EuroNews 01-2007, Queen Masłowska

A young Polish author.

Poland has originated a new, young generation of authors and female authors. Dorota Maslowska is one of them. In the following we introduce her.

Dorota Maslowska was born the 3th July of 1983 in Wejherowo, a small town in the north of Poland. When she was nineteen, she was supposed to learn into her final exam but in the meantime she started writing her first book called “The polish-Russian war under the white-red flag”.

Pawel Dunin-Wąsowicz discovered her talent in September 2002 and published “The polish-rushian war under the white-red flag” in his publishing house called “Lampa i Iskra Boża”. The book was indeed something special, because anyone until that time had written something like that. The famous polish writer, Jerzy Pilch, published in “Polityka”, polish weekly magazine, very good reviews and Masłowska’s book was sold in 50 thousands copies by the end of 2002. Krzysztof Ostrowski – a vocalist of the band Cool Kids Of Death drew paintings for the book.

Until now Masłowska’s novel has been translated and published in France (title: “Polococtail Party”), Italy (“Take everything”), Germany, Czech Republic (“Red and white”), Holland and Hungary. Everywhere it has got good reviews. French daily paper “Liberation” wrote that this book “is showing decadent space of young generation, who forgot about Poland, and take their way into Europe”. Italian newspaper “La Stampa” wrote that “The polish war …” is a nightmare sociological view of Poland.

Using inventive and visceral language, and by turns poetic, hilarious, disturbing, and dirty, “Polish – Russian War under a White and Red Banner” is a powerful portrait of love, hopelessness and political burnout in Eastern Europe. The Polish critic Marcin Świetlicki called this novel “a chunk of slightly spoiled literary meat” continuing “I think it has been worth living 40 years to finally read something so interesting.”

After her passed exams at psychology Dorota Masłowka moved to the Warsaw and now she is studying culture at Warsaw University. In 2003 she was nominated to the Nike prize – one of the most important literary awards in Poland. She didn’t got it, but she got the audience prize receiving 35 per cent of votes.

In 2003 she got the prize – Passport of “Polityka” in literature. In the same year at “Wybrzeże” theatre, her book was turned into a stage play. It was directed by Agnieszka Lipiec-Wróblewska and two songs were composed by the band “Cool Kids Of Death”. Masłowska’s carreer speed up. She wrote a few feuilletons in “Przekrój” weekly magazine, and wrote several reviews for “Wysokie Obcasy” magazine. She is cooperating with “Lampa” magazine now. In the beginning of September 2004 Maslowska born her first child, daughter – Malina.

Three years after her first novel Dorota Masłowka wrote her new book – “Paw Królowej” (that can be translated into”Peacock of the Queen” or “Puke of the Queen”). As before, the strength and value of the book are determined by her stunning style and, more broadly, the boldness of her linguistic creativity, because The Queen’s Peacock has been written in the rhythms and rhymes of a hip-hop song. This form is unique – it’s vulgar, primitive and plebeian, designed to seize and shout out the simplest truths. Masłowska has exploited, or rather radicalised this deformed speech, full of linguistic perversions and grammatical errors. Here this language becomes the equivalent of reality, a distorted, monstrous mirror, in which the world in 2005 sees itself reflected.

A nice teenager from the provinces at the time of her debut, Masłowska has had a first-hand taste of what it is like to get caught up in the media machine and fall into the clutches of con artists who treat literature like a kind of show business, and a young author like a puppet without will of her own. Not surprisingly, the main character in her book is a fading pop star, a silly singer who is manipulated by the media and by a revolting oik. The supporting characters are equally grotesque and unintelligent. The story is set in modern Warsaw, and features a scathing send-up of the Warsaw glitterati, the cynical, spoiled world of show business and the media.

Initially the book did not gain similar popularity, but in October 2006 it was awarded a NIKE, the most prestigious Polish literary award. Some people call that the end of the prize itself, but for Dorota Masłowska it will be a great challenge. Being treated as an off-literature author now she challenged the biggest names in Polish literature. What will happen with her great started career?

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