At the end of the 19th century, Stanisław Wokulski, emissary from The Country That Does Not Exist, appears before Emperor Mutsuhito of Japan. Wokulski’s mission is to forge an alliance based on Dr. Geist’s discovery of a metal lighter than air.
High in the mountains of Hokkaidō, concealed by wandering clouds, the Imperial Sky Navy’s openwork fleet rises in Julian Ochocki’s shipyards. Meanwhile, Ochocki’s every word and deed is being written down by Kiyoko, daughter of a rebel samurai who resisted the rule of reason and democracy.
It is through Kiyoko that we experience industrial revolutions catalyzed by calligraphy and the wars of a rewritten Japan, and live through the history of Japan’s impossible transformation and the passing of languages, traditions, and civilizations.
“Empire of Clouds”, which was published within the “Other Worlds” („Inne światy”) anthology by SQN, and which turned out to be a novel, received the main Jerzy Żuławski Award for 2018. The Award is granted by a jury composed of literary scholars for the best works classified as science fiction or fantasy, published in Poland in the passing year.
“Empire of Clouds” is a story told from within the Japanese culture of the Meiji epoch, about the relationship of reality to language and written word, and about the great lie of our conscious subjectivity; it includes battles of lighter-than-air machines based on “The Doll” by Bolesław Prus, and is enclosed within the life history of Miss Kiyoko, and served in the form of 15 haikus in prose.
Netflix announced today the production of Into the Night – a series based on the concepts of The Old Axolotl.
We have been developing Into the Night with Tomek Bagiński for several years. The script of the series was prepared by showrunner Jason Georg. Filming began in late July. The show is scheduled to start running in the first half of 2020. The first season consists of six one-hour-long episodes. Inti Calfat and Dirk Veheye are directing. The series is produced by Netflix Belgian branch – with an international cast, mirroring the situation of a random group of passengers from various countries, speaking different languages – who, however, need to cooperate in ceaseless escape from the doom-carrying dawn meridian. One of them is a Pole.
The Old Axolotl published by Allegro in 2015 as an e-book, will be published on paper with various graphic and textual supplements, in October 2019, by Wydawnictwo Literackie.
The desire to convey emotion and thought has been with us since the dawn of humanity. From cave paintings to tribal myths to multivolume novels. Up until now we have been condemned primarily to language and writing, which convey symbols of lived experiences. However, technologies that directly transfer sensory impressions – from photographs to television and VR – allow the experiences themselves to be conveyed. And so the lived experiences gain autonomy and become subjects, while human beings become their plaything.
“We do not relate the nightingale’s song. We do not describe the nightingale’s song. We hear the nightingale’s song. We do not imagine someone else’s suffering on the basis of abstract symbols. We suffer.”
After Writing reveals our times to be a transitional period heralding the era of the total dominion of experiences, where human beings are surrounded by an intelligent environment that lives their lives better and more beautifully than they.
“We can already sense it today in our semiconscious flicking through clips on YouTube, watched before going to sleep or in stupefying tiredness. Drowsiness, tiredness, alcohol enable us, born into the mindstyle of writing, to switch off agencies of the brain that require the linear construction of narrative.”
Who will people be once they are completely liberated from writing and its creations: from logic, ideas, law, rationality? Will human beings become happy machines for living through experiences? What kind of politics will they practise? What extralinguistic religions will have access to them? What values will interest them?
“Life is lived outside of ourselves, flowing through our brains only intermittently.”
After Writing (Po piśmie) – a collection of essays dealing primarily with our transition to post-literacy and the loss of conscious subjectivity as a result of technological changes:
“Third World War of Body and Mind”
“Happy Practitioners of Boredom”
“On the Limits of Hope”
“Art in Times of Artificial Intelligence”
In November 2017 Comma Press is going to publish an anthology of works dedicated to Joseph Conrad, among them - an essay written by Jacek Dukaj titled „Live Me” („Żyj mnie”), translated by Sean Bye.
Polish-British Joseph Conrad is regarded as one of the greatest novelists to write in the English language. To celebrate his name, as well as his vision, this anthology brings together specially commissioned short stories and essays, written in English or Polish (the latter being translated into English), which celebrate, respond to and critique the literary legacy of Joseph Conrad.
Including 16 of Britain and Poland’s most revered fiction writers and critics, this collection will demonstrate Conrad’s enduring relevance in both countries, bringing together the themes that shaped his own life and work – the sea, colonialism, war, travel – in conceptual essays, near futuristic tales, and new journeys through the heart of darkness, cementing Conrad as a ‘true citizen of the world’.
In June 2017 a contract was signed with the UK publishing house Head of Zeus, to publish an English translation of Jacek Dukaj’s novel “Ice” (“Lód”).
The process of selecting the novel’s translator has begun. An initial estimate of time to complete the work on English edition of “Ice” is about 4 years.
"The Old Axolotl" is Jacek Dukaj`s new novel and his debut in English.
Published by Allegro as an e-book exclusively with an outstanding visual layer created by Fish Ladder/Platige Image book is available at Amazon and App Store.
Find more on an ebook landing page.