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Translators Reflections: Barbara Bogoczek on Różewicz’s Mother Departs

Mother Departs is an extremely personal autobiographical work by one of the greatest writers of our time, set against the epic conflicts of the 20th century. It combines many genres – poetry, jokes, intimate diaries written through tears, ethnographic snapshots of peasant life,  and a dreamlike stream of consciousness – and it speaks in several different voices. I mean that literally: Tadeusz Różewicz brought together writings from close members of his family, including his mother and brothers. It flashes between the 1900s and the 1990s, back and forth, with one tragic moment in the Second World War at its heart.

To say that it was a challenge to translate it would be an understatement.

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