Zygmunt Mycielski’s blues, or how some testimonies related to queer history simply vanish into thin air

Izabela Morska

Abstract

In 1908, a new collection of short stories by Joseph Conrad, A Set of Six, is sent to the printer’s. One of them, titled “Il Conde,” appears to be the portrait of a factual Polish nobleman, Count Zygmunt Szembek. In 1981, Szembek’s grandson, Zygmunt Mycielski, a composer and a suave oppositionist in the communist Poland, sends a letter to Conrad’s biographer, Zdzisław Najder, revealing that “Il Conde” is clearly based on his grandfather’s homosexual adventures in Naples at the beginning of the 20th century. By today’s standards this revelation is an act of sheer courage and defiance (Mycielski, too, was gay), but the letter never sees the light of day until it appears, in English translation, in Keith Carabine’s essay, “‘A Very Charming Old Gentleman’: Conrad, Count Szembek, and ‘Il Conde’” in 2005. Mycielski’s diaries, published after his death, can be deciphered today as a blueprint for survival. Mycielski preserves his dignity and clarity of vision, while his talent for maintaining non-heteronormative family structures in adverse circumstances defined by a repressive regime deserves further exploration.
Author Izabela Morska (FL / IEAS)
Izabela Morska,,
- Institute of English and American Studies
Other language title versionsObup Zygmunta Mycielskega ali kako nekatera pričevanja, povezana s kvirovsko zgodovino, meni nič tebi nič izpuhtijo v zrak
Pages93-100
Publication size in sheets0.5
Book Zavrl Andrej, Zupan-Sosič Alojzija (eds.): Go East! LGBTQ + Literature in Eastern Europe: zbornik prispevkov s konference Na vzhod! LGBTQ + književnost v vzhodni Evropi, 2020, Ljubljana University Press, Faculty of Arts, ISBN 978-961-06-0310-8, 193 p., DOI:10.4312/9789610603108
Keywords in EnglishJoseph Conrad, “Il Conde", Zygmunt Szembek, Zygmunt Mycielski, Chinua Achebe, Zdzisław Najder, Keith Carabine
Abstract in original languageLeta 1908 je založnik dobil v tisk zbirko novel Josepha Conrada z naslovom A Set of Six. Ena od novel, »Il Conde«, je portret dejanskega poljskega plemiča, grofa Zygmunta Szembeka. Leta 1981 je Szembekov pravnuk, Zygmunt Mycielski, skladatelj in uglajen nasprotnik komunistične Poljske, poslal pismo Conradovemu biografu Zdzisławu Naj-derju, v katerem razkriva, da »Il Conde« temelji na homoseksualnih avanturah njegove-ga starega očeta v Neaplju na začetku 20. stoletja. Danes se zdi takšno razkritje dejanje čistega poguma in kljubovanja (tudi Mycielski je bil gej), toda pismo ni ugledalo luči sveta, dokler ni leta 2005 izšlo, in to v angleškem prevodu, v eseju Keitha Carabina »‘A Very Charming Old Gentleman’: Conrad, Count Szembek, and ‘Il Conde’«. Dnevniki, ki jih je pisal Mycielski in so izšli po njegovi smrti, se danes berejo kot načrt za prežive-tje. Mycielski je ohranil dostojanstvo in jasen pogled, njegova nadarjenost za ohranjanje neheteronormativnih družinskih struktur v neugodnih okoliščinah represivnega režima pa kliče k nadaljnjemu proučevanju.
URL https://e-knjige.ff.uni-lj.si/znanstvena-zalozba/catalog/view/197/294/5056-1
Languageen angielski
LicensePublisher website (books and chapters only); published final; Uznanie Autorstwa - Na Tych Samych Warunkach (CC-BY-SA); with publication
Score (nominal)5
Score sourcepublisherList
ScoreMinisterial score = 5.0, 10-04-2020, ChapterFromConference
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