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Tue 06 December 2011
Arnon Grunberg about Poland: on stage now, and in citybooks soon!
Tonight, December 6th, the Dutch company of actors Wunderbaum are putting on the Belgian premiere of ‘Our Pope’, a play written by the renowned Dutch author Arnon Grunberg. The play takes place in De Monty in Antwerp. The Polish Współczesny Teatr asked Grunberg to write the play, which was finished in 2007. The play has never been staged in Poland because it was rejected by its commissioners. The Wunderbaum company is therefore the first group of actors to actually stage this ‘modern parable of world citizenship’.
In February 2012 Grunberg will go to Poland to write, as he will be taking part in the citybooks edition in Lublin. The other participants writing a citybook in this Polish edition are Belgian authors Mauro Pawlowski and Maud Vanhauwaert, and the Polish authors Witold Szablowski and Andrzej Stasiuk. The Lublin citybooks will be published in the spring of 2012 on www.city-books.eu as free audiobooks, webtexts and e-books.
‘Our Pope’ tells the story of Guillaume van Rompuy, a Flemish teacher of Dutch at the University. He has trouble finding a job in Flanders and, advised by his mother, leaves for Poland (since “life seems to be pretty cheap there”) to work at the University of Wroclaw. His girlfriend accompanies him. The result of the move is a total catastrophe. Van Rompuy and his girlfriend end up in a society that on the one hand wants to enjoy the fruits of capitalism, but on the other hand seems to long for communism, a deeply rooted nationalism, bureaucracy and longing for power. They get lost in a Kafkayan nightmare.
Image © Mario Debaene
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