an enormous grey pancake Many hundreds of puffs later deep into the night the keepers spot a gas pipe ending in a valve I suspect you can guess what happened If you need a hint below is Daniel Mroz's illustration for the story As for the schoolchildren who paid a special visit to the zoo the next day you will have to read for yourself All I can say is if you want to build a perfect state controlled country get yourself perfectly real elephants for your zoos THE SWANThe Polish authorities take their totalitarianism seriously every comrade no matter size shape or species must maintain moral principles No exceptions Nothing less than the health and well being of future generations is at stake There once was a swan on a lake in a park that was stolen by hooligans Unacceptable A new swan was appointed to swim on the lake in the park So as to make sure nothing happened to this new swan a guard was also appointed to keep watch over the swan day and night On one frigid night the guard could not endure nearly freezing to death thus he decided to take refuge in the local restaurant So as not to leave his swan unguarded he took the swan along with him The swan objected but was placated when the guard shared his bread and vodka Successive nights of bitter cold and the swan acuired a keen taste for vodka But then it happened one sunny morning a mother brought her small children to the park to see the swan on the lake The swan was not swimming; the swan was reeling about in the water Unacceptable The mother complained to the proper authorities Both the guard and the swan were dismissed since in Slawomir Mrożek's own words Even in the most modest position its holder must have some moral principles Polish playwright storyteller and cartoonist Sławomir Mrożek 1930 – 2013“The old woman started to scream but nobody came to see what was the matter Can one be sure who is screaming and from what ideological position”― Sławomir Mrożek

  2. MJ Nicholls MJ Nicholls says:

    This collection of surreal and satirical fables is perfect fare for fans of Donald Barthelme Nikolai Gogol or Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky In the title story an inflatable elephant is blown up in a zoo to save money In ‘The Giraffe’ a little boy is unable to find any reference to giraffes in Marx and Engels so his uncle denies their existence In ‘A Forester in Love’ a forester’s enormous moustache is used as a makeshift washing line In ‘The Lion’ a lion refuses to enter the coliseum and warns the Christians may come to power In ‘A Citizen’s Fate’ a meteorologist is instructed to compile a positive forecast despite the village floods In ‘Spring in Poland’ civil servants inadvertently start flying out office windows In ‘On a Journey’ a post office conveys messages through shouting loudly In ‘Peer Gynt’ a peasant becomes a famous crusader for roof tile repairs while his wife shivers at home In ‘A Fact’ a wife after seven years of marriage suddenly realises her husband is made of plasticine These forty two short tales are brilliantly witty and melancholic simply written slants on post war Polish life A delightful find

  3. Antonomasia Antonomasia says:

    45 Wielkie nieba Eastern Bloc satire that's actually amusing A rare thing for me I was a bit bored other than the significant historical interest by the likes of A Report on the Party and the Guests and plays of Václav Havel and Ionesco and outright irritated at times by Krzhizhanovsky's Autobiography of a Corpse which almost everyone else loves But between The Elephant and Vera Chytilova's Daisies perhaps a surreal image in itself; Daisies Sedmikrásky is one of my favourite films what provokes plenty of actual LOL is when the action is silly and absurd regardless of political implications and it's also usually jeee ust physically possible realist In the handful of misfires among Mrożek's 42 very short stories IMO were those that went into outright fantasy without a folkloric element much like Krzhizhanovsky in one the narrator finds a population of tiny people living in a drawer I think I simply prefer fantasy writing when its primary purpose is fun not critiue how much entertaining The Borrowers were than those Much credit to the translation by Konrad Syrop with a tone that appeals to the combination of dryness and ridiculousness found in British humour no doubt helped by his working for the BBC A good translation of humourous writing makes the difference between really laughing and merely feeling as if in a parallel universe or another language you might have laughed which I found with Moldovan black comedy The Good Life ElsewhereFor pithy summaries of several of the stories have a look at the blurb for this hipsterly snazzy Penguin edition and also MJ's review Many stories are only 2 5 pages each and this could even be read comfortably on a commute freuently interrupted by irksome beeps announcements and changes They seem to give a flavour of real life at the time of writing 1950s alongside the humour and satire There are moments of universality applicable to bureaucracies and busybodies everywhere and the schismatic nitpicking of committed leftwing politics in democratic countries is similar to this than some may like to think There are also a few unexpectedly beautiful and moving paragraphs about surroundings and scenery which couldn't help remind me of Dukla a Polish book written forty years after this one Review of that unfinished at time of writing this one I also liked the illustrations by Daniel Mroz which satisfy a childish desire for exaggeration and strangeness alongside a very grown up precision and a hard to pinpoint surreal uality that seems to convey the pressure of the times I don't know anything about Sławomir Mrożek beyond Wikipedia and similar webpages but these indicate a political ambiguity yes he was involved in satire but he was once also involved in condemning some priests to the authorities Some of these stories read as surprisingly daring but in others he's very deftly hedging his bets 'Deft' one of the most over used words in book blogging and reviewing and one I normally avoid but here it feels justified to wheel it out For instance in a story about a chap made out to be a great underground hero working against the Communists his main activity is revealed to be graffiti in public loos; it could be mocking oppositionists or a regime so authoritarian that even this is daring never mind any other possible interpretationsFavourites From the Darkness Birthday The Elephant The Swan The Monument Background to an Era The Co Operative Peer Gynt The Last Hussar On a Journey A Forester in Love Spring in Poland Chronicle of a Besieged CityNot so keen on The Drawer A Fact SiestaWhich is a remarkably good hit rate for a short story collection

  4. Anna Anna says:

    Short story collection The Elephant came out for the first time in communist Poland in 1957 Mrozek who as a young man supported the communist government by 1950s evolved into a critic of the system making merciless fun of the communist stereotypes and the inflated imposed social codes and formsFor me who grew up in this kind of reality the stories are hilarious in their historical setting but they also have a universal aspect insofar as lacking self reflection groups that impose social codes may exist todaytodays raging political correctness comes to mindAn inflated self importance and lack of self reflection has always been a sign nothing good no matter how serious were its reasons and sense of humor used to be a good weapon against it So let us take Mrozek as an exempel who for his laughter may have faced conseuences far serious then we do today and lough at what deserves to be laughed at

  5. João Reis João Reis says:

    Funny and bizarre short stories from a communist Poland

  6. Wayne Wayne says:

    It is only the Complacent Ones who will view these short often crucifyingly amusing surreal pieces as descriptive of Totalitarian regimesAustralia has recently declared the possibility of forcing artists to classify their works so that it can cut down on control any sign of genitalia and other offensive stuff An English playwright recently wrote a work about a teacher brought to trial because of abusive behaviour which consisted in gently pushing a student in the direction of the classroom doorThis sort of paranoia was thriving and encouraged at my school in my last years of teachingTouch had become a dirty word and now a teacher cannot pull apart two brawling children even to protect a weaker child from a bullyThis book is so far a Wonderful Read and I have no reason to think that will alter What will alter will be my temperatureWhat we consider to be the Politically Correct characters of Communist Regimes has to do with Human Nature and Human Stupidity and Human Conniving and at the moment it is thriving in the West because it suits the Power Ambitions of certain individuals as it did in Communist countriesCommunism in the hands of good decent people was a Force of Justice and Good just like Democracy Democracy in the hands of Power Mongers Big Business Liars and Politicianshere the opposite of Statesmenwomenis no different to Bad CommunismI remind myself of this every time I read another story in this mindcrunching and painfully funny book

  7. Miglė Miglė says:

    How can a book be bad when it starts like thisIn this remote village of ours we are in the grip of terrible ignorance and superstition Here I am wanting to go outside to relieve myself but at this moment hordes of bats are flying about like leaves blown by an October wind their wings knocking against the window panes and I am afraid that one of them will get into my hair and I will never be able to get it out So I am sitting here comrades instead of going out repressing my need and writing this report for youS Mrožek's short satirical stories are something between Orwell and Daniil Kharms not uite as long and elaborate as the former not uite as short and absurd as the latter It's a satirical look to Poland under totalitarian regime and SSSR in general I'd even say that some stories go further from a critiue of the regime and satirize the certain kind of stupidity of people the kind of stupidity that allows such regimes to take place at allSome stories such as Siesta and It's a Pity I think are truly brilliant Others such as Children or Peer Gynt I felt were a bit too straightforward However the book contains 42 stories in total most of them great to read so I think everyone could find something that's worth pondering and incredibly funny

  8. Agnieszka Agnieszka says:

    This collection contains forty or so stories most of them are pretty short two three pages max The stories are wise and funny surreal and hilarious and in highly satiric way show everyday reality in socialistic system with its all grotesue solutions and blessings Set in unspecified time and place are nonetheless universal and can be commonly understandable Mrożek ridicules communist propaganda and bureaucracy mocks obtusity hypocrysy sycophancy and thoughtlessness And after reading the title story you probably will never look at elephant the same way again

  9. Jonathan Norton Jonathan Norton says:

    Jolly mixture of tales Some of them follow the fantastical ideas of Kafka miniature people found inside a drawer; an elf appearing in a cafe Some of them take a swipe at the bureaucracy of the communist regime but in a way that avoids being explicitly against official doctrine A few unclassifiable oddities as well including I'm Subtle which can be read as the self regarding monologue of a sexual harasser

  10. Ray Ray says:

    I liked this bookIt is a slim volume with forty or so short stories each a few pages long The stories are surreal and very funny often poking fun at authority A couple of the stories didnt work for me hence four stars

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