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The next meeting of the Central European Book Club

2023-02-21, 6:00 p.m.
Graphics with the name of the event.

21 February 2023


On Tuesday, February 21 at 6 pm we invited you for a meeting about the novel “Oczyszczenie” ["Purge"] by the Finnish-Estonian author, Sofi Oksanen, one of the most important figures of the Baltic region culture.


“Oczyszczenie” tells the story of an area and a period that is little known in Poland – World War II, the takeover of power by the communists and the collapse of communism in Estonia in the 1990s. The story is set in the countryside, focusing on the experience of women who must endure, withstand successive eras and changes of power, and persist in spite of them all. Although it was written in 2008, “Oczyszczenie” fits into the most vital current social debates: about wartime rapes, shame, the price of survival, and moral compromises that one has to make to be able to stay in their own home.


Oksanen vividly depicts the realities of the mid-twentieth century, but also asks about the limits of moral compromise and whether, apart from the perpetrator and the victim, there are also other roles for people drawn into the vortex of history.


Polish literature, despite constantly reworking war and often using female characters, has no similar novel, it does not ask such questions – let's see then how this process of deconstructing the myth of innocence is played out in “Oczyszczenie”.


We encouraged participants to register in advance at the following e-mail address: j.burnatowski@mck.krakow.pl to get assistance in accessing the text (or fragments thereof) discussed at the meeting.


Let's meet in a common space of reading and talking. Let's meet at the ICC.

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