On the Hill of Roses
by Stefan Grabiński, Miroslaw Lipinski (Translator), Mark Samuels (Forward)
Stefan Grabinski was one of the most original Polish language writers of the early 20th century but an unwillingness to fall in with literary trends and the political turmoil that struck Europe soon after his death meant he was all but forgotten outside his native land until fairly recently. Thankfully, with the publication of The Dark Domain in 1994, new blooms of acolytes have sprung up to champion his cause both in Poland and elsewhere.
We at Hieroglyphic believe that his work forms an important thematic bridge between European Symbolists such De L’Isle-Adam and English language writers of metaphysical fiction such as Algernon Blackwood and Arthur Machen. As such we are very proud to announce what we hope to be the first in a series of translations.
To begin this parade of letters we present On the Hill of Roses . Originally published in 1919 it was Grabinski’s first collection under his own name and served as the official start of his arduous search for artistic recognition. Nearly a hundred years later these pieces stand as testament to their author’s talent and on-going literary quest for the bizarre: in The Frenzied Farmhouse we witness the effect of a malignant anima mundi, Strabismus explores the conflict of beings over corporal identity while in the title story, On the Hill of Roses , the Decadents fascination with synthesia is used to unveil a tragic history.