Unconventional Gay Novel

News author: NEWW-Polska
spotk_galeria:  » spotk_gal_wys
spotk_data_umie: 2005-07-04 12:25:45
Lubiewo is a superbly written and unconventional gay novel that can be read in a number of ways. It is the book's informative character, however, that will be most important to the majority of readers. Michał Witkowski exposes a world that has never before been portrayed: the gay underground. Departing radically from both political correctness and the aesthetic sublimation so characteristic of homoerotic Polish writing in the twentieth century, he allows the homosexually desiring Other to remain the Other - without embellishing or glorifying their world. This is what makes Lubiewo so vulgar and provocative. The book need not be read as a scandalous documentary article, however. Its artistic values allow one to read it as an appealing contemporary novel - playful and bawdy, witty and rife with brilliant observations (and not just on more indecorous matters). As far as the plot is concerned, the first part of the novel portrays the protagonist and omniscient narrator as they listen to two older gay men in Wrocław bragging about their amorous conquests. In the second part, which takes place on a beach in the Baltic town of Lubiewo, a number of emancipated gay men encounter and confront a group of those whose masochistic love life continues to take place in the squalor of public toilets. Witkowski presents on the one hand middle-class gay men, supporters of gay marriage and activists for gay rights, and on the other gays who resist copying the norms claimed by the heterosexual majority. The opposition between these groups generates the tension that is the driving force of this brilliant first novel.

Michał Witkowski born in 1975. Live in Wroclaw (Poland).
Writes prose.
He made his debut by novel "Copyright"(2001), he published earlier in more important literary magazines and newspapers, also in german, hungarian and croatian press. "Copyright"was accepted very favourably by critics (over 20 reviews in the press) and prizewinning at the Publication Nowelties Trade Fair in Poznan (the best book of winter 2001).
The book is freely available in internet. (
Witkowski takes up problems connected with transformation of sexual and national identity - he talk about old problems using new language which shows an influence of popular culture.
The most willingly he reaches out for polish-german problems connected with communism in Poland and DDR. That is why, his artistic activity is present especialy in Germany (publications in magazines and anthologies "WIR", "Muschelhaufen" , "Lauter Niemand" etc.
A grand holder of Culture Minister. He is a co-author of a very famous anthology of youngest polish literature "Tekstylia" (Textiles) together with Piotr Marecki and Igor Stokfiszewski.
"About generations of 70's" which is considered a leading book for young writers comming to the literature at the beginning of XXI century. He ends currently a novel "Psie Pole" ("Dogs Field"), collection of short stories and the first polish gay novel.
Translated into english, german, hungarian and croatian. He writes also a doctoral thesis about genger and queer attempts at their transplant to the polish literary criticism.
Jerzy Jastrzębski in "Smutni dwudziestoletni" ("Sad twenty-years-old") rated Witkowski among five the most interesting prose-writers of young generation.

A interview with Michal Witkowski about his new book "Lubiewo"