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Amerykański Newsweek

12 pisarzy Slavoj Žižek, David Weigel, Anne Boyer i Grzegorz Kwiatkowski odpowiedziało na pytanie amerykańskiej edycji magazynu Newsweek o najgorszą rzecz jaką napisali w minionym roku.

„Every writer knows the feeling: You wrote something so bad it plunges you into a fog of doubt and self-loathing. Maybe it was an ill-advised think piece, an article you botched, a career-ending tweet or a stand-up routine that mocks school shooting survivors (OK, that’s just Louis C.K.). As Thomas Mann once said, “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” And Thomas Mann, bless his soul, never had to deal with Twitter.

Every winter, as one year ends and another begins, writers rush to share their best work from the preceding 365 days. This is fine and good! And while self-congratulation is often healthy, ruthless self-reflection is more interesting.

Just like last year (and the year before that, and before that), we surveyed a bunch of good writers and asked them to confess the worst thing they wrote in 2018. It’s a mix of journalists, poets, comedians, even a philosopher and a songwriter. Some answers are remorseful and sincere. Others are self-deprecating and witty. All of them, we hope, provide some insight into the regret, insecurity and internet backlash almost all outwardly successful writers deal with on a regular basis.

As usual, please be kind and forgiving to the writers below. They were the few brave enough to participate in this exercise.

GRZEGORZ KWIATKOWSKI, poet, songwriter, member of the Polish band Trupa Trupa

Fortunately, the worst things I wrote in 2018 will never see the light of day. Almost. I spent the better part of 2018 working on an investigative poetry book called Karl Heinz M, focused on Shoah, euthanasia and eugenics, with most of the research work done in Austria. One of the focus points of the book is the Am Spielgrund clinic in Vienna, where children were killed to extract their brains for quasi-scientific research during the Nazi regime. Having spent too much time dealing with these gruesome themes made me realize I moved from the position of defending the victims and trying to understand the perpetrators to the position of rhetorical hate speech against the perpetrators. Fortunately, thanks to my editors, I managed to remove this poetic hate speech from my book. If only it was that easy. The black milk was spilled and it was spilled in Austria. Apart from being a poet, I’m also a musician in a psychedelic band Trupa Trupa whose songs cover, among others, the topic of Shoah. One of our songs is called ‘Never Forget’ and its lyric are inspired by Claude Lanzmann’s movie Shoah. Before we played it at the Waves Festival in Vienna, I made a short announcement: ‘There was no Holocaust. That’s what some people say. Fuck them.’ It was not planned and it was not thought over well. Even though it is true, I realized I crossed the line. My language has transformed from reasonable and non-violent to aggressive hate speech. Fool’s luck – I was saved by the heavy delay effect on my microphone which made my words totally incomprehensible. My New Year’s resolution for 2019: Don’t let myself get infected with evil when studying it.”

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